THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) is considering on setting an early deadline for the application for accreditation of political parties and party-list groups that are looking to participate in the May 2025 polls.In a televised public briefing, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said he wants the commission to be able to decide early which political parties and party-lists are eligible to participate in the next elections and which are not.”We want them to file early and we want to end the filing of petition for accreditation early,” said Garcia.”For me, if it is possible, I want it to be only until next year,” he added.Doing so, he said, will give the poll body the entire 2024 to decide with finality which are qualified groups and organizations.”At least, we will have the whole of 2024 to determine which can participate, and which cannot participate,” he said.Garcia said they want to avoid incidents in the past where decisions on accreditation come in late.”Before, we have instances wherein the petitions have not been decided yet with just days before Election Day,” said Garcia.Last month, the Comelec announced that it will already start accepting the applications of organizations and groups intending to register as a political party, coalition, or party-lists.No deadline has been set yet for the filing of applications.Section 60 of the Omnibus Election Code states that in order to acquire a juridical personality, qualify it for subsequent accreditation, and to entitle it to the rights and privileges granted to political parties, a political party shall first be duly registered with the commission.On the other hand, Section 5 of the Party-List System Act provides that any organized group of persons may register as a party-list group by filing with the Comelec a petition verified by its president or secretary stating its desire to participate in the party-list system. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)