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Campaign Finance in the

Legal Framework

Pera’t Pulitika

Campaign Finance Laws
• The Constitution
• The Omnibus Election Code [BP 881]
• Republic Act No. 6646
• Republic Act No. 7166
• Republic Act No. 9006
• Pertinent COMELEC Resolutions

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What does the Constitution say?
• Equal Access to Opportunities for Public
Service [Art. II, Sec. 26, Phil. Const.]
• Accountability of Public Officers [Art. XI
Sec. 1 Phil. Const.]
• Preserving National Sovereignty and
Independence [Art. IX-C, Sec. 2(5), Phil.

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Donations or Contributions
Election Donations or Campaign
Contributions are those made ...for the
purpose of influencing the results of the
elections [Sec. 94 (a), OEC]

Donations for Campaigns are generally

allowed except if sourced from certain
individuals and entities.

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Donations from the following are
• Public or private financial institutions,
• Public utilities and those exploiting any
natural resources of the nation;
• Those who hold contracts or sub-
contracts with government
• Those who have been granted
franchises, or similar privileges or
concessions by the government;

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• Those who, within one year prior to the
date of the election, have been granted
loans in excess of P100,000 by the
• Educational institutions which have
received grants of public funds
amounting to no less than P100,000.00;
• Officials or employees in the Civil
Service, or members of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines; and
• Foreigners and foreign corporations.
[Sec. 95, 81, 96 OEC]
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• CANDIDATES cannot solicit from
the above

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Election Expenditures
• payment or delivery of money or
anything of value, or
• a contract, promise or agreement to
make an expenditure,
• use of facilities personally owned by the
candidate, the money value of the use
of which can be assessed based on the
rates prevailing in the area.

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Expenditure Limits
(per registered voter in a
• Php 3.00 – individual candidate
supported by political party
• Php 5.00 – individual candidate not
supported or nominated by political
• Php 5.00 – Political Parties
• Php 10.00 – Candidates for President or
Vice President.
[Sec. 13, RA 7166]
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Items included in computing the
expenses for determining
compliance with limits
• Expenditure in cash and in kind
• Use of equipments, facilities and
other paraphernalia owned by
candidate, and contributor, the value
of which would be assessed by the
• [Section 100, 101, 102, OEC]
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Items NOT included in the
• copying and classifying list of
voters, investigating and
challenging right to vote; or
• printing sample ballots. [Sec.
102, OEC]
• employment of counsel;

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Prohibited Expense
• Vote Buying [Sec. 261[a] OEC]
• Donation by Candidates during campaign
period up to election day, except tithes and
habitual contributions to scholarships
• Giving transportation, food or drinks or
things of value during public meeting, day
before election, and on election the day of
the election [Sec. 89, OEC]
• Bribery

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Soliciting Donations from
Candidates – Prohibited!
• For gifts, food, transportation,
contribution or donation in cash or in
kind from the commencement of the
election period up to and
including election day. [Sec. 97,
• “Vote Selling” is also punished. [Sec.
261 (b) OEC]
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Use of Public Funds/State
• for any election campaign – PROHIBITED - 45 days
before up to 30 days after election
• Usually committed by Incumbents
• Public Money
• Printing press, radio, or television station or audio-visual
• Equipment, vehicle, facility, apparatus, or paraphernalia

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Release, Disbursement and
Expenditure of Public Funds
PROHIBITED - 45 days before up to 30 days after
election on public works, except:
• Maintenance of existing and/or completed public
work projects;
• Works undertaken by contract through public
bidding held, or by negotiated contract
awarded,45 days before election;
• Payment for procedures done preparatory to
actual construction and wages of watchmen;
• Emergency Works because of public calamity.

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Also Unlawful to release public funds

– Department of Social Welfare and

Development and the like, except
for salaries and routine expenses.
– Housing agencies, except salaries
and administrative expenses.
[Sec. 261 (v) OEC].

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Documentation Requirements
• Candidates and Treasurers must keep full and
detailed records
• Candidates and Treasurers to preserve the
records for at least three years [Sec. 106, OEC]
• Written authority to incur expenses, including
contracts, vouchers, invoices and other records
and documents relative to said expenditures,
to be kept and preserved for 3 years. [Sec. 112

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Reporting Requirements
• Candidates to report itemized statement of
contributions and expenditures within 30 days after
elections [Sec 14 RA 7166]
• Donors to report their donation within the same
period of 30 days [Secs 98, 99, OEC]
• Contractors and Firms to whom election
expenditure is incurred to submit a report of all
those who paid him within 30 days [Sec. 112 OEC]
• Contracts for Advertising to be submitted to
COMELEC within five (5) days after its signing. [Sec
6.3 RA 9006]

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Reporting Requirements
• Written acceptance of Donation to be
attached to the advertising contract and
shall be submitted to the COMELEC within
5 days from signing [Sec. 4.3, RA 9006]
• Political Parties and Candidates are
mandated to submit to the election
registrar a statement of expenses incurred
in rallies [SECTION 88, OEC]

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• Duty of COMELEC to examine all
statements of contributions and
expenditures of candidates and political
parties to determine compliance [Sec 110
• COMELEC to Prosecute Criminal Offenses
• COMELEC to Disqualify Candidates under
Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code

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State of Campaign Finance in the
• Not given enough importance, unlike
voting and counting procedures.
• Rules are largely ignored
• Laws are comprehensive but outdated.
• Insufficient Enforcement Capability and
• Official Reports Difficult to Obtain.

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What Can Be Done?
• Sustained Advocacy for Public Awareness of
Campaign Finance Issues
• Effective and Vigilant Civil Society
Monitoring of Campaign Finance Practices
and Enforcement.
• Media Focus on Campaign Finance
• Reforms
– Rationalizing and updating existing campaign
finance laws like expenditure limits
– Mandatory Publication of Reports
– Strengthen COMELEC’s enforcement capability

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