Sunday, December 12, 2010

Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the philippines

ENVISIONING THE POLITICS OF PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

An Undergraduate Thesis

Presented

to the faculty of the Philosophy Department

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Bicol University

Daraga, Albay

In Partial Fulfillment of

The Requirements for the

Degree in Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

By,

JOMAR NOTOB MARBIDA

October, 2010

Republic of the Philippines

Bicol University

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy

PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT

Daraga, Albay

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINAL DEFENSE

The undergraduate thesis hereto attach entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” prepared and submitted by Mr. Jomar Notob Marbida, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree in Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, is hereby submitted to the thesis committee for consideration and approval.

Darlito Perez, M. A. Ph.

Adviser

October 7, 2010

THESIS COMMITTEE

The undergraduate thesis entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” prepared and submitted by Mr. Jomar Notob Marbida, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree in Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, is hereby recommended for final defense.

Jose Ramon E. De Leon, M. A. P. A.

Chairman

Ruben C. Cardino Jr. Ll. B. Silvino Balasta Jr.

Member Member

TABLE OF CONTENTS

RECOMMENDATION FOR FINAL DEFENSE ii

THESIS COMMITTEE ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS iii

ABSTRACT viii

CHAPTER I – INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study 1

Theoretical Framework 3

Statement of the Problem 5

Thesis Statement 6

Conceptual framework 7

Definition of Terms 9

Significance of the Study 10

Notes 12

CHAPTER II – REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES

Related Literature

a. Activities of representation in the Philippines 13

b. Theories about Politics of Representation 14

Related Atudies

a. Foreign Studies 16

b. Local Studies 17

Synthesis of the State-of-the-Art 18

Notes 20

CHAPTER III – METHODOLOGY

Identification of the Method 21

Scope and Delimitation 21

Limitation of the study 24

Procedure of the Study

a. Gathering of data 25

b. Analysis of data 25

Organization of the Right-up of the Study 26

Research Schedule 28

CHAPTER IV – POLITICS OF REPRESENTATION

Politics of Representation – Defined 29

a. Components of Representation 31

b. Views of Representation 33

Group-based Representation 35

What is a Marginalized Group? 37

CHAPTER V – PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

Party-list System in the Philippines 39

Youth Sector 41

Labor Groups 44

Women Group 51

Guidelines of COMELEC for Party-list

Representative Nomination 56

Problems with Group-based or Party-list

Representation in the Philippines 57

Notes

CHAPTER VI – MEDIATION AS A MECHANISM

Mediation in Representation 63

Voice – Dynamics of Legislative-decision Making 66

Trust – Nature of Representative-constituents Relationship 69

Memory – Defining Constituencies 72

CHAPTER VII – SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSION

& RECOMMENDATIONS 74

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIX A

LIST OF FIGURES

Theoretical Paradigm 5

Conceptual Paradigm 8

LIST OF TABLES

Table

1. Legislated Bills of Kabataan Party-list

2. Committee Involvement of Kabataan Party-list in the 15th Congress

2. Legislate Bills of Anakpawis Party-list

4. Committee Involvement of Anakpawis Party-list in the 15th Congress

5. Legislated Bills of Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list

6. Committee Involvement of Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list in the 15th Congress

7. Legislated Bills of Gabriela Party-list

8. Committee Involvement of Gabriela Party-list in the 15th Congress

ABSTRACT

Marbida, Jomar Notob : Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines, (Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Bicol University, October 2010)

Politics of party-list representation is an activity that provides voice to the marginalized and under-represented sectors of the society. This form of political participation is a system that bridges connection between constituents and representatives within the legislature. As defined, politics of representation is the activity of making citizen’s voices and opinions present in the public policy making processes. It is therefore a means towards the actualization of the dreams of all marginalized groups in the society.

In the Philippines, this system in government aside from its main purpose is being used by few individuals to serve their own benefit. The supposed venue for the marginalized groups to be clearly heard in the legislature is now a disguising mechanism of some opportunist individuals to gain and sustain powers. This is the irony that the country’s party-list system is facing, it is therefore necessary to give much attention on such activity for the establishment of an ideal government beneficial to all.

Melissa Williams, contemporary socio-political theorists, have defined representation as mediation. She presented the different dynamics that a fair representation particularly group-based representation should be: the dynamics of legislative-decision making; nature of constituents-representative relationship and aggregation of constituents into representable constituencies. These dynamics constitute the mechanism that this study should employ in establishing an envisioned politics of party-list representation in the Philippines.

This study is an applied philosophical research under a case study framework because it tries to explain a political event in the Philippines. This study employs a case study method because it uses facts and data from the cases of the three chosen marginalized groups to be able to understand political representation as reflected on their activities and recommends necessary solution for the traced problems.

This study aims to provide a systematic system of party-list representation in the country through the aid of the said mechanism. This study also aims to contribute on the development of our understandings about the concept and as well as in the establishment of a government where every voices are heard and represented in the legislature.



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

In a democratic country like us, various conflicts are so intense that dictate the shape of politics in the country. One of which is the emergence of various unions or groups in the society that took part in expressing their concerns as marginalized groups in the society. To address their concerns as fundamental but marginalized sectors in nation building, we do allow them to legally participate in the government particularly in representation process to carry their advocacies and aspirations in a lawful and proper process of actualization.

Glancing at the date when party-list system was founded, there forerunners like of Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga or MAG, Bayan Muna and Anakpawis were legally given the authority through election to join in the House of Representatives to shape the welfare of their constituents , the one being represented, in the representation process. Today, many of the sectors in the society are given the legal chance to participate in the debate and legislation in the congress to win the interest of the groups that they are representing. Each sector now has their party. The youth sector now has their Kabataan Party-list, the women has their Gabriela, the laborers has their Bayan Muna and Anakpawis, and even regionalized groups like of Muslims are being represented in the congress as a sector. With the existence of these party-lists in the congress, it seems that the country is in practice of equality and fairness since every concern is being represented. It is however an irony in the Philippine setting because even there’s already the existence of these party-lists in the country, there are still protests in all corners of the country pertaining to some issues like of violations of the rights of the students, agrarian problems, the evident increase of prices of basic commodities, minimum wage and the unjust treatment of some ethnic groups. We cannot deny the fact that these problems are in existence and continuously bothering the sectors in concern. These problems continuously exist ever since the party-list system in the country was founded. Now we may wonder as to where really we can trace the problem.

The researcher stand with the presumption that the problem rests on the representation process of these party-list leaders that causes their ineffectiveness as representatives. That is why this paper primarily aims to envision the politics of party-list representation in the Philippines by presenting a mechanism that would re-shape the system into effective and accountable system of representation. This mechanism would help in establishing a clearer and envisioned party-list representation in the country. Melissa Williams of the University of Toronto, in her recent work explained politics of representation as mediation. Mediation as a mechanism was explained in the three dynamics of effective party-list or group based representation. These three dynamics are: the dynamics of Legislative decision making which focuses on the accountability and affectivity of party-list representatives in bringing the advocacy of the group that they are representing in the legislation process. Second is the nature of Legislator-constituents relations which focuses on the membership of the elected representatives in the group that they are representing. Finally is the basis in aggregating citizens into representable constituencies that evaluate the group who wished to join in the process of representation, this checks if the group is indeed marginalized and under-represented.

Political representation according to Hanna Pitkin is simply to make present again (Wikipedia, 2009). On this definition, political representation is adverted as the activity of making the citizen’s voices, opinions and perspectives present in the public policy making processes (Copleston, 1988). This describes how elected officials nominally speak for their constituents and open the ways for democratic citizens to be legitimately represented within a democratic regime.

A state with an envisioned politics of representation features a government that every voice is heard in the legislative process. Meaning, the politics of representation is under a clearer perspective; from the role of the representatives and constituents, the nature of their relationships, up to the legislative decision making. In this system of representation, the state is built in a solid foundation strengthened by the participation of both constituents and government.

Protests in the street, conflicting group ideologies, marginalization and under-representation will incessantly exist; the battle cries and advocacies of every marginalized sector will still remain hopes in the air, and will take a long run to be contextualized in the reality unless the foundation of the country’s party-list system is built in a solid foundation under effective and fair representation. That is why; this study aims to re-build the consciousness of every Filipino towards an envisioned politics of party-list representation where every voice are heard and properly represented for the purpose of nation building and not to serve the benefit of the few. This can only be realized if the party-list system in the country is on its clearer view.

Theoretical Framework

This study entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” employs a case study framework as it try to conceptualize an ideal system of representation based from the findings of a case study.

Concepts about politics of representation give us an idea on how representation takes place in the legislative processes. As defined, politics of representation is the activity of making the citizen’s voices, opinions and perspectives present in the public policy making processes (Copleston, 1988). This is one of the best ways in establishing an ideal government as affirmed by John Stuart Mill, James Mill and Hanna Pitkin.

In line with the study’s focus which is the party-list system in the Philippines, this study shall proceed on the cases of the three marginalized groups. Their activities will be analyzed. These activities include: the bills filed, advocacy, representative and their committee involvement in congress. From these cases we will trace the problems with group-based representation and how representation is reflected on their activities.

With the foregoing foundation of this study, this paper shall recommend as a mechanism the idea of “mediation” towards the realization of its project, which is to envision the politics of party-list representation in the country. Melissa Williams, Center for Ethics of the University of Toronto used the idea of mediation to enumerate the dynamics of representation for the marginalized and under represented sectors of the society. . This idea was used in reminding the elected officials about the nature of their functions as representatives. The idea of mediation proposes three main features; in these three main features shall what our elected officials must mediate in to be effective servants of this good nation. These three are: the dynamics of legislative decision-making, nature of legislator-constituents relation and the basis of aggregating citizens into representable constituencies. These three are characterized by out “trust”, “Voice” and “memory”.








Marginalized Sectors in the Society



Representation

As

Mediation

Case Study

Theoretical Paradigm

Figure 1

Statement of the Problem

`

This study entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Part-list Representation in the Philippines” primarily envisions the exposition of the theories about politics of representation and reconstruction of the part-list system in the country. Thus, to be able to understand the research, this study shall deal with the following questions:

1. What is politics of representation?

2. How is Political representation reflected in the activities of the three marginalized groups?

3. What is the way to establish politics of representation in the Philippines into a clearer and envisioned political representation?

Thesis Statement

To provide direction in the conduct of this study, this paper shall stand firm with the following presumptions:

The Philippines is a democratic country, therefore, individuals or even groups are free of sharing and showing their thoughts and aspirations to public. As democratic citizens, they are eligible in choosing and voting for the party-lists to bring their concerns in a lawful and proper manner of representation.

This paper also believes to the assumption that the problem in the politics of representation in the Philippines rests on the representation processes of our elected party-list representatives. The unacknowledged, left behind ideals and advocacies of some sectors in the society reflects the performance and behavior of our officers. The elected officials, instead of serving the county are serving their selves.

The inefficiency of these elected officials is a result of the unclear perspective about the nature of political representation. Officers are not well oriented about the nature of their functions as servants of this good nation.

This paper also believes in the idea that our officials must mediate into something that will make them effective representatives. Our political leaders must mediate into the dynamics of legislative decision-making process, nature of legislator-constituents relation and on the basis of aggregating citizens into represent able constituencies. These are characterized by the voice, trust and memory.

Conceptual Framework

This study primarily bears a model patterned to the study’s primary vision, which is to trace the ways and provide a mechanism on how to envision the politics of party-list representation in the Philippines towards more effective and accountable governance. In view of its primary concept, this study shall proceed into this conceptual framework;

Since the main subject of this paper is about the idea of representation, then this paper must first clarify the concept. Hanna Pitkin, John Stuart Mill and James Mill have provided a comprehensive discussion on the concept of political representation. This study shall provide first a discussion about the general concept of representation

After the discussion of the general concept of representation, this paper shall proceed on a case study detailing the activities of the chosen three marginalized groups. Their activities in political representation involve their advocacies as a group, their representative, bills filed and their committee involvement in congress. The data will be analyzed to help us know how political representation is reflected on their activities and trace the problems on group-based representation.



Politics of Representation


Activity of Representation in the Philippines










Conceptual Paradigm

Figure 2

Definition of Terms

In this particular section, to avoid ambiguity and to specify the limit of this study entitled “Envisioning a Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” this paper shall define the following terms:

Activities- Referred in the study as the bills, advocacy, investigations and other form of work done by the party-list groups in the legislature.

Envisioning- It is the act of re-seeing phenomena into clearer, ordered and much better view (Stanford, 2009). This refers to the project of this study which employs a mechanism that would uplift those activities of representation of the selected party-list groups in the country.

Laborer- A manual worker, employed (Stanford, 2010). It refers to the sector in the society that is generally waging from 150 to 250 Php.

Mediation- This is the mechanism that the study shall use to be able to envision the representation in the country. This refers to the three dimensions of political life where the elected representatives must mediate in, these are: the dynamics of legislative decision-making, the nature of legislator-constituents relations and the basis for aggregating citizens into well representable constituencies (Stanford, 2009).

Officials/Representatives- This refers to the servant leaders elected by the nation during election. In this paper, their behavior will be examined according to the ideals and advocacies of some marginalized groups in the society, to be reconstructed for accountable and effective public service.

Party-list- refers to the groups legally given the authority through election to join in the House of Representatives to legislate laws in resolution to the concerns of their sector.

Political Philosophy- It refers to the branch of philosophy which deals with the prevailing theories, ideologies and principles in the field of politics (Britannica).

Politics of Representation- It refers to the activity of making citizen’s voices, opinions present in the public policy making processes (Pitkin, 1967). In the study, it also refers to the activity that involves the vital role of “tao or bayan” (people) in the politics of representation of our representatives from the legislative branch of the government.

Women- A group in the society concerning to gender equality in all aspects of life, from living to working (Stanford, 2010). This is the sector used in the study to identify how these groups are represented in the society.

Youth-A sector in the society that refers to the people aging from 15-30 years old (Stanford, 2010), this is one element in the paper that will serve as the ground by which our elected officials must be assessed.

Significance of the Study

This study finds its significance in the contribution that it might add towards the development of our consciousness about the problem at hand. Moreover, this humble piece of work whish to contribute to sectors or fields like;

To the Socio-Political Philosophy, as a branch of philosophy dealing on the study about social and political issues, may this paper contribute to the awareness of the true nature of politics of representation.

To other researchers who the same with me advances the interest of coming up with ideal governance, may this study guide them in conceptualizing their thesis problem and be a source of information needed for the development of their work.

To the House of Representatives, being part of the branch of our political system which generally concentrates in the constituents concern, so that they would be able to practice the virtue of power vested or imparted to them by their constituents. Through this study, they would be reminded to be accountable and practice the value of public trust as expected to them by their constituents.

To all elected officials from local to national administration and agencies, they must be reminded that the power imparted to them must be paid with equal public trust.

To the people of this good nation, through this study, they will be reminiscent that they must not only participate in the practice of democracy during elections, they must also find their selves liable in evaluating the elected leaders during their terms. Representation must not only be limited to those who are elected, we ordinary citizens must be part of its journey to social order because we are the one being represented.

Notes

1. Some definitions in the Definition of Terms are taken from the web.

2. Some sources taken from the internet has no author.

CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES

In this chapter, this paper shall present the related studies and literature about the subject at hand. It will provide us the understanding on how this research differs from other studies.

Related Literature

a. Activities of Political Representation in the Philippines

Number of scholars and writers give a feature of what kind of political representation we have in the Philippines.

Diaz Jr. (2009) in the October 7, 2009 issue of The Philippine Star with an article title “Corruption biggest concern of US businessmen” have cited that the American Chamber of Commerce with 88% of its members agreed that corruption among government projects and kickbacks remained overwhelming in the Philippines. This article shows what kind of political representation we have in the Philippines where our elected officials are those responsible for such corruption scandals. This issue shows that our elected officials are not doing what is expected to them according to the responsibility entrusted by their constituents.

Garcia (1994) on his book entitled “Social Problems in the Philippine Context” noted the importance of legislation in overcoming social problems in the country. There are many beautiful laws in the Philippines (Garcia, 1994: 348). However, Garcia believes that there is a problem in the process of legislation specifically in addressing the real problem and concerns that the country is experiencing.

b. Theories about Politics of Representation

This study seeks to re-envision the politics of representation in the Philippines using some of the great political philosophies in the contemporary.

Number of scholars has studied the nature and scope of political representation. Pilario (2004) of the Philosophical Association in the Philippines Journal have cited the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu on the said subject matter. More specifically on his ideas on “the people” and “the Field: as the game of the professionals”. If there is something that is noticeable during election that is the evident use of the words “tao” or “bayan” in the campaign propagandas of electoral candidates. Campaign posters are replete with phrases like “bayan ang bida”, “bayan ipaglaban”, “sinta ng bayan”, “kabayan, ang boses ng bayan”, “mata ng bayan sa senado”, “pwersa ng masa”, etc (Pilario, 2004:PAP 1,1). This evidently shows the strong desire of every candidate to win a post in behalf of their constituents. On the other hand, Political field for Bourdieu is the one referring to the place where representation takes place, none other than the government. In the Philippine context, political participation reaches its height during elections (Pilario, 2004: PAP 1,2). The basic conclusion for this happening is the consideration of the status and competence of every individual to join the said field. Plato, an ancient philosopher once said that competence should be the qualification for authority (Stumpf & Fieser, 2003: 66). In the Philippine setting, competence is, in fact, dependent on the volume of one’s economic, social and cultural capital (Pilario, 2004: PAP 1, 3). In general, the study of Pilario would regard the Philippine legislature as belonging to the select few of our society (Pilario, 2004: PAP 1, 3). “They are the richer, older, better educated and better connected to the rest of us…they are the one who sets the rules for a poor nation (Coronel, etc, 2004).

Stanford (2006) has cited from one of its articles regarding politics of representation that Hanna Pitkin offers one of the most comprehensive discussions in the said study. This classic discussion of the concept is the 4 Views of Representation; the Formalistic Representation which includes authorization and accountability, the Symbolic Representation, Descriptive Representation and the Substantive Representation (Stanford, 2006). Pitkin argued that each term from the word representation provides different views of the concept, like for example when she said that Formalistic representation affirms that institutional arrangements that precede and initiate representation (Stanford, 2006).furthermore, Formalistic representation has two kind; first is Authorization which is the means by which a representative obtains his or her power or status and second is the Accountability which is the ability of the constituents to punish their representatives for failing to act according to their wishes. Symbolic representation is the way that the representative stands for the represented; a representative has for those being represented. Descriptive representation is the extent to which the representative resembles those being represented. Finally, Substantive representation speaks more on the activities of the representatives that the actions taken are on behalf of or according to the interest of the constituents (Stanford, 2006).

Stanford (2006) has included on its article about politics of representation the 4 Forms of Representation in modern democracies of Jane Mansbridge. These 4 forms offer the capability of every constituent to assess or evaluate their representatives. These 4 forms are the promissory, anticipatory, gyroscopic and surrogacy. These open the ways that democratic citizens can be legitimately represented within a democratic regime.

Related Studies

a. Foreign Studies

Numbers of scholars have already conducted a study regarding politics of representation;

Wiliams (2006) on her dissertation entitled “The Politics of Fear and the Decline of Multiculturalism” have cited that recommended the idea of mediation. She identified three dimensions of political life. These are; the dynamics of legislative decision-making, the nature of legislator-constituents relations and the basis for aggregating citizens into well represent-able constituencies (Stanford, 2006). These three are the proposed dimensions of political life from where our political leaders or representatives must mediate. Williams explained each aspect by characterizing it to that of our voice, trust and memory, and by portraying it to the experiences of disadvantageous groups of before.

Chalermscripinyorat, R. (2004) on his study entitled “politics of Representation” which was published at the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars describes the political struggle of a nationwide rural-based movement in Thailand. It showed how the disadvantaged groups in Thailand acquire the power that would make their voices heard. It happened through intervenes of media who open the space for communication between them and the government.

Hasan, Z. (2002) in the dissertation entitled “Constitutional Equality and the Politics of Representation in India” have cited the analysis of the growing demand on the change of representation in India for two decades. The argument developed here is that the politics of representation does not offer a resolution to the problem of under-representation.

Wenden, A. (2005) of the study entitled “the Politics of Representation: a critical discourse analysis of an Aljazeera special report” published at International Journal of Peace Studies reports the role of language in every political struggle, specially the struggle for representation.

Rajagopalan, K. (2001) in the study entitled “representation of Identities and the Politics of Representation in cognition” viewed representation as first and foremost political matter. The study argued that through representation, we may avoid the many of the pitfall of the many contemporary theories of cognition as they attempt to tackle the concept of representation.

b. Local Studies

Coronel & etc. (2004) on their dissertation entitled “The Rule Makers: How the Wealthy and Well-born Dominate Congress” of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism have cited that those who are considered the richer, well-born, older and better educated are those who are capable of winning a post in the congress. They are the one who sets the rules for a poor nation (Coronel & etc. 2004). They are the few who has the capacity to run for an office having the advantage because of the presence of their money and popularity.

Pilario D. F. (2006) on his paper entitled “politics of Representation: perspective from Pierre Bourdieu” published in PAP Journal entitled Recent Philosophies in the Philippines have cited the position of Bourdieu on how the politicians uses the context of the people in their political strategies for the maximization of their capital to the political field which is a game of the professionals.

Synthesis of the state-of-the-art

The review of related literature and studies helped the researcher conceptualize the uniqueness of the design of this study entitled “Envisioning a Politics of Representation in the Philippines”.

The dissertation of Melissa Williams entitled “The Politics of Fear and the Decline of Multiculturalism” that recommends the idea of mediation and identified three dimensions of political life which serves as the guiding standards to the representatives is a different study to that of this paper since this paper do not focus it self to mediation but to the whole process of re0envisioning the politics of representation.

The study of entitled “politics of Representation” which was published at the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars that describes the political struggle of a nationwide rural-based movement in Thailand is a different study to that of mine since the scope of this study is Thailand and Philippines to me.

The dissertation of Hasan entitled “Constitutional Equality and the Politics of Representation in India” that cited the analysis of the growing demand on the change of representation in India for two decades is a different study to that of mine since the researcher is not only after to the analysis of what politics of representation we have in the Philippines but also on the project of re-envisioning it.

The study of Wenden entitled “the Politics of Representation: a critical discourse analysis of an Aljazeera special report” published at International Journal of Peace Studies which reported the role of language in every political struggle, specially the struggle for representation is not similar to my study since the researcher will not use the role of language but the role of the people in the activity of representation.

The study of Rajagopalan entitled “representation of Identities and the Politics of Representation in cognition” that viewed representation as first and foremost political matter will be in the same way in viewing politics of representation but my study do not rests its case on this matter. It must go after the nature of representation.

The dissertation of Corone and membersl entitled “The Rule Makers: How the Wealthy and Well-born Dominate Congress” of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism which cited that those who are considered the richer, well-born, older and better educated are those who are capable of winning a post in the congress is the same on my study on the analysis of representation in the Philippines, but my study is different in such a way that it will also present ways of re-inventing such activity.

The paper of Pilario entitled “politics of Representation: perspective from Pierre Bourdieu” published in PAP Journal entitled Recent Philosophies in the Philippines which cited the position of Bourdieu on how the politicians uses the context of the people in their political strategies for the maximization of their capital to the political field which is a game of the professionals is study which focus only on the factors that affect representation. My study is different in such a way that my study will not only focus on its factors but also on the project of re-envisioning it.

Notes

1. Some related studies are taken from the internet: from Wikipedia, Stanford and Britannica, available online.



CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY

In this chapter, the researcher made a discussion on the mechanism he used in this study in order to arrive at an understanding and solution to the problem at hand. This includes the research method, scope and delimitation, limitation of the study and the methods to be used.

Identification of the method

This study entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” shall identify the methods to be used in order to achieve the main objective of the study which is to give a feature of political representation reflected on the activities of the chosen three marginalized groups, and envision the traced problems by way of a mechanism to help us establish an effective and efficient system of representation.

This paper shall use the philosophical case study method from where recommendations or solutions are based on the findings of specific case studies. This study shall analyze the activities of the three marginalized groups including their advocacies, bills filed, and their representative and committee involvement in congress. Their cases will help us determine some problems with group-based representation and find solution as abstracted on the case study’s findings.

This paper uses the assumption that the problem in the nation’s politics rests on the kind of practice of political representation of our political leaders. Given such situation as an assumed result of the case study this study shall recommend as a mechanism the idea of mediation in pursuit to the study’s primary vision which is to envision such activity.

The project of envisioning the politics of representation in the country shall be done through mediation, mediation as a mechanism. This paper shall use as a mechanism the idea of Melissa Williams in establishing a clearer understanding about the politics of representation under an envisioned perspective. This mediation of Williams refers to the dynamics of representatives-represented relationships that explains the three dynamic roles of representatives or officers to its constituents, these are: the legislator and constituents relation being characterized by Trust, the legislative making process being characterized by the Voice and the aggregation of constituents towards a representable constituencies being represented by the Memory.

Scope and Delimitation

This study entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” covers the task of clarifying the general idea of political representation as a concept. The concept of political representation will be the soul of the main project of this paper.

To be able to trace the problems with group-based representation, this study shall examine specific related cases necessary to help us know how political representation is reflected. These cases involve the activities of the three marginalized groups such as their advocacies, their representatives, bills filed and their committee involvement in congress.

In choosing the three disadvantaged groups in the society, this paper employed criteria why the Youth, Laborers and the Women’s groups are chosen for the case study. First, the group or party-list must be a marginalized, second; the group must be a significant group that features the history and identity of the Philippines as a country and finally, the group must have already an existing representation in the congress.

Under a case study method, this study shall examine how representation is reflected on the activities of these three chosen groups.

In the project of envisioning the activity of political representation in the Philippines, this study shall focus on the idea of mediation as a mechanism, proposed by Milissa Williams. The idea of mediation will provide standards to guide our elected representatives to act according to the nature of their duty as an officer. This mediation will explain the dynamics of representative-represented relationships in the representation processes. This theory is characterized by the concept of the “Voice”, “trust” and “Memory”.

This study focuses on the false impression and abuse of power of elected party-list representatives who instead of representing the marginalized group is representing for their benefit and interest, the inoculation of the misinterpreted understanding of the nature of political representation, a system in the country that simply taking advantage on the cry of the minorities but significant sectors in the country. Example is the “bigmen” in the congress who wish to represent a sector where they do not actually belong.

Limitation of the Study

This study entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” identifies its weaknesses as a study according to data recourses and capacity of the researcher.

The number of the philosopher’s texts about politics of representation is one factor that affects the interpretation and development of this study. Only few philosophers from the contemporary find their interest in the problem at hand, which is the politics of representation. Usually, only sociologists are interested in the said subject matter as the topic of their study. Therefore, this study limits its capacity in terms of the numbers of philosophers who use the concept of politics of representation as their problem.

The researcher uses only books that are available at the province due to incapability to go to manila to come up with an intensive research at the libraries in some universities like La Salle, Ateneo and Univesity of the Philippines who are known to be effective in the study of philosophy. Therefore, this study finds as its limitation the use of books available within the province.

This study finds also as its limitation the use of secondary texts since some of the articles about the politics of representation were gathered by the researcher through internet and libraries within the province.

Finally, this study finds its limitation on the topic itself, since the broad concept of politics of representation is entertained by only few philosophers.

Procedure of the Study

This study entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” will be systematic in gathering and analyzing the data needed to achieve its main objectives.

Gathering of Data

In the project of analyzing the activity of political representation in the Philippines, this paper shall get three groups or sectors in the society to represent the ideals and advocacies of the common group of people. This paper shall also gather data from the libraries and internet to look for the theories, concept or ideas about politics of representation of some socio political philosophers in the contemporary.

In the project of envisioning the politics of representation in the Philippines, the researcher shall also gather data from the internet and libraries to look for the theories, idea or concept of philosophers about the nature of representation, way of evaluating the representatives, and standards of quality, effective, efficient, accountable representation. The data that will be gathered will help the researcher to actualize the methods and objective of the study stated in the previous chapters.

Analysis of Data

The data that will be gathered will be analyzed through philosophical case study method since it will show how politics of representation is reflected on their activities, and the problems that will be traced will be used to be able to know what solution should be recommended to be able to actualize its primary vision, which is to envision the politics of party-list representation. Concepts featuring the general concept of representation as discussed by John Stuart Mill, James Mill and Hanna Pitkin will also be analyzed to guide us in determining the mechanism that the study will use.

Organization of the Right-up of the Study

This study entitled “Envisioning the Politics of Party-list Representation in the Philippines” will be composed of seven chapters to organize the completion of this paper.

Chapter one

This will be the introductory part of the paper that will provide the main problem and explain how the researcher will resolve it. In this chapter includes significant sections like background of the study, theoretical framework and paradigm, statement of the problem, thesis statement, conceptual framework and paradigm definition of terms and significance of the study.

Chapter two

In this chapter, the researcher will provide the understanding on how the study differs from other studies. In this chapter includes the review of related literature and studies including the synthesis of the state of the art.

Chapter three

This chapter will be about the method of the study. It includes the scope and delimitation, its limitation, the procedure in gathering and analyzing the data and its organization as a study.

Chapter four

In this chapter, the paper shall discuss the concept Politics of Representation, its definition and components. In this chapter also includes the discussion on Group-based or also known as party-list system representation and marginalized groups.

Chapter five

In this chapter will be the discussion about the advocacies and ideals of the three marginalized groups in the society that reflects the kind of politics we have in the country; the youth, laborers and the ethnic groups. There will concentrate on the representation processes being done by respected elected party-list representatives in carrying the advocacies and concerns of the groups they are representing.

Chapter six

This chapter will focus on the theory of Mediation of Melissa Williams as a means or mechanism in finding solution for the identified problems in representation. This chapter shall show the clearer and envisioned understanding of political representation in the country.

Research Schedule

June to October, 2009 - conceptualizing of the research

March, 2010 - Proposal Defense

November to March, 2010 - gathering of data

April to June, 2010 - analysis of data

July to December, 2010 - write-up of the study

January, 2011 - Final defense

March, 2011 - submission of final manuscript


CHAPTER IV

POLITICS OF REPRESENTATION

The concept of the Politics of Representation is the foundation of this study. Therefore, this chapter shall concentrate on the discussion about this concept. This chapter will provide a general understanding about the concept using the theories of some political philosophers who find interest in the subject matter.

This chapter contains the following, the definition of Politics of Representation within a democratic regime, the components of Representation, the discussion on Group-based or Party-list system representation and marginalized groups.

Politics of Representation-Defined

We may be told that good government appears impossible (Mill 1981, P123), for James Mill on his essay “on government” opposed this proposition, instead, he said that it is not yet proven that good government is unattainable. A state and its government with all plurality indeed impossible to meet the criterion of good government in the context of uniting the people, however, the journey of creating a good government shall not stop because of this early conclusion, in fact there is a way to attain consensus from the existing pluralism and that is in a way of representation. James Mill in his own words explained:

“For though the people, who cannot exercise the powers of government themselves, must entrust them to some individual or set of individuals….(Mill 1981, P 123).

There he is referring to the representatives whom we can surrender our trust and to whom we can expect to bring our advocacies into a lawful and proper process of actualization.

Politics of representation defined by Hanna Pitkin, a political theorist, as to make present again (Pitkin 2006, np), this denotes that politics of representation is the activity of making the voice of the people be present in the public policy making processes. It is through representation where everyone’s opinions and perspectives are heard and brought into the legal process of representation. Political representation usually happens when political actors, known as the representatives, stand and speck on behalf of his or her constituents, the one being represented. In short, politics of representation is trusting and electing individual or set of individuals to speak on behalf of the group’s shared advocacies and assist them in actualizing their goals as democratic citizens within a democratic regime.

In many research, many philosophers have distinguisged an ideal and good government as which appears in unity, harmonized, liberal but controlled. But only few philosophers have distinguished a two-way politics in government, that which has the participation of the common people especially the marginalized groups.

“all governments must displease many persons, and these having now regular organs, and being able to express their sentiments, opinions adverse to the measures of government woul often be expressed” (J.S. Mill Consideration of Representative Government, Available online).

Among the few philosophers is John Stuart Mill who believed that a government must be a politics of two different and important communities, the community of the ruler and the community of the common people who must also be given the power to participate in government. It follows that an ideal government is a representative government.

a. Components of Representation

The concept Politics of representation is a broad political discourse, thus it is important that we should take into consideration in discussing its components to further elaborate our discussion about the concept.

Party that is Representing

People’s voices and opinions when formed is called organization or movement. This is from where everyone’s concerns are innovated into group advocacies. It is through an organization where people can share their concern as a marginalized and underrepresented group.

Organizations or movements are formed according to the nature of their advocacies. Women’s rights is most probably an advocacy of the women sector, the Magna Carta for Students is most probably a concern of the youth sector, that is why organizations or movements are formed according to what the interest of their group members is sharing with in common.

It is a component of representation that refers to the individual or set of individuals that is being represented.

Party that is being Represented

Any movements or organizations must have the members that the representatives would be representing. The party that is being represented refers to the constituents or the clients of the group. The party that is being represented is the soul of an organization because it is their members who formed and strengthen a group. It is through the constituent’s sharing of experiences and concerns that the group advocacies are made and innovated the group into representable constituencies. The legitimacy of any marginalized groups to be legitimately represented in the congress depends on the status of its members who comprised the group.

Something that is being Represented

Before an organization is formed, members are first convened to share their opinions and concerns towards one agenda. This sharing of concerns and experiences is a way of getting a consensus for the members of one organization to share. These individual concerns are now innovated into group advocacies. This group’s advocacy is the identity of an organization that members are sharing in the same. This advocacy is the reason why there’s a need for a representative of the group to participate in the representation process in the political arena. These advocacies provide direction for their representative as to what must be his or her agenda in the legislation process.

Something that is being represented refers to the Vision and advocacies of marginalized sectors that need an attention to be acted on the congress.

Setting with which the Activity of Representation is Taking place

It is always proper for a party, movement or organization to bring their agenda into the legal process of actualization, as government calls it “there’s always a due process”. In a democratic country like the Philippines, movements are given the legal chance to participate in the due process. They are given the privilege to participate in the legislation process and shape the welfare of their constituents. As they are given the authority to win the interest of their people, they are also tasked to serve not for their interest but to be the voice of the voiceless and be the representatives of the underrepresented minorities. This legal process of actualization should be done from where representation takes place, non other than in congress, not in street, not even in television.

b. Views of Representation

Hanna Pitkin, a contemporary political analyst has identified four views of representation that provide the different approaches in examining or assessing representation. These views of representation also show how representatives should act according to their agreements with the people they are representing. It is important to distinguish these four views of representation so that people can adopt the right view of representation that best fits their relationship with their representatives.

Formalistic Representation

This is the institutional arrangements that precede and initiate representation (Stanford 2006, np). Meaning, what determines representation is the system or rule in government that allows such activity to happen in the legislative process. Formalistic Representation goes in two dimensions; authorization and accountability. The first refers to how the representative obtains his or her standing, status or position (Stanford 2006, np). What is the process by which a representative gains his position, in the Philippines, leaders particularly representatives gain their position through election. The second which is accountability refers to the ability of the constituents to punish their representatives for failing to act in accordance with their wishes (Stanford 2006, np). This shows the accountability of every representative to act for their job and for the actualization of the group advocacies as expected to him or her by the members of the group. This allows the members to sanction their representative by way of impeachment if ever the representative failed to act accordingly.

Symbolic Representation

Symbolic Representation is a view in representation that describe the ways on how a representative “stands for” the represented - that is, the meaning that a representative has for those being represented (Stanford 2006, np). This feature-out how a representative should act according to the level of acceptance he has from the members or the people he or she is representing. As the representative of the group, what should be the kind of response is invoked to him by the people, that is why, it is necessary for a representative to establish a connection with the group that he or she is representing. The best way to establish and maintain this connection is that he himself experiences the same experience that the group had. In this view of representation representatives are assessed according to the degree of acceptance that the representative has among the represented (Stanford 2006, np).

Descriptive Representation

This is the extent to which the representatives resemble those being represented (Stanford 2006, np). In this view of representation, elected representatives especially those who are elected for ethnic, gender and minority groups are expected to have a common interest with the advocacy of the group and share the same experiences with the group that they are representing. The same with symbolic representation, a representative should establish and maintain a connection to his members by being a legitimate member of the group. In this view of representation, representatives are assessed according to the accuracy of their resemblance with the group that they are representing.

Substantive Representation

This refers to the activity of representatives taken on behalf of the represented, as agents or substitutes of the group (Stanford 2006, np). The representatives being in the legislature are expected to initiate and design laws in response to the demands of the group that they are representing. This view of representation is concerned much on the performance or outcomes of the representatives’ actions in respect to their role as legislators. Representatives are law-makers in nature, as legislator, he can not be considered as a good representative if in the first place his performance as legislator is weak and ineffective. Representatives under this view of representation are assessed according to the extent of policy outcomes that best secure the interests of the constituents.

Group-based Representation

What makes an assembly “representative” is its similarity to the people themselves, its accuracy in reflection or mirroring their characteristics (Williams 1998, P 128). Indeed, representation should be drawn according to the desire of the people from where representation should be served. To assemble constituents into representable constituencies, their concerns should primarily be treated as a basis for their access towards representation. Basically, representation is done according to the nature of the constituent’s desire that is why usually in a democratic regime like the Philippines; representation is done in a group-based form, by district or by sector. Among these two obvious forms of group-based representation in the Philippines, the focus of this paper is the sectoral representation or well known as the party-list system.

Group-based representation is kind of proportional representation in such a way that it is formed not according to territory but the group is formed according to the identity of the group that members are sharing in common. In this type of representation, sits are reserved for these groups in the House of Representatives provided that the group or party has obtained the percent of votes required for each sits. Groups are given the legal chance to choose their representatives whom they think can best represent their ideals and will banner their group advocacies in the legislation process. These marginalized groups should first win in the election from where the people will decide if their group needs to be represented in the congress. The voters will decide not on the basis of the representatives but according to the platforms and advocacies of the party. That is why it is a need to have a mechanism that would help us in establishing the criteria for deserving groups or party to garner a sit or sits in congress and to be legitimately represented. It is also a need to have a mechanism that would help us in establishing the legislative-constituents relation in the legislation process.

Historically, marginalization and under representation are the common trends in all nations. These are some reasons that cause the formation of movements, unions or organizations revolting against any form of marginalization and at the same time aiming for fair representation. In the Philippines, active movements and sectors such as Kabataan for the youth, PM for the labor and Gabriela for the women and any other party-lists in the country were brought into existence because of marginalization and under-representation that they are experiencing.

What is a Marginalized Group?

The concept “Politics of Representation” is an interrelated discussion with the concept of marginalization and under-representation. As discussed above, these are the cause of movements and group’s formation. Basically, what is marginalized group? In what basis can we consider a group as marginalized?

Melissa Williams of the University of Toronto in her study distinguished patterns that feature a marginalized group. First is the pattern of social and political inequality structured along the lives of group membership, second is the negative meanings assigned to group identity by the broader society or the dominant culture (Williams 1998, P16). The first feature of marginalized group points out the fact of structural inequalities, wherein members lie below the median of production and distribution. This pattern shows the obvious discrimination against particular groups in the society who suffered economic as well as political injustices. In the Philippine setting, one best example of this pattern of marginalization is the labor group who is in continuous battle to win the demand and concern for salary increase, labor rights and equal benefits. The second feature of a marginalized group signifies the status and roles of every person in the society. The concern of the people who fall in this category of marginalization refers to sex, race and age (Williams 1998, P16). Individuals from this feature usually advocate things referring to their identity and for who they are. Example of this in the Philippine setting is the Kabataan and Gabriela Party-lists. The first concerns much not on their rights to economic distribution but on their participation to nation building as a sector who can also give a contribution. Their advocacies are pertaining to their rights as a sector fundamental to run a state. The latter is an organization pertaining to sex; they are advocates of women who fight for the rights of women in politics and in anywhere.

Groups that are under the categories featured-out above is called marginalized group. In this respect, it is important that all members of a group share the same experiences of political and cultural injustices or at least they are one in the identity of the group or party-list where they belong. They must be in one together with the other members in overcoming the challenge of marginalization through the process of representation.


CHAPTER V

PARTY-LIST REPRESENTATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

With the forgoing foundation of this study, the clarification of the concept “politics of representation” in the light of some contemporary socio-political philosophers that was discussed in the previous chapter, this paper shall now proceed to the task of describing the group-based or party-list representation in the Philippines.

This chapter shall include the discussions on party-list system in the Philippines, the advocacies and legislated bills of selected party-lists that feature marginalization in the country and the guidelines of COMELEC in accepting Party-list nomination in congress. The problems with group-based or party-list system in the Philippines should also be discussed in this chapter.

Party-list System in the Philippines

A party-list system is any system of proportional representation in which voters choose among parties rather than among candidates. Sits reserved in congress are obtained because of the votes garnered by the party and not by the people who will be representing the party. That is why during the campaign what are being bannered are the name of the party and its advocacies and not the name of its nominated representatives. Sits are awarded to parties in proportion to the votes they received. This particular system in government participation is being used in some countries nowadays because it opens up the political process and opportunities for the minorities and underrepresented groups. This further creates a web of democracy as it provides the citizens voices and opinions present in the policy making processes. Party-list system primarily aims to increase representation, particularly of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors in the society. This system also enhances transparency and accountability leading to more efficient and effective government (Abano 2010, np). This kind of system is supposed to be the venue for the minority to practice their political rights through participation and representation and not just to be a new field for contemporary opportunists in gaining more power and securing it for themselves alone.

The party-list system in the Philippines is based on Republic Act No. 7941 that was signed into law on March 3, 1995 (Abano 2010, np). Twenty percent (20%) of the 260 seats in congress are reserved for party-lists that can obtain two percent (2%) of total party-list votes cast. The very first election for party-list in the Philippines happened during the May 1998 Presidential election. Among the 123 party-list groups who participated in the election only 13 made it including Akbayan, activist groups like Sanlakas, Anakpawis and etc.

The history of party-list system in the Philippines reflects the response of the government towards program-based politics focused on competent parties with comprehensive platforms and programs rather than on personality and wealth-based politics. This kind of system in the Philippine politics embraces a participative form of government from where every voice is heard and laid down within the right process of actualization. But this kind of atmosphere in the country’s party-list system did not last long, during the 2002 Senatorial Elections, the supposed to be venue for marginalized and under represented groups became the new disguising avenue for contemporary opportunists who want to gain power for their own benefits. Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. which is controlled by business tycoon Lucio Tan and the DILG/PNP funded Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga bannered by actor/politician Richard Gomez and even the Coalition of Marcos Loyalists, participated in the party-list election despite that evident fact that they are not marginalized and not a sector that needs consideration in legislature. Their participation clearly destroys the spirit and purpose of party-list system in the country. This trend continued until the recently concluded May 2010 Presidential Elections from where organizations of gamblers and drunkards legitimately participated. The supposed to be venue and chance for the minorities to be clearly heard in the representation process became as impossible as creating an ideal government. This requires a revolt by way of reconstructing the system of party-list representation in the country through mediation. As an evidence to support the claim, here are the discussions about some of the party-list groups in the country that feature the politics of representation in the Philippines.

Youth Sector

Kabataan Partylist is the first and only youth party-list group in Philippine Congress today. Kabataan is a large network of energized and pro-active young people who are leaders in various organizations, formations and “barkadas”. Members from across the regions represent diverse interests, backgrounds and social status, tied by a common vision of a better future for the youth and for the nation.

Together with some of its founding organizations – the National Union of Students, College Editors Guild, the League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, Anakbayan and Kabataang Artisa para sa Tunay na Kalayaan – Kabataan Party-list vigorously campaigns for youth and students’ interests and demands concerning education and employment.

Raymond “Mong” Palatino is the first and only representative of the youth in the 14th and 15th Congresses of the Philippines. As a representative of Kabataan (Youth) Party-list, Mong advocates inside and outside of the House of Representatives active youth participation in nation-building, good governance and societal change.
Mong was active in student politics when he was a student at the University of the Philippines. He was elected as chairperson of the College of Education Student Council in 1999, a year after; he was elected chairperson of the UP University Student Council.

a. Advocacy

Kabataan party-list remains at the forefront of youth and students’ campaigns against unabated tuition and miscellaneous fee increases, for higher state subsidy for education, adequate jobs for new graduates, the defences and recognition of human rights and civil liberties which include consumer rights and the right to health, and the protection and conservation of national patrimony. It continues to give primacy to the promotion of holistic development and genuine youth empowerment. Among its primary vision and platforms of Government are as follows: Empower the youth to encourage them to take on active participation in nation-building, good governance and social change; Uphold the youth’s fundamental rights and democratic interests (education, employment, environment, sports, health, etc.); Assert the youth’s right to decent living, equal opportunities and humane living conditions; Assert and safeguard national independence, respect for national patrimony, love and loyalty to the country, Guarantee the participation and representation of the youth in all affairs of governance and decision-making bodies of government.

b. Bills Filed in the 15th Congress

Bills

Category

1. House Bill 3063 – IP Education

Within the Platform of Gov’t

2. House Bill 3062 – Human Rights Education

Within the Platform of Gov’t

3. House Bill 3061 – Abolishing Random Drug Testing in Schools

4. House Bill 2676 – Styrofoam Products Ban (in Schools)

Within the Platform of Gov’t

5. HOUSE BILL 2592 – BPO Workers and Welfare Act 2010

6. House Bill 2355 – NSTP Reform Act

Within the Platform of Gov’t

7. House Bill 2356 – An Act Abolishing the CAT and Creating the Social Action Program for High School Students

Within the Platform of Gov’t

8. House Bill 1963 – Sangguniang Kabataan Strengthening & Reform Act

Within the Platform of Gov’t

9. House Bill 1962 – Repeal of the Automatic Appropriation on Debt Service

10. House Bill 809 – Philippine Traditional Games and Sports Act

Within the Platform of Gov’t

11. House Bill 808 – Public Libraries Act

Within the Platform of Gov’t

12. House Bill 807 – Anti No-Permit, No-Exam Act

Within the Platform of Gov’t

Data from www.KabataanPartylist.com

c. Committee Involvement in the 15th Congress

1. YOUTH AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

Vice Chairman

2. YOUTH AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT

Member for the majority

3. DANGEROUS DRUGS

Member for the majority

4. GLOBALIZATION AND WTO

Member for the majority

5. HIGHER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Member for the majority

6. MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Member for the majority

7. SOCIAL SERVICES

Member for the majority

Data from www.congress.gov.ph

Labor Groups

Among the party-list groups that belong to this category are Anakpawis and Ang Galing Pinoy, as they both intent to initiate policies for the common workers such as farmers, security guards, tricycle drivers and etc. Anakpawis represent the labor communities in general while the Ang Galing Pinoy is a newly founded party-list representing the groups of tricycle drivers and security guards. They call themselves as marginalized.

A. Anakpawis

Anakpawis advances the “Politics of the Masses”-Giving face and voice to the great Filipino majority of workers and peasants and other marginalized sectors in national politics.

It sees the act of engaging in the national legislative arena as an opportunity to inject the ‘politics of the masses’ in the largely elite Congress and from there assist in the strengthening of the toiling masses’ program for genuine, meaningful reforms.

Their representative Rafael V. Mariano, born 24 October 1956, is a Filipino politician and farmer. He is a member of the House of Representatives for Anakpawis (Wikipedia 2010, np), and formerly the chairperson of Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas.

a. Advocacy

Anakpawis stands firm with other progressive people’s organizations in wielding the ‘politics of the masses” in the streets and other venues of the militant mass struggle. Anakpawis believes that those who labour to create the nation’s wealth should have a prominent role in the shaping of the nation’s direction, and thus should they be involved in the country’s cultural, economic and political decision-making process. This guides the stance of Anakpawis on specific issues, including immediate sectoral concerns. Among the party’s mission are as follows: To promote self-reliant, socio-economic development through the integrated programs of genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization; To uphold and defend the people’s inherent right to beneficial work, to just and living wages, fair and humane working conditions, and to self-organization; To assert the peasantry’s right to own and till the land, and promote the campaign for food self-sufficiency and sovereignty; To uphold and advance the fisherfolk’s right to utilize marine and inland fishery areas and resources; To assert the people’s inherent right to decent and adequate housing and livelihood; and protect them against any form of eviction and displacement; To promote a scientific, progressive and patriotic culture that liberates the people from backward, feudal, colonial and exploitative traditions. Corollary to be the promotion of the basic right to free education; To remove all barriers to the full participation of women in the processes of production and decision-making; as well as protect children from child labor and other forms of abuse and exploitation; To forge solidarity and mutual cooperation beneficial among workers and peasants’ organizations and progressive parties all over the world; To guarantee the right to self-determination of the Bangsa Moro, Cordillera and other national minorities and affirm their right to participate in all matters that directly affect them; To defend the people’s right to self determination, free from foreign interference, domination and control.

b. Bills filed in the 15th Congress

Bills

Category

HB 1092 - Repeal of Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT)

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB 3059 - Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB)

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HR 1128 - Investigation on the failure to implement Section 35 of RA No. 9136 which reduces the royalties, returns and taxes collected for the exploitation of all indigenous sources of energy

Pending

HR 1138 - A Resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to ask for the immediate release of Engr. Rodolfo Noel Lozada, Jr. to give due protection to a vital state witness who has the courage to expose irregularities in government

Pending

HR 1170 - A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to endorse the late Anakpawis Rep. Crispin "Ka Bel" B. Beltran to the Wall of Remembrance of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani

Pending

HB 5011 - Coconut Levy Funds Administration and Management Act of 2008

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB 5095 - Repeal of Article 263 (g) of Presidential Decree No. 442 (Labor Code)

Pending

HB 6808 - The Small Producers and Entrepreneurs Stimulus and Relief and Rehabilitation Act of 2009

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB 6809 - Aerial Spraying Prohibition Act of 2009

Pending

HR 673 - Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives strongly objecting the appointment of Romulo Neri as President of the Social Security System (SSS)

Pending

HR 695 - Investigation on the status, towards the termination of the North Luzon Railways Corporation (NORTHRAIL) Project following the high anomalies and irregularities attending its implementation to the disadvantage of tax-paying Filipino people

Pending

HR 696 - Investigation on the killing of peasant leader and human rights advocate Celso Pojas and the military operations resulting to escalated human rights violations against Lumad families and indigenous farming communities in Compostela Valley

Pending

HR 718 - A review on the implementation of Republic Act No.6978 otherwise known as “An Act to Promote Rural Development by providing for an Accelerated Program within a Ten-year period for the Construction of Irrigation Projects”

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HR 731 - Inquiry on the manner in which the government spent the billions of pesos of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth to determine if the disbursements were made in accordance with law

Pending

HR 753 - Inquiry into the union busting, illegal dismissal, and unfair labor practices against employees of Bleustar Manufacturing and Marketing Corporation (BMMC

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HR 757 - Inquiry into the legal basis of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Pending

HR 759 - Investigation into the successive occupational and industrial accidents at Hanjin Heavy Industries Corporation Philippines, Inc. (HHIC) and Hanjin Construction Company Limited, Inc. (HHCL) causing the death of 15 workers

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HR 763 - Investigation on the current runaway increases in the prices of farm inputs and on the role of concerned government agencies in regulating the sale and distribution of these farm inputs

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB 6877 - Land Use Conversion Prohibition Act of 2009

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HR 793 - Investigation on the irregularities and anomalies the COA report contains with regard to the disbursement of all the funds allocated and released to the Department of Agriculture during the fiscal year 2007

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HR 1233 - a resolution urging the executive department to grant emergency relief financial assistance package to filipino workers displaced due to global economic and financial crisis

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

Data from www.anakpawis.net

c. Committee Involvement in the 15th Congress

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Member for majorities

AGRARIAN REFORM

GOVERNMENT ENTERPRISES AND PRIVATIZATION

Member for majorities

GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION

Member for majorities

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Member for majorities

HUMAN RIGHTS

Member for majorities

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

PEOPLE'S PARTICIPATION

Member for majorities

AGRICULTURE AND FOOD



Vice Chairperson

Data from www.congress.gov.ph

B. Ang Galing Pinoy Partylist

Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list is a newly founded organization representing the groups of the security guards and tricycle drivers. Among its primary vision is to secure policies for the rights of the tricycle drivers and as well as life insurances of the security guards. Their first representative is Juan Miguel Macapagal Arroyo, known as Mikey Arroyo who was born on April 26, 1969 by the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Mike Arroyo. He is also the former representative of the second congressional district of Pampanga.

a. Legislated Bills

Bills

Category

HB00176 an act amending sections 91 and 97 of republic act no. 8550, otherwise known as the philippine fisheries code of 1998

Pending

HB00382 an act penalizing persons driving under the influence of alcohol

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB00383 an act defining cybercrime, providing for prevention, suppression and imposition of penalties therefor and for other purposes

Pending

HB00384 an act creating the department of housing, planning, and urban development, defining its powers and functions, rationalizing the government housing system, and for other purposes

Pending

HB00822 an act promoting and developing agricultural and fisheries mechanization in the philippines

HB00823 an act providing for the compulsory disclosure of fire safety standards and measures in campus buildings

Pending

HB00824 an creating a department of fisheries and aquatic resources, providing for its powers and functions, and for other purposes

Pending

HB0098 an act converting the bahao-san isidro-cabusao road, in the municipalities of libmanan and cabusao, province of camarines sur into a national secondary road

Pending

An act converting the libmanan district hospital at the municipality of libmanan, camarines sur into an annex of the bicol medical center in naga city and appropriating funds therefor

Pending

HB00992 an act establishing the technological university of the philippines ('tup') extension campus in the municipality of libmanan, camarines sur and appropriating funds therefor

Pending

HB00994 an act separating the northern plain high school-san isidro national high school annex in barangay patag, municipality of libmanan, province of camarines sur from the san isidro national high school, converting it into an independent national high school to be known as northern plain national high school, and appropriating funds therefor

Pending

HB01217 an act regulating the use of sidewalks for commercial and for other purposes

Pending

HB01227 an act promoting organ donation awareness

Pending

Data from www.congress.gov.ph

b. Committee Involvement in the 15th Congress

ENERGY

Member for the minority

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

Member for the minority

PEOPLE'S PARTICIPATION

Member for the minority

POVERTY ALLEVIATION

Member for the minority

Data from www.congress.gov.ph

Women Groups

Gabriela Women’s Party seeks to harness the potential, initiative, skills and leadership of marginalized women towards empowerment, justice and equality. Founded on October 28, 2000, Gabriela Women’s Party is an offshoot of the biggest alliance of women’s organizations in the Philippines, GABRIELA.

Rich with experiences and lessons of having been at the forefront of the Philippine women’s movement in its over 20 years of existence, GABRIELA first joined the electoral arena in 2001 when it fielded then Secretary General, Liza Largoza Maza to run as partylist representative under Bayan Muna (People First) Party. In the 12th Congress, Gabriela Women’s Party fielded its nominees in the 2004 national party list elections for the first time. Gabriela Women’s Party emerged 7th of 66 parties, garnering enough votes to have Hon. Liza Maza serve as the sole women’s sectoral representative in the 13th Congress.

The representative of Gabriela Women’s Party-list for this 15th Congress is Luzviminda Ilagan. Representative Luz Ilagan is an activist, educator, feminist, public official, she is known as different things to different people, depending on whose life she has touched and in what capacity. Her reputation for excellence and integrity encompasses all of the positions she has occupied, and is recognized not just in Davao City, where she was born and raised, but all over the country. She is one of the few and select luminaries Mindanao claims as its very own, a distinction she has cultivated over the years by hard work and good will, but never capitalized for personal gain or glory.

a. Advocacy

Gabriela Women’s Party is a sectoral party dedicated to promote the rights and welfare of marginalized and under-represented Filipino women through participation in the country’s electoral system and organs of governance. Among its agenda in the parliament is the passage of pro-women legislation including the anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act.

b. Legislated Bills

Bills

Category

HB0138 an act declaring February four of every year as "araw ng pagdakila sa mga pilipinong nagbuwis ng buhay noong digmaang pilipino-amerikano", providing for support programs, and requiring the appropriation of funds therefore

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

Hb01458 an act providing for the inclusion in the history books of elementary, secondary, and collegiate curricula the lives and heroism of Filipino comfort women during the Japanese occupation and appropriating funds therefore

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB01459 an act providing for a secured and separate prison cell for female prisoners in every district, city and municipal jail, amending for the purpose section 63 of republic act no.6975

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB01477 an act to create a national women's museum, and for other purposes

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB01478 an act prescribing the penalties for an immediate superior or senior official of an agency, public or private, who denies application for leave of absence by a victim-survivor of violence against women and their children as provided under section 42 of the implementing rules and regulations (irr) of republic act no. 9262, otherwise known as the anti-violence against women and their children act of 2004, amending for the purpose, the said law

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB01479 an act amending republic act no. 7877, otherwise known as the anti-sexual harassment act of 1995

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB01480 an act declaring November twenty-five of every year as "national consciousness day for the elimination of violence against women"

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

Hb01481 an act integrating education on women, girls and gender rights, equality and welfare in all levels of public and private schools

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB01799 an act introducing divorce in the philippines, amending for the purpose title ii, articles 55 to 66 inclusive and article 26 of executive order of 209, as amended, otherwise known as the family code of the philippines, and repealing article 36 of the same code, and for other purposes

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB01800 an act increasing maternity leave benefits from sixty (60) days to one hundred twenty (120) days or four months, amending for the purpose, P.D. 442, as amended by R.A. 7322

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HR00116 resolution urging president Benigno Simeon Aquino III to immediately release political prisoners, giving priority to women prisoners especially those who are nursing, pregnant and elderly for humanitarian reasons

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

Resolution directing the house of representatives committee on women, and committee on labor and employment to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the philippine airlines' gross violation of various laws protecting the rights of women workers against discrimination in the workplace as alleged by the flight attendants' and stewards' association of the philippines (fasap), and recommend measures to protect women workers against discrimination and uphold their constitutional right to equal protection before the law

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

HB00096 an act providing for a national policy on reproductive health, responsible parenthood and population and development, and for other purposes

Within the Platform of Gov’t and Pending

An Act amending section twelve, functions of the price coordinating council of republic act no. 7581, otherwise known as an act providing protection to consumers by stabilizing the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities and by prescribing measures against undue price increases during emergency situations and like occasions

Pending

Data from www.congress.gov.ph

c. Committee Involvement in Congress

POPULATION AND FAMILY RELATIONS

Member for the majority

BASIC EDUCATION AND CULTURE

Member for the majority

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

Member for the majority

HUMAN RIGHTS

Member for the majority

MINDANAO AFFAIRS

Member for the majority

OVERSEAS WORKERS AFFAIRS

Member for the majority

WOMEN AND GENDER EQUALITY

Chairperson

APPROPRIATIONS

Member for the majority

Data from www.congress.gov.ph

Guidelines of COMELEC for Party-list Representative Nomination

Under Republic Act No. 7941 or an act providing for the election of party-list representatives through the party-list system, marginalized sectors were given the legal chance to participate in the election and subsequently participate in the legislation process. Along with its general provisions are as follows: A person may be nominated in one (1) list only. Only persons who have given their consent in writing may be named in the list. The list shall not include any candidate for any elective office or person who has lost his bid for an elective office in the immediately preceding election. No change of names or alteration of the order of nominees shall be allowed after the name shall have been submitted to the COMELEC except in cases where the nominee dies, or withdraws in writing, his nomination, becomes incapacitated in which case the name of the substitutes nominee shall be placed last in the list. Incumbent sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives who are nominated in the party-list system shall not be considered resigned (Chan 2010, np).

The qualifications of Party-list nominees shall be the following: No person shall be nominated as party-list representative unless he is a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, a resident of the Philippines for a period of not less than one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election, able to read and write, bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election, and is at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the day of the election.

In case of a nominee of the youth sector, he must at least be twenty-five (25) but not more than thirty (30) years of age on the day of the election. Any youth sectoral representative who attains the age of thirty during his term shall be allowed to continue until the expiration of his term (Chan 2010, np).

Problems with Group-based/Party-list Representation in the Philippines

The Philippine party-list system as discussed above is made to promote fair representation and as well as to promote transparency and accountability towards effective governance. But because of the frail regulations and unclear perspective about the real essence of representation, the system became a venue for contemporary opportunists and evil-minded politicians whose only vision is to control the powers in government and abuse it for their own benefit.

Among the most notable problems with group-base or party-list system of representation in the Philippines are as follows:

The Problem of Group Essentialism

It is an obvious fact that individuals are diverse in minds. Indeed, there is a clear and wide diversity for both opinions and interests within any social groupings. This implies that the task of defining constituents into representable constituencies is quite impossible to achieve. This conclusion will be as close to the reality if members of any social groupings will continue to be diversed. It is important that members of any social groupings somehow share an identity, interests or concerns for which their representatives can advocate with. This group should have a consensus from where members should adhere with, thus, members should be one in objection in running their group advocacies. Each groupings must have a social significance which must stand dependent on the meanings that their members voluntarily attaching on to themselves (Williams 1998, p6). Members of every group must attach into the group advocacies their experiences. Therefore, the group must define the contours of important patterns of social, political and economic inequalities, and help to determine the life prospect and to constrain the life choices of most of their members (Williams 1998, p6).

This is the problem in the cases presented in the previous discussions. Marginalized groups are being represented by someone above their levels. To be particular, Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list which advocates the rights of security guards and tricycle drivers is being represented by Rep. Mikey Arroyo who used to be coming from a privileged group. As a result, almost all the bills filed before the 5th congress does not guarantee a resolution from the problems of the security guards and even of the tricycle drivers. This is a clear manifestation that any social grouping should have a representative coming from their class who understands and knows what is there to be represented.

As discussed above, social groupings which members in it is not one in vision causes ineffectiveness in representation. What members of any social groupings must share are the experiences of marginalization and the distinctive perspective on matters of public policy that comes of that experience. This is what binds every member to create an identity which all of them can be identified with. Even though the experiences and perspectives are individual, the social positions of group members are sufficiently similar that there are good reasons to believe that members of marginalized groups are most likely to represent the concerns and interests of citizens from those groups than of non members (Williams 1998, p6).

The problem of Accountability

Coherent to the problem of group essentialism is the problem of accountability. The mere presence of representatives in the legislature does not guarantee a sufficient representation. From there, arises the question how much the leader is accountable to his or her constituents. In the Philippine party-list system, groups or party-lists with representatives coming from privileged groups usually fail in addressing the concerns or interests of the constituents because the representative himself does not belong to the group he or she is representing, and therefore there’s no mechanism of accountability that mediates to let the representative act according to what is necessary for him as representative. It is important that in any social groupings, they must choose a representative coming from their group, so as to make the representative accountable in advancing policies that are beneficial for the constituents. A group-based account of representation must identify the mechanism of accountability to ensure the fidelity of marginalized group representatives to their constituents and for the purpose of meeting an efficient and effective system of representation.

The Problem of Legislative Marginalization

Based on the data presented in the previous discussion, bills filed by the representatives are most under pending status. This is a manifestation of legislative marginalization which is evidently happening in the legislature.In a minority group that does not control the majority in the legislature; can they still be an efficient representative of their groups if they cannot initiate policies because of legislative marginalization? In the Philippines, as discussed above, most of the house resolutions or bills are still under pending status. It has been always the problem of the marginalized groups in the country to gain support in initiating and legislating policies in the legislature, because they, who comprises the minorities are always outvoted by a much larger majority. In legislative bodies with simple majoritarian decision rules, representatives of any minority or marginalized groups may unable to influence policy-decision because they cannot just simply get support from among other legislators.

The problem of legislative marginalization is very common in the Philippines, party-list groups that belong to the minorities like Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan cannot just simply initiate policies because they are always outvoted by the majority and they cannot just simply gain support from other party-list groups. One reason why there is always a legislative marginalization in the country is because party-list representatives always prefer a competitive or bargaining mode of decision making than of a deliberative one. Party-list representatives usually fail in bridging connection to other marginalized groups that can also help them in legislating. They are not open in any perspective, instead they always bargain suggestions. In a deliberative mode of decision making, representatives allow other organizations to join in a discussion and establish a consensus that would benefit not just the party but also the other organizations. In this mode of representation, representatives can easily gain support that would help them in defending the policies for the betterment of their constituents.

The Problem of Group Proliferation and Balkanization

In a democratic regime from where every individual or set of individuals are given the chance to join political activities such as the politics of representation, runs in many risks, including the risk that any of the social groupings can identify themselves as marginalized. This is also a common case in the Philippines. The party-list system, being the venue for marginalized groups can now be participated by any social groupings who consider themselves as marginalized. Party-list groups like Ang Galing Pinoy of tricycle drivers and Security guards, ALAK PA of drunkards and Alyansa ng mga Sabungero Party-list were given equal chance to participate in the May 2010 Presidential Election. It is therefore a risk in the essence of party-list representation since even groups that are not marginalized can now legitimately participate in this political activity.

It is therefore important to set criteria by which we can distinguish marginalized groups and define them into representable constituencies.

Notes

1. All data (Advocacies, Platforms of Government) are taken from their respective websites.

2. All data from party-list groups without website or with an un-updated websites are taken from Wikipedia and to the official website of the Philippine Congress which is the www.congress.gov.ph.

3. All bills indicated above are filled in the 15th Congress. Some bills are still in pending status. Only those bills indicated for Kabataan Party-list were legislated into laws.


CHAPTER VI

MEDIATION AS A MECHANISM

As the goal of this study is concerned, to envision the politics of party-list representation in the Philippines by presenting a mechanism that would establish an effective process of representation, this chapter shall focus on the discussion about the “Mediation” as a mechanism. Indeed, in a democratic country like the Philippines, from where the venue for the marginalized groups is used for personal agenda, there’s a need to rebuild the perspective on the concept “politics of representation” that would mediate for an effective system of party-list in the country.

This chapter shall focus on the discussion of this mechanism which is “mediation” and the three dynamics of representation that would help us to establish an effective and accountable system.

Mediation in Representation

What constitute an envisioned politics of group-based or party-list representation? This features the task of meeting the standards of representation under clearer and effective perspectives. An envisioned politics of representation shows that citizens are represented well and citizens are treated equally. Meaning, in an envisioned representation, representatives must not sacrifice other citizen’s interest (Williams 1998, p23). An envisioned politics of representation is a feature of a system that brings aggregated citizens present in the legislative processes through a representative. This system hears the voice of every marginalized and under-represented sector for actualization. But the task of defining this kind of system is not as easy as that, in a political setting like in the Philippines, from where groups are diverted by political conflicts and misunderstandings, and the supposed to be venue for a systematic participative political activity is being used for the benefit of the few, requires a mechanism applicable in establishing a politics of representation under an envisioned status. This mechanism must be mediated by both representatives and constituents, being the actors of this political activity.

The typical notion about representation is as an activity of the representative alone in the legislature, this ancient notion of representation disallows a reflective politics performed by both constituents and representatives. As for Melissa Williams, in a representative government, the citizen’s relation to the state is mediated in many ways (Williams 1998, p23). The theory of representation in a regime with democratic aspirations must take sense of the idea of political equality as it relates to these different ways in which political representation mediates between the state and the individual. Thus, in order to establish this system of representation in the Philippines under a clearer perspective, we should take into account a system performed by both state and individuals in bringing the concerns of the people in the right process of actualization.

“When I use the term representation as mediation, I mean that the different institutions and practices of any scheme of representation operate to shape and transform individual citizen’s political concerns and interests into governmental decisions and policies (Williams 1998, p23).

But this does not imply a functionist view of representation that would drastically transform the concerns as inputs to policy as the output, because representation should not just be an activity intended for legislation alone, instead, an envisioned politics of representation should be opened to the dynamics that will involve both the constituents and representatives in the system. Mediation in representation is the system per se that recognizes the three institutions or processes between individuals and policy outcomes (Williams 1998, p24). These three aspects or dynamics of representative government are: the nature of legislator-constituents relationship; the dynamics of legislative decision making; and aggregation of constituents into representable constituencies.

The relationship of every individual to the state is mediated in a more direct relationship between representative and constituents. Thus, it requires us to recognize the worth of both representatives and constituents in public policy making processes. Mediation in representation refers to the system that bridges or establishes a connection between the constituents and representatives. With this, the mechanism of accountability by which constituents can hold their representatives to be responsible in actualizing their interests and concerns, will be constituted. This draws our attention on the role of representatives in respect to the group he or she is representing, and on the identity of the group that both the constituents and representatives are sharing with.

A scheme of political representation mediates between individual and state through the dynamics of legislative-decision making; that is, the way in which final policies respond to and reflect citizen’s interests and preferences will be shaped not only by the attitude that the representatives take towards them but also by the dynamics of the interactions between legislators (Williams 1998, p25). Are representatives expected or allowed to take stance on issues outside the preference of the group that they are representing? In the House of Representatives, from where group representation is taking place, how will a group representative to other representatives in the midst of their conflicting ideologies to gain support for the strengthening of their agenda in congress? What will be the mode of representation that every group representatives must follow?

Finally, representation mediates between individual and state according to the aggregated citizens deserving for representation. All political representation is a group based representation in so far as legislators represent constituents and constituencies are defined by some shared characteristics in a social grouping. According to the words of Davis V. Bandemer

“The concept of representation necessarily applies to group: groups of voters elect representative, individual voters do not (Williams 1998, p25).

Individual citizens can only be represented in so far as they have identifiable interests, and the act of identifying the interests that was ought to be reflected on public policy by their representatives is necessarily an act of defining citizens as representable constituencies.

This mechanism in representation is characterized by voice, trust and memory.

Voice – Dynamics of Legislative-Decision Making

One output on an effective representation is the public policy that was sourced out from the concerns of every constituents, thus, this requires an effective pattern or scheme that would help deal on the conflicting ideologies in congress and at the same time to gain support sufficient to win the interests of the constituents. A group-based conception of representation leads us to conceive that the ideal mode of legislative-decision making is a deliberative rather than a conflictual or competitive process (Williams 1998, p221). On the competitive model, representatives act as aggressive advocates of their constituents concern and against the interests that compete with them (Williams 1998, p221). A competitive model which is a typical mode of representation in the Philippines is not actually concerned with identifying the common grounds among groups with conflicting interests but instead seek to maximize the fulfillment of their own interest by doing it alone. Party-list groups like Bayan Muna, Kabataan and Gabriela and any other activist groups in the country are the best characterizations of this mode of representation. They stand firm in their advocacies and attack those who oppose including other groups like them. However, in this model of representation, especially in its most aggressive forms, they are virtually certain to lose political competitions. Groups under a conflictual model are actually those who are not after the actualization of their constituents interest, because if so, then as a representative who bears all the concerns of his constituents, he must find possible ways to actualize his main agenda in the congres which is to initiate policies beneficial for his group members. The purpose of representation is to make the citizen’s voices and opinions present in the legislation processes and not to critique and oppose other concerns. As legislative minorities who do not control the most powerful positions in the legislature, they lack sufficient clout to secure their constituents interests (Williams 1998, p221). Thus, they need the support of other marginalized groups that also belong to the minorities to secure the presence of their agenda in the discussion. This model of representation is a deliberative mode.

In a deliberative model of legislative-decision making, representatives aim to reach agreements through an exchange of perspectives with other members of the legislature especially those who also belong to the marginalized groups. Only in such process the distinctive perspectives of marginalized and under-represented groups can have a deep transformative effect on the political agenda and offer the prospect of re-designing public policies in ways that will have a long-term effect of ameliorating group-structured inequalities (Williams 1998, p221). This is what the theme of voice is all about, that the presence of marginalized groups within the legislation processes through their representative can have its most profound effect on public policy only if their representatives are open in re-conceiving the public policy interests in response to social, political and economic inequalities. Being present in the legislation process does not only mean being able to participate in the legislation, but instead being present by having the “voice” in shaping the interests of the group that they are representing. This voice will remain unheard if the concerns of the minorities are still not put in a solid foundation. Representation requires a voice not just to participate but to shape and build dreams specifically of the constituents, in a solid foundation built in the reality.

This model is a contradictory to what is existing in the Philippine party-list system, groups are aggressive, firm in their stand and they are not open for deliberations. This can be sourced out from the notion of Filipinos about representation. The more liberal and aggressive for Filipinos are the one that best practiced efficient representation. But the records in the previous chapter that those who are aggressive in congress are actually those who cannot initiate policies and most of their legislated bills are still in pending status. They, who are progressive usually, fail in finding ways to defend and gain support for the approval of their legislated bills. Figures in the chapter 5 about the legislated bills under pending status support the claim.

The dynamics of legislative-decision making mediates representation to be an effective political system. This mechanism in representation helps our representatives to be effective in performing their roles as advocates of marginalized sectors in the society. This open the ways for group-based representation to be opened in a deliberative mode of politics that is necessary in bringing the concerns of every marginalized group into actuality.

Trust – Nature of Legislator-Constituents Relationship

The mere presence of marginalized groups in the legislature and being effective in initiating policies beneficial for the constituents, is alone not sufficient for an envisioned politics of party-list representation. Thus, an envisioned politics of party-list representation also requires a concrete link of legislator or representatives to the constituents he or she is representing. Representation emphasizes that the group-based theory of representation also includes a conception of legislator constituents relation that respect both the distinctive agency of the representer, including among other things, his or her skills as an advocate, orator and negotiator, and the agency of the represented , including especially the insights of citizens from marginalized groups have into the cause of, and the likely effectiveness of alternative remedies to their conception of marginalization (Williams 1998, p228). This emphasizes the roles of legislator and constituents as well as their characteristics that would lead to a profound effect in the actualization of their shared advocacies. That is why an important part of the agency of representatives from marginalized groups rests on the fact that they share the same experience of marginalization and because of this commonality it is necessary for the constituents to prefer a representative coming from their own rank rather than from a privilege group. A representative coming from their own group knows best the needs and concerns of the group he or she would be representing rather than to that of a non member.

The nature of legislator-constituents relationship also describes the distinct characteristics of both agencies, of the representative and of the constituents. These distinct characteristics are fundamental factors in structuring an envisioned politics of representation. The representative who represents the group advocacy in congress must possess the following characteristics: he must be a good advocate, speaker or orator and also a good negotiator. He who hands the chance to secure the concerns of his constituents must be capable in defending his group’s agenda in the legislation process. His affectivity as representative is assessed according to his skills in legislation and courage to stand and speak in behalf of the represented. On the other hand, the constituents who belong to the marginalized groups must not be solely dependent on their chosen representative, instead they must also find for the ways or remedies to substantiate the problem of marginalization. These attributes of an effective representatives and constituents re necessary in opening the ways for a system of representation performed by both agencies.

The nature of legislator-constituents relation also describes the membership of a representative to the group he or she is representing. It demonstrates how the agency of representatives is shaped by his membership into the marginalized group he is representing. This is what determines the representative’s capacity to make the sort of contributions to legislative deliberations that is expected to produce responsive policies beneficial to the constituents. Moreover, marginalized group representative’s contributions depend on the shared experience in which both representatives and constituents can be identified with. With this, I conclude that the chosen representative must be an original member of the group he or she is representing. He who represent the group must be in one with the members in determining the policies necessary and responsive to the needs of the group. A representative who originally belongs to the group he is representing can understand better the agenda that he should take within the legislature. And, he is more aware of the identity that the group is defined. Therefore, he who belongs to the group is well-suited to represent the ideals and aspirations of the group for the process of actualization.

The dynamics in representation, as a system performed by both representatives and constituents, also leads to the establishment accountability as a mechanism that facilitates communication and balance between representatives and constituents. A clearer understanding about the nature of representatives and constituents relationship urges the representatives to perform well because constituents are in eyes to them.

This discussion is sourced out from the features of party-list representation in the Philippines. Some organizations who consider their selves as marginalized are being represented by someone coming from privileged groups, like the group of Ang Galing Pinoy. As discussed in the previous chapter, the Commission on Election (COMELEC) and even the guidelines for party-list representative nomination allows this kind of system, marginalized group can be represented by someone from a privilege group. Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list is a group which advocates policies for the security guards and tricycle drivers. However, this group is being represented by Mikey Arroyo who is obviously not a tricycle driver or a security guard. As a consequence, fewer policies are implemented because he himself does not know the things to advocate necessary or beneficial for the group he is representing. Therefore, the nature of legislator-constituents relationship is a fundamental factor necessary in establishing an envisioned politics of party-list representation.

Memory - Defining Constituencies

What makes the constituents deserving to be represented? In drawing a clearer perspective of the politics of representation in the country, it is also important to aggregate citizens into representable constituencies and distinguishes the criteria by which we can define them in representation. In defining constituencies for representation, we may ask what are the platforms by which we can consider a group as deserving to be represented. It is important that in representation the focus should not only be on the representative but also on the constituents and the validity of their advocacy.

In a system of representation performed by both representatives and constituents, it is always valid to distinguish the characteristics of the constituents so as to define them as representable constituents. When can we say that a group deserves representation? Melissa Williams define representable constituencies according to the validity of its advocacies and its status in the society. As to the very essence of party-list system is concern, its existence is to provide opportunities for marginalized and under-represented sectors to be heard in the legislature. Therefore, a group who seeks for representation must be a marginalized and under-represented group. The status of a group in the society defines what a representable constituency is, because it’s the injustices in the society that urges them to seek for representation. It is also the status of the group that determines the path that the group will take in its venture for fair representation. Basically, those who seek representation are those who are unfortunate and in experience social, political and economic injustices, this status in the society defines them as constituents that deserve representation in the legislature. Representation is a revolt against this oppressive status that is why, one way to overcome this oppression is through representation.

Another thing that defines representable constituencies is the validity of its advocacy. Advocacy is the foundation of any organization, it is the goal that links all the members of the group, therefore, a group without advocacy is a group with nothing to achieve. When can we say that a group advocacy is valid for representation? Basically, group advocacy is the consensus made by the group. Every member is one in advocacting such consensus, therefore we can say that an advocacy is valid for representation if it defines the will of the group in general. Any advocacy is made to advance the interest of the marginalized sector, especially of sectors that are in experience of political, social and economic inequalities. The advocacy of the farmer should be concentrated on the farmers alone. The idea is that, an advocacy is valid if it describes what is beneficial for the group in concern. Unlike in the party-list Ang Galing Pinoy, Mikey who represent the sects of security guards and tricycle drivers should advocate things for his constituents. Records show that there are house bills filed by Ang Galing Pinoy party-list representative for road infrastructure projects in Ligmanan, Camarines Sur which is not part of the concern of the security guards and even by the tricycle drivers.

In a democratic country like in the Philippines, where any one can consider themselves as marginalized, it is important to set criteria by which we can determine who among them deserves to be represented. This is also not to lose the identity or the essence of party-list representation.


CHAPTER VII

SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary

One way of recognizing individuals worthy in nation building is through representation. The very basic importance of representation is to provide voice for those who are unheard and to open political participation to those who are marginalized, minorities or under-represented. In particular, the very existence of party-list representation is to bring the concerns of marginalized groups into the lawful process of actualization, and that is in the legislature.

Many contemporary socio-political theorists have defined politics of representation, among of them is Hanna Pitkin who defined politics of representation as the activity of making citizen’s voices, opinions present in the public policy making processes. This definition features the agencies of representatives and represented as actors in the legislature. It is clear in any democratic country like in the Philippines to provide opportunities for every individual or set of individuals to participate in this political activity. In a democratic country that recognizes the worth of every individual in nation building, we must draw a system that would help us establish and sustain fair representation and democracy under a solid foundation.

Politics of party-list representation is however an irony in the Philippines. The venue for the minorities to be clearly heard in the legislature is being used nowadays by disguising political opportunists that destroy the essence of party-list representation. That is why there is a need to establish a mechanism that would envision the politics of party-list representation. This mechanism should provide the features of a system in representation that advances the very aim of representation, which is to provide opportunities for the minorities to be represented in the legislation process, and to set criteria necessary in establishing an accountable and sustainable politics of representation. This mechanism should help also in clarifying the different tenets of representation and eliminate those activities that destroy its essence.

Melissa Williams, contemporary socio-political theorists, endorses mediation in representation. According to her, representation is mediated in number of ways that reflect and clarify a system performed by representative and constituents, assuring chances of assessing representatives and defining constituents into representable constituencies. These three dynamics of representation reflect an ideal system necessary in envisioning the politics of representation in the Philippines. These three dynamics are: dynamics of legislative-decision making, characterized by the voice; the nature of legislator-constituents relation, characterized by trust; and the aggregation of constituents into representable constituencies, characterized by the memory.

Case study framework is used in this study to explain a specific situation necessary to advance knowledge about the concept at hand. Through a mechanism which is the “mediation”, this study will envision such activity into a clearer perspective necessary for the advantage of the sectors in concern and as well as for nation-building. This study is expected to benefit the people specifically the party-list formations in the country to be enlightened in all of their decisions especially in choosing their representatives and designing the advocacies to be represented. In the long venture to create an ideal government, one pattern that this study would like to propose is the representative government. This study also wishes to contribute on other disciplines under social sciences and philosophy as it advances new understanding on the topic at hand.

Findings

This study exposes through case study framework the activities of the three marginalized groups. And as discussed in the chapter 5, this study find out that most of the legislated bills filed by the chosen party-list groups are still in pending status. Ang Galing Pinoy party-list is being represented by someone coming from a privilege group. Representation in the Philippines is being performed by the representatives alone, there’s no concrete for the constituents to assess their representatives. The relationship of representatives to his or her constituents is not under solid foundation. Many organizations can consider their selves as marginalized; and the Philippine party-list system is being utilized by other opportunists for their own benefit.

This study have identified the following problems existing in the Philippine party-list or group-based representation. Together with these noted problems are the causes of their existence. This study has found out that: the Philippine party-list system has no concrete law that defines its features and there’s no connection that bridges a system from where both representatives and represented are accountable. And finally, there’s no model in representation that helps them to be effective in legislating laws at the legislature.

These happenings in the Philippine party-list representation indeed cause ineffectiveness and inefficiency on the whole system. It is therefore an important matter to discuss to resolve such inefficiency that causes sufferings and misfortunes of marginalized and under represented sectors in the country.

Conclusion

The Philippine party-list system is now being used as a mechanism of opportunist individuals who want to gain greater power in politics. Misfortunes, marginalization and under-representation will be a continues problem in our country if the Philippine party-list representation will continue to be the same.

All the problems regarding marginalization are sourced out from the unclear perspective on the system. For as long as we cannot account the system of representation in a system performed by both representatives and constituents, politicians will continue to be abusive in their powers, marginalized groups will remain marginalized, advocacies will remain advocacies in the air and not in the reality.

Recommendation

One of the most important fibers of government is the party-list system. Through this, we can always provide opportunities for marginalized groups to be clearly heard in the legislature. Ideal government has been always the dream of every individual, so to achieve such dream we should not let opportunists destroy the essences of its facets including the party-list system. Of all the disorganizations in the Philippine party-list system we should find ways to reconstruct such system for the benefit of all. And as for this study, it proposes mediation as a mechanism that would help us establish an envisioned system of party-list representation in the country.

This mechanism of mediation should help us to clarify the roles of representatives especially in the legislative decision making. This must also help us to establish a model of representation as a strategy to gain support in initiating policies in the legislature, and that is a deliberative model than of a competitive one. This mechanism would also define us, as constituents, to deserve representation.

Further study about politics of representation is encouraged to develop the topic at hand to envision the politics of party-list representation in the Philippines.


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