Election officers of Negros Occidental will discuss Feb. 8 the campaign guidelines for national candidates.
Provincial election supervisor, Atty. Roberto Salazar, said that even with the start of the campaign period for national bets in the May 9 polls, he needs to discuss first the procedure based on Comelec Resolution 10732, or the rules in the conduct of in-person campaign, holding of motorcades, miting de avance, and public rallies.
He said there is a Comelec campaign committee in every region that will approve the campaign activities of national candidates in their area. The committee will determine if the area intended for the activity is safe, related to the number of COVID cases based on the current alert level status, and if there is security threat.
The number of attendees will also be monitored, with a maximum of 70 percent for areas on Alert Level 1, 50 percent for Alert Level 2, and stricter rules for higher alert level status, he added.
The barangay officials were also deputized to help in the monitoring and enforcement of minimum health protocols in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The election officers will also discuss how to remove oversized propaganda materials and tarps, particularly those posted in non-Comelec designated areas, like in private properties.
Salazar said it was clearly stated in the guidelines that they have to notify first the candidates or party leaders if there are oversized campaign materials posted in prohibited areas. They will be advised to voluntarily remove the posters to avoid any offense under the Fair Elections Act.
If they refused to follow, that’s the time that Comelec will take action with corresponding sanctions, he added.
The poll officers have also identified the common poster areas in every barangay.
“Even in a private area, the size of the campaign materials should be strictly followed, with a 2×3 square-foot material as the proper size,” he said, adding that Comelec can deputize any member of government agencies into the Task Force Baklas that will be tasked to remove illegally-posted campaign materials. –MML