BIR closely monitoring poll expenses
Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is closely monitoring the campaign expenses and records of contributions of candidates in the May elections.

The BIR has issued a memorandum circular requiring national and local candidates and their political parties to present a receipt for every contribution they receive and all expenses incurred during the campaign.

The candidates were required to specify whether the contributions they received were in cash or in kind, the BIR said.

With a letter of authority from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), BIR officials may visit the campaign headquarters of the candidates to inspect their records.

The original copy of the official receipt should be issued to the contributor or donor while a duplicate will be retained by the candidates or their political parties, according to the bureau.

The move is in line with the agency’s “Project: Iboto Mo” aimed at maximizing the collection of withholding taxes and plugging leakages in the payment of revenues.

All payments made by political parties and candidates for their campaign tools and services are subject to five percent withholding tax, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said.

Aside from obtaining tax identification number, all political parties and party-list groups are required to register with the bureau.

All candidates should submit accurate campaign finance disclosure statements a month after the elections.

The BIR will coordinate with the Comelec to make sure that the figures submitted by the candidates in their statements of election contributions and expenditures are true and accurate.

Illegal posters

Meanwhile, a Comelec official yesterday said they expect more illegal posters to proliferate when the campaign period for local candidates begins.

Comelec’s law department director Esmeralda Ladra said the poll body will intensify the monitoring of illegal campaign posters and penalize violators.

Earlier, the poll body ordered senatorial bets Risa Hontiveros, Edward Hagedorn, Rep. Teodoro Casiño and Rep. Sonny Angara to remove their illegal campaign posters or face sanctions.

Random manual audit

Meanwhile, the Comelec has decided to amend the guidelines on random manual audit in the May elections.

In a resolution promulgated last Friday, the poll body said that manual audit will be done in randomly selected clustered precincts after the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) seals the ballot boxes.

Comelec officials said the Random Manual Audit Team (RMAT) composed of public school teachers may conduct the random manual audit at 7 a.m. the day after the elections, but only during “exceptional circumstances” like power interruptions. –With Mayen Jaymalin

BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CAMPAIGN CANDIDATES COMELEC COMMISSIONER KIM HENARES EDWARD HAGEDORN ESMERALDA LADRA IBOTO MO RANDOM MANUAL AUDIT TEAM
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