Rep. Fortuno seeks poll expenses limit increase

Cong. Salvio Fortuno
NAGA CITY— Camarines Sur 5th District Rep. Salvio Fortuno renewed his call to amend what he calls the “antiquated” provisions on election expenditures.

Fortuno issued this statement to BICOL STANDARD following the official start of the election period last January 10, and the upcoming commencement of the campaign period on March 25.

“The present limits set by law on campaign expenditures are already realistic in the light of the prevailing economic environment which had eroded the purchasing power of the peso,” he pointed out.

Last year, Fortuno authored House Bill No. 5241 otherwise  "An Act increasing the authorized expenses of candidates and political parties, amending for the purpose Section 13 of Republic Act No. 7166, entitled, 'An Act providing for synchronized national and local elections and for electoral reforms, authorizing appropriations therefor, and for other purposes.'"

Fortuno quoted Dr. Romulo Emmanuel Miral, Jr., Acting Director of the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives who explained that "the value of one (1) Philippine peso in 1991 was equivalent to P3.41 in 2013 or our one (1) Philippine pesos in 2013 was equivalent to P0.29 in 1991 based on Consumer Price Index."

"On the basis of the foregoing computation, the authorized campaign expenditure for the position of President and Vice-President should be from P10.00 to P34.10, for other candidates from P3.00 to P10.23 and for political parties from P5.00 to P17.05," Fortuno pointed out.

"Considering the time and economic factors, there is need to increase this actual computation to meet the demands of the time when this proposed legislative measure is enacted into law," he added.

Therefore, Fortuno insisted, the adjustment should be as follows: for President and Vice-President, from P10.00 to P40.00; for other candidates from P3.00 to P15.00; and for political parties from P5.00 to P20.00.

"The paramount objective of this proposed statute is to make the authorized campaign expenditures for all the candidates and political parties more realistic so that no candidate would ever be penalized on the basis of an antiquated law," Fortuno concluded.

To date, Fortuno’s bill has not been acted upon in Congress.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM