Based on Resolution 10488 promulgated last Jan. 30, each registered political party and candidate shall register with the agency’s Education and Information Division their internet, mobile and social media platforms.
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Comelec to poll bets: Register blogs, websites
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — In an attempt to regulate the use of social media in the May 13 midterm polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ordered all political parties and candidates to report their official blogs, websites and social media pages.

Based on Resolution 10488 promulgated last Jan. 30, each registered political party and candidate shall register with the agency’s Education and Information Division their internet, mobile and social media platforms.

The Comelec noted that “any other blog or social media page which, when taken as a whole, has for its primary purpose the endorsement of a candidate, whether or not directly maintained or administered by the candidate or their official campaign representatives, shall be considered additional official blogs or social media pages of the said candidate.”

The resolution stipulates the implementing rules and regulations of the Fair Elections Act.

In an earlier interview, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez underscored the need to regulate social media because of its possible impact on the coming elections. 

“In 2016, we saw how effective social media was. We saw how potentially destructive of reasoned conversation social media was. Under that condition, knowing the impact of social media, we really need to regulate because it is being abused,” he maintained. 

According to Jimenez, while majority of social media users are “fine” there are small groups that are capable of exerting disproportionate impact using social media.

He said while social media is a free market of ideas, the tools are also freely available to everyone, including the “bad and malicious actors.”

“That’s the reason you need to regulate (so) the bad or malicious actors do not have free reign of the internet. The abuse of some has negative effects on everyone and that’s why we must have control over social media,” Jimenez added.

The official said that Comelec is preparing the draft rules for social media but they will make sure that “whatever draft regulation that we have would respect the individual’s right of free expression.”

“Social media will remain a free market of ideas, but within the context of keeping the elections orderly, such as reporting of expenses and reporting of costs,” he added.

Under the resolution, candidates with political parties are allowed to spend P3 for every voter registered in the constituency where they are seeking a post.

Candidates without any political party and without support from any political party are authorized to spend P5 for every voter in areas where they are running.  

The resolution, promulgated on Jan. 30, 2019, stated that political parties and partyl-ist groups could spend P5 for very voter in the constituencies where they have official candidates.  

For the coming polls, the campaign period for national candidates starts on Feb. 12 and ends on May 11 while official campaigning for local bets begins on March 29 and also ends on May 11.  

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS BLOGS COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES WEBSITES
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