House bats for increasing campaign expenditures for candidates

Published April 9, 2018, 2:14 PM

by iManila Developer

By Ben Rosario

The House committee on suffrage and electoral reform is batting for increasing authorized campaign expenditures by 200 to 400 percent for candidates but the May barangay polls will retain the P5 peso per voter campaign expenses for each bet.

On a vote of 261 to 18, the Senate and the House of Representatives decide to extend martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017 in a joint, special session at the Batasang Pambansa yesterday. Inset photo shows Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III (left) and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez presiding over the session that lasted more than seven hours. (Jansen Romero, Alvin Kasiban)
House of the Representatives (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

Chaired by CIBAC Partylist Rep. Sherwin Tugna, the House panel consolidated nine proposed legislative measures seeking to adjust campaign expenses as House leaders note that the current cap in expenditure is no longer “realistic.

However, the Commission on Elections will continue to implement the P5 campaign expense maximum for every registered voter in the forthcoming barangay elections as provided under Republic Act 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Elections Reform Act.”

Principal authors are Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro; and Representatives Deogracias Victor B. Savellano (NP, Ilocos Sur); Henry Oaminal (NP, Misamis Occidental); Pedro Unabia (PDP-Laban, Misamis Oriental); Salvio Fortuno (NP, Camarines Sur) and Mikaela Violago (LP, Nueva Ecija).

“There is a need to increase the authorized election campaign expenditures for candidates and political parties to a more realistic level. This will encourage candidates to declare their true and actual election campaign expenses as required by law,” said Ilocos Sur Rep. Deogracias Victor B. Savellano, one of the principal authors of the measure.

Under the bill that is expected to be debated on when Congress resumes session next month, candidates for president will be allowed to spend P50 for each registered voter, up from the current authorized expenditure of P10 per voter.

Vice presidential bets may spend P40 per voter and P30 for candidates for senator, district congressman, governor, vice governor , board members, mayor, vice mayor and councilor.

From the current P3 limit , partylist organizations will be allowed to allocate campaign funds of P10 for each voter.

On the other hand, an independent candidate will be allowed to finance a political campaign by P40 for each voter, an increase of P35 from the current cap.

Castro said the current limit in authorized expenditure is “unrealistic and insufficient.”

“The actual financial expenditures of any candidate mounting an election campaign are a violation of the present limitations. The law compels filing a report that is a distortion if not a suppression of the actual figures,” Castro explained.