Phl websites required to report candidates' expenses
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - February 20, 2013 - 5:13pm

MANILA, Philppines - Philippine based websites will now have to submit documents to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showing revenues they received from political advertising or promotions.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a forum on Wednesday that website owners or administrators, like their print, radio and television counterparts, are required to show the poll body a certified true copy of "performance log" of ads and publicity done for election candidates.

Jimenez added that political promos posted online have to be duly labeled with information showing who paid for the advertisement or whether it has been posted for free.

Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines vice president Mike Palacios, meanwhile, told Philstar.com that the online industry may initially have to adjust to the new requisite of filing the candidates' expenses at the government agency.

"If [website owners] are taking advertising revenue for that, then that’s part of it, and hopefully it’s worth the business to do the filing," Palacios said.

Palacios added that digital advertisers, at the same time, hoped that election rules for online political campaigns are "consistent" enough to make candidates more accountable for every centavo they spend.

"Sana we had a rule that is 100 percent consistent at walang butas, Pero feeling ko wala pa tayo doon. But okay, these are the rules of the game for 2013 and this is what we have to follow," Palacios said.

The digital marketing expert likewise said that although there are still "a lot of holes" in the Comelec's current online regulations, the new rules are at least already in place for the 2016 presidential elections.

"Let’s look at this more as a preparation for the big one, which is 2016. If you think digital's role was important in 2010, then more so now in 2013, and even more so in 2016," Palacios added.

He predicts that candidates will only be limited by their creativity in carrying out online campaigns as there are more and more Filipinos engaging online.

"I think it [this year's elections] will be tremendous. They have to be more creative about how they deploy their media budgets. I remember with the 2010 elections, at that time we have 20 million Filipinos online, now pumapalo tayo ng 32 million," Palacios said.

COMELEC INTERNET AND MOBILE MARKETING ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES JAMES JIMENEZ JIMENEZ MIKE PALACIOS ONLINE PALACIOS PERO PHILSTAR SANA
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