Candidates seeking national posts will have to step away from the campaign trail for two days, with prohibition in line with the Holy Week.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Comelec chief Andres Bautista said: "For our candidates, bawal pong mangampanya sa Maundy Thursday and Good Friday."
The ban is stipulated in the implementing rules and regulations of the 2016 elections, as well as the Omnibus Election Code.
Bautista also pointed out: "Ang start po ng ating campaign period para sa ating mga local officials ay magsisimula sa Sabado, Black Saturday."
The 60-day campaign period of local candidates is scheduled in the rules on March 25.
However, that falls on Good Friday.
Asked if the meter starts running on March 25 instead of March 26, Bautista replied: "Technically, they can't spend on March 25 because they're not supposed to campaign."
The campaign period for those seeking local posts covers candidates for the House of Representatives (except party-list groups, which are included in the national candidates), and those for other elective posts in the regional, provincial, city, and municipal levels.
Based on the implementing rules and guidelines for the 2016 elections, a candidate for any local position, who is running under a political party, may spend up to P3 per voter.
Meanwhile, local candidates running as independents may spend up to P5 per voter.
The candidates may have up to 60 minutes of airtime for television ads, and 90 minutes on radio.
The rules also require candidates to identify who paid for their ads -- whether broadcast, print, or online -- with the words "political advertisement paid for, followed by the "true and correct" name and address of the candidate or party that is featured in the said ad.
If donated by a publishing firm, or the radio or TV station, the phrase "printed free of charge" or "airtime for this broadcast was provided free to charge by" will be used to identify the donor.
The said notices must be "reasonably legible or audible," meeting the following classifications:
- for print materials "no more than" 2x3 feet (signs, posters, flyers, newspapers, magazines, etc.): 12-point type size; contained in a printed box, set apart from the ad's content; printed with a "reasonable degree of color contrast" between background and printed statement;
- for TV ads: must appear in letters at least 4 percent of the "vertical picture height";
- must be visible during the duration of broadcast;
- must appear with a "reasonable degree of color contrast."
Candidates may have campaign materials posted on designated common poster areas.
According to the Comelec, candidates are not supposed to post campaign materials on trees or plants, public thoroughfares, lamp posts, sidewalks and overpasses.
Asked if the poll body will call out local candidates with campaign materials even before Saturday, Bautista encouraged the public to file complaints against them. — RSJ, GMA News