Comelec prohibits campaign giveaways
MANILA, Philippines — The familiar campaign giveaways, like shirts, fans, ballers, and other small tokens, have been declared illegal by election authorities for the Oct. 30 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
In a memorandum dated Sept. 4 to all election officers, Commission on Elections (Comelec) executive director Teopisto Elnas Jr. said the distribution of campaign materials that contain the name, image and other identifying symbols of those running for barangay and SK positions has been prohibited.
The prohibited campaign items include T-shirts, fans, ballers, hats or caps, ballpens, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, bags, sun visors and “anything of value.”
The official campaign period for the Barangay and SK elections will start on Oct. 18 and end on Oct. 28.
However a number of campaign posters have already sprouted in some areas.
In the memo, Elnas urged local election officers to enforce the ban against “premature campaigning,” invoking Section 80 of the Omnibus Election Code that prohibits partisan political activities except during the campaign period.
“Thus, a person who, after filing his or her certificate of candidacy, publishes or distributes campaign materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate, including him or herself, commits the offense of premature campaigning if such act or acts were committed not within the campaign period,” the election official stressed.
Elnas also ordered local election officers to immediately remove campaign posters in public places and properties that were not designated as common poster areas.
Meanwhile, Comelec allowed candidates to campaign online during the official campaign period but barred them from giving gifts to livestream audiences.
“Candidates may receive in-platform gifts and game currency but shall not be allowed to give gifts to livestream audiences nor to run promotions and campaigns that will award in-platform gifts or give currency to platform users and livestream audiences,” said Elnas.