Erap rejects subsidies for political parties

By Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 07 2012 01:13 AM | Updated as of Nov 07 2012 07:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Joseph Estrada yesterday said the government cannot afford to subsidize the activities of political parties.

In an interview with The STAR, Estrada said that instead of funding the activities of political parties, the government should spend taxpayers’ money in the delivery of basic services, education and housing, among others.

“I don’t think the government can afford to subsidize the expenses of political parties, may it be in the local or national level. The government must use government funds for housing and education to give the people the chance to improve their lives,” he said.

Sen. Edgardo Angara has filed Senate Bill 3214 or the Political Party Development Act providing a P350-billion subsidy for party administration, recruitment and civic education, research and policy development, education and training of members and others that are essential to strengthen the political parties.

Angara wants to use a portion of the national budget to fund political parties that are accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the proposed bill would give the poll body the power to regulate the expenditures of political parties during elections.