Pending bill in Congress aims to monitor contributions
MANILA - An election analyst said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) needs to create a new department specifically mandated to monitor campaign finances.
Speaking to ANC, Ramon Casiple of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform said candidates in previous elections were also required to submit their statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCE), but it is only now that the poll body is seriously implementing the rule.
"Before, they just accepted whatever was given to them, filed them and then forgot about them," Casiple said.
He said a new department is necessary to track all campaign finance matters of candidates.
"The system needs not only tweaking but revamping. For example, the question of campaign finance is not supposed to be a unit or task force, our position here is it should be a department. I mean campaign finance is a whole big area with regards to the electoral process. We have problems of big money coming in, overspending, buying votes and so on. All of these are basically campaign finance matters," he said.
"These are not attended to at present precisely because there is no unit in the Comelec until recently to deal with it, and that unit that has been established is actually not capable of doing what I said," he added.
Casiple said there is a bill pending in Congress that will require the formation of such a department.
The Political Party Development Bill also has measures that will make it easier for the poll body to track campaign contributions and spending.
"The bill now pending in Congress requires the contribution to go through a bank. So there is an independent monitoring of who is the one giving the money...and that's audited," he said. -- ANC