Veteran politician and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. wants the cap on campaign expenditures significantly increased, saying that the law governing such has became outdated.
Belmonte made the pitch on the day that the Commission on Elections called on at least 20 lawmakers to vacate their post for their failure to submit the Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
“We can increase the limits on [campaign]spending to make it more realistic…so that when you see it [SOCE], you’d know that it reflects the correct [amount of]expenses in the campaign. As it is, it’s too low because the limits were set many years ago,” Belmonte, who also served as the Mayor of Quezon City, argued.
Under present law, candidates for President, Vice President, Senator and local posts are limited to spending P3 per voter.
“We can raise it to P20, 50 or P30, around that line. It is not a relaxation of rules, but a more realistic statement of what should be the limit of one’s campaign expenses,” Belmonte, a lawyer, stressed.
Belmonte then furthered that he will ask Rep. Frednil Castro of Capiz, the Chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, to craft a bill that will serve such purpose.
“People seeking office would probably welcome this. The letter of the Comelec wakes us up to that situation,” Belmonte added in closing. LLANESCA T. PANTI