The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is planning to hold an online presidential debate for the May 2022 polls.
“Yes, we’re working on debates and, yes, they will be online,” Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said in a television interview on Oct. 25.
“Unfortunately, we would probably not be allowing a live audience,” he added.
The poll official, however, said that they will make sure that the debates are available and accessible to everyone.
Last May, Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said the poll body was eyeing the possibility of conducting a “hybrid” presidential debate in the upcoming polls amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I think it would be better if it is hybrid so we could do the face to face but virtual audience,” he said.
Casquejo said another option is to have the candidates attend virtually or physically while the audience will be allowed physically but on a limited scale.
During the May 2016 polls, the Comelec together with their media partners organized three presidential debates dubbed as #PiliPinasDebates2016.
Due to the successful conduct of the debates, then Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they want to make the debates a regular thing during elections.
“We want to make these debates a part of the fabric of Philippine elections that can successfully penetrate the political consciousness of many Filipinos for it is high time that our politics to veer away from popularity and personalities and move towards policy pronouncements, platforms, and performance,” he said at that time.