Candidates in the May 2022 elections are allowed to conduct e-rallies and live streams during the campaign period.

In Resolution No. 10730 or the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act 9006 or the “Fair Elections Act”, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said those who are running in the polls may hold political meetings, rallies, or other similar activities online

“SECTION 36. E-rallies and Livestreams Allowed. – Any political party or any candidate, individually or jointly with other aspirants, may hold peaceful online political meetings, rallies, or other similar activities during the campaign period. Such online political meetings, rallies, and similar activities are not covered by the limitations on broadcast advertising,” said the resolution promulgated on Nov. 17 and released on Thursday.

“Live streaming on the candidates’ social media platforms shall be considered a form of e-rally,” it said.

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The poll body said holding of such activities will be subject to the following rules:

  • All rallies shall include a disclosure that identifies it as a political meeting or rally, confirms, compliance with minimum health protocols, and provides the relevant date, time, and location information.
  • For this purpose, a live stream on the candidate’s social media platforms shall be considered a political meeting or rally.
  • Recordings of e-rallies shall be submitted to the Education and Information Department (EID) of the Comelec within 72 hours from the airing of the same.
  • Candidates may receive in-platform gifts and game currency but shall not be allowed to give gifts to live stream audiences, nor to run promotions and campaigns that will award in-platform gifts or game currency to platform users and live stream audiences.

“E-rally” refers to a rally under Article X of the Omnibus Election Code which is conducted for an online audience.

The term “election campaign” or “partisan political activity” refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office.

The COMELEC added that the live streaming of e-rallies shall be conducted every night, beginning Feb. 8, 2022, on its official social media channels.

Feb. 8, 2022, is the start of the campaign period for national positions such as president, vice-president, senator, and party-list (PL) representatives. It will run until May 7, 2022

At the start of the election period, from January 9 until June 8, 2022, the EID shall release a schedule of e-rally time slots.

There shall be three presidential and three vice presidential 10-minute slots every night. In addition, there shall be five senatorial three-minute slots; and 10 PL three-minute slots, per night. The slots shall be assigned at random, based on the results of televised raffle of slots. The raffle shall take place on Jan. 8, 2022.

The e-rally live streams shall be posted on COMELEC’s official social media pages. During each live stream, the candidate will be allowed to see live comments to his live stream. The candidate may or may not respond to live comments.

Meanwhile, the three national debates for presidential candidates will be held on three calendar days.

The COMELEC said the first one will be conducted within the first and second week of the campaign period for a national post, the second debate will be held within the fifth and sixth week of the campaign period for national post and the last one will be scheduled within the tenth and eleventh week of the campaign period for the national post.

“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,” it said.

The poll body shall promulgate rules and regulations for the holding of the debates. (PNA)

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