Cabaero: Transparency test

Cabaero: Transparency test

There are a few prerequisites for winning candidates to assume office, yet some find it difficult to comply with the paperwork after the barangay and youth elections.

The usual bottleneck is the requirement to submit a Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (Soce) for their campaign for the October 30, 2023 elections. All candidates are supposed to submit their Soce this Wednesday, November 29, a day before newly-elected officials assume office at noon on November 30.

For the election winners, the other prerequisites to assuming office are taking an oath of office and receiving a certificate of proclamation. In submitting the Soce, however, some of them take their time or wait for the deadline for various reasons, primarily the difficult task of accounting for what they received to fund their campaigns and detailing how they spent it. There are rules on what candidates can receive and a cap of P5 they could spend per voter. The Soce demands transparency from the candidate.

The days leading to the election were filled with talk of voters getting P300, P500, P1,000, or up to P6,000 each from candidates, depending on the locality. Vote-buying is a real and ugly feature of Philippine elections, but it is in the recent exercise that the buying of votes became linked to the 2025 midterm polls and 2028 presidential elections, a sort of laying the groundwork for those coming exercises. Those amounts would not figure in any Soce as vote-buying is illegal.

As of last week, about 80 percent of the barangay and youth election candidates in Cebu province have submitted their Soce to the poll body. The rest have to comply by Wednesday. One can imagine the rush in computing and recording being done to meet the deadline.

More than 102,000 candidates participated in the elections in the region last October 30. In Cebu, 2,650 candidates competed for barangay captain, 22,013 for barangay council seats, 2,657 for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman, and 16,454 for SK council seats. Overall, there are 48,048 winning candidates in Central Visayas, with 19,232 from Cebu (including 1,280 in Cebu City, 432 in Mandaue City, and 480 in Lapu-Lapu City), according to SunStar Cebu.

Most of those who filed were election winners, although the law requires both winning and losing candidates to submit their Soce.

Those who have yet to file their Soce have their reasons. They have a day job or classes to attend that they cannot find the time, an election official said in a report. But these are the same people who took time and effort to run for office and spend for their campaigns, regardless of job or class.

Delays or failure to submit the Soce is a reflection of leadership style, if the person about to assume public office complies with the law and practices good governance, and if the person is transparent with finances and can be responsible for his or her actions.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.