Elections spending cap is outdated, says Jimenez

June 24, 2010 9:56 pm 

MANILA, June 24 – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that the campaign spending cap as provided by law is already obsolete.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez admitted that the law was outdated, particularly concerning the campaign cap, which is the main reason why some candidates sometimes overspend.

He cited the provisions of Republic Act 7166, or the Synchronized Election Law of 1991.

“This is just an example of the gap on our laws that predisposes people to break that law since it is not anymore reasonable. It has become very expensive to campaign these days… I think the spending cap is outdated,” Jimenez said.

He also said that the changes throughout the years have resulted to the insufficiency of the spending limit allowed by law.

“There are so many Filipinos and the most efficient way to reach the people is through a very expensive way: mass media,” Jimenez said.

Section 13 of RA 7166 states that candidates for president and vice president are only allowed to spend P10 for every registered voter plus an additional P5 coming from their political party, if they have one.

On the other hand, candidates running for lower positions can only spend P3 for every registered voter plus an additional P5 coming from their political party.

For independent candidates, they are allowed to spend no more than P5 for every registered voter.

There are about 50.8 million registered voters nationwide in the last May 2010 national and local elections.

Earlier, Jimenez said he did not believe some of the expenditure statements filed before the Comelec Law Department. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb

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