Expenditure cap on candidates for 2016 polls stays

August 5, 2015 5:08 am 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Aug 4 (PNA) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) clarified that the spending limit for candidates will be the same as provided by law despite the plan to extend the campaign period for the May 2016 polls.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the spending cap for those who will run in next year’s elections will be the same under Republic Act No. 7166.

“Walang kaakibat na increase in spending cap ‘yun, so kung ano spending limit nila with the 90 and 45 day campaign period will be the same for that what 120 day campaign period, talagang ma-fifill up yung gastusin mo if you are staying within the cap,” he said in a press briefing.

Jimenez noted that the plan meant that the campaign spending of those who would participate in the forthcoming elections could be monitored and accounted for at an earlier period, thus, eliminating chances of premature campaigning activities.

“Nagkakaroon ng maraming gastos na hindi naman naisasama sa SOCE. Kung sisimulan mo ng mas maaga yung campaign period, Enero pa lang binibilang mo na yung kanilang expenditure. Enero pa lang mababawasan na yung kanilang spending power and they are eating away at their cap essentially,” he said.

But, Jimenez said that the proposal would be subjected to public consultations prior to the approval of the schedules for the May 2016 elections.

Under the law, candidates for president and vice-president are allowed to spend Php 10, while other candidates are limited to Php 3 for every voter registered in the constituency where they are running for public office.

Another Php 5 are allowed for the political parties to spend for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.

On the other hand, independent candidates are allowed to spend Php 5 for every voter in the jurisdiction where he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC).

On Monday, the Comelec has released the “draft” Calendar of Activities for the May 2016 polls, wherein the campaign period for both local and national candidates have been adjusted to 120 days from only 45 and 90 days, respectively.

The Omnibus Election Code provides that the campaign period for candidates for the national elective posts should be 90 days before Election Day while 45 are allocated for local candidates. (PNA)

RMA/FGP/EDS

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