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Comelec exec to bets: Spend less, be creative

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Comelec exec to bets: Spend less, be creative

/ 07:00 AM September 13, 2017

Are you planning to run in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections and you’re not sure if it will push through or not? Try to spend less for your campaign.

A poll official gave this advice to potential candidates who might be having second thoughts since no law on its postponement had been passed yet.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) told prospective bets to consider going back to “low cost, no frills” campaigning, especially since the fate of the barangay and youth polls was still hanging in the balance.

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Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said he could “understand the situation these potential candidates and campaigners find themselves in.”

His statement came after the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 6308, which seeks to postpone the barangay and youth polls to May 2018.

Still pending

However, its counterpart bill in the Senate, which seeks to defer the the elections to October 2018, is still pending.

Despite this, the Comelec has begun printing the official ballots for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections which is originally scheduled to be held on Oct. 23, 2017.

The poll body has announced that bets may file their candidacy papers from Sept. 23 to 30.

Jimenez said his office had been receiving calls last week from people anxious and planning to run in the barangay and youth polls.

“What they all have in common is the concern about when to start printing their campaign materials. Clearly, the government through Comelec isn’t the only one who will be incurring costs to prepare for the elections,” he said.

So much uncertainty

He pointed out that in the first place, the barangay and youth elections was supposed to be a low-cost electoral exercise, with printed campaign materials prohibited years ago.

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“With so much uncertainty about whether the polls will proceed, now may be the time to go back to the low-cost, no-frills roots of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections,” Jimenez said.

The Comelec spokesperson explained that by spending less on the campaign, candidates would be worrying less if the elections were postponed or not.

Use imagination

He suggested coming up with hand-written signs on bond paper, or using one’s creativity and imagination to come up with stand-out campaign materials with less items.

“Instead of relying on flashy tarps and all of that, design a campaign that will have you talking to the voters directly,” Jimenez said.

Candidates, he added, should woo their voters the way the politicians of old used to do—by listening to them, hearing them out, and sharing their plans for the community.

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TAGS: barangay elections, Comelec, election campaign spending, James Jimenez, Sangguniang Kabataan elections
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