The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will monitor the social media spending of candidates during the 2022 elections campaign period.

Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr. explained during a virtual media briefing that social media is covered under “broadcast.” 

“Campaign ads are divided between print and broadcast which is TV and radio. Social media will be under broadcast. We will control in terms of expenses incurred in entering contracts with social media carriers,” he said.

Kho mentioned that social media campaigns are expected to rise since social gatherings are still not allowed to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“Sa campaign, we cannot really remove the political rallies. Nandiyan talaga ‘yan sa ating history. Tradisyon na ‘yan sa kampanya. But there will be a strict implementation of safety measures,” he said.

Meanwhile, campaign ads of candidates will be given limited airtime in radio and television broadcasts. Campaign prints are also limited based on size and placement in a newspaper or a billboard. 

As of Friday, at least 59 million Filipinos are registered for the 2022 elections, according to Kho. 

The commissioner also mentioned that the poll body is looking at increasing the number of new registrants by allowing them to download the forms before they visit a local Comelec office to control people flocking in huge numbers. 

He also advised all Comelec employees to receive the Covid-19 vaccine if possible. 

“We really need to be vaccinated because we meet people everyday. We really need to be protected,” Kho said. Ronald Espartinez