AN OFFICIAL of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Davao said what seems to be like early campaigning is not considered “premature campaigning.”

“Wala ta’y premature campaign to speak of kay sa pagkakaron, kung dili pa nag start ang campaign period, dili pa gyod considered candidates katong mga nag file og certificate of candidacy last year (There is no premature campaign to speak of because the campaign period has not started yet. We cannot consider those who filed their COCs as candidates yet),” lawyer Gay Enumerables, spokesperson and assistant director of Comelec-Davao, said in a virtual presser on Wednesday, January 12.

This also means that political activities before the start of the election season are not considered campaigning.

According to Enumerables, the official start of the campaign period for national candidates is February 8 and March 25 for local positions.

“Considered as candidates pag start sa campaign period (They will be considered candidates when the campaign period starts),” she said.

Under the Comelec Resolution 10732 or the guidelines for campaigning under the new normal in connection with the 2022 national and local elections, in-person campaigns are not allowed under Category Level 4 and 5.

Meetings, conventions, rallies, and Miting de Avance are allowed under Alert Level 4 and below given they follow the maximum capacity allowed per alert level.

“Katong ilang mga posters, dapat mag follow gyod sa guidelines, ang ilang mga campaign materials, it has to be posted sa common poster area. Ilang appearances, guesting sa TV, radio for campaigning naay maximum number of minutes (They have to follow the guidelines for the posters like how it should be posted in common poster areas. Their appearances and guestings in TV and radio for campaigning also have a maximum number of minutes),” said Enumerables, referring to how candidates are subject to the Comelec Resolution 10730, or the Fair Elections Act.

Enumerables added that the digital campaign activities of candidates are also monitored by Comelec.

“Kasi once mag bayad ang candidates for campaigns or advertisement (online), ang providers will report to Comelec (Once the candidates pay for their campaigns and adtisements online, the providers will give us a report),” she said.

Meanwhile, the election season has officially started on January 9, which means prohibitions on guns and deadly weapons are already in place.

“During election period also, transfer or movement of officers or employees in the civil service, gina dili na pud (is not allowed). Use of security personnel or bodyguards, suspension of elective local officials,” said Enumerables.