MANILA — There are no existing election rules on how to dispose of unspent campaign funds, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Tuesday.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, however, emphasized these excess funds must be declared with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and its appropriate taxes should be paid.
"Unspent campaign donations: there are no rules requiring its disposition in any specific way... The only rule, that there is, can actually be found in revenue regulations issued by the BIR, which state very clearly that unspent campaign funds shall be treated as income and shall be subject to the payment of appropriate income tax,” he said.
Presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso admitted in a recent televised interview that he still has some P50 million in excess campaign funds from his 2016 senatorial kitty.
Domagoso received P171 million from donors in 2016, making him the senatorial candidate with the most contributions received.
According to Jimenez, at the end of the day, the "disposition of these funds is between the candidate and the donor."
"It follows that there really is nothing wrong with hanging on to unspent campaign funds as long as you pay taxes on them. If I may just editorialize, ultimately the disposition of these funds is between the candidate and the donor. So if the donor sees nothing objectionable with that sort of use with the money that they gave, then that’s it," Jimenez added.