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EDITORIAL | Electoral campaign in the time of Covid

COMELEC has reminded those seeking electoral positions to be mindful of the reality that the global health pandemic is still hovering in our midst. Conducting the usual election activities such as political rallies, shaking hands, or the usual door to door campaigns are no longer allowed to mitigate another spike in COVID-19 cases.

While we all know that the courting people’s votes have started more than a year ago, the official campaign season started yesterday, February 8, 2022. 

Comelec issued Resolution No. 10732 on Nov. 24, 2021, drawing a “new normal” in campaign procedures considering the COVID-19 health situation. To implement this resolution is the National Comelec Campaign Committee (NCCC) that has already promised on Feb. 4, to oversee that the guidelines are followed.

The campaign for the national position has long started online with contenders for the presidential and vice- presidential posts vying for audience share online. This is also true to our local political contenders who have become so visible on the internet. Our social media platforms, from the old reliable Facebook to the 1-minute or less Tiktok, have become the venue for electoral campaigns. According to one branding expert, Facebook and other social media platforms have become the new EDSA of the 80s. Using this platform gives the political aspirant a wider reach at a minimal cost.

But what happens to the electorate who are not part of the wired community? How are they reached by politicians in the time of Covid? The Comelec resolution, according to election law professor Alberto Agra has “common limitations”- no physical contact, no close proximity and no food and drinks. 

It would take a lot of creativity and ingenuity for those who will be joining the electoral race in 2022.  

 

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