COMELEC IS LOOKING TO REQUIRE WRITTEN ACCEPTANCE BY A CANDIDATE OF DONATED CAMPAIGN MATERIALS

COMELEC IS LOOKING TO REQUIRE WRITTEN ACCEPTANCE BY A CANDIDATE OF DONATED CAMPAIGN MATERIALS

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking to require a written acceptance by a candidate of donated or contributed campaign materials before these materials will be allowed to be seen by the public.

In its draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Fair Election Act for the May 2016 polls, the poll body said it will be requiring such donations to have a written acceptance from the candidate or party, through the party treasurer.

“Election propaganda material donated or contributed by any person to a candidate or party shall not be printed, published or broadcast, or exhibited, unless it is accompanied by the written acceptance by said candidate or party, through the party treasurer,” it said.

The Comelec noted that only the candidate or party treasure can issue the written acceptance and cannot be substituted by a duly authorized representative to receive donations or contributions.

“Such written acceptance of the donated election propaganda materials must be personal to the candidate or party treasurer,” the draft IRR said.

The poll body is also planning to remove the aggregate time limits to broadcast election propaganda by a candidate, or party.

In the draft IRR, candidates and registered political parties for a national elective position shall be given not more than a total of 120 minutes of television advertising, on a per station basis, whether appearing on national, regional, or local, free or cable television, and 180 minutes of radio advertising, on a per station basis, whether airing on national, regional, or local radio.

Likewise, candidates and registered political parties for a local elective position will be allocated not more than a total of 60 minutes of television advertising, on a per station basis, whether appearing on national, regional, or local, free or cable television, and 90 minutes of radio advertising, on a per station basis, whether airing on national, regional, or local radio.

In 2014, the Supreme Court (SC) declared the Comelec’s aggregate time limits to broadcast election propaganda as being unconstitutional.

The poll body is also set to amend the requirement to use recyclable campaign materials.

“Parties are required to indicate in their campaign materials the phrase: ‘This material should be recycled’,” said the draft IRR.

Meanwhile, the Comelec will hold a public consultation on the contents of the draft IRR for the Fair Elections Act or Republic Act No. 9006 on Monday, Jan. 11.

The consultation will be held at the Comelec main office at the Palacio del Gobernador Building in Intramuros, Manila at 2 p.m. PNA / northboundasia.com