THE Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation yesterday announced the bill proposing an increase in the spending limit of candidates and political parties during election campaigns has been approved for floor deliberations.
Panel chairman Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the measure which he himself had re-filed aims to encourage candidates in reporting their campaign expenses.
Despite the increase in the cap of campaign expenditures, Senate Bill No. 2072 proved that the amount to be spent “per voter” by candidates and political parties will have to remain conservative.
Pimentel, president of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), said this is to discourage overspending and to ensure that all those participating in the poll exercise will be competing on equal footing with other candidates.
In the Committee Report No. 497, independent senatorial, party-list and other candidates may spend from P6 to P8 per voter.
Candidates who are running under a political party or being endorsed by political parties may spend P6 per voter, the report said.
For political parties, every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates, the existing cap of P5 is increased to P8.
Under the bill, the aggregate amount that a candidate for president and vice president can spend will remain at P10 for every voter.
In filing the bill which seeks to amend Section 13 of RA 7166 or “An Act Providing for Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms, Authorizing Appropriations Therefor, and for Other Purposes,” Pimentel noted the existing rates are no longer realistic.