Comelec eyes limits for 2022 physical campaign rallies, no raising of hands for winners

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4)— Physical touch and shaking of hands used to be integral to political campaigns in the country.

But these will not be allowed in the 2022 elections as precaution against COVID-19 based on the draft “new normal” guidelines prepared by the Commission on Elections.

All election activities must comply with minimum health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. In-person attendees should wear a face mask and face shield, go through health screening, and stand one meter apart.

READ: Comelec sets strict health protocols for October filing of COCs


Whenever possible, Comelec said candidates should resort to online events through video live streaming and e-rallies.

Candidates for president, vice president, senate, and party-lists will be given airtime through Comelec’s social media pages as the campaign season starts in February. But they are not allowed to offer prizes or gifts to online viewers.

READ: Social media key to election campaign amid pandemic — poll watchdog

Door to door visits remain an option based on Comelec’s draft rules, but contenders should keep their delegations lean. Each group making rounds in barangays should just be composed of five members.

“Each group and candidate shall ensure that all interactions with the public shall be brief, transient, and with minimal physical contact,” the proposed protocols read.

For face-to-face gatherings, venues can only be filled with 10% of seating capacity. Minors and those aged 65 and up cannot attend.


The voting process will remain the same come May 9, from securing the ballot to feeding into the counting machine. But repeated disinfections will be done, and the election board will be behind plastic barriers.

Seats will be far apart and everyone must wear masks and face shields, and temperatures must be checked prior to entry.

“With the present situation, we are trying to decongest itong voting centers natin. We are scouting through our election officers some other areas that can be utilized as voting centers,” Comelec Director for Operations Teopisto Elnas, Jr. told members of the House of Representatives electoral reforms committee on Thursday.

A voter exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be led to a separate polling place.

READ: Voters with COVID-19 symptoms can vote in 2022 - COMELEC

After the counting of ballots, the canvassing of votes will likely not appear as festive as before.

“BOC (Board of Canvassers) shall ask the winning candidate of preferred mode of proclamation, personal or online,” Comelec said. “If personal proclamation is preferred, the BOC shall not physically raise the hand of the winning candidate.”