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Media guidelines for May elections

The Commission on Elections has released the guidelines for mass media accreditation in the May 13 automated national and local polls. In Resolution No. 9649 promulgated Feb 27, the Comelec  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 will get 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 poll body 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, according to Comelec, include: print, television, radio, online and photo journalists; novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, feature filmmakers, documentary makers, television production, professional photographers, professional videographers. All parties requesting accreditation are required to submit a duly accomplished accreditation application form; two recent  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, are required to submit photocopies of both sides of their International Press Center 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 are available at the COMELEC Education and Information Department and in all Comelec offices nationwide. Application forms may also be downloaded from the poll body’s Web site (http://www.comelec.gov.ph). The period for filing of applications will run from February 1, 2013 to April 15, 2013. “This period shall be non-extendible,” said the poll body. “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,” it said.
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