Business Mirror : Comelec plans to host ‘e-rallies’ for free for bets on its platforms

13 September 2021

By Business Mirror

THE Commission on Elections is now eyeing to hold “e-rallies” as an alternative to physical sorties of national candidates for the 2022 National and Local polls.

This is among the provisions of the proposed “new normal manual,” which was presented by the poll body before Congress last week.

Comelec Planning Department director Esmeralda T. Amora said among the provisions of the manual is for the Comelec Education and Information Department to hold free live streaming of “e-rallies” for presidential, vice-presidential, and senatorial candidates as well as party-list organizations.

She noted the e-rallies will be held every night starting Feb. 6, 2022 at the official social media channels of Comelec.

Each night, the said channel will feature the following: three presidential and three vice presidential 10-minute slots; five senatorial 3-minute slots; and 10 party-list 3 minute-slots.

“During each livestream, the candidate will be allowed to see live comments to his livestream. The candidate may or may not respond to live comments, Amora said.

The e-rallies must contain the disclosure that it is a political meeting, is compliant with minimum health protocols, and provide relevant date, time and location information.

No more than two candidates must be physically present in the same location at the time of the livestream.

“Candidates may receive in-platforms 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 or game currency to platform users and livestream audiences,” Amora said.

She said gifts and game-currency received by the said candidates in event need not be reported in their Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (SOCE).

The recording of the e-rally must be submitted to the Comelec Education and Information Department within 72 hours after its airing.

Comelec is expected to hold the televised raffling of the said slots for interested parties on Jan. 8, 2022.

The poll body said the provisions of the manual, including that of e-rallies, are still being finalized.