Sen. Lito Lapid proposes raising poll campaign spending cap | Inquirer News

Sen. Lito Lapid proposes raising poll campaign spending cap

/ 07:16 AM October 16, 2023

Senator Lito Lapid proposes raising the election campaign spending limit for candidates

FILE PHOTO: Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid in the Senate plenary on September 20, 2022. (Senate PRIB Photo)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill seeking to increase the authorized campaign expenditures of candidates in national and local elections.

In his Senate Bill No. 2460, Lapid asserted that “changing economic conditions” present the need to raise the limit on candidates’ campaign expenses.


“By updating these allowable expenses, we aim to make the campaign budget more realistic and reflective of the prevailing prices of goods and services,” he said in a statement released Sunday, October 15.


READ: Comelec junks over 1,000 complaints of campaign overspending

Senate Bill No. 2460, which was filed in early October, aims to amend Republic Act (RA) No. 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Elections and for Electoral Reforms Act of 1991.

It likewise permits the Commission on Elections, in coordination with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, National Economic and Development Authority, and Philippine Statistics Authority, to adjust the campaign expense cap per registered voter based on the inflation rate and consumer price index.

“It’s been more than three decades since RA 7166 was enacted, and the P3 to P10 campaign expenses limit per voter is worthless now,” Lapid pointed out.

“This proposal has long been overdue, having been filed since the 16th Congress. Had this been passed during the previous Congresses, candidates in the coming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) this coming October 30 would benefit from it,” he added.

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Lapid said the outdated allowable spending may even force candidates to underreport their actual poll campaign expenses. He stressed that adjusting the expenditure cap to realistic rates may help eliminate motivations to falsify such reports called statements of contributions and expenses or SOCE.

Candidates file their SOCE within 30 days from Election Day.

Under Senate Bill No. 2460, Lapid proposed the following increases in campaign expenditure:

  • P50 for president
  • P40 for vice president
  •  P30 for senator, district representative, governor, vice governor, board member, mayor, vice mayor, councilor, and party-list representative for every voter registered in the constituency where the candidate filed his certificate of candidacy

READ: The role of money and COVID in the 2022 poll campaigns

The suggested measure, however, retained the campaign spending limit for independent candidates at P5 for every voter.

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For political parties, Lapid’s bill introduces an increase from P5 to P30 “for every voter in the constituency where they have official candidates.”

TAGS: Election, Lito Lapid

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