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Leody pushes electoral reforms

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Presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman is pushing electoral reforms where the government will spend for the campaign of every candidate.

In a Facebook live stream on Saturday night, De Guzman is pushing to use the state media to introduce all the candidates and mobilize barangay officials on putting posters in public places.

“The government must find a way to introduce all the candidates. Use Channel 4 (PTV), and government stations. Mobilize the barangays where they will put up posters of the candidates in the plaza. In that way, it is forbidden to multiply money, to be popular. The platform must be the basis,” De Guzman said.

He also proposed that poll watchers will be replaced by college students on monitoring the precincts during election day.

“We will have a change in the election system, we will remove the system where the campaign was based on money. We also gave the watchers the opportunity to choose their candidates.”

“We will remove the election watchers, we will make college students as watchers,” he said.

Under Republic 7166, a candidate or registered political party may spend for an election campaign shall be as follows:

For candidates. —­ ten pesos (P10) for President and Vice President; and for other candidates three pesos (P3) for every voter currently registered in the constituency where he filed his Certificate of Candidacy: Provided, that a candidate without any political party and without support from any political party may be allowed to spend five pesos (P5) for every such voter; and

For political parties. — five pesos (P5) for every voter currently registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.

Under Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Election Act, 120 minutes of TV campaign airtime are allotted to every candidate on national posts per station, and 180 minutes for radio advertisements using traditional election campaigns.

In local positions, every candidate has 60 minutes of TV ads per station and 90 minutes for radio ads.

For newspapers or broadsheets, only one-fourth of pages are allowed for national and local candidates while half-page is allowed for tabloids.

It should still be stated who donated or paid for the political ads.

Campaign rules on social media, mobile, and online platforms are now also covered under Comelec Resolution 10730, where registered political parties and candidates are required to register the names of website and web addresses of all verified official accounts, websites, blogs, and other social media pages to the Comelec Education and Information Department (Comelec-EID).

Only submitted domains are allowed to use political ads online.

Candidates are also required to report the details of the agreement and political advertisements to paid digital influencers and online content creators.

The campaign period for presidential, vice-presidential, and senatorial candidates, including partylist groups, will be from 8 February until 7 May 2022.

For local posts, the campaign period will be from 25 March until 7 May 2022.

Candidates are not allowed to campaign on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, which fall on 14 and 15 April respectively.

Every candidate and treasurer of the political party is required to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SoCE), within 30 days after the election day.

No person elected to any public office shall enter upon the duties of his office until he has filed the statement of contributions and expenditures.

A candidate who failed to file SoCE may be fined from ranging from P1,000 to P30,000, at the discretion of the Commission.

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