PPCRV lauds House nod on bill hiking poll expense limit

MANILA An election watchdog on Tuesday lauded the House of Representatives' approval of a bill seeking to increase the ceiling of election campaign expenses of candidates.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) national chairperson Rene Sarmiento noted that the measure should have been passed a long time ago.

The bill is very long overdue. Wise and practical that the amount to be spent by every candidate be increased. The amounts to be spent are found in Republic Act 7166 which was signed into law in 1991, Sarmiento said in a statement.

Many changes had taken place since then: prices of basic and less basic commodities and our population has risen astronomically, the PPCRV official added.

Sarmiento, a former Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner, also noted that amending the law would make it more realistic.

So also our voting population. Time to review this anachronistic provision and make it realistic and responsive, he added.

Last week, members of the House, voting 188-6, approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 7295 which proposes an increase in the limit in campaign expenses of candidates.

Under the bill, the corresponding spending limits per voter are as follows: PHP50 for President; PHP40 for Vice President; PHP30 for Senators, District Representatives, Governors, Vice Governors, Board Members, Mayors, Vice Mayors, and Councilors and PHP10 for Party-List Representatives.

For candidates without any political party, they will be allowed to spend PHP40 for each voter.

At present, Republic Act 7166 provides that those who are running for President and Vice President are only allowed to spend PHP10 per voter and PHP3 for candidates who are running for other posts.

Independent candidates or those who do not belong to any political party are allowed to spend PHP5 for each voter. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency