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PIA Press Release

Comelec sets guidelines on campaigning for 2010 elections

Tacloban City (February 7) -- The Commission on Elections has put a cap on the amount of campaign money the presidential and vice presidential can spend, pegging it at P10 per voter and P5 per voter respectively, or a total of just a little over P500 million.

The Comelec, in its Resolution 8758, set the campaign period for the national candidates to start on Feb. 9 while for local candidates it will be on March 26. The last of campaign day for both has been set on May 8.

With the start of the campaign period next week, the Comelec called on candidates that have existing "infomercials" or print advertisements to reorganize them in order for them to conform to the standards that the poll body has now set.

In the guidelines for national and local candidates under the Fair Elections Act, those seeking a senatorial seat down to city/municipal councilors with political parties are allowed to spend P3 per registered voter in the constituency where she or he is running. Their political parties, meanwhile, may spend another P5 for every registered voter for each of their official candidates.

Campaign expenses includes campaign money spent for TV, radio and print ads, and posters and streamers and other campaign paraphernalia of a candidate.

The resolution further states that election propagandas aired through the broadcast media would be measured based on a limited air time.

For the presidential, vice presidential and senatorial aspirants, the Comelec gave a maximum of 120 minutes per station, including airings on cable television, and another 180 minutes per station on radio.

Local candidates are allowed 60 minutes airing time per TV station, including cable station, and another 90 minutes per station on radio.

A limit has also been set by the Comelec on print ads with candidates, both for national and local positions, being allowed to come out with one campaign ad three times a week on either a broadsheet, tabloid or magazine.

The allowed size of the advertisements, however, differs with only a maximum of page for broadsheet and page for tabloids.

The resolution, however, did not touch the use of the Internet by the candidates for campaigning, which has been one of the emerging trends this election campaign season.

"As far as the Internet is concerned, there are no guidelines as of yet?There is no law on cyber campaigning, therefore we could not make guidelines for it," a Comelec spokesman said.

At the same time, the Comelec advised candidates to place their posters in common poster areas the poll body will designate.

Posting of campaign materials in public places such as streets, bridges, public buildings, trees, electric posts and wires, schools, shrines and main thoroughfares are strictly prohibited under poll laws.

All posters outside the common poster areas will be considered prohibited postings, so they will have to be removed, the Comelec said. (PIA 8) [top]

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