Comelec clarifies common poster area rule

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2013 03:50 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2013 11:50 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections today reminded candidates of a provision in Comelec Resolution No. 9615 regarding the common poster areas during elections.

The resolution laid down the implementing rules and regulations of the Fair Elections Act that "Parties and independent candidates may, upon authority of the Commission, through the City or Municipal Election Officer (EO) concerned, erect, at their expense, common poster areas wherein they can post, display, or exhibit their election propaganda to announce or further their candidacy."

Poll body Spokesman James Jimenez referred to Section 18 of Comelec Resolution No. 9615 which stated that, "common poster areas shall be allowed by the Election Officer only in selected public places such as plazas, markets, barangay centers and the like where posters may be readily seen or read, with the heaviest pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic in the City or Municipality."

"The Comelec Resolution is very clear. Candidates may be allowed to put up their posters in designated Common Poster Areas (CPAs), but at their own expense. Sila ang gagastos para sa istruktura para makabit nila ang kanilang mga poster," he said.

He added: "We cannot just allow candidates to post their campaign materials on electric posts, trees and other public structures. That is why we are allowing them to set up temporary structures in designated Common Poster Areas for the exclusive purpose of displaying their campaign materials."

According to Comelec Resolution No. 9615, parties and candidates may put up Common Poster Areas in every Barangay. "One (1) Common Poster Area is allowed in a Barangay with 5,000 registered voters or less. An additional CPA will be allowed for every increment of 5,000 voters," said Jimenez.

Meanwhile, CPAs for political parties and partylist groups should not exceed the following dimensions, twelve (12) by sixteen (16) feet, or its equivalent but not exceeding a total area of 192 square feet.

For independent candidates, four (4) by six (6) feet or its equivalent but not exceeding a total area of twenty four (24) square feet.

Jimenez, meanwhile, made assurances that the poll body will also call the attention of Comelec Field Officials who fail to inform candidates and voters as to the location of designated Common Poster Areas.

"While the list of CPAs are posted outside local Comelec Offices, Election Officers should also make an effort to ensure that the designated CPAs are known to the candidates and the public. Failure to do so shall make him liable for gross neglect of duty," he said.