Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party (AKBAYAN)

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Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party (AKBAYAN) is a pluralist, leftist party-list that seeks to protect democracy and civil rights in the Philippines. AKBAYAN has made moves towards exposing graft and corruption in government and stands against traditional Philippine politics, pushing for social reform and progressivism.



Social movement groups wanted to be part of the government thus, Akbayan was conceived to institutionalize people power and to deepen Philippine democracy. Consultations to build the party began in 1994. Pro-democracy groups helped shape the party concept and strategy. In January 1998, Akbayan was formally established through its Founding National Congress. In May of the same year, the party won seats in the House of Representatives and other local government units. Their representative was Loretta “Etta” Ann P. Rosales.

In the 2001 elections, it earned 377,852 votes, making it eligible for two congressional seats. Rosales again occupied the first seat while Mario Aguja took the second. They served until 2004. AKBAYAN earned the third largest number of votes (after Bayan Muna and Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives) in the party-list system in the 2004 elections, earning it 3 seats in Congress. Its two previous representatives once again took their seats and were joined by Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel. In the 2007 elections, it was only awarded one seat, which was occupied by Hontiveros. According to a recent Pulse Asia Survey, AKBAYAN is one of the five most popular party-lists among voters. Rep. Walden Bello and Atty. Kaka Bag-ao represents the party in the House of Representatives for 2010 to 2013.

Objectives of the party

Akbayan aims to fully understand the workings of the government for the maximum benefit of ordinary citizens, to engage in elections to secure public office and utilize elections as a way of conscientization, to help sustain the effort to bring the concerns of the marginalized sectors into the agenda of the government and the general public and to make political and electoral reforms.

Program and political agenda

Akbayan aims to be a major vehicle for the protection and pursuit of a progressive reform agenda. It hopes to transform the common practice of personality-and-patronage-based politics. It believes that if the citizens participate in the policy-making, the country's economic environment would be accessible to the general public. Akbayan also hopes that the government would create better social policies including redistributive reforms, delivery of basic services and appropriate safety nets. It also aims to contribute to the development of the political party system based on programs and accountabilities.


  • Employment- “Decent work and sustainable livelihood”
  • Education- “Education for All”
  • Health- “Health is a right”
  • Peace and security
  • Agrarian reform
  • Fighting corruption
  • Housing for all

Organizational structure

AKBAYAN’s most basic unit is the chapter, with at least 12 members. This is at the barangay level. Six chapters comprise a section; three sections make up a division; and three divisions make up an Assembly, which is at the regional level. The National Congress is its highest body; it convenes once in three years.

National Executive Committee


  • Chairperson - Risa Hontiveros
  • President - Arline Santos
  • Secretary General - Conrad Castillo
  • Vice-Chairperson - Machris Cabreros
  • Vice-President - Tom Villarin
  • Treasurer - Jae dela Cruz
  • Ombudsperson- Ferdinand Buenviaje
  • Members at-large - Mayong Aguja, Edwin Chavez, Doris Dinorog-Obena, Josel Gonzales, Danny Edralin

Notable endeavors

AKBAYAN, through Rosales, exposed wide-scale corruption amounting to P500,000 per congressman in 1998. It also exposed the non-remittance of GSIS contributions to public school teachers in the ARMM. AKBAYAN also took part in filing graft charges against First Gentleman Mike Arroyo (concerning the NBN-ZTE deal) and voting for the impeachment of Pres. Arroyo (for the Hello Garci scandal). Apart moving to protect democracy and fight government corruption, it also fought for the passing of the Cheaper Medicines Law, the Right to Self-Organization Law and for the ratification of the CARP Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law.


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