by JAM MAYER
To paraphrase Republic Act 7941, the party list system enables Filipino citizens from marginalized and underrepresented sectors to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole; by becoming members of the House of Representatives.
There have been several discussions online about the qualifications of party list groups and their representatives. Father Joaquin Bernas S.J. said it best when he wrote “Crucial to the resolution of this case is the fundamental social justice principle that those who have less in life should have more in law.”
So how does one go about choosing which party list to vote for? Especially since there are about 150 plus groups to choose from with idealogies ranging from political to cultural with plenty of crossover in between. Think of it as choosing one ice cream flavor and eating just that flavor for the next three years.
Personally, choosing a party list should be like choosing a charity. Pick the cause closest to your beliefs then choose the organization that, in your opinion, implements those beliefs the best. You won’t really have a say on the exact method of application but you know that someone is fighting for what you believe in; because you believe in the same thing.
The LPGMA or LPG Marketers’ Association party list is one such specialized group that advocates access to lower priced LPG as well as the public’s right to purchase any LPG brand. They believe that keeping the LPG sector deregulated benefits the Filipino nation through lower food prices and decreased health concerns.
As a consumer, I deal with daily expenses to keep the house running smoothly and I use LPG in cooking. With the constant changes in LPG and food prices, I had to look for an alternative source for cooking which uses electricity and was forced to buy cheaper food, which is a bit out of my comfort zone being spoiled in my younger years with good quality food. Lowering prices (and keeping it there) can help in its own little way for me to manage my household budget.
Part of their advocacy is to protect the environment and encourage the use of LPG instead of wood and charcoal, especially in the rural areas. Though I may not be part of those using wood in my daily cooking activities, it does make sense to use LPG instead to avoid the health consequences (and protect the trees). However, being an advocate of alternative sources of energy, this is just one option and utilizing LPG shouldn’t be absolute. I can say that this is a first step to the next best thing.
I look forward to what they can do to help consumers and most especially their thrust on researching towards the development of sustainable and potential sources of alternative energy. I will rally behind them if the latter does come to pass.