The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking into the possibility of regulating social media campaigns for next year’s election.
“We’ve been looking at social media trend, we’ve been talking with people in that industry and we are studying the possibility of coming out with a separate rule on that. Apart from the fair election act rules and regulations,” GMA News Online quoted Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez in a report posted November 7.
Jimenez acknowledged the huge impact of the platform when it comes to campaigning especially that there are many youth voters participating in the national elections.
“But now we think with the 2016 elections diyan nating talaga mararamdaman dahil more than 20 million kabataan ang lalahok sa halalan na ito ang karamihan dyan ‘wired’.”
(The impact of the social media platform will be very much felt [in the 2016 elections] because there are over 20 million youth voters – most of which are ‘wired’ [or connected online])
“I think we are approaching the point where voting becomes a communal experience,” Jimenez added saying how people discuss issues over the Internet.
Jimenez also reminded candidates that expenses from social media campaigns are not exempted from their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
“Even in the 2013 elections, our policy was ‘your social media space is your own space.’ Basically, it is not regulated. You can tweet about anything, candidates are allowed to maintain their own Facebook pages and can run their campaign from there,” Jimenez was quoted in a PhilStar report.
“Distribution is free, fine. But making the video, like donated talents, that’s reportable (through SOCE). How much you spent in getting that in digital format, that’s reportable,” he added.