November 21, 2021

The Comelec establishes guidelines for online campaign rallies for the 2022 elections.

During the campaign period, candidates in the May 2022 elections are permitted to hold e-rallies and live streams.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) stated in Resolution No. 10730, or the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act 9006 or the “Fair Elections Act,” that those running for office may hold political meetings, rallies, or other similar activities online.

“SECTION 36. Allowed E-rallies and Livestreams. – During the campaign period, any political party or candidate, acting alone or in collaboration with other candidates, may hold peaceful online political meetings, rallies, or other similar activities. Such online political meetings, rallies, and similar activities are not covered by the limitations on broadcast advertising,” according to the resolution, which was promulgated on November 17 and released on Thursday.

It stated that “live streaming on the candidates’ social media platforms shall be considered a form of e-rally.”

According to the poll body, such activities will be subject to the following rules:

-All rallies must include a disclosure that identifies the event as a political meeting or rally, confirms compliance with minimum health protocols, and provides the pertinent date, time, and location information.

-A live stream on the candidate’s social media platforms shall be considered a political meeting or rally for this purpose.

-Recordings of e-rallies must be submitted to the Comelec’s Education and Information Department (EID) within 72 hours of airing.

-Candidates may receive in-platform gifts and game currency, but they may not give gifts to live stream audiences or run promotions or campaigns that award in-platform gifts or game currency to platform users or live stream audiences.

The term “E-rally” refers to a rally held under Article X of the Omnibus Election Code for an online audience.

An “election campaign” or “partisan political activity” is an act intended to promote the election or defeat of a specific candidate or candidate for a public office.

The Comelec also stated that live streaming of e-rallies will begin on February 8, 2022, on Comelec’s official social media channels.

The campaign period for national positions such as president, vice president, senator, and party-list (PL) representatives begins on February 8, 2022. It will be in effect until May 7, 2022.

The EID must release a schedule of e-rally time slots at the start of the election period, which runs from January 9, 2022, to June 8, 2022.

Every night, there will be three presidential and three vice-presidential 10-minute slots. There will also be five senatorial three-minute slots and ten PL three-minute slots per night. The slots will be assigned at random based on the results of a televised slot raffle. The drawing will take place on January 8, 2022.

The e-rally live streams will be made available on Comelec’s official social media pages. The candidate will be able to see live comments to his live stream during each live stream. Live comments from the audience may or may not be responded to by the candidate.

Meanwhile, the three national debates for presidential candidates will take place over the course of three calendar days.

The Comelec stated that the first debate will take place during the first and second weeks of the campaign period for a national post, the second debate will take place during the fifth and sixth weeks of the campaign period for a national post, and the final debate will take place during the tenth and eleventh weeks of the campaign period for a national post.

It stated that “national television and radio networks shall sponsor at least three national debates among presidential candidates and at least one national debate among vice-presidential candidates.”

The poll body shall establish rules and regulations for the debates.

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