Our latest report by Che delos Reyes looks at how money, even by the billions of pesos, could spell either victory or defeat to various candidates for national positions.

The top ad spender among the presidential candidates has already conceded, and his counterpart in the vice presidential race looks headed for a surprise loss as well.

But it seems the government may yet end up a major winner – at least in financial terms – in what has turned out to be the costliest elections yet in Philippine history.

The net total spending on television, radio and print ads by the national candidates and party-list groups alone amounted to P4.3 billion across the 90-day official campaign period from February 9 to May 8, 2010.

Based on the PCIJ’s computation, 12-percent of the P4.3 billion corresponds to P517.3 million in expanded value-added tax (EVAT) revenues that should accrue to the public coffers.

If the amount was collected and remitted by the media agencies, it is a huge windfall that “will add to the intake of the government,” according to Dennis Arroyo, director of the National Economic and Development Authority’s National Planning and Policy Staff (NEDA-NPPS).

However, only some advertising contracts submitted by some broadcast media agencies to the Commission on Elections imputed the EVAT on the amounts that the candidates and the political parties were asked to pay. Many more advertising contracts from other media agencies did not reflect any EVAT charges.

The PCIJ produced this report as part of our commitments to the Pera’t Pulitika (PAP) 2010 Consortium that is monitoring campaign-finance issues and reforms. Our esteemed partners in PAP are the Consortium for Electoral Reforms (CER), the Association of Schools of Public Administration in the Philippines (ASPAP), and the Lawyers’ League for Liberty (Libertas).

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