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House OKs on second reading bill increasing cap on campaign spending

The House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill increasing the limit on campaign spending of candidates by up to 10 times.

Through a voice vote, lawmakers said yes to House Bill 6095 which seeks to amend Republic Act 7166 or the Automated Election Act by raising the amount which candidates for national and local posts may spend during the campaign period.

Under the bill, each candidate for president, vice president and senator can now spend P50 per voter, up from the present P10 per voter allowed by law.

Local candidates will be allowed to spend P30 per voter, up from P3 per voter.

Political parties may spend P50 per voter for national candidates and P30 per voter for  local candidates up from P5 for every voter registered in areas where the party is fielding candidates.

The bill also provides that any contribution in cash or in kind to any candidate, political party or coalition of parties for campaign purposes, duly reported to the Commission on Elections, will not be subject to payment of donor’s tax.

“This is an effort to raise the amount of election campaign expenses of candidates and political parties to a more realistic level and thus, encourage candidates to declare their true an actual election campaign expenses as required by law,” the committee report on the measure read.

Under R.A. 7166,  every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall, within 30 days after the day of the election, file in duplicate with the offices of the Commission the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election.

"No person elected to any public offices shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures herein required," the law said. —LDF, GMA News