Belmonte seeks higher cap for campaign expenses

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 05 2016 01:57 PM

MANILA - Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. on Tuesday filed a bill seeking to increase the campaign spending limit of candidates and political parties.

Belmonte, through House Bill 15, sought to amend Section 13 of Republic Act 7166 to "accurately reflect the current economic landscape and allow candidates to pay the full and fair price of the goods and services they wish to engage."

Belmonte said the amendments will also allow candidates to maximize their resources to effectively communicate their platforms and ideas to a greater number of their constituents.

Belmonte said the cap on campaign expenditures "has yet to be updated to reflect inflation and the eroded purchasing power of the Philippine Peso."

"The limitations also hinder candidates from launching campaigns that could reach even the most remote of places in the country, for fear of running afoul of the law," he added.

Under the proposed measure, all candidates are authorized to spend P50 for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where they have official candidates. Political parties will be allowed to spend P30 for every voter.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) shall also adjust the authorized amount based on the consumer price index (CPI) every five years following the effectively of the proposed Act.

Republic Act 7166, entitled "Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms," limits the campaign expenditures of candidates.

Currently, the law allows only:

For candidates. - Ten pesos (P10.00) for President and Vice-President; and for other candidates Three Pesos (P3.00) for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his certificate of candidacy: Provided, That a candidate without any political party and without support from any political party may be allowed to spend Five Pesos (P5.00) for every such voter; and,

For political parties. - Five pesos (P5.00) for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.