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Thursday, September 10, 2009

OEC 1 - General Provisions



Article I

GENERAL PROVISIONS


Section 1. Title. - This Act shall be known and cited as the "Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines."

Sec. 2. Applicability. - This Code shall govern all election of public officers and, to the extent appropriate, all referenda and plebiscites.

Sec. 3. Election and campaign periods. - Unless otherwise fixed in special cases by the Commission on Elections, which hereinafter shall be referred to as the Commission, the election period shall commence ninety days before the day of the election and shall end thirty days thereafter.

The period of campaign shall be as follows:
  1. Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election - 90 days; 
  2. Election of Members of the Batasang Pambansa and Local Election - 45 days; and 
  3.  Barangay Election - 15 days.

The campaign periods shall not include the day before and the day of the election.

However, in case of special elections under Article VIII, Section 5, Subsection (2) of the Constitution, the campaign period shall be forty-five days.

Sec. 4. Obligation to register and vote. - It shall be the obligation of every citizen qualified to vote to register and cast his vote.

Sec. 5. Postponement of election. - When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision, the Commission, motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

Sec. 6. Failure of election. - If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

Sec. 7. Call of special election. –
  1. In case a vacancy arises in the Batasang Pambansa eighteen months or more before a regular election, the Commission shall call a special election to be held within sixty days after the vacancy occurs to elect the Member to serve the unexpired term.  
  1. In case of the dissolution of the Batasang Pambansa, the President shall call an election which shall not be held earlier than forty-five nor later than sixty days from the date of such dissolution.

The Commission shall send sufficient copies of its resolution for the holding of the election to its provincial election supervisors and election registrars for dissemination, who shall post copies thereof in at least three conspicuous places preferably where public meetings are held in each city or municipality affected

Sec. 8. Election Code to be available in polling places. - A printed copy of this Code in English or in the national language shall be provided and be made available by the Commission in every polling place, in order that it may be readily consulted by any person in need thereof on the registration, revision and election days.

Sec. 9. Official mail and telegram relative to elections. - Papers connected with the election and required by this Code to be sent by public officers in the performance of their election duties shall be free of postage and sent by registered special delivery mail.  Telegrams of the same nature shall likewise be transmitted free of charge by government telecommunications and similar facilities.

      It shall be the duty of the Postmaster General, the Director of the Bureau of Telecommunications, and the managers of private telecommunication companies to transmit immediately and in preference to all other communications or telegrams messages reporting election results and such other messages or communications which the Commission may require or may be necessary to ensure free, honest and orderly elections.

Sec. 10. Election expenses. - Except in barangay elections, such expenses as may be necessary and reasonable in connection with the elections, referenda, plebiscites and other similar exercises shall be paid by the Commission. The Commission may direct that in the provinces, cities, or municipalities, the election expenses chargeable to the Commission be advanced by the province, city or municipality concerned subject to reimbursement by the Commission upon presentation of the proper bill.

Funds needed by the Commission to defray the expenses for the holding of regular and special elections, referenda and plebiscites shall be provided in the regular appropriations of the Commission which, upon request, shall immediately be released to the Commission.  In case of deficiency, the amount so provided shall be augmented from the special activities funds in the general appropriations act and from those specifically appropriated for the purpose in special laws.

Sec. 11. Failure to assume office. - The office of any official elected who fails or refuses to take his oath of office within six months from his proclamation shall be considered vacant, unless said failure is for a cause or causes beyond his control.

Sec. 12. Disqualifications. - Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months or for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office, unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted amnesty.

This disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon the declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence, unless within the same period he again becomes disqualified.

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