Parliamentary system for the Philippines

I read about the Comelec’s disqualification of some party-list groups.  I also read about Ang Kapatiran’s advocacy against political dynasties.  I think the abuse of the party-list and political dynasties cannot be curbed in our present constitution.  So I would like to propose the adoption of the parliamentary system with proportional representation in a unicameral congress; we abolish the senate.  The only problem is how will the congress be represented.

I think we can have several political parties.  The number of representatives of each political party will depend on the number of votes for the party.  In a sense, we abolish the party-list system and expand it to all political parties. Suppose there are 100 seats in the Congress. If 50% of the listed voters voted for Ang Kapatiran Party, then 50 members of the party gets seated in the Congress.  If 25% voted for the Liberal Party, then 25 members of the Liberal party gets seated in the Congress.  And so on.  In this way, people will simply write the names of the parties in the ballots.

The naming of the party is also being abused with many parties taking Filipino names so that they can take advantage of the “Ang” preposition.  This is really crazy.  I think the political party names in the sample ballot needs to be arranged according to the noun or adjective and not to the preposition.  Thus, Liberal Party should be listed before Ang Kapatiran.  The other possibility is to remove such list entirely: it is then the party’s problem to make them memorable during election day.

I don’t think we can curb political dynasties in our present system.  Some names are associated with politics: Recto, Aquino, Pimentel, Laurel, etc.  Some families have a good track record for service; but some also have a long tradition for corruption.  Philippines is really ruled as an oligarchy by a few ruling families, in the same way as Feudal Europe was once ruled by a few noble families.  So when we vote for a party and not a surname for the congress, we partially remove the clout of the political families. Thus, by the adoption of the parliamentary system, the citizens would focus more on the party platform rather than on the personalities behind them.

Now, what do we do in the local scale–the province, the city, and the barangay?  I think we can also adopt the same parliamentary system.  We can also propose a policy for political parties that members cannot be nominated to a higher position if he has no experience serving in the lower position.  So the resume of government officials should look like this: barangay parliament member (3 years), city parliament member (3 years), provincial parliament member (3 years) , national parliament member (3 years).  The prime minister of each parliament is voted by the members of the parliament.

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About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

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