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Social media campaign spending will be regulated by COMELEC

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The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is looking into reforming its rules for the upcoming national and local elections in May 2022 so that social media ads of candidates are included in their statements of contributions and expenditures.

Per COMELEC Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, the May 2022 election will be different from previous elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic preventing candidates from forming mass gatherings.

Guanzon anticipates that political candidates will rely on social media more than ever to appeal to voters. She acknowledges that the poll body currently does not have the means to assess campaign expenses made on social media, necessitating the need for outside help such as by Facebook and Twitter.

On July 9, the COMELEC announced that any ads that candidates release after they’ve filed their candidacy must be included in campaign expense computations. The poll body monitors campaign spending to curb corruption and other abusive practices during elections.

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