DILG: No campaign materials on government buildings, properties
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday directed local government units (LGUs) to take down all campaign materials in government properties and urged the public to report campaign season violations to the department and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“We will not allow candidates to use government properties as a platform for their election campaign. It’s clearly prohibited. Government buildings, properties, vehicles, and equipment are for official use only and may not be used as venues or tools for partisan political activity,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
Año said Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code bans the use of public funds, money deposited in trust, equipment, facilities owned or controlled by government for any election campaign or any partisan political activity.
LGUs that fail to comply with election rules will immediately be reported to the Comelec, said Año.
Meanwhile, DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya urged the public to report LGUs violating the said rule to the Comelec or the DILG.
Malaya stressed that the use of vehicles and government facilities for campaign purposes is not allowed under the law.
“The use of government vehicles for such purposes is not official as defined by the Civil Service Commission,” he said.
The Comelec recently ordered local and House of Representatives candidates to take down their posters as the official campaign period for local and House bets starts on March 30.
The DILG also bans local government officials and employees from promoting or endorsing candidates for the May elections and from engaging in partisan political activities, except local elective officials who, by the political nature of their position, are exempted from the ban.
“Civil service personnel are tasked to serve our country with integrity and neutrality. It’s none of our business to influence public opinion on poll bets. Let’s just do our jobs and respect the people’s ability to make informed decisions during the May elections,” Año said.
In 2016, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued Joint Resolution 1600298 prohibiting all LGU officials and employees from participating in any electioneering and partisan political activities during the campaign season, except local elective officials.
According to the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in CSC Resolution No. 1101502, those found guilty of violating the said rule will be suspended from one to six months without pay on the first offense, and dismissal from the service and permanent disqualification from the civil service on the second offense. /gsg
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