Research Article

Campaign Spending and Its Effect during the 2013 and 2016 Elections in the Province of Cebu


Elections play a crucial role in legitimizing authority in democratic societies, yet the impact of campaign spending necessitates further investigation. This research delves into the influence of campaign expenditures on election outcomes in Cebu province between 2013 and 2016. Analysis of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), this study explores how candidates make decisions regarding the allocation of campaign funds. Employing a mixed-method research approach, quantitative techniques like regression analysis are utilized to examine the relationship between spending and election results, while qualitative methods including scrutinizing SOCE documents and conducting interviews with candidates and COMELEC officials shed light on spending patterns and offer recommendations for policy enhancements. Cebu Provincial data elections spanning 2013 and 2016 reveal a strong positive correlation between election spending and votes. Travel expenses, compensating campaigners, and communication demonstrate statistically insignificant correlations with voting outcomes (p-values of 0.842, 0.771, and 0.811, respectively). Similarly, printed materials and the employment of watchers’ expenditures display slightly positive correlations but lack statistical significance (p-values of 0.239 and 0.984). Moreover, campaign headquarters, meetings, and rallies show no significant correlations (p-values of 0.841 and 0.458). Advertising expenses emerged as the sole statistically significant factor in 2013 (p = 0.000), indicating a substantial 22.6 increase in votes for every 55,895 pesos spent. In the 2013 elections, only campaign paraphernalia and media spending correlated with votes; conversely, media spending was the sole positive correlation in 2016. Findings suggest that wealth played a significant role in the 2013 election, undermining the democratic principle of meritocracy where the most deserving candidate should prevail. Proposed policy changes include criminalizing campaign malpractices, ensuring candidate qualifications are rigorously vetted, and enhancing voter education programs spearheaded by academia. These measures are essential to mitigate the undue influence of money in politics and uphold the integrity of our electoral system.

Keywords: Campaign spending; Electoral outcome; Pattern of campaign spending; Philippine election

Campaign Spending and Its Effect during the 2013 and 2016 Elections in the Province of Cebu