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House oks bill increasing election campaign expenses

The House of Representatives has approved a bill allowing political candidates to spend more.

Voting 188-0 without abstention, the Lower House approved on third and final reading House Bill 7295 increasing the authorized campaign expenses of candidates and political parties.

HB 7295, principally authored by Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., amends for the purpose Republic Act 7166, otherwise known as “An Act Providing For Synchronized National And Local Elections And For Electoral Reforms, Authorizing Appropriations Therefor, And For Other Purposes.”

Under the measure, the authorized amount that a candidate may spend for election campaign shall be as follows: P50.00 for President and P40.00 for Vice President; P30.00 for Senators, District congressman, governor, vice governor, board members, mayor, vice mayor and councilors and for party-list parties, P10.00 for every voter currently registered in the constituency where the candidate filed the Certificate of Candidacy.

Political parties may spend P30 for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.

On the other hand, an independent candidate or a candidate without any political party and without support from any political party may be allowed to spend P40.00 for every voter.

The bill defines an independent candidate as one who is not nominated by a duly registered political party or coalition of political parties or its duly authorized representative.

Another definition of an independent candidate is one who is issued a certificate of nomination and acceptance that has been submitted by a political party or coalition of political parties not duly registered with the Commission on Elections.

“He or she is one who repudiates a nomination issued by a duly registered political party or coalition of political parties at any time before the date of elections,” Belmonte said.

An independent candidate is one who accepts a nomination from more than one duly registered political party for the same constituency, except in cases of coalition of said political parties; files a CONA after the deadline for the filing of certificate of candidacy; and files a COC without a CONA, he added.

One who is issued a CONA that is subsequently cancelled, revoked, withdrawn or substituted by the nominating party at any time before the date of the elections; or is nominated by a duly registered political party or coalition of political parties but which nomination is denied due course by the Comelec is defined as an independent candidate under the proposal.

Topics: House of Representatives , Feliciano Belmonte Jr , Certificate of Candidacy , Commission on Elections
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