DILG directs LGUs, PNP to strictly implement allowed and prohibited poll activities during campaign period to stop spread of Covid-19
As the campaign period is set to start on February 8 for national candidates and on March 25 for local candidates, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today urged local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly implement and/or enforce the allowable and prohibited election-related activities per alert level in their area of jurisdiction pursuant to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Resolution 10732 to stop the spread of COVID-19.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said LGUs and the PNP must be on top of ensuring that minimum public health standards (MPHS) are enforced depending on the alert level during in-person campaigns, rallies, caucuses, meetings and conventions; motorcades and caravans; and miting de avance.
“Sisiguraduhin po nating tumutupad ang mga LGU sa Comelec Resolution 10732 bilang pagtitiyak na magiging ligtas ang ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng kampanya. We are facing a much transmissible variant kaya naman hindi tayo dapat magpabaya maging ngayong panahon ng halalan,” Año said.
“Una pa din ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan kaya mariing ipinapaalala ng DILG ang pagsunod ng LGUs at PNP sa mga panuntunan ng COMELEC,” he added.
Comelec issued Resolution 10732 dated November 24, 2021 outlining the guidelines for the conduct of 2022 Election-related activities amid the new normal and the continuous threat of COVID-19’s Omicron variant.
In an advisory released recently, the DILG Chief likewise said LGUs must adopt necessary measures and strategies to comply with the Comelec Resolution; streamline existing LGU policies with the issuance; and, ensure observance of the guidelines’ entirety within their locality.
“The 2022 Election is a very important event for the country but we must take into consideration that we are still currently battling an enemy that thrives in gatherings. We expect LGUs and the PNP to strictly enforce the poll guidelines,” Año said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is also called to maintain order and security and to impose strict observance of MPHS during any election-related campaigns in coordination with the barangay officials, tanods, and the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams.
“Kailangang pagalawin ng mga LGU ang lahat ng kanilang law enforcement units upang tiyakin na magiging ligtas at malayo sa COVID-19 ang mga makikiisa nating kababayan sa mga kampanyang ito,” Año said.
He further pushed for impartiality and nudged the LGUs and the Municipal or City Comelec Campaign Committee (M/CCCC)M/CCCC to stay the course of public service and avoid politics in granting campaign permits to both national and local candidates alike.
“To the LGUs and M/CCCC, please avoid partiality and bias in granting approval for these campaign activities. Unahin po natin ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan bago ang pamumulitika,” Año said.
Año said that Comelec Resolution 10732 states specific conditions and allowable campaign activities that LGUs and M/CCCC must implement "to safeguard both the citizens and candidates alike" during the campaign period.
"Depending on the Alert Level, kailangang maging mahigpit ang mga LGU at M/CCCC sa pagpapatupad ng resolusyon ng Comelec," Año said.
The Comelec Resolution states that in-person campaigning is not allowed for Alert Levels 4 and 5 while candidates or campaign leaders must only be accompanied by maximum of five campaign support staff in Alert Level 2 and three for Alert Level 3. For Alert Level 1, there's no limit to the number of companions the candidates can have.
Also, for in-house campaigning, entering any private dwelling during house-to-house campaigning, even with the express permission of the homeowner; and, crowding, or allowing crowds that violate MPHS around the candidate and his or her companions are not allowed.
For caucuses, meetings, convention, rallies, and miting de avance, 70% of the operational capacity of the venue, whether indoor or outdoor is allowed for Alert Level 1; 50% of the operational capacity of the venue, whether indoor or outdoor for Level 2; 50% of the operational capacity of the venue for enclosed outdoor only for Level 3; 30% of the operational capacity of the venue for enclosed outdoors only for Level 4 while for Level 5, none among the gatherings mentioned are permitted.
During motorcades in all category levels, stopovers, layovers, and other similar stoppages for the conduct of other election campaign activities are likewise not permitted.
Meanwhile, in all Alert Levels, handshakes, hugs, kisses, going arm-in-arm, or any action that involves physical contact among the candidate, their companions, and the public; taking selfies, photographs and other similar activities that require close proximity between the candidate and their companions, and the public; and, distribution of food and drink, and all other goods or items are not allowed in all campaign activities mentioned. DILG Public Affairs and Communication Service