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Campaigning Then and Now

As we all know, the campaign period for local candidates is set to begin on March 25, 2022 until May 7, 2022. By now, if you are the young or exploring aspirant or candidate, you would have already registered your (1) blog, (2) website, or (3) social media page with the Election Information Department of the Comelec (https://tinyurl.com/3wubyfhk) before the set deadline on January 31, 2022. This authorizes candidates to boost or promote electoral posts
and engage in e-campaigning. However, if you are the traditional type of candidate, you would be using the age-old campaigning activities such as: meetings, caucuses, conventions, rallies, motorcades, miting de avance, in person campaign (house to house) and motorcades.

Comelec Resolution no. 10732, promulgated 24 November 2021 enumerates the procedure that must be followed by candidates under the new normal. All campaign methods as prescribed above may still be followed but would depend on the category level prevailing in the area as determined by the IATF and subject to the regulation and monitoring of the Comelec Campaign Committee (CCC). Shortly before the campaign period, the CCC will be
established in every city, municipality, province and region. In the local level, the CCC is composed of the Provincial/City/Municipal Election Officer as chairperson with the following as members: The Provincial/City/Municipal Officer of the Philippine National Police, the highest-ranking officer in the province/city/municipality of the AFP, the provincial/city/municipal health officer and the provincial/city/municipal director of the DILG. The primary duty of the CCC is to accept, approve, disapprove applications for the conduct of election campaigns and to monitor the conduct of the aforesaid election campaigns.

In the previous elections, you may just conduct campaign activities whenever you wish and however you would want it done. This time, under the new normal, Comelec Resolution no. 10732 requires that candidates must secure a permit from the local CCC before engaging in campaigning methods mentioned above. Applications for the conduct of said activities shall be filed at least 72 hours prior to the intended schedule. The CCC concerned, upon evaluation, shall approve or disapprove the same within 48 hours from receipt. Within 72 hours after the campaign activity, the candidate must submit an affidavit of compliance that they have fulfilled all the requirements of Comelec Resolution no. 10732, to the CCC. Similarly, the barangay officials and tanods, assigned to monitor the activity, must submit a status report to the CCC within the same 72 hours after the event. Any violation of the rules mentioned would constitute an election offense punishable under section 262 of the Omnibus Election Code.

As for in-house campaigning, this used to be called house-to-house campaigning. The new rules state that candidates need not enter the dwelling of the voters, even if they are invited. There is also a limit on the number of persons who can accompany the candidate depending on the category level of the place. Crowding around the candidate is no longer allowed, even the taking of selphys (unless of course, if the candidate is 1 meter away from the selphy-taker). Handshakes, hugs, beso-beso, and arm-in-arm are definitely no longer allowed.

Indeed, times have changed. The pandemic has not only changed how people live in this world, but it has also changed peoples’ habits and practices including their methods of how to effectively campaign to make known their qualifications and platform for effective governance.

Please watch our Election Day Program under the Boses ng Bayan Segment, Wednesdays at 9:00 o’clock in the morning at Regional News Group Luzon and Highland TV, channel 44.

***Comments/remarks mentioned in this article are made by me in my personal capacity as a lawyer, and not as an employee of the Comelec

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