The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has released the guidelines for mass media accreditation in connection with the May 13, 2013 automated national and local elections.
In Resolution No. 9649, promulgated 27 February 2013, the COMELEC said that the coming elections will generate “great media attention” and acknowledged the need to increase the efficiency in the recording and monitoring of grants of accreditation to “avoid the proliferation of spurious accreditation papers or media passes.”
“Duly accredited mass media shall be given free access to polling places, voting centers and canvassing centers for purposes of observing and reporting on election events and processes,” the poll body said in the Resolution.
The COMELEC defined ‘media representatives’ as those “who are actively engaged in the pursuit of information gathering and reporting or distribution, in any manner or form.” Media representatives, the COMELEC said, include:
All parties requesting accreditation shall be required to submit a duly Accreditation Application Form; two (2) recently taken 2×2 colored photographs and an endorsement from the newspaper, television, radio station or internet news agency employing the applicant.
Visiting Foreign Media, on the other hand, shall be required to submit photocopies of both sides of their International Press Center (IPC) Card for the year 2013, aside from the requirements mentioned above.
Manila-based Foreign Media, meanwhile, are also required to submit an endorsement letter from their Manila Bureau Chief and back-to-back photocopies of their IPC Cards, aside from the requirements mentioned.
Application Forms for accreditation shall be available at the COMELEC Education and Information Department (COMELEC-EID) and in all COMELEC Offices nationwide. Application forms may also be downloaded from the COMELEC Website (http://www.comelec.gov.ph) and the website of the COMELEC-EID (http://www.comelec.wordpress.com) and (http://mycomelec.tv/main).
Applications for accreditation, according to the COMELEC, must be personally filed at the COMELEC-EID, in the case of national and foreign media. Applications from the Local Media shall be filed at the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor (OPES) concerned. The period for filing of applications will run from February 1, 2013 to April 15, 2013. “This period shall be non-extendible,” said the COMELEC.
Media representatives shall be issued a non-transferrable Media Card upon accreditation.
“Duly accredited domestic and foreign media shall be allowed maximum access to all stages of the electoral process subject only to conditions essential for the protection of COMELEC personnel, property, and privileged information,” the COMELEC ruled. ###