MANILA, Philippines – All those aspiring for the 2013 elective posts are set to file their certificates of candidacy (CoCs) from Monday, October 1, up to Friday, October 5.
On May 13, 2013, the country will be electing 12 senators and officials for each of the 233 legislative districts, 80 provinces, 143 cities, and 1491 municipalities.
Compared to the previous elections, more elective posts are open for the 2013 polls. Comelec.tv said a total of 18,053 elective positions are up for grabs in the May 2013 elections. They include:
- 12 Senators
- 233 District representatives
- 80 Governors
- 80 Vice governors
- 766 Provincial Board members (Provinces elect either 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 board members, depending on their income classification or on the number of their congressional districts.)
- 143 City mayors
- 143 City vice mayors
- 1,598 City council members (Cities elect either 10, 12, 16, 24, or 36 council members, depending on what is prescribed in their charter.)
- 1,491 Municipal mayors
- 1,491 Municipal vice mayors
- 11,932 Municipal council members (Municipalities elect 8 council members, except for Pateros which elects 12 council members.)
- 26 ARMM regional officials (regional governor, vice governor, and 24 assemblymen)
After the first automated polls in 2010, new districts were created, and a number of municipalities were converted into cities.
This results in additional slots for new district representatives in the next Congress. The areas that will elect additional congressmen due to reapportioned districts include:
- Quezon City – Republic Act 10170 divides the city’s 2nd district into 3, increasing its current four districts to six
- Palawan – Republic Act 10171 divides the province’s 2nd district into 2, increasing its current two districts to three
- Cotabato – Republic Act 10177 reapportions the province’s current two district to add an additional district
On the other hand, the new cities, which used to vote for only 8 councilors each in previous polls, can now elect 10 or more councilors starting in 2013. These new cities are:
- Biñan, Laguna (via RA 9740, ratified through a plebescite February 2, 2010)
- Bacoor, Cavite (via RA 10160, ratified through a plebiscite on June 23, 2012)
- Imus, Cavite (via RA10161, ratified through a plebiscite on June 30, 2012)
- Mabalacat, Pampanga (via RA 10164, ratified through a plebiscite on July 21, 2012)
- Cabuyao, Laguna (via RA 10163, ratified through a plebiscite on August 4, 2012)
- Ilagan, Isabela (via RA 10169, ratified through a plebiscite on August 11, 2012)
Less LGU creation/conversion
There are more local government units (LGUs) created and converted for the 2010 polls than for 2013.
Between the 2007 and 2010 polls, at least 10 new districts and 7 new municipalities were created.
In the case of the new municipalities, most of them are in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Newsbreak has reported that the real purpose of creating these new areas is to create as many turfs as possible to warring political clans in the region. Creating new LGUs then becomes a sort of conflict-resolution tool, though only temporary.
It was also in this period that the struggle began for the “cityhood” of 16 municipalities, which is now collectively called the ‘League of 16 Cities’.
They were all converted into cities in 2007, but were reverted back to municipal status in 2008 by the Supreme Court due to unconstitutionality. The SC reversed its ruling on December 2009, validating the cityhood of these areas for the 2010 elections.
The cityhood of the League of 16 Cities were again nullified by SC in August 2010, but also reversed in February 2011.
Elective seats can increase
Comelec has announced that it could still accomodate for the 2013 elections those pending legislations on creating or converting new LGUs that could pass this year, among them the splitting of Camarines Sur into two provinces.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Antonio Trillanes recently lashed out against each other over HB 4820, which creates the province of Nueva Camarines from the existing Camarines Sur. Trillanes has accused Enrile of railroading the fast passage of the bill.
Other bills that are now pending in Senate are the following:
- HB 625 – reapportioning Maguindanao into 3 legislative districts
- HB 3632 – reapportioning Zamboanga del Sur into 3 legislative districts
- HB 3860 – reapportioning the lone legislative district of Aklan
- HB 4094 – separating Batangas City from the 2nd legislative district of Batangas to make a lone district
- HB 4451 – creating Davao Occidental
- HB 4759 – creating additional legislative district in Cebu
- HB 4760 – reapportioning the legislative districts of Leyte
- HB 5236 – reapportioning Bukidnon into 4 legislative districts
- HB 5689 – creating additional district in Bulacan
- HB 5786 – converting San Pedro, Laguna into a city
In a news report, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Friday, September 28, said that legislators have until December 21, 2012 to pass all these pending laws and win the support of its residents in a plebiscite. He explained that December 21 is the deadline they set to finalize the list of candidates that will be programmed into the election machines.
It will also be the last day that the poll body will allow those who have already filed their CoCs on October 1 to 5 to be substituted.
Comelec has announced that the ballots, which will bear the names of the official candidates, will be printed out between January 20 and April 25 next year. – Rappler.com
Correction: This story earlier said over 17,000 elective seats are at stake in 2013. We missed some new jurisdictions created since May 2010. We will update this story when we get the specifics. Apologies for the error. – Eds.
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