Comelec: House-to-house visits still not allowed

·3 min read

EVEN if candidates are no longer required to secure permits from the Comelec to conduct physical campaign sorties in areas under Alert Level 1 and 2, they are still not allowed to conduct house-to-house visits regardless if they get consent from house owners.

Candidates are also prohibited by the Commission on Elections from distributing food and drinks and other edible items.

All forms of physical contact such as hugging, shaking hands with people as well as posing for selfies or group pictures that require close proximity among the companions are also not allowed.

As for candidates who plan to hold physical sorties, they must secure permits from the local government units (LGUs), lawyer Ferdinand Gujilde, Comelec Central Visayas (VII) spokesperson, told SunStar Cebu on Monday, April 18, 2022, or 21 days prior to the May 9 polls.

“Comelec resolution still applies but the permit need not be secured from the concerned Comelec campaign committee,” said Gujilde, adding that such guideline stipulated under Comelec Resolution 10732 dated Nov. 24, 2021, is now being applied in areas under Alert Level 3 and above.

The abovementioned resolution was issued by the poll body as it set restrictions on physical campaign activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Based on the guidelines, candidates have to secure permits from the LGUs where they plan to hold their activities and certificate of authority from the Comelec campaign committee in 72 hours prior to the conduct of rallies or campaign sorties.

Participants must wear face shields during the campaign sorties over their face masks.

But Comelec Cebu Provincial Office Acting Elections Supervisor Jerome Brillantes earlier said they will only strictly implement the wearing of face shields should the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases require it.

Apart from that, campaign organizers should also observe the maximum capacity allowed during the campaign sorties depending on the alert level status in the LGUs.

For areas under Alert Level 3, participants including the candidates’ staff, would be limited to only 50 percent for enclosed outdoor only while 50 percent for both indoor and outdoor in venues or areas under Alert Level 2, and 70 percent in areas under Alert Level 1.

There is no limit of campaign staff who would like to join their candidates in areas under Alert Level 1, but only five staff are allowed to accompany in areas under Alert Level 2 while only three staff are allowed in Alert Level 3.

As of April 18, Gujilde said that as far as Comelec Central Visayas is concerned, they have not yet received any complaint from private individuals on violations of health protocols.

On Comelec’s part, Gujilde said their legal actions depend on the report of the barangay officials who are deputized to monitor and report campaign activities.

Brillantes had admitted earlier that many candidates violated the minimum health protocols such as social distancing. Shaking hands and taking of selfies are not allowed by the Comelec, but there were still candidates who violated these rules.

Brillantes has encouraged concerned citizens to file cases against erring candidates before the Comelec and bring with them sufficient evidence for investigation.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting