Comelec wants rules on online campaigning

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 17 2014 09:05 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2014 05:05 PM

MANILA - With the 2016 presidential polls still over two years away, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) wants the rules to be set on online campaigning, which has become popular among candidates in the past political exercise.

The Comelec called on Congress to revisit the Fair Election Act and include regulations governing all aspects of online campaigning.

“The Comelec feels it is high time for the rules on online campaigning, particularly with a view to monitoring expenses, to be institutionalized,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

In the May 2013 elections, the Comelec came out with Resolution 9615 in an effort to regulate online campaigning.

Under the resolution, candidates were ordered to abide with certain size of online propaganda and that it shall not be published more than three times a week per website during the campaign period.

Aside from the online campaign rules, the Comelec also asked Congress to clarify the prevailing rules on broadcast media campaigning.

“We are asking for the rule on airtime limits to be clarified with respect to whether it should be applied on a per station basis or otherwise,” Jimenez said.

The Comelec previously set the airtime limits for political advertisements with an aggregate cap, which means the total minutes of all broadcast advertisements regardless of which network the advertisement was broadcast.

But the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against the Comelec upon the petition of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and two major radio-TV networks, resulting in the return to the time-limit on a pre-station basis.