Thu. May 26th, 2022

Candidates in next year’s national elections are not allowed to have physical contact in meetings and other related activities during the campaign period.

(photo courtesy: http://www.pna.gov.ph)

In Resolution No. 10732 made public Friday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said for next year’s campaign period, all candidates are no longer allowed to have close encounters with their supporters and the public during conventions, caucuses, meetings and rallies.

“Handshakes, hugs, going arm-in-arm, or any action that involves physical contact among the candidate, their companions, and the public,” it said.

It also prohibited taking photos with the candidates as well as giving out food and drinks, among others.

“Taking selfies, photographs and other similar activities that require close proximity between the candidate and their companions, and the public; and distribution of food and drink, and all other goods or items,” added the resolution which was promulgated on November 24.

The Comelec said prohibited activities for in-person campaign include entering any private dwelling during house-to-house campaigning, even with the express permission of the homeowner; crowding; crowds that violate minimum public health standards (MPHS) around the candidate and his or her companions.

The poll body also set the allowed capacity for motorcades and caravans based on categories referring to the five-tier alert level system implemented by the government, with Category 1 being the most relaxed and Category 5 being the strictest.

For trucks, buses, mini-trucks, and jeepneys, allowed up to 70 percent of the capacity of the vehicle under Category 1; allowed up to 50 percent of the capacity of the vehicle under Categories 2 and 3; allowed up to 30 percent of the capacity of the vehicle, under category 4.

For service utility vehicles and owner-type jeepneys, full capacity is allowed under Categories 1 and 2; allowed up to two passengers per row and one passenger on the driver’s row under Categories 3 and 4.

Tricycles are allowed full capacity under Categories 1 and 2; one passenger in the sidecar, and one backride passenger under Categories 3; under Category 4, one passenger in the sidecar but no backride passenger.

One ride passenger is allowed on motorcycles under Categories 1 and 2; no backride passengers under Categories 3 and 4.

No motorcades and caravans will be allowed under Category 5.

“Only candidates, campaign leaders, and supporters belonging to the same household are allowed to be in the same vehicles,” it said.

Those are not allowed during motorcades in all levels are: stopovers, layovers, and other similar stoppages for the conduct of other election campaign activities; Handshakes, hugs, kisses, going arm-in-arm, or any action that involves physical contact among the candidate, their companions, and the public; Taking selfies, photographs and other similar activities that require close proximity between the candidate and their companions, and the public; and Distribution of food and drink, and all other goods or items.

The allowable election campaign activities under Category Level, (in-person campaign) Category 1, no limit; Category 2, A candidate or campaign leader may be accompanied by a maximum of five campaign support staff; Category 3, A candidate or campaign leader may be accompanied by a maximum of three.

In-person campaigns will not be allowed under Categories 4 and 5.

The poll body has also set capacity limits for the conduct of caucuses, meetings, conventions, rallies, and “miting de avance” — Category 1 – up to 70 percent capacity (indoor and outdoor venues); Categories 2 and 3 – up to 50 percent capacity (indoor and outdoor venues); Category 4 – 30 percent capacity (outdoor venues only).

All caucuses, meetings, conventions, rallies, and “miting de avance” will not be allowed under Category 5. 

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