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Comelec wants allowable poll expenses pegged on 'economic factors'


The allowable poll expenses limit may soon be pegged on "economic factors" such as the inflation rate and consumer price index (CPI), a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official said on Monday.

This could be possible if the 16th Congress approves a bill amending the Omnibus Election Code that the Comelec would endorse, according to poll commissioner Christian Robert Lim.

The poll official said the commission has proposed to form a regional tripartite body with officials from the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry that would determine the allowable election expense per voter.

"Every elections, there would be a regional tripartite board na magde-determine using the CPI magkano [ang expense limit]. Mataas ba ang inflation kaya kailangang itaas din namin para realistic?" explained Lim.

The reform aims to motivate candidates to be truthful in their statements of contributions and expenditures, he added.

"More often than not, candidates are going to spend more. So more likely they would not declare. So we want them to be truthful in their declaration," Lim said.

As of now, the Comelec under its Resolution No. 9476 limits presidential and vice presidential candidates to P10 for every registered voter, candidates with political parties to P3 per voter, and independent candidates to P5 per voter.

According to the National Statistics Office, the CPI measures the "changes in the price level of goods and services that most people buy for their day-to-day consumption."

Meanwhile, inflation is the change in price level over a specific period of time, the census said. — BM, GMA News