The faces of politikos and political parties may dominate the roads in the run up to the 2022 elections as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said politikos may rely heavily on billboards, posters and banners to promote their candidacies due to the health hazards that will come from in-person campaigning.
“Political rallies and other mass gatherings will most likely be officially discouraged. In those few cases where they are held—assuming that people aren’t too scared to go to begin with—they will have to conform to social distancing guidelines. Political parades and caravans will probably also be officially discouraged,” he said in his July 16 column for Business Mirror.
Jimenez said billboards may be more accessible to cash strapped politikos than political advertisements. However, he said their prices might also go up due to demand when the campaign season starts.
“To begin with, billboards are an inherently scarce resource; the number of available billboards is far lower than the number of candidates who might want to use them. The competition caused by this scarcity will drive up the cost of using the billboards, making it likely that they will quickly be priced out of the reach of candidates with small budgets, defeating the laudable objectives of the proposal,” Jimenez said.
With television ads remaining expensive, the Comelec official said more politikos will also tap social media and teleconferencing to reach more voters.