Legarda wants transparency in poll spending
MANILA, Philippines—Reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda on Friday called on the Commission on Elections and her fellow candidates to ensure the transparency of campaign expenses especially on television ads after the Supreme Court stopped the Comelec from imposing airtime limits.
“With the Comelec airtime limits now counted on a per network basis, anyone who uses the full airtime of 180 minutes for radio and 120 minutes for TV will violate the spending cap for candidates of approximately P150 million,” Legarda said.
“That means spending P120 million for TV and around P12 million for radio at current rates for 30-second ads. Don’t forget we still have to pay for the salaries of our staff, for travel expenses and food” she added.
Legarda said that under Comelec Resolution No. 9615 implementing the Fair Elections Act, a candidate is allowed to spend only up to P3 for each of the 52 million registered voters.
“Certainly I will not spend that amount. Excessive campaign spending is unconscionable,” Legarda said.
“I will not spend a huge amount and reimburse the cost on our countrymen,” she added.
Legarda said that Comelec had yet to come out with official data on the candidates’ airtime usage, noting that political ads on TV have dramatically increased.
“The Comelec must monitor everyone’s compliance with the rules especially on spending limits to provide a level playing field,” Legarda said.
“I urge the Comelec to ensure that all candidates account for every minute they appear on TV and radio,” she added.