‘Variable’ campaign spending limits eyed
MANILA, Philippines–The campaign spending limit for candidates should reflect prevailing economic conditions, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes made the proposal as he asked the House of Representatives to consider passing a law that would allow the poll body to set a campaign spending limit based on the prevailing economic situation and only for a particular time prior to an election period.
“It’s possible that the campaign spending limit for 2016 will be different from [that in] 2019 under our proposal,” Brillantes said in an interview.
“We don’t want the law to set the [campaign spending] limit. We want a measure that would allow the Comelec to fix it depending on the economic condition, and we’ll impose it just before the election period,” he said.
Brillantes said the commission en banc would be open to considering the consumer price index and other economic indicators. He said they may also consult the private sector, stock market players and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, among others, before they set the campaign spending limit.
Brillantes said there were other proposals in Congress aimed at increasing the spending limit. He said the Comelec was OK with them “as they don’t increase the limit too much.”
Last year, Baguio City Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. filed House Bill No. 2362 seeking to increase the campaign spending limit as the present limit was “unrealistic and should be increased.”
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