AFTER the proclamation of all the winners in the 2019 National and Local Elections (NLE), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is calling on all winning candidates and parties to submit their campaign expenses otherwise they will not be able to assume office.

In a press briefing on Friday, Comelec Spokesperson James B. Jimenez said all candidates must submit their statement of contributions and expenses (SOCE) before the deadline.

“Under the law, all candidates and electoral parties are required to submit their SOCE within 30 days after the elections,” he said. This applies even to the losers.

Since the last day of filing for the SOCE is June 12 which is Independence Day, Mr. Jimenez said that filing has been extended to the next day, June 13.

Filing is crucial for the winning candidates and partylist groups — “Until the submission of SOCE, the winning candidate shall not assume office,” Mr. Jimenez stressed.

The Comelec noted that the submission of SOCE is required even if a campaign was self-funded or there were no expenditures incurred. The poll body also said candidates who cut short their campaign or withdrew their candidacy after the official start of campaign period are still required to submit their SOCE.

Administrative sanctions will be ordered against candidates and parties that do not file their SOCE.

SOCE requirements include three hard copies and one soft copy (in PDF file) of their SOCE. Mr. Jimenez noted that “Submission of SOCE via registered mail, courier, or messenger services shall not be accepted.” — Gillian M. Cortez