MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) issued on Thursday the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the conduct of online campaigning and rallies as an alternative to physical sorties in line with the upcoming 2022 national and local elections.
The IRR, promulgated as COMELEC Resolution No. 10730, will govern the implementation of Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act for next year’s elections slated on May 9.
The campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senator, and party-list groups will be on February 8 to May 7 while candidates for members of the House of Representatives, and local posts are allowed to campaign from March 25 to May 7.
The IRR states that the COMELEC shall provide a platform for free livestreaming of e-rallies of national candidates.
“E-rally airtime shall be allotted to each presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial candidate, as well as to each party-list organization participating in the 2022 national and local candidates,” resolution read.
“Live streaming of e-rallies shall be conducted every night, beginning February 8, 2022, on the official social media channels of the COMELEC,” it added.
At the start of the election period, the poll body said a schedule of e-rally time slots will be released.
“There shall be three presidential and three vice presidential 10-minute slots every night. In addition, there shall be 5 senatorial 3-minute slots; and 10 PL (party-list) 3-minute slots, per night,” it said.
The slots shall be assigned at random, based on the results of televised raffle of slots that will take place on January 8, 2022.
The e-rally livestreams shall be posted on the COMELEC’s official social media pages, the commission said.
For online campaigning, the poll body said Information contained in online campaign propaganda shall be truthful and not misleading, nor shall it tend to unjustifiably cast doubt on the integrity of the electoral process.
The resolution defines the use of the internet to distribute campaign propaganda. This includes text-only posts on social media, pictures, audio clips, and video clips, regardless of duration, and all combinations of such formats.
A copy of the resolution containing the implementing rules and regulations may be viewed here.