Know your candidate's campaign spending

We need to make sure that our candidates are transparent as to the sources of their campaign money and the true extent of their elections spending as this would impact directly on the candidates’ governance upon assumption to office. There is a lot that the public has to learn on Campaign Finance, such as Sources of Funds, the Expenditure side, Recording and Reportorial Requirements, Use of Public Funds and Properties, and Effects of Violation of Election Finance Laws and Rules.

Let's take a look on how candidates and political parties may lawfully incur expenses on the following.

  • Lawful election propaganda
  • Traveling expenses of the candidates and campaign personnel and for personal expenses incident thereto
  • Compensation of campaign workers
  • Telegraph and telephone tolls, postage, freight, and express delivery charges
  • Stationery, printing and distribution of printed matters relative to candidacy
  • Employment of watchers at the polls
  • Rent, maintenance and furnishing of campaign headquarters, office, or place of meetings
  • Political meetings and rallies and the use of sound systems, lights, and decorations during said meetings and rallies
  • Newspaper, radio, television, and other public advertisements
  • Employment of counsel
  • Copying and classifying list of voters, investigating and challenging the right to vote of persons registered in the; or
  • Printing sample ballots in such color, size, and maximum number as may be authorized by the Commission.

Only the following persons are authorized to incur election expenditures:

  • Candidates themselves
  • Treasurer of Political Parties
  • Persons authorized in writing by candidate or treasurer.

Just following air time limits, here's how the numbers truly stack up:

  • 120 minutes in all TV networks - P72 million, including VAT and bulk-buying discounts
  • 180 minutes in all radio networks - P2.52 million.

These are based on assumptions on P300,000 per 20 second TV ad and P7,000 per radio ad.

The cost of producing political ads could range from P1 million to P5 million for TV and up for P100,000 for radio.

Expenditure Limits per registered voter in the constituency a candidate is running:
  • Php 3.00 – individual candidate supported by political party
  • Php 5.00 – individual candidate not supported or nominated by political party
  • Php 5.00 – Political Parties
  • Php 10.00 – Candidates for President or Vice President

Items included in computing the expenses of a candidate for the purpose of determining compliance with the expenditure limits:
  • Expenditures in cash and in kind
  • Use of equipments, facilities, and other paraphernalia owned by candidate, and contributor, the value of which must be assessed
  • Expenses incurred by Political Parties for candidates

Items NOT included in the computation:
  • Free service rendered by volunteers
  • Employment of counsel
  • Copying and classifying list of voters, investigating and challenging the right to vote of persons registered in the; or
  • Printing sample ballots in such color, size, and maximum number as may be authorized by the Commission

For the purpose of inducing someone to vote for or against a candidate or to withhold his or her vote, a person CANNOT, directly or indirectly:
  • Give money or anything of value to any person, association, corporation, entity, or community
  • Offer money or anything of value to any person, association, corporation, entity, or community
  • Spend money in favor of any other person, corporation or any entity
  • Offer to spend money to the same person, corporation or entity
  • Cause expenditure to be made upon any person, corporation, or entity
  • Give employment to any person
  • Offer to give employment to any person
  • Promise employment to any person
  • Give franchises and grants to any person
  • Offer to give franchises and grants to any person

Candidates are prohibited, during campaign period and on the day or before the day of the election, from:
  • Making donations, contributions, gifts in cash or in kind
  • Undertaking or contributing to, the construction or repair of roads, bridges, school buses, puericulture centers, medical clinics and hospitals, churches or chapels cement pavements, or any structure for public use, or for the use of religious or civic organization.

Five hours before and after a public meeting, on the day preceding the election, and on the day of election, candidates and political parties cannot give, free of charge, to any person:
  • Transportation
  • Food or drinks
  • Anything of value

No person is allowed to accept transportation, food, drinks, and anything of value, from any candidate or political party on the same occasion.
Do you know where candidates get their campaign funds?
  1. Personal money of candidates
  2. Donation or contributions from persons or corporations not prohibited by law to give donations
  3. Fund raising activities in manners not prohibited by law

The general rule is that all persons or corporations, except the following, can donate or contribute to candidates and political parties. 

  • Public or private financial institutions, but loans in the ordinary course of business are allowed
  • Individuals or corporations operating a public utility or in possession of, or exploiting, any natural resources of the nation
  • Individuals or corporations who hold contracts or sub-contracts to supply the government with goods or services or to perform construction or other works
  • Individuals or corporations who have been granted franchises, or similar privileges or concessions by the government
  • Individuals or corporations who, within one year prior to the date of election, have been granted loans in excess of P100,000 by the government
  • Officials or employees in the Civil Service, or members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
  • Foreigners and foreign corporations

Fund Raising Activities for election campaigns are generally allowed as long as all contributions obtained are properly reported.  However, those done during election period, through the following means, are not allowed:

  • Through the holding of dances
  • Through the holding of lotteries, cockfights, games, boxing bouts, and bingo/span>
  • Through the holding of beauty contests
  • Through entertainment, or cinematographic, theatrical, or other performances

There is no limit imposed by law on how much a qualified person can donate or contribute to a candidate or political party.

Contributors or donors must contribute in their own name and that the recipient must reflect in their report the true name of all their contributors.  In other words, donations from “friends of…” are not allowed.

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