The chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms is pushing amendments to the law that sets limits on election campaign expenses to make it more attuned to economic realities.
"The present law on election spending is unrealistic to say the least," said Capiz Representative Fredenil Castro, who chairs the committee.
Castro, a member of the National Unity Party (NUP), said House Bill 5928 will raise the election spending limits for those running for President from P10 to P50 per registered voter. For the position of Vice President and Senator, the expenditure ceiling will be P35 per registered voter.
HB 5928 also pegs the spending limit for those running for the position of Congressman and other local candidate for provinces, cities and municipalities at P30, from the previous rate of P3, for every voter currently registered in the constituency where the certificate of candidacy was filed.
For candidates without any political party support, the spending limit will be increased from P5 to P30 per voter under the Castro proposal.
HB 5928 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 7199, also known as the 'Synchronized National and Local elections and for Electoral Reforms' and for other purposes."
"For many years now, our election laws have not been responsive to the dynamics of the changing times," Castro said.
Castro noted that the limitations set on election spending under existing laws are insufficient to cover expenses given today’s economic realities. This unrealistic scenario, he said, has prompted candidates to violated the law’s provisions and submit expenditure reports that are often distortions of their actual spending figures.
"HB 5928 proposes to amend Section 13 paragraph (a) of RA 7166 in keeping with the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) so as to encourage candidates to declare their actual campaign expenses in the interest of transparency," Castro said.