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Barangay and SK elections: Reminders for the campaign period October 19,2023 - 11:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines —The official campaign period for the Oct. 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections is underway.

Candidates for positions in the country’s smallest political units may finally go campaigning from Oct. 19 to 28.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has some reminders for candidates during the campaign period. 

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Here are some of them:

Campaign posters, materials

Election rules limit the size of campaign posters, billboards and tarpaulins to a maximum dimension of 2 x 3 feet.

Even if the materials are meant to be put together to form a collage-like poster, their maximum size should still not exceed 2 x 3 feet, according to Olano.

Campaign materials could only be put up in public places that are designated as common poster areas.

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Posters without the phrase “political advertisement paid for/by” or “printed free of charge” are considered illegal and can be removed by Comelec personnel.

“In case there are unlawful campaign materials posted on public and private properties, the election officer shall send a notice to remove and a show-cause order to the concerned candidates” to explain why they should not be charged with election offense, said Olano in an Oct. 16 memo.

Comelec would undertake a nationwide “Operation Baklas” to dismantle illegal campaign materials in public places on Oct. 20 and 27, he added.

No handouts

The rules also ban the handout of food and drinks during and after a campaign sortie or meeting, as well as usual giveaways like shirts, ballers, bags, sun visors, hats or caps, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, ballpens, fans, candies and other “items of value.” “The candidate and five of his/her campaign staff may wear T-shirts with the candidate’s picture during the campaign period,” said Olano.

Comelec has also prohibited the distribution of cash or in-kind assistance through the government “assistance to individuals in crisis situation” program from Oct. 20 to Oct. 30.

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However, it would allow the distribution of aid “which are normally given to qualified individuals” including food, transportation, medical, educational, burial and other similar assistance,” said Olano.

Comelec deputy executive director for operations, Rafael Olano, reminded election officers to strictly enforce the campaign rules.

Olano warned that candidates would still be held accountable for oversized campaign posters even if the materials were put up on private property.

Following the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4, Comelec has so far filed disqualification petitions against 137 candidates for premature campaigning.

The poll body has dismissed complaints against 723 candidates for lack of basis, while ordering nearly 6,000 candidates to explain why they should not be charged.

By the numbers

Based on latest Comelec data, 67,839,851 registered voters who are at least 18 years old may vote in the barangay elections, while 23,254,958 registered voters who are 15 to 30 years old may vote in the SK elections.

This means 21,420,550 registered voters who are 18 to 30 years old may vote both in the barangay and SK elections.

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Meanwhile, 1,834,408 registered voters who are 15 to 17 years old may vote only in the SK elections.

The country has 42,001 barangays, which serve as its smallest political unit.

Each barangay will elect one barangay captain and seven members of the barangay council, and one SK chairperson and seven SK council members.

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TAGS: Comelec, Elections, poll

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