How much your candidates can spend—legally

VERA Files
Tinig Ng Botante

Guess up to how much Manila mayoral candidates Alfredo Lim and Joseph Estrada can spend on their campaigns without breaking the law. How about Lilia Pineda and Fr. Ed Panlilio who are for gunning for the governorship of Pampanga?

The answers: P2,860,146 for the Manila race and P3,718,116 for Pampanga.

Campaign jingles, posters, advertisements and other gimmicks all come with a price—and a ceiling.

Republic Act 7166 limits the campaign spending of political candidates during election season. Candidates affiliated with political parties are only allowed to spend P3 for every registered voter in the constituency where he is running while independents are limited to P5.

The quick guide prepared by VERA Files lists the spending limit for local candidates from governors down to vice mayors to help the public monitor their expenses.

Going beyond the limit would constitute an election offense punishable by up to six years in prison.

Do you think your local candidates are spending within the limit? Tell us, submit a report.

After the May 13 elections, candidates have 30 days to submit their Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SECE) before the Commission on Elections.

The deadline for submission of campaign spending reports is on June 13 at 5 p.m. A candidate who fails to submit his or her SECE on June 13 will pay administrative fines depending on the elective position he or she ran for and whether the failure was his or her first or second offense.

Under Resolution 9616, Comelec can initiate election offense cases against violators on their own. The public can help Comelec by submitting evidence to support the case.--Mikha Flores, VERA Files

Election spending limit for mayors and vice-mayors for NCR and provinces

Election spending limit for district representatives for NCR and provinces

(VERA Files is put out by senior journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for true.)