Just a few days before the deadline of filing of Statement of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminds anew local candidates who participated in the May 2019 midterm elections to file their SOCE not later than June 13.
Under the law, all candidates, including those who were not elected, self-funded, and those who withdrew their candidacies within the campaign period are required to submit said statement.
“This is a responsibility that all candidates, whether or not they were elected, must fulfill. As what we have repeatedly pointed out even in the past polls, those who fail to file may face administrative sanctions,” DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya says.
Malaya also warns winning officials who will fail to meet the set deadline that they may not be allowed to assume their respective posts.
“Sa Huwebes na po ang deadline ng pagfile ng SOCE, kaya hindi nagkukulang ang DILG na paalalahanan ang ating mga opisyal na mag-file na ng kani-kanilang mga SOCE. Para po ito sa smooth transition sa pag-upo nila sa puwesto at para masigurado natin na walang anumang paglabag ang ating mga kandidato sa mga gastusin noong nakaraang halalan,” he says.
According to Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166 or the "Synchronized National and Local Elections and Electoral Reforms Act,” no person shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed SOCE as required by the law.
“Every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall, within 30 days after the day of the election, file in duplicate with the offices of the Commission the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election. No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures required,” the same RA provides.
Part of the Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-85 released June 3 or barely a week before the deadline says a winning candidate must present a certification from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to the DILG or any of its attached agencies that he or she has complied with the SOCE requirements before he or she will be sworn into office or allowed to assume into office.
The deadline of submission of Certification from the COMELEC is on June 21 through the Provincial Director, City Director or CLGOO, and MLGOO.
“Transparency and accountability is the name of the game here. As public servants, we must set ourselves as a primary example to the people we serve, therefore it is very important to bare information such as these,” Malaya says.