Political Party Reform Bill Stumped

Manila Bulletin, May 22, 2011 | Go to article overview

Political Party Reform Bill Stumped


MANILA, Philippines -- Despite gaining the support of congressmen and various non-government organizations (NGOs), the bill seeking urgent political party reforms has yet to hurdle committee approval due to questions raised on provisions requiring state financing and setting limits for campaign contributions.

In a recent hearing, political reform advocates called on the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms to further study provisions that set limits to campaign contributions and state financing for political campaigns.

Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (PMP, Cagayan de Oro City) and Juan Edgardo Angara (LDP, Aurora), principal authors of the bill, are confident that the bill will get bipartisan support as soon as provisions of the committee has finished fine-tuning provisions of the bill.

Rodriguez said the measure seeks to professionalize the political party system in the country.

"There may be political groupings that only exist during elections, but disappear when the people need them most. The bill will establish political parties as the barometer of Philippine politics," Rodriguez said.

Angara said the main objective of the measure is to tap parties to become a major factor in community development.

They aired hopes that the bill will put an end to the country's "personality-oriented politics and patronage governance."

Reps. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Abante Mindanao) and Raymond Democrito Mendoza (TUCP Partylist) are also co-authors of the measure.

In the hearing, political analyst Ramon Casiple of the Consortium on Electoral Reforms warned that although the bill has noble intentions, it may face opposition over provisions that prohibit political turncoatism and sets a ceiling on campaign contributions. …

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