Comelec seeks amendments to party-list law over computations

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has called on the incoming Congress to make the necessary amendments to Republic Act 7941, the Party-List System Act, after the poll body was challenged in computing the allocation of seats to winning party-list groups.

Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said the law needs amending to include the formula in computing the allocation of seats per winning party-list group in the House of Representatives.

“Maybe again, it’s high time (to amend the law) because of these problems… So that the Comelec could be guided on how we are supposed to compute,” Garcia said partly in Filipino.

He pointed out that, in the recent polls, the Comelec followed the formula laid out by the Supreme Court (SC) in allocating the number of seats to winning party-list groups.

In computing the votes, Garcia explained that the Comelec is dividing the total number of votes garnered by a party-list group by the total number of party-list votes, or the number of those who voted for party-list and multiplying the quotient by 100.

“The Supreme Court was forced to adopt a formula because it is not in the law. RA 7941 does not state how to compute. It just mandates a threshold of two percent. But how do you compute, or allocate the seats?” he said.

He added that the SC came up with the formula by interpreting the law, specifically the provisions of RA 7941, which does not spell out the formula.

The Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), recently proclaimed the 55 winning party-list groups that secured 62 seats in the House of Representatives.


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