LENTE’s Statement on COMELEC Exemptions of Government Programs for the 2023 Barangay and SK Elections
15 September 2023, Quezon City. LENTE strongly urges the public to be vigilant of the politicization of programs and other social welfare services in view of the COMELEC’s recent decision to exempt DOLE and DSWD programs from poll spending ban. These programs, based on LENTE’s on-going in-depth research and monitoring, have historically and ubiquitously been used by incumbent local government officials to gain undue electoral advantage; this harmful practice, which is referred to as Abuse of State Resources (ASR), undermines electoral integrity and competitiveness.
LENTE started conducting its Abuse of State Resources in Elections Monitoring prior to the May 2022 National and Local Elections and, in the process, interviewed key informants from different sectors. Our findings confirmed that certain incumbent officials have used government resources and programs, such as TUPAD, and other social welfare programs to gain the upper hand in their electoral bid to the disadvantage of other candidates. In other words, access to these social welfare programs have been strategically politicized by certain incumbent officials for campaigns, and even to ensure mobilization and delivery of votes.
In order to combat this practice, which affects the quality of the election process and results, LENTE has launched a reporting portal for citizens to easily report the conduct of ASR in their areas. LENTE encourages the public to vigilantly observe and report instances wherein government programs are being used by incumbent candidates to further their electoral aspirations.
The public can submit their ASR reports through LENTE’s portal accessible at https://www.lente.org.ph/report#report-form.
Reports may also be sent to email@example.com or through LENTE’s hotline at 0920-266-0944.
For inquiries regarding LENTE’s Statement, please contact:
Atty. Ona Caritos