By Rey Panaligan
Two party-list groups which failed to win in last week’s mid-term elections have asked the Supreme Court (SC) to revise the formula for the allocation of seats to allow more representations in Congress for the marginalized sectors.
In a petition, Angkla and Serbisyo sa Bayan told the SC the formula could be revised by reducing the number of seats for top notchers in the elections to allow more winners.
Angkla and Serbisyo ng Bayan ranked 53rd and 54th among the 134 groups that participated in the elections. Only 51 groups were declared winners and they have been proclaimed by the Commission on Elections.
They said that in the allocation of additional seats, the votes for the guaranteed seats should be excluded in the counting so that the votes would not be used or counted twice.
Specifically, they wanted the percentage used in the second round of computation reduced to avoid what they branded as “double counting.”
In 2009, the SC laid down the guidelines in the allocation of seats for party-list groups to assure that all congressional seats allotted to the marginalized groups are filled.
Under the guidelines, groups that meet the two-percent threshold are assured of at least one seat. They are granted additional seats by multiplying the percentage they won out of the total votes cast for the party-list elections by the number of remaining seats.
Thus, a group can only get a maximum of three seats. Unfilled seats are then allocated to groups that failed to meet the two-percent threshold based on the number of votes they garnered in the elections.
Angkla and Serbisyo sa Bayan stressed that the existing formula for allocation gives top notchers two to three seats, thus depriving more marginalized groups representations in Congress.
Fifty-one party-list groups have been declared winners in last week’s elections. Sixty-one seats in the House of Representatives are expected to be allocated to them depending on the number of votes they garnered.
It was not known immediately if the SC, which is on its decision-writing period until the end of this month, has taken up the petition filed by the two groups.