Cebu Citizens-Press Council

Being accountable comes with being free

Commission on Elections Resolution 9649

GUIDELINES FOR MASS MEDIA ACCREDITATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAY 13, 2013 AUTOMATED NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS

Promulgation: February 27, 2013

SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to ensure accurate reporting about the conduct and results of the 2013 Automated National and Local Elections by providing maximum access to all stages of the electoral process to accredited media representatives subject only to conditions essential for the protection of COMELEC personnel, property, and privileged information.

Media representatives are defined as those who are actively engaged in the pursuit of information gathering and reporting or distribution, in any manner or form, including:

Print Journalists        Playwrights
Television Journalists        Feature Film makers
Photo Journalists        Documentary makers
Online Journalists        Television Production
Radio Journalists        Professional Photographers
Novelists        Professional Videographers
Screenwriters        Public Relations Contractors

Freelancers in any of the above categories shall be accredited only if they qualify under either one of the following two (2) conditions:

a) They must be on assignment for a professionally recognized organization and the request for accreditation is made by that organization. A freelancer cannot request accreditation on behalf of the organization that he is representing.

b) They have previous accomplishments that are highly visible, respected and widely recognized.

Sec. 2. Definitions. – Unless otherwise indicated, as used in this Resolution:

a) LOCAL MEDIA refers to those who are engaged in news reporting on a local scale, including correspondents of, and freelancers on assignment for, regional, provincial, city, or municipal publications or broadcast entities, PROVIDED that local media who operate in the National Capital Region (NCR) shall be considered National Media as defined below; and

b) NATIONAL MEDIA refers to those who are engaged in news reporting on a nationwide scale, including provincial correspondents of, and freelancers on assignment for national publications or broadcast entities.

c) OTHER MEDIA refers to those engaged in other forms of journalism, including but not limited to opinion writers, public relations practitioners, creative writers, feature film and documentary film makers, and the like.

Sec. 3. General Requirements for Accreditation. – All parties requesting for accreditation shall be required to submit a duly accomplished Accreditation Application Form; two (2), recently taken, 2?x2? colored photographs; and an endorsement from the newspaper, television, radio station, or internet news agency employing the applicant. In no case shall an application endorsed by an entity other than the applicant’s direct employer be given due course; provided that the application of freelancers whose previous accomplishments are highly visible, respected and widely recognized need not be endorsed.

Sec. 4. Specific Requirements for Accreditation of Visiting Foreign Media. – In addition to the requirements mentioned in the immediately preceding section, all visiting foreign media – including reporters, correspondents, stringers, cameramen, photographers and other members of the news/editorial staff of foreign wire agencies – requesting for accreditation shall be required to submit photocopies of both sides of their International Press Center (IPC) Card, for the year 2013.

Sec. 5. Specific Requirements for Accreditation of Manila-based Foreign Media. – In addition to the requirements mentioned in the immediately preceding section, all Manila-based foreign media requesting for accreditation shall be required to submit an endorsement letter from their Manila Bureau Chief; and photocopies of both sides of their International Press Center (IPC) Card, for the year 2013.

Sec. 6. Application Forms. – 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).

Sec. 7. Period for Filing Applications for Accreditation. – The period for filing applications for accreditation shall be from 1 February to 15 April 2013. This period shall be non-extendible. Applications filed after the last day for filing shall not be entertained.

Sec. 8. Personal Filing of Applications for Accreditation. – Applications for accreditation shall be personally filed at the COMELEC-EID, in the case of national and foreign media, and at the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor (OPES), in the case of local media.

Applications for accreditation may also be personally filed at the COMELEC-EID, in the case of other media, such as novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, and those involved in the production of feature films and documentaries, both domestic and foreign.

Sec. 9. Approval of Applications for Accreditation. – Approval of applications for accreditation shall be granted by the Chairman of the COMELEC, through the Director IV, COMELEC-EID, Manila, and the Provincial Election Supervisor (PES), in the case of local media.

Sec. 10. Treatment of Applications for Accreditation. – Within seven (7) days from the end of the period for filing applications, the PES shall immediately furnish copies of all applications, with attachments, to the COMELEC-EID through facsimile, indicating which applications were approved and which were denied.

Sec.  11. Media Card. – Upon accreditation, media representatives shall be issued a Media Card which must be personally claimed. The COMELEC Media Card shall be strictly non-transferable and is valid only for the purpose for which it was issued. Any abuse thereof shall result in revocation.

The Media Card shall be worn prominently whenever the media representative is covering or observing a COMELEC or electoral event.

Sec. 12. Access. – 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.

Sec. 13. Rules of Conduct. – All media representatives shall observe the following conduct:

a) Not more than three (3) media representatives shall be allowed inside the polling place at any one time;

b) Upon entry into the polling places, media representatives shall immediately identify themselves to the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) by presenting their Media Cards;

c) Unprofessional activities shall not be tolerated. Any media representative found to be engaging in unprofessional activities shall have their Media Cards immediately revoked. Unprofessional activities include:

1.    Any behavior deemed disruptive of the conduct of voting, counting, or canvassing, such as, but not limited to, conducting interviews inside the polling place or canvassing center;

2.    Engaging in partisan political activities;

3.    Any behavior intended to unduly influence the choice of voters, such as, but not limited to, directly trying to sway the voter or speaking for or against a candidate;

4.    Distributing campaign materials; and

5.    Any behavior deemed unlawful.

Source: Commission on Elections

 

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