THE 45-day campaign period for local candidates will start a day late in deference to the observance of Good Friday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.
Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista on Sunday said that the local campaign period will start on March 26 instead of March 25.
“Campaigning is prohibited on Holy Friday. It will start the next day,” Bautista said.
This means that candidates for congressmen, governors, vice governors, provincial board members, city and municipal mayors, and city and municipal councilors will kick off on Black Saturday.
The 90-day period for those running for president, vice president, senators and party-list representatives started on February 9.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, the campaign periods for both national and local positions shall not include the day before and the day of the election.
Bautista advised local candidates to tear down their campaign materials posted outside of the designated common poster areas or risked being charged for violation of election laws.
“Until the start of the official campaign period, everything is fair game insofar as premature campaigning is concerned. But it would be a different story when the official campaign season stars,” the Comelec chief added.
Bautista warned that violators face imprisonment of one to six years without probation, disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right to suffrage.
Bautista also pointed out that candidates are prohibited by Republic Act (RA) 9006 or the Fair Elections Act from appearing on commercial advertisements and other forms of endorsements during the campaign period.
Under RA 9006, candidates for president and vice president are only allowed to spend P10 for every registered voter while other candidates can spend P3 per registered voter.
Candidates/registered political parties for a national election position are allowed no more than 120 minutes of television advertising and 180 minutes of radio advertising on a per originating station basis.
For local election position, no more than 60 minutes of television advertising, and 90 minutes of radio advertising are allowed.
On printed or published election propaganda, each candidate, whether for a national or local election position, is only allowed one fourth page in broadsheets and one-half page in tabloids.