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The congressional election is coming up soon and I'd really like to see certain candidates win because I feel that their plans for my district are more sensible than others.

I own property within the district, and I am a lawful permanent resident. By law, am I permitted to donate campaign funds to candidates, or otherwise support their efforts in being elected?

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You may not, as a non-citizen of The Philippines, interfere with or meddle in any capacity in any election.

The Philippine Bureau Of Immigration often reiterates this, as they did before the 2013 election:

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned foreigners against extending support to candidates in the forthcoming national and local elections, lest they face arrest and deportation for meddling in the country’s internal affairs. Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the warning stemmed from the issuance by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of a resolution specifically prohibiting, among others, foreigners taking part in the elections. He was referring to Comelec Resolution No. 9615, issued last Jan. 15, which spells out the implementing rules and regulations of the Fair Election Act, Republic Act 9006.

The act is in place to prevent foreign interests from using unfair advantage to better suit their needs by shaping the government.

If caught, the penalty includes one to six years of imprisonment followed by deportation. While elections in The Philippines are quite interesting to watch, you must restrict your involvement in them strictly to that of an observer. The wording of the law is quite clear:

The said act, which Congress passed in 2001, seeks the holding of free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections through fair election practices. Section 4 of the Comelec resolution states that “it is unlawful for any foreigner, whether juridical or natural person, to aid any candidate, or political party, organization or coalition, directly or indirectly, or to take part in, or influence in any manner, any election, or to contribute or make any expenditure in connection with any election campaign or partisan political activity.”

Additionally, elections also introduce liquor and firearm restrictions as the election itself draws near, it's your responsibility to be aware of them if they might affect you.

Democracy in The Philippines is thriving, and you'd be rather hard-pressed to find those that squander the rights that they have in such a system. However - stick to observing, don't campaign for anyone and avoid any campaign contributions, even indirect contributions through third-party organizations could land you in quite a bit of trouble.

You're welcome to watch. Don't meddle.

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