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Comelec to allow limited in-person campaigning amid eased lockdown restrictions

/ 12:54 PM November 10, 2021
Comelec eyes voting simulation in preparations for 2022 polls

Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday said that candidates in the 2022 national and local elections may be allowed to do limited in-person campaigning amid the easing of the lockdown restrictions due to decreasing COVID-19 cases.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Comelec Director Elaiza David said that they are currently finalizing its guidelines for the conduct of physical campaigns.

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“Kasalukuyan pong fina-finalize nga ‘yun at talagang inaaral pong mabuti ‘yung new normal guidelines na ‘yan. Magkakaroon pa rin naman tayo po pero very limited na lang ito. Kaya nga po medyo exhaust natin ‘yung mga ibang means and methods or platform for campaign,” she said.

(We are currently finalizing and studying the new normal guidelines. We will still have an in-person campaign but it will be very limited. So, we urge candidates to exhaust other means and methods or platforms for campaign.)

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“Hindi po siya totally maiwasan but we will limit po ‘yung ating in-person or ‘yung mga physical campaigning na nangyayari po kadalasan nung mga nakaraang eleksyon,” David added.

(In-person campaigning cannot be avoided but we will limit it, unlike previous campaigns.)

The poll body is likewise reviewing the use of social media for campaigning and admitted that they are challenged with it as there is no law on the regulation of its use.

“Malaking challenge nga po talaga ito sa Comelec, especially ‘yung use ng social media kaya nga po medyo natagalan din po ang paglabas ng ating bagong Fair Elections Act, ‘yung implementing rules and regulations nito for the 2022 election dahil talaga pong masusi po itong pinag-aralan ng Comelec,” David said.

(It is a big challenge for Comelec, especially the use of social media. That’s why we have a delay in releasing the new Fair Elections Act, its implementing rules and regulations for the 2022 elections because we thoroughly reviewed it.)

“Nabanggit ko po kanina na challenge po talaga. Mahihirapan mag-regulate especially wala pa po talagang batas on how to regulate the use of social media. Kaya nga po ito’y pinag-aaralang mabuti ng Comelec para kahit papa’no magkakaroon tayo ng maayos na at epektibo sana na pag-regulate, na paggamit ng social media po especially during this campaign by the candidates,” she pointed out.

(I mentioned earlier that it is a challenge. We will struggle in regulating it, especially if we do not have a law on how to regulate the use of social media. That’s why the Comelec is reviewing it to have a good and effective regulation of social media use especially during this campaign by the candidates.)

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According to David, campaign guidelines may be released within the month.

President Rodrigo Duterte urged the Comelec late Tuesday to find a way to provide 2022 bets a platform to campaign safely, noting that a number of Filipinos remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, campaign, Comelec, Commission on Elections, Elaiza David, lockdown restrictions
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