Friday, April 9, 2010

How to campaign on a P4-million budget

The Philippine Star
Updated April 10, 2010 12:00 AM

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines - While one presidential candidate reportedly started his campaign with a 10-figure warchest, independent candidate Nick Perlas is going the distance with a campaign kitty of P4 million, half of that from his own funds, the other half from donations.

He told The STAR yesterday during a forum with editors and reporters that he has so far spent about half, or P2 million, but that funds are still slowly coming in.

The Perlas campaign is running largely on creativity, innovation, and “sariling sikap,” a DIY spirit of volunteerism.

Volunteers printed 200 t-shirts and sold them for P300 each. The black shirts – with “Perlas tayong lahat (We are all pearls)” and the campaign logo printed on the front and white graffiti-like design on the back that could easily pass for punk-rock shirts popular among the bagets browd – quickly sold out, adding P60,000 to the campaign fund.

Perlas supporters come in all shapes, sizes and ages, but there is a decidedly youthful feel to his campaign, perhaps due to the influence and draw of his 20-year-old son Chris. Most of Perlas’ volunteers spend their own money, and multi-task as fund-raisers, aides, coordinators, even security.

They organize dinner-with-Nick-Perlas events at P500 per plate (compared to similar events of his opponents which charge up to P20,000 per plate or P200,000 per table of ten), and have raised “a few hundred thousand” pesos this way.

One campaign donor pledged half a million pesos if they could raise a counterpart fund; they did.

Foreign-based Filipinos have chipped in their fair share. He also said he has strong support among indigenous people groups and the military, without giving specifics.

Having a very decentralized campaign organization minimizes expenses, and the team limits expenditures to essentials. When they go on provincial sorties, Perlas pays for airline tickets, but the local volunteers take care of logistics in the area.

When asked for this election’s favorite campaign accessory, ballers – those color-coded rubberized wrist bands – Perlas said he doesn’t have them because these are made of silicon and thus not environment-friendly.

“It’s not advocating the environmental campaign,” said one volunteer.

But just so they’re not left out of this latest craze, he made his own Perlas baller: a leaf secured with tape and “Perlas” written on it with white erasing fluid.

Original Story:

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