No shirts, no bags: List of prohibited giveaways in sorties for 2023 Barangay, SK polls

October 20, 2023 - 5:02 PM
2023 Barangay and SK elections
Commission on Elections (Comelec), government agencies, and concerned sectors hold a briefing and security command conference for the upcoming Barangay and SK elections (BSKE) at Camp Crame in Quezon City on August 22, 2023. (The Philippine STAR/Michael Varcas)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) listed items that are prohibited from being given during sorties as the country kicked off the campaign for the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections on Thusday.

The ten-day campaign period will last until October 28, while the polls will take place on October 30 in different voting precincts.

The Barangay Elections will elect the barangay captain and members of the barangay council which will oversee local communities.

Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections will elect an SK chairperson and SK councilors in each barangay.

Reports said there are 672,432 seats available in the electoral race, with more than 1.41 million people filing their candidacies.

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With the campaign for the Barangay and SK Elections already underway, Comelec reminded candidates of the prohibited materials that are not supposed to be given “during and after a meeting or campaign sortie.”

Comelec Executive Director Teopisto Elnas Jr. said that the distribution of such materials containing the name, image and other identifying symbols of those running in the polls is not allowed.

These materials include:

  • T-shirts
  • Ballers
  • Bags
  • Sun visors
  • Hats or caps
  • Umbrellas
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Ballpens
  • Fans
  • Candies
  • Others of value, including food and drinks

In another report, Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Rafael Olano said that only the candidate and five of his/her campaign staff “may wear T-shirts with the candidate’s picture during the campaign period.”

Meanwhile, a similar policy is applicable in online campaigning, in which candidates are barred from giving gifts to livestreaming audiences.

“Candidates may receive in-platform gifts and game currency but shall not be allowed to give gifts to livestream audiences nor to run promotions and campaigns that will award in-platform gifts or give currency to platform users and livestream audiences,” Elnas said in a memorandum.

As with all electoral races, vote buying and vote selling are likewise prohibited. This includes transactions involving digital or online banks and mobile wallet platforms.

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