Which provinces have the most gubernatorial, congressional candidates?

Sofia Tomacruz
Which provinces have the most gubernatorial, congressional candidates?

LITO BORRAS

Political scientist Ela Atienza says local politics may be more competitive in provinces with higher economic growth and more active civil society organizations and business groups

MANILA, Philippines –  Over 18,000 posts are up for grabs in the 2019 midterm elections on Monday, May 13 – including new seats after President Rodrigo Duterte signed laws creating 5 new congressional districts.

Competition is fierce with around 43,000 candidates vying for the limited number of seats.

But while some candidates have all but “assured victories” with no one to run against, others face not just one, but several opponents vying for a single position. (READ: Unopposed: Over 500 candidates)

From House representative to governor, Rappler breaks down the total number of candidates in local races to find out which provinces fielded the most number of congressional and gubernatorial bets.

GOVERNOR

In gubernatorial races, the provinces which fielded the most number of candidates are the following:

  • Basilan – 9 candidates
    • Current governor: Jim Hataman Salliman
    • Province: 3rd class
    • Registered voters: 263,017 
  • Albay – 8 candidates
    • Current governor: Frances Bichara
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 840,500
  • Bulacan – 8 candidates
    • Current governor: Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 1,863,596
  • Lanao del Sur – 8 candidates
    • Current governor: Soraya Adiong
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 556,791
  • Sorsogon – 8 candidates
    • Current governor: Robert Rodriguez
    • Province: 2nd class
    • Registerted voters: 493,116
  • Zamboanga del Norte – 7 candidates
    • Current governor: Roberto Uy
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 684,073
  • Laguna – 6 candidates
    • Current governor: Ramil Hernandez
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 1,903,107
  • Maguindanao – 6 candidates
    • Current governor: Esmael Mangudadatu
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 766,497
  • Mountain province – 6 candidates
    • Current governor: Leonard Mayaen (deceased)
    • Province: 4th class
    • Registered voters: 108,512
  • Nueva Ecija – 6 candidates
    • Current governor: Czarina Umali
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 1,460,448
  • Quezon – 6 candidates
    • Current governor: David Suarez
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 1,284,444
  • Bohol – 5 candidates
    • Current governor: Edgardo Chatto
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters:  898,682
  • Bukidnon –  5 candidates
    • Current governor: Jose Zubiri
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 875,634
  • North Cotabato –  5 candidates
    • Current governor: Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 773,291
  • Iloilo –  5 candidates
    • Current governor: Arthur Defensor Sr
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 1,525,168
  • Palawan –  5 candidates
    • Current governor: Jose Alvarez
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 677,185
  • Southern Leyte –  5 candidates
    • Current governor: Christopherson Yap
    • Province: 3rd class
    • Registered voters: 292,337
  • Surigao del Sur –  5 candidates
    • Current governor: Manuel Alameda Sr
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 413,593
  • Zamboanga del Sur –  5 candidates
    • Current governor: Antonio Cerille
    • Province: 1st class
    • Registered voters: 1,108,435

HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE

The districts which fielded the most number of congressional candidates for the May polls are the following: 

  • Zamboanga del Sur 1st legislative district – 10 candidates
  • Benguet lone legislative district – 8 candidates
  • Cebu 1st legislative district – 7 candidates
  • Misamis Oriental 1st legislative district – 7 candidates
  • Mountain Province lone legislative district – 7 candidates
  • Misamis Oriental 2nd Legislative district – 6 candidates
  • Sorsogon 2nd Legislative district – 6 candidates
  • Surigao del Sur 1st legislative district – 6 candidates
  • Laguna 2nd Legislative district – 6 candidates
  • Antique lone legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Cebu 2nd Legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Eastern Samar lone legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Ifugao lone legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Lanao del Sur 2nd Legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Siquijor lone legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Quezon City 2nd legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Quezon City 5th legislative district – 5 candidates
  • Pasay City lone legislative district – 5 candidates

HOT RACES. Campaign posters fill the steel fence under Legarda flyover in Manila on April 10, 2019. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

More resources, more competitive: For University of the Philippines political science department chair Ela Atienza, there may be more candidates in areas where local politics is more competitive.

Factors that can drive more competition, she said, include higher economic growth in a province, more educated voters, and more active civil society organizations, among others. These provinces may also have more political clans compared to others, Atienza added. 

“In other areas with many candidates of every seat, it can be because there is very competitive or many people are interested to run,” Atienza said.

“Usually these areas have more educated and middle class electorate. The economy is also higher, there are more civil society organizations and business groups, and local and national media are present or visible,” she added.

Among the provinces with the most number of gubernatorial candidates, majority were 1st class provinces. 

Meanwhile, provinces within the Bangsamoro region, such as Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and barangays in North Cotabato may also have fielded more candidates for gubernatorial posts due to the ratification of the Bangsamoro Law. 

The law created the Bangsamoro region with more power, resources, and bigger territory than its predecessor, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. – Rappler.com 

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.