Comelec wants more female candidates in 2019 polls

POLITICAL parties are now required by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disclose the number of their female candidates in time for the 2019 polls.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena V. Guanzon said the measure aims to encourage more political parties to field more female candidates and increase women representation in the government. 

Under the new issuance, a political party is mandated to update their data sheets to indicate how many of its members are male and female. 

“If they are aware that we are requiring it, maybe they will field more women candidates…because it’s [encouraging women in politics is] not in their consciousness before [organizing the political party],” Guanzon said. 

To note, she has a proposal awaiting approval to require women membership in the Comelec’s determination of a dominant majority party and dominant minority party.

Guanzon’s proposal seeks to award additional points to a political party that has at least 30 percent women candidates in an election and boost such group’s chance to receive any of or both the two coveted titles. The proposal is currently still undergoing evaluation from the Comelec Law Department. 

Guanzon is advocating for increased presence of women in the government “to foster more gender sensitivity” in its policies. 

Data from Comelec showed that, out of almost 18,000 winning candidates in 2016 polls, only 3,849 are females, while the remaining 14,092 are males.

Labor’s candidate

MEANWHILE, the coalition of the biggest labor groups in the country are set to meet this week to discuss the candidates organized labor will be endorsing for the 2019 elections. 

In a text message, Nagkaisa Spokesman and Partido Manggagawa Chairman Renato Magtubo said they will be conducting a political summit from October 29 to 31 to be attended by 30 labor leaders. 

Federation of Free Workers Vice President Julius Cainglet said the summit’s first day will be marked by discussions on issues like contractualization and wages that they want the government to prioritize. 

“After that we will be discussing the candidates we may support,” Cainglet said adding that the possibility of block voting would also be considered.

However, Cainglet admitted this is unlikely to succeed.

He noted that local labor federations, historically, tend to be capable of only endorsing candidates within its membership. 


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