Comelec campaign rules: no handshakes, selfies, handouts

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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Campaigning for the May 2022 polls will not be the same as it was pre-pandemic, Tabuk City Election Officer Atty. John Paul Martin emphasized to political candidates. 

In a recent briefing on campaign rules, Martin pointed out that among actions prohibited under Commission on Election (COMELEC) resolution number 10732 is any action involving physical contact between the candidate and the public, such as handshakes, kissing, hugging, and selfies. Also banned is distributing food, drinks, goods, and all other items. These restrictions apply regardless of the alert level of the city, Martin said.

These are “controlled campaigning” measures as the COMELEC does not want in-person campaigning to cause an outbreak of COVID-19 infections, the official said. But before candidates can even begin any kind of campaigning, they need to get permission from the Tabuk City COMELEC Campaign Committee, Martin reminded candidates.

“Why do we need to approve? So that we can mobilize BHERTs to monitor if minimum public health standards are being complied with,” Martin said, referring to Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams.

Allowed activities change depending on the alert level. Under alert level 1, caucuses, meetings, conventions, rallies, and meeting de advance are allowed up to 70% of venue capacity. Motorcades and caravans are allowed up to 70% vehicle capacity for trucks, buses, and mini-trucks; and full capacity for service utility vehicles, sedans, owner-type jeepneys, and tricycles. Motorcycles, on the other hand, are allowed one passenger.

Tabuk City is under alert level 1 until March 15, 2022. Campaign period of the local elections will begin on March 25, 2022 and end on May 7, 2022.

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