MANILA - It's high time to weed out political dynasties and big interest groups from the party-list system for a genuine representation of the marginalized, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said under the current system, politicians are able to use the party-list system as a "backdoor" entry to Congress.
"Sino ba ang nominees ng party-list groups ngayon? These are people na naging commissioner ng isang agency. Afterwards, dahil nagamit niya 'yung agency, tatakbo siya sa party-list. Parang it's a backdoor for them to enter Congress," he told ANC.
The Makabayan bloc recently filed a bill that seeks to amend the Party-List System Act and introduce provisions that will ban political dynasties and big interest groups from party-list groups.
Under the bill, former national and regional government officials, elected or appointed, are also banned from representing a party-list group, Zarate said.
He said party-list representatives are only allowed to hold 20 percent of the total seats at the House so this should be left to the people who truly represent the marginalized.
"'Yung 80 percent, hawak na 'yun ng big interest groups, dynastic groups, political clans. Gusto niyo pang pasukin 'yung token na 20 percent. That runs against the spirit of giving representation to the marginalized," he said.
Zarate said the bill also mandates the Comelec to check the track record of a party-list nominee to determine whether or not the he or she truly represent a marginalized sector.