THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) recognized on Wednesday the need for reforms in the country’s party-list system, citing how many sectors view it as the “most prostituted system” in Philippine politics.

Speaking at a forum for party-list stakeholders, Comelec Chairman George Erwin M. Garcia said some provisions in the Constitution related to the party-list system must be changed in order to get rid of party-list groups that do not genuinely represent the sectors they claim to serve.

The Multiparty Dialogue on the Role of Party-list Organizations in Political and Electoral Reforms was organized to bring together representatives from reform-aligned party-list organizations in the country, particularly those advocating for the marginalized sectors.

Apart from representatives of party-list groups, political experts from the Ateneo School of Government and the De La Salle Institute of Governance were among the attendees.

Julio C. Tehankee, chief of party of non-partisan, pro-democracy group Participate PH, told the forum that the party-list system is designed by the law to represent the marginalized people in society.

“The party-list system was a pathway for the marginalized to be represented in the Congress. The objective of the party-list system is to provide an avenue for the marginalized sector,” he said.

ACT Teachers Party-list Representative France Castro cited the important role of party-lists for the underrepresented. “It allows all individuals to have the same opportunity to participate in elections…It helps [in upholding] social justice,” she said. – Chloe Mari A. Hufana