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Loren Calls for Transparency in Campaign Spending

April 19, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the Commission on Elections and her fellow candidates to ensure that campaign expenditures especially on TV advertisements are fully transparent, following the Supreme Court order restraining the imposition of airtime limits.

“With the COMELEC airtime limits now counted on a per network basis, anyone who uses the full airtime of 180 minutes for radio and 120 minutes for TV will violate the spending cap for candidates of approximately P150 million,” Legarda noted. “That means spending P120 million pesos for TV and around P12 million for radio at current rates for 30-second ads. Don’t forget we still have to pay for the salaries of our staff, for travel expenses and food” she said.

Under COMELEC Resolution No. 9615 implementing the Fair Elections Act, a candidate is allowed to spend only up to 3 pesos for each of the 52 million registered voters.

“Certainly I will not spend that amount. Excessive campaign spending is unconscionable,” Legarda said. “Hindi ako gagastos ng malaki, at hindi ko babawiin ang gastos ko sa taumbayan,” she added.

She emphasized that the COMELEC has yet to come out with official data on candidates’ airtime usage, observing that political ads on TV have dramatically increased.

“The COMELEC must monitor everyone’s compliance with the rules especially on spending limits to provide a level playing field,” Legarda appealed. “I urge the COMELEC to ensure that all candidates account for every minute they appear on TV and radio,” she said.