SECTIONS
Cebu
Monday, October 25, 2021
CEBU

Cabaero: Crowdfunding the polls

Beyond 30

There is this idea to ask the public to contribute small amounts of money to fund the campaign of a candidate to the May 2022 general elections.

Not a novel idea as political parties and politicians have done that before. They knocked on the hearts and wallets of tycoons, the rich, and influential to fund election campaigns. The difference with the crowdfunding route is that those being asked for their financial support are not necessarily rich or those with interests to protect or promote. They are ordinary citizens pushing to level the playing field for their chosen candidate or candidates.

With the help of technology to crowdfund, organizers are calling on people to donate small amounts of money. The campaign has not started but initial social media posts spoke of as much as only P1,000 donation and other reports said the fundraising is designed to help women candidates. No prospective candidate has been mentioned. We will know by October 1, 2021, the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy.

The maximum amount of P1,000 per donation per individual is small for many who encompass the economic strata and the range of their political beliefs. The funders, who could number in the millions, may end up donating a billion pesos despite the small individual amounts.

This crowdfunding concept for election candidates is apparently moving from the idea phase to a real exploration as social media posts carry promises of donations and their amounts. The potential candidate mentioned so far is Vice President Leni Robredo who, however, has not declared her 2022 election intentions.

The only other inkling we have of this drive is on what columnist and economist Solita Collas-Monsod wrote in the September 18 issue of the Inquirer. Her column titled “Let’s invest in the right kind of leadership” mentioned a campaign being undertaken to seek funding for the election of women leaders.

Monsod stressed the importance of the 2022 elections as a chance for Filipinos to change their country and their leaders. To ensure that those to be elected embody the ideals of good governance, she wrote about crowdfunding to help get candidates of their choice elected.

While political dynasties have their own nest egg and election kitty, “people of goodwill, from all walks of life” could raise about a billion pesos with contributions of P5, P10 or P100 per month over eight months leading to election day, Monsod wrote.

Why not? The technology allows it and the ease in transacting is made possible by digital wallets GCash and Paymaya. Many know about the means of sending money digitally. They do it for their business, they do it to make purchases. Sending money to their candidate will no longer be alien.

Monsod’s crowdfunding campaign has not mentioned candidates to support but the beauty of the idea falls not on the candidate they choose but on letting people take part in the process. It’s the citizen’s contribution to level the playing field in politics.


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