Learn more about abuse of state resources in elections

1. What is abuse of state resources in elections?

Abuse of state resources, in general, pertains to the misuse of government resources – whether material, human, coercive, regulatory, budgetary, media-related, or legislative – for electoral advantage. Abuse of state resources falls within the general rubric of corruption, that is, the use of public resources or power, for private ends; what distinguishes abuse of state resources from other acts of corruption is its indispensable electoral component, that is, the acts are committed to gain an advantage, and even ensure victory in the elections 

2. What are commonly observed abuse of state resources?

I. Abuse of Institutional resources, infrastructure, vehicles, and stationery

• allies of incumbent candidates who utilized government vehicles to transport supporters to  campaign sorties and to distribute campaign materials within the locality. 

• barangay halls and covered courts as commonly used government structures being used for   campaign materials storage, which include foods and beverages for supporters, tarpaulins, andposters.

II. Abuse of financial resources

• Financial resources are defined as monetary assets that are sourced from the budget of the government as well as publicly owned institutions.  It is the most common example of state resources out of the four when discussing state resources. It covers both the budgetary resources of the national and local government agencies, which are used to facilitate the election campaign of a certain political party or candidate

• Can take the form of concessions, government contracts, and procurement as a means of gaining/giving back to a previously gained electoral advantage.

• Abuse of financial resources also takes the form of campaigns veiled as a distribution of social services.

• The use of Job Orders as a form of “legal” vote-buying. As the interviewee confirmed in the course of the research, local executives engage additional job order personnel as early as a year before the elections; this job order personnel then translate to direct votes and often times function as coordinators for purposes of electoral campaigns. 

What are the effects of abuse of state resources on governance?

•Leaves electoral system vulnerable to manipulation by those in positions of power, undermine competitiveness, and reduce public trust in election outcomes. 

• ASR can derail much-needed development, infrastructure, or social welfare projects and harm consolidation of the rule of law.

•Incentivizes political dynasties

•Incentivizes political venture capitalism

It is necessary to establish guidelines and standards to police such activity. With the aid of different groups and organizations, monitoring these abuses is possible. The ability to police these specific instances of abuse of state resources is a step forward towards a Safe, Accountable, Transparent, and Inclusive elections which inspire National Public Confidence.

For any incidents of abuse of state resources in elections in your area, report the same using this LINK or you may call LENTE Hotline at 0920-266-0944.