MANILA – Candidates’ expenses before the start of the campaign period are not covered by the 90-day campaign guidelines for national candidates, an Electoral Commission (Comelec) official said on Monday.
“We don’t have a premature campaign. Thus, any expenditure spent before the campaign period is not included. Even though there (appears to be) a violation of the guidelines, the violations have not been considered as the campaign period has not yet started,” said Elaiza David, Director of the Department of Education and of information (EID) of Comelec, in a briefing by Laging Handa. .
David said they don’t yet have data on who has spent so much to promote themselves through ads on different platforms.
“For the moment, nothing yet since the report arrives at the end of the campaign. We don’t have any data yet,” she added.
Reportedly, among presidential hopefuls, Senator Panfilo Lacson was the biggest spender last year with more than PHP 900 million in TV, radio, print and billboard ads. ‘display.
He is followed by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with over PHP 700 million spent on ads from January to December 2021.
Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, spent some PHP500 million on ads last year.
Another presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has spent over PHP 300 million while Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao only spent around PHP 1.7 million in 2021.
The campaign period for candidates for national positions such as president, vice president, senator and party list will begin on Tuesday. (NAP)