Candidates will no longer be required to secure a permit from the Commission on Elections to hold a rally or other campaign activities in areas under Alert Level 1 and 2, a poll official said Thursday, as most parts of the country move to the "new normal."
While a permit from Comelec is no longer required, candidates "still have to secure LGU permits as required by the Omnibus Election Code," Comelec Commissioner George Erwin Garcia told reportr.
The poll body earlier said it was open to reviewing its guidelines on physically campaigning for the May 9 elections after some candidates complained that they might be too restrictive.
Comelec Commissioner Socorro Inting said that when the poll body adopted the campaign rules, the country was still under higher alert levels. Under Comelec Resolution 10730, restrictions on campaign activities would depend on prevailing quarantine classifications.
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez previously said that if the IATF changed its guidelines, it would also reflect on the campaign rules set by the Comelec.
The following physical activities are not allowed during the campaign, according to the Comelec:
- Candidates entering households even with the consent of the owner
- Kissing, hugging, hand-shaking
- Crowding candidates
- Taking selfies with candidates
- Distributing food and drinks to attendees of campaign rallies