Proclamation of party-list winners’ delayed

THE proclamation of the winning party-list groups will have to wait until the results of the special elections in Lanao del Sur on May 24 are canvassed.

COMELEC Commissioner George Garcia

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Erwin Garcia said there will be a delay because computing the allocation of party-list seats in the House of Representatives is complicated.

“Even if the certificate of canvass (COC) from Lanao del Sur has already been transmitted, we still need one to two days to resolve the computation for the allocation of party-list seats,” Garcia said.

Poll-related violence in Tuburan, Lanao del Sur forced the Comelec to declare a failure of election in that town. Special elections were scheduled for May 24.

The commission was hoping to finish canvassing the party-list returns by next week and proclaim the winners immediately after. That seems unlikely now.

Under RA 7941, the party-list groups that get at least 2 percent of the votes cast are automatically guaranteed one seat. Based on the unofficial count, only six groups got 2 percent or more of the total party-list votes.

Garcia said that even if there were only a few groups that met the percentage requirement, Comelec has to fill up all 63 seats allocated for party-list groups as mandated by the Constitution, and that is where the computation becomes a problem.

During the 2019 elections, the Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, applied the Supreme Court ruling in the Banat vs Comelec case.

The groups were ranked from highest to lowest, depending on the number of votes they received.

The first round of allocation will be based on the 2 percent rule, meaning all those who got 2 percent of the votes cast for party-list automatically get one seat.

In the second round, more seats are allocated proportionally, using another formula: total number of allocated seats minus the number of seats already allocated.

The remaining seats after allocation of the guaranteed seats are then apportioned to the groups, including those that received less than 2 percent of the party-list votes cast.

Prior to the Banat ruling, the party-list seats were allocated through the “2, 4 and 6 percent” ruling — a group that garnered 2 percent got one seat; a group with 4 percent, two seats; and a group with 6 percent, three seats.

Source: WILLIAM DEPASUPIL (The Manila Times)

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