Comelec deputizes PIA for barangay, SK elections
By Robert E. Roperos
Butuan City (29 September) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has deputized the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in connection with the October 25t, 2010 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan synchronized elections.
Comelec Resolution No. 9032 dated September 21, 2010 signed by Comelec Commissioners headed by Chairman Jose Melo emphasized that the commission may deputize agencies and instrumentalities of the government for the purpose of ensuring a free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of the October 25, 2010 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
The resolution also pointed out Section 52 of the Omnibus Election Code which stated that Comelec shall carry a continuing and systematic campaign through radio and other media forms to educate the public and fully inform the electorate about election laws, procedures, decisions, and other matters relative to the work and duties of the commission and the necessity of clean, free, orderly and honest electoral process.
Moreover, the resolution stated that with the extensive information network nationwide, PIA would be in a peculiarity special position to assist the commission in its information campaign on the Barangay and SK elections.
Meanwhile, as deputized by Comelec, PIA shall, at all times, remain impartial and perform the following duties: 1) Assist the commission in its education and information campaign on the aforesaid Barangay and SK elections; 2) Make available to the commission some of its personnel as may be necessary to ensure implementation of programs of activities or operation plans for the commission?s information campaign; 3) Produce such information materials as the commission may deem necessary to ensure the conduct of free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible elections; and 4) Perform such other duties and functions as the commission may, from time to time determine.
However, the resolution gave emphasis that PIA shall adhere strictly to the policy of the commission that the education and information campaign must be absolutely impartial, objective and neutral.
It was also stressed that the expenses may incur, as such deputy for the information campaign if the commission such as production of information materials, shall be for the exclusive account of the agency.
Moreover, the resolution underlined that any information materials which the agency, as such deputy, shall produce upon the direction of the commission, shall be published/distributed/released only upon prior clearance from the commission to ensure that nothing therein contained shall depart from or violate the policy of impartiality, objectivity and neutrality. (PIA-Caraga) [top]