Maceda: Social media can cut poll campaign costs

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Nov 21 2012 09:41 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2012 04:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines – What role will social media play in the upcoming 2013 elections?

Aside from the obvious added exposure, former Senator Ernesto Maceda, who is seeking a fresh term in the May 2013 elections, said it also helps soften the blow of campaign spending.

Maceda believes campaign costs in next year’s elections will be more expensive than in previous polls.

“Mas mahal ngayon kaysa mga nakaraang halalan. Unang una, lahat ng TV and radio ads mas mataas na ngayon kumpara noong 2010,” Maceda told dzMM’s “Dos Por Dos” on Wednesday.

Although the internet played a role in the 2010 polls, politicians are now more active on social media, particularly on microblogging site Twitter.

The 77-year-old Maceda, a veteran politician, said he has also resorted to tapping social media by creating a Facebook and Twitter account.

He said he personally handles the accounts, but some concerns raised online are being addressed by his son.

Maceda said campaigning online is “cheaper” than radio and television advertisements.

“It requires a certain number of computers and laptops and at least 10 to 12 people staffing your internet campaign…Pero mas makakatipid kaysa commercial,”

He said aside from social networking sites, “text blasts” will also be useful in the elections.

But Maceda said text blasts are expensive.

“Halos lahat siguro ng kandidato mayroon silang internet campaign team at ‘yung usong-usong sinabi ngayon, ‘yung ‘text blast’. Kapag nagte-text blast ka, almost every week, papalitan mo ‘yung sim card, ‘yung pagpalit lang ng SIM card aabutin ng P4 million,” he said.

Maceda, a former Senate President, is running under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a coalition led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.