By Camille A. Aguinaldo, November 19 2018; Business World


Image Credit to BWorldOnline; Senate PRIB

THE bill increasing the campaign spending limits of candidates and political parties is now up for plenary debates in the Senate.

Senate Bill No. 2072, introduced by Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III, seeks to amend Republic Act 7166, the law providing the synchronized national and local elections.

If signed into law, senatorial candidates running under a political party or being endorsed by political parties and party-list candidates may spend P6 for every voter, from the present P3.

Independent candidates and political parties may spend P8 for every voter, from the present P5.

Campaign spending for candidates for president and vice president will remain at P10 for every voter.

Mr. Pimentel, who also chairs the Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation, said the bill is meant to discourage overspending and to ensure that all those participating in elections will be competing on equal footing with other candidates.

He also said this will also encourage transparency in reporting campaign expenses to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The Comelec has filed cases of elections overspending against 35 local candidates from the 2010 and 2013 elections.

“The best way to address the concern of our candidates, especially the local candidates, therefore, is to increase the amount of their allowable political campaign expenditure,” Mr. Pimentel said.

He added that the proposed measure will be beneficial to the voting public since the increase in the allowable campaign expenditure may lead to better voter’s education and awareness of the background and program of government or platform of the candidates.