MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday signed an agreement with local firm Impact Hub Manila to co-produce 5 presidential and vice presidential debates, with the first one slated on March 19.
The series of debates will be called “Pilipinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point,” to be held at Sofitel.
Impact Hub Manila, the group behind Vote Pilipinas, is tasked to mount three presidential debates and two vice presidential debates on the following dates:
• March 19 - 1st presidential debate
• March 20 - 1st vice presidential debate
• April 3 - 2nd presidential debate
• April 23 - 1st vice presidential town hall debate
• April 24 - 1st presidential town hall debate
Comelec acting chair Socorro Inting in her speech pleaded to candidates to attend their debates, highlighting its importance in terms of helping voters discern who to pick on May 9.
"The public debate is the only avenue where you will witness all candidates side by side with each other... Walang ibang layunin ang debateng ito kundi matulungan ang mga botante na alamin kung saan kayo tumatayo sa iba't ibang isyu at anong plano niyo para solusyunan ang mga ito," Inting said.
According to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, the poll body has yet to obtain the written commitment of all candidates to attend the debates.
"We don't have a confirmation yet... [but] the candidates seemed inclined... We will secure their written commitment within the week," Jimenez told reporters.