Subsidy for Political Parties OK'd

Manila Bulletin, October 11, 2012 | Go to article overview

Subsidy for Political Parties OK'd


MANILA, Philippines --- The House of Representatives has approved a bill granting state subsidy to national political parties and setting limits on voluntary contributions that they may receive from donors.

Voting 168 for and zero against, members of the Lower Chamber passed on third and final reading House Bill 6551, the Political Party Development Act of 2012, on Monday.

Cavite 4th District Representative Elpidio F. Barzaga Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, said HB 6551 seeks to institutionalize and strengthen political parties in the country by introducing reforms in campaign financing.

Barzaga co-authored the bill with Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (PMP, Cagayan de Oro City); Juan Edgardo Angara (LDP, Quezon); and Raymond Democrito Mendoza (TUCP Party-list).

He said the bill will provide an effective and transparent mechanism to level the playing field among candidates and political parties participating in national and local elections.

The bill was approved in the past by the Lower House when it was first introduced by former Speaker Jose de Venecia.

Authors of the measure agree that the bill will effectively reduce opportunities for graft and corruption.

Under the bill, voluntary campaign contributions for political parties will be limited to P1 million from any donating "natural person" and up to P10 million if given by "juridical persons."

Donation to political parties will be exempted from donor's tax.

Angara, whose father is also pushing for a similar bill in the Senate, said HB 6551 also grants state subsidy for accredited national political parties which shall be used "directly and exclusively for party development and campaign expenditures. …

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