UP Mass Communication Department professor Danilo Arao and COMELEC Commissioner James Jimenez both told ‘Primetime’ on ABS-CBN News Channel that while reaching the masses through social media is promising, candidates must never set aside the power of traditional media platforms, or as how they call it, “old media.”
“Internet penetration rate in the country still low. Some voters can’t access the internet,” Arao explains.
Election fever is already beginning to spark, and I bring you a round-up of COMELEC’s major activities for March 2013, in preparation for the upcoming 2013 Midterm Elections.
Comelec launches informercials on do’s and don’ts in elections
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) launched two sets of infomercials aimed to inform the public, especially the candidates, on what are prohibited and allowed during the campaign period.
The first set was starred by a character named ‘Boy Bawal’, then followed by his alter-ego, ‘Tina Tama’.
‘Boy Bawal’ informs voters and warns candidates of the don’ts of election campaign, including oversized posters and tarpaulins; posting of campaign materials on public vehicles, government property, trees, public infrastractures; and vote-buying.
‘Tina Tama’ meanwhile, reminds voters and encourages candidates to follow election campaign guidelines by the commission, including the posting of paraphernalia in identified common poster areas in each barangay and asking of permission to property owners before posting materials on their area or building.
The videos were produced by the commission’s education and information department, headed by Commissioner James Jimenez. Also, Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. is seen in the videos giving stern warnings especially to the aspiring officials.
‘Boy Bawal’ video
‘Tina Tama’ video
COMELEC beefs up social media presence for violation reporting
The Commission recently opened ten more Twitter handles, in anticipation to the increasing number of citizens reporting campaign violations using the microblogging website.
Comelec Commissioner James Jimenez tells concerned citizens through his Twitter account that they may be asked specific details of their report by Twitter handles that are connected to the agency.
— James Jimenez (@jabjimenez) March 30, 2013
These handles, from @COMELEC001 to @COMELEC010, are handled by COMELEC personnel, during office hours. The main @COMELEC handle is still entertaining reports by netizens.
COMELEC opens up PCOS demo testing centers
For the commission to fully reach the voters and educate them about the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, COMELEC opened up the first of the twenty-three PCOS demo testing centers nationwide in its headquarters in Intramuros, City of Manila.
In his statement to the local press, Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. said, “The PCOS demo center as means of ensuring that the general public would have easy access to information about the machines that will be used in the 2013 national and local elections.”
The testing center will be open during weekdays (except for Public Holidays), from 8am to 5pm, and will close doors to visitors one week before the 2013 Midterm Elections.
Brillantes also advised those who are planning to go in groups to advice the commission in advance before their visit.
“In case of groups, we recommend that you schedule your visits ahead of time [by calling 525-9294 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org],” he said.