Akbayan Citizens' Action Party

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President Arline Santos
Chairman Ana Theresia Hontiveros
Secretary-General Conrad Castillo
Slogan Sa AKBAYAN, Panalo ang Mamamayan! (With AKBAYAN, the People Win!)
Founded 1998
Headquarters 36-B Madasalin, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Youth wing Akbayan! Youth
Ideology Democratic Socialism
Socialist feminism
Socialism of the 21st century
Social democracy
Participatory democracy[1]
Political position Left-wing
International affiliation Progressive Alliance,
Socialist International (Consultative)
Colors Red, Green, Purple
Seats in the House of Representatives
2 / 287
Politics of Philippines
Political parties

Akbayan Citizens' Action Party is a democratic socialist party in the Philippines.


After twenty years of dictatorship under the Marcos regime, formal democracy in the Philippines was restored in 1986 through a broad "people power" movement. This democracy, however, proved to favor only the political and economic elite of the country. The moving force behind the anti-dictatorship struggle – concerned citizens and progressive groups – has been relegated to the periphery of decision-making and policy implementation. In response, social movements, trade union groups, and political organizations have emerged to challenge state policies through lobbying and pressure politics.

Despite the dynamism of Philippine movements, formal institutions of democracy remained in the hands of the few and the wealthy. It was within this context that the idea of building an alternative, a citizens' political party, first emerged. Social movement groups wanted to be part of the formal processes of government. Akbayan was thus conceived as an effort to institutionalize people power and thereby deepen Philippine democracy.

Consultations on the party-building project began in 1994. Throughout the country, pro-democracy groups were enjoined to help shape the party concept and strategy. Aspirations of various sectors – labor, peasants, youth, women, gays and lesbians, professionals, overseas Filipino workers, urban poor – were discussed and consolidated into a program of governance, while ad hoc structures were formed in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Four years later, in January 1998, Akbayan was formally established through its Founding National Congress. In May of the same year, the new party tested its strength by participating in the local and party-list elections and won seats in the House of Representatives, and several local government units.

To date, Akbayan claims to pose the most persistent effort from the Philippine progressive community to break the hold of traditional politicians and political parties on Philippine politics.[2]

Organizational structure[edit]

Akbayan's organizational structure is guided by the principle of internal democracy. 30% of all leadership positions at every level are reserved for women. The basic unit is the Chapter, organized at the barangay, workplace or school level with a minimum of twelve (12) members. A minimum of six (6) Chapters comprise a Section, which is organized at the municipal, city or sitio level. A minimum of three (3) Sections comprise a Division, which is organized at the provincial, highly urbanized city or legislative district level. A minimum of three (3) Divisions comprise an Assembly, which is organized at the regional level. A National Congress is the highest governing and policy-making body and convenes every three years. A National Political Council is the second-highest governing body, consisting of delegates elected by the Party's island groupings: Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. An Executive Committee is tasked with implementing Congress and Council decisions. National Committees to assist the Executive Committee are: Finance, Education, Legislative, International, Public Information, Women, Policies and Issues. A National Secretariat manages day-to-day affairs.

Legislative Track Record[edit]

House bills approved into law

Electoral performance[edit]

Akbayan is only one of two parties (the other is Butil) to win seats in all party list elections in the Philippines. Furthermore, Akbayan is the only party to surpass the 2% election threshold in all elections.

House of Representatives district elections[edit]

Election Number of votes for Akbayan Share of votes Seats Outcome of election
0 / 232
Won 2 seats in the party-list election; Liberal Party-led coalition

House of Representatives party-list elections[edit]

Election Votes  % Seats
1998 232,376 2.54% 1
2001 377,852 2.50% 1
2004 852,473 6.70% 3
2007 466,112 2.92% 2
2010 1,058,691 3.50% 2
2013 827,405 3.02% 2

Senate elections[edit]

Election Candidate Votes Rank Result
2010 Risa Hontiveros* 9,106,112 13th Lost
2013 Risa Hontiveros 10,840,047 17th Lost

In 2010, Hontiveros ran under the Liberal Party banner.

  • In 2013, Hontiveros ran as part of the Team PNoy coalition as an official candidate of Akbayan. Garnering almost 11 million votes, she is so far the only Leftist candidate to gain that unprecedented number of votes.

Representatives to Congress[edit]

Period 1st Representative 2nd Representative 3rd Representative
11th Congress
Loretta Ann P. Rosales
12th Congress
Mayong Aguja
13th Congress
Risa Hontiveros
14th Congress
Risa Hontiveros
Walden Bello
15th Congress
Walden Bello
Kaka Bag-ao
16th Congress
Walden Bello1
Angelina Ludovice-Katoh2
Barry Gutierrez
^1 Resigned last March 16, 2015.[9]
^2 Replaced resigned representative Walden Bello, sworn May 13, 2015.[10]

Candidates for 2013 Elections[edit]

Risa Hontiveros - Senator
Arlene "Kaka" Bag-ao - District Representative, Dinagat Islands (under Liberal Party)
Walden F. Bello - 1st Nominee, Party-list
Ibarra M. Gutierrez III - 2nd Nominee, Party-list
Angelina Ludovice Katoh - 3rd Nominee, Party-list
Sylvia Estrada Claudio - 4th Nominee, Party-list
Francis Q. Isaac - 5th Nominee, Party-list
Edwin A. Bustillos - 6th Nominee, Party-list


External links[edit]