Department of the Interior and Local Government reminds new local officials: No SOCE, no assumption of post

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government has reminded newly-elected local government officials of the “no Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), no assumption to office” rule.

Interior and Local Government Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that victors in the recently-concluded midterm elections should file this early their SOCE or they will not be able to assume office.

Deadline for filing will be on June 13.

“We are reminding the winners to submit their SOCEs to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) this early because they may not be allowed to assume office until they have complied with this requirement,” Malaya said.

SOCE includes cash and in-kind contributions received by the candidate from a political party and other sources.  It also includes expenditures paid out of personal funds, out of cash contributions and incurred using in-kind contributions.

Malaya cited Section 14 of Republic Act No. 7166 or the “Synchronized National and Local Elections and Electoral Reforms Act” which states that “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.”

The provision also states that 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.

“Filing SOCE is your first legal obligation to the nation and to the public. It is always good to start with a clean slate and to prove that you are worthy of the votes of your constituents,” Malaya said.

Given that the elections were held last May 13, the deadline for filing of SOCEs is on June 13, 2019.

The DILG and the Comelec earlier signed a memorandum of agreement stating the DILG or any of its attached agencies shall require any winning candidate to present a Certification from the Comelec that he or she has satisfactorily complied with his SOCE obligation.