by Nicole-Anne Lagrimas
The College Mass Communication chapter of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP CMC) reported a total fund of P10,900 for the two-week campaign.
Meanwhile, the UP CMC Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (UP CMC ISA) filed a budget of P30,000.
According to their most recent financial statements, both parties sourced their funds for this year’s campaign from alumni and member donations, and in the case of STAND UP, candidates’ fees. UP CMC ISA also relied on income-generating projects such as a rummage and a food sale.
“Tingin ko, naging sapat lang naman yung gastos para sa buong kampanya para dun sa pangangailangan,” said Justine Siscar, Chairperson of STAND UP CMC.
“Hindi rin siya lumalabis at ineensure na batay rin sa kakayahan nung mga members at candidates yung contributions na binibigay nila,” she added.
Member contributions for STAND UP CMC figure at P2,950 while alumni solicitations are at P5,500, which constitutes 50 percent of the party’s budget. Candidates’ fees are at P2,450.
Other expenses of the party, such as thematic posters and pins fall on the university-wide finances and are distributed among the local chapters, added Siscar.
On the other hand, UP CMC ISA’s budget came mainly from an individual donation worth P20,000, which consists of 67 percent of the party’s total funds. The remaining P10,000 came from their earnings in a food sale and a rummage sale.
The budget allotted for the campaign changes every year, said Dianne Olivan, UP CMC ISA’s campaign manager.
“What we do before [the elections] is we try to earn money by selling stuff, then that money, regardless of its amount, malaki man o maliit, will be used for the elections,” she added. They also resort to contributions from members to sustain finances.
Expenses of both parties mainly include operating expenses such as rent for the campaign house, food, groceries and printing and reproduction of publicity/propaganda materials.
Specifications on the type and size of campaign materials are stipulated in the University Student Electoral Code, as is a clean-up bond of P1,500 for university-wide parties and P500 for individual candidates to ensure that they promptly clear the campus of their campaign materials one week after the elections.
There is no provision on spending, however, which is something the two local parties seem to have differing views on.
“Mahalaga naman nagiging self-regulating yung mga partido para siguraduhin na hindi lumalabis yung gastos nila kaysa mayroon pa na mga provisions sa electoral code. Sa totoo lang kasi, you can only spend so much for a two-week campaign, lalo na for local slates,” said Siscar.
Meanwhile, Olivan said, “We believe that we are in need of such provision, to give an equal footing among the political parties.”
“Similarly, we are a small political party of 30 members, and we know that our opposite is a big one, and probably has more access to more resources. We need a certain provision that will limit our spending din para pantay ang starting point,” she added.