Comelec sets rules, health protocols for filing of certificate of candidacy

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2021 05:37 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2021 05:58 PM

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday released guidelines for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for those planning to run in the national elections next year. 

The period for COC filing will be on Oct. 1 to 8, 2021, including Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is also the same period for filing of Certificates of Nomination and Certificates of Acceptance of Nomination of party-list groups. 

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Comelec will not allow online or any alternative for the filings.

"No COC filed by mail, electronic mail, telegram or facsimile shall be accepted," the poll body said in its guidelines.

Aspirants for positions of president, vice-president, senator, and party-list representative shall file their COCs at the Law Department of the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila.

The filing of COCs for aspirants of legislative district positions in Metro Manila will be at the NCR regional director’s office, while those in the provinces will have to file at the office of the provincial election supervisors.


The resolution also requires aspirants for the positions of president, vice-president, and senator to undergo an RT-PCR or antigen test within the last 24 hours prior to filing their COC and CONA. 

This will also be required of duly authorized representatives who shall be filing COCs on behalf of candidates; chairperson, president, secretary-general or authorized representative of the political party, sectoral party, organization or coalition for the party-list system; companions of candidates and duly authorized representatives; Comelec personnel in charge of receiving COCs, CONAs and Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance of Nomination; Comelec organic security personnel; AFP and PNP personnel, and all media personnel covering the event. 

All persons at the venue will be required to wear N95, KN95 or surgical masks and face shields at all times. Those wearing cloth masks must wear another layer of N95, KN95 or surgical mask.

Physical distancing of at least 6 feet shall be implemented.

Temperature screening and other health checks, and accomplishment of health declaration form will be mandated prior to entry.

Loitering at the venue is barred, and aspirants and authorized representatives shall bring their own pens. 


Meanwhile, withdrawal of nominations and substitution of nominees due to the withdrawal of the acceptance to the nomination shall be filed with the Law Department not later than Nov. 15. 

Substitution shall only be valid when the party files with the said department a list of its substitute nominees, the certificates of nomination and acceptance of the substitute, and an affidavit executed by the party secretary-general and chairperson/president attesting that the substitute possesses all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications. 

A nominee who withdraws his/her acceptance to the nomination shall no longer be eligible for re-nomination by the same party or nomination by other parties.

In the event of death or incapacity and if the list of nominees originally submitted has been exhausted, the party may file with the Law Department a new list of substitute nominees with their certificates of nominations and acceptance, and the required affidavit executed by the secretary-general and party chairperson/president, provided that the second list is submitted within 10 days from the exhaustion of the original list.

As to the holding of political conventions, the period allowed by the Comelec is from Sept. 1 to 28.