BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) warned the candidates for the midterm elections against committing offenses and reminded them of the proper placement of campaign materials as the campaign period for local candidates kicked off on March 29, 2019.
During the forum for local candidates initiated by the Comelec- Municipal Office on March 26, 2019, at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol, Acting Election Officer of Bontoc, James Pekas, Jr. reminded the candidates to follow the guidelines set by the Comelec. The Comelec strictly prohibits the posting of campaign materials on public places and conveyances such as on trees, light posts, electrical wires, schools, waiting sheds, sidewalks, bridges, health centers, public structures and public utility buses, public utility jeepneys, and tricycles.
Pekas clarified that if the campaign materials will be posted in a private property these must be with the consent of the owner and in adherence to the prescribed size.
As provided in Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Election Act, posters should measure two feet by three feet, leaflets and pamphlets should measure 8.5 x 14 inches, and streamers should be three feet by eight feet.
He added that a team was organized to be led by the Bontoc Municipal Police Station (MPS) in the implementation of Oplan Baklas for the posters placed in prohibited areas and election propaganda that does not adhere to the prescribed size.
Relative to this, the designated common posting areas in the 16 barangays of Bontoc were identified in which temporary structures will be erected for purposes of displaying lawful campaign materials. However, candidates who will be posting in the common posting areas shall pay minimal posting fees to the respective barangays.
Also, based on Comelec rules, candidates under a political party can only spend P3.00 per voter while independent candidates can only spend P5.00 per voter. Further, local candidates have 60 minutes of total airtime for television while 80 minutes for radio.
Meanwhile, all candidates, winners or losers, are required to file their Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (SOCE) the day after the election or not later than June 12, 2019.
The campaign period for local candidates ends on May 11, 2019, while the National and Local election is on May 13, 2019.
By Alpine L. Killa