Comelec creates campaign finance unit to monitor campaign expenses

January 17, 2013 10:55 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 17 — The Commission on Elections has created the Campaign Finance Unit that would monitor campaign expenses of national and local candidates.

However, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the task of the CFU also included monitoring the accuracy of the amounts they will declare in their respective Statements of Election Contribution and Expenses.

“The CFU is set to monitor the campaign spending and, later on, to validate the statement of contributions and expenditures of candidates,” he said.

Through Comelec Resolution 9616, Jimenez said the poll body would know the total amount of spending by each candidate.

He noted the CFU is mandated to counter-check the contents of the SECEs by conducting price surveys such as prevailing rates of products, services, lease of property commonly used or availed of in the conduct of campaigning activities.

“It changes the game because candidates are now put on notice that they cannot be artistic with their submission. There can be no liberties taken with the submission because we will go and back check everything,” said Jimenez.

Under Republic Act 7166, candidates are only allowed to spend P3 for every voter currently registered in the constituency, where he filed his Certificate of Candidacy plus another P5 from his political party; while independent candidates can spend up to P5 for every registered voter.

The resolution added that the CFU will handle senatorial candidates, national political parties, and party-list organizations.

On the other hand, the Regional Election Directors will take care of regional political parties, as well as members of the House of Representatives in Metro Manila and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao regional offices; provincial election supervisors for congressmen in the provinces, provincial officials and provincial political parties; and Election Officers for city officials and local political parties.

Likewise, the poll body has tapped the Commission on Audit and the Bureau of Internal Revenue to verify the contents of the SECEs and other pertinent documents.

Candidates were given until June 13, at 5 pm to file their SECEs. (PNA)



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