UNTV News : Comelec begins drafting guidelines for online campaigning

News & Interviews
18 May 2021

By Marje Pelayo | UNTV News

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) sees the benefits of online platforms for candidates in the upcoming 2022 elections.

Given the current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for such a mode of campaigning to curb COVID-19 transmission.

According to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, they are still finalizing the guidelines on the use of online platforms in election campaigning.

Comelec stressed that the poll body is looking for other methods that the candidates may adopt amid the COVID-19 situation.

“It’s not really advisable for the candidates to go on a face to face campaign. I think we may limit or we may introduce some other forms of campaign that the candidates can adopt,” said Commissioner Aimee Ferolino.

For election watchdog Kontra Daya, one crucial aspect that needs to be closely monitored is the campaign spending of every candidate.

The group said some have already started campaigning. The Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) has released a list of potential bets who have begun posting campaign feelers on social media.

Another important aspect that needs monitoring is the possible spread of misinformation or the so-called negative campaigning.

“Kailangan talaga na tingnang mabuti ang kanilang mga mensahe. Bakit sila naging instant commercial model? Bakit merong silang biglaan infomercial na isinasagawa? Ilang buwan bago yung formal na campaign period,” said Danilo Arao, Kontra Daya’s convenor.

The group suggests allowing face-to-face campaigning but with limitations because not all candidates can afford the huge cost of radio, TV and internet campaigning. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)