By Chito Chavez
Winning candidates who fail to file their Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCEs) will not be allowed to assume their posts, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned on Monday.
According to Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166, 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.
The DILG issued the warning as the deadline of the filing of Statement of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE) draws nearer.
It reminded all local candidates in the May 13, 2019 midterm elections to file their SOCE on or before June 13, 2019.
Under the law, the DILG said, all candidates, including those who were not elected, self-funded, and those who withdrew their candidacies within the campaign period are required to submit their SOCEs.
“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 spokesman Jonathan E. Malaya said.
“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 law requires.
Under Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-85, 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 his or her post.
The deadline of submission of the 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 said.
Prescribed SOCE forms may be downloaded from the Comelec website, www.comelec.gov.ph