By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said partylist groups planning to participate in the May 2019 National and Local polls now have until May 2 to file their Manifestations of Intent to Participate.
The poll body in Resolution No. 10313 has set the new deadline for the filing of Petitions for Registration and Manifestation of Intent to Participate of registering partylist groups, coalitions, or organizations from April 30 to May 2.
The new deadline for the filing of Manifestation of Intent to Participate of existing partylist groups, coalitions, or organizations is also on May 2.
It was not clear why the Comelec reset the deadline, but it cited Section 29 of Republic Act 6646 which states: that if it should no longer be reasonably possible to observe the periods and dates prescribed by law for certain preelection acts, the Commission shall fix other periods and dates.
During the 2016 polls, a total of 115 accredited party-list groups were allowed to participate in the 2016 partylist elections.
Of the 115 participating party-list groups, 46 organizations are now occupying 59 partylist seats in the House of Representatives.
Section 5, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution states: The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than two hundred and fifty members, unless otherwise fixed by law, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio, and those who, as provided by law, shall be elected through a party-list system of registered national, regional, and sectoral parties or organizations.
It added that the partylist representatives shall constitute 20 percent of the total number of representatives including those under the partylist. For three consecutive terms after the ratification of this Constitution, one-half of the seats allocated to partylist representatives shall be filled, as provided by law, by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.