MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker filed a bill at the House of Representatives that seeks to raise the campaign spending limits of candidates and political parties.
Baguio Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. filed House Bill 2362, which proposes the following campaign spending limits:
- P30 per voter for candidates running for President, Vice President, and Senators
- P20 per voter for candidates running for the House of Representatives, Regional and Provincial Governor and Vice Governor, and City and Municipal Mayor and Vice-Mayor
- P20 per voter for candidates without any political party and without support from any political party
- P20 for political parties and party-list groups
Republic Act 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Elections Law, introduced in 1991, currently sets the following spending caps for candidates and political parties:
- P10 per voter for President and Vice President
- P3 per voter for other candidates who are part of a political party
- P5 per voter for independent candidates
- P5 per voter for political parties
“The ceiling pegged under present laws on authorized expenses of candidates and political parties for campaign purposes are unrealistic and should be increased,” Aliping said.
He added candidates and parties may understate their expenses to comply with reportorial requirements.
Overspending is a valid reason to disqualify a candidate from the eledtions, according to Resolution 9629 of the Commissions on Elections (Comelec).
In the May 2013 polls, Comelec’s 1st division decided to disqualify Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito for overspending. Ejercito spent over P6 million for television advertisements alone.
Since Laguna had 1,525,522 registered voters for the elections, Ejercito should have spent up to only P4.5 million for his campaign.
Ejercito may appeal his disqualification with the Comelec en banc.
So far, the only candidate disqualified by Comelec for overspending was the late former Senator Raul Manglapus, who declared he overspent during a senatorial election in the 1960s. – Rappler.com