What is ‘Kabayan Party List’?

Harry Roque’s Campaign in 2016

KABAYAN Party List or Kabalikat ng Mamamayan is a COMELEC-accredited party-list that represents marginalized sectors of the Filipino community, including the disabled, senior citizens, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), fishermen, farmers, the poor.

Human rights lawyer and University of the Philippines law professor Harry Roque is the Kabayan Partylist representative in the 17th Congress of the Philippines. Kabayan’s 840,393 votes in the 2016 elections is attributed to the nationwide campaign of Roque, its first nominee. He was the only one who campaigned nationwide. Before Harry, Kabayan lost in the 2010 elections after its nominees got only 110,085 votes or 0.38%. In 2013, the party did not participate in the elections at all.

 It was the first time for Roque to run for a political position. Kabayan received votes from all regions of the Philippines, finishing sixth out of a total 115 party-list groups that ran in the May 2016 elections.

What are KABAYAN’s core advocacies?

KABAYAN’s official website indicates that the group promotes the full realization of the economic, social and cultural rights of all Filipinos, particularly the marginalized. KABAYAN’s core advocacies are summarized in the acronym “KABAYAN +2”.[6]

KAlusugan! (lit. Health) Government should uphold every person’s right to health, and to the provision of accessible, quality and compassionate health services. The party-list pursues legislation that shall ensure universal health insurance coverage, which shall ensure free medical services to the poor and underprivileged Filipinos.

paBAhay! (lit. Housing) The party-list pursues legislation for the creation of a Department of Housing to assist homeless Filipinos through a comprehensive housing program that covers housing finance, rationale land use, and active community support to ensure affordable and decent shelter.

kabuhaYAN! (lit. Livelihood) The party-list promotes capability-building in cooperativism and micro-financing for micro, small and medium enterprises to benefit more families in every community.

“+2” refers to KABAYAN’s advocacies in upholding the right to education of every Filipino, particularly the children; and supporting Overseas Filipino workers. KABAYAN will work for enhanced policies and programs to address the distinctive needs of youth and students for quality education and training; and, for technical and financial assistance for OFWs to encourage entrepreneurship and homecoming.