ALREADY on its third session, Bacolod City will hold a bishop-media forum on January 14, for the mayoralty candidates in the city at the Sanctuario de La Salle, at 2 p.m.

This developed after a Saturday meeting at the San Sebastian Cathedral led by Fr. Felix Pasquin, rector of the San Sebastian Cathedral, and historian/columnist Modesto Sa-onoy, with representatives of the mayoralty candidates incumbent City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Vladimir Gonzalez, Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella, and Andrea Si, and the media outlets.

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Pasquin said the candidates' forum is for the voter's education. "It's good if the voters will be educated as to the programs and platforms of the candidates for the City Government."

He said it will also educate the candidates in order to help eliminate negative attacks on each other, "because what they will present is their platforms of government and programs."

Pasquin noted that the panel will ask the questions composed of representatives from the media, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, student leaders and the academe from the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R).

"Every candidate will be given a 10-minute presentation of their program as agreed during the meeting. The forum will be covered live by DYAF.

Pasquin cited among the forum's guidelines include the presentation shall be given only by the candidate; no substitution will be allowed; if the candidate is sent he/she shall waive his privilege; the sequence of presentation will be determined by a raffle before the start of the forum; every candidate shall be given no more than 10 minutes to read his/her prepared presentation; a bell will signal to indicate the speaker has 30 seconds left and another bell to indicate time is up; no power point presentation will be allowed.

Each candidate is required to submit 12 copies of the prepared presentation to the candidate for the panel of interviewers and the media.

Candidates shall keep their presentations and responses at high level of discourse and refrain from using language that will ridicule or demean the others, make personal or negative remarks and use of foul words, said Pasquin.

Due respect and courtesy are expected of the speakers and each candidate shall not campaign during the forum, Pasquin added.

Only designated interviewers will be allowed to ask questions, only after all candidates have completed their presentations, said Pasquin.

Further he said each interviewer will be allowed two direct questions with one follow-up, and the candidates will be given three minutes to make their final statement after all have been interviewed by media and the panel.

The forum panel will be composed of Pasquin, Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, Bro. Ray Suplido, Bro. Tagoy Jakosalem, Ernest Latiza, and Sa-onoy.