MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has determined through drawing of lots the local media companies that would host the presidential and vice presidential debates next year.
The first to be picked were GMA 7 and Philippine Daily Inquirer, which will host the presidential debate in Mindanao on February 21, 2016 while the presidential debate in the Visayas on March 20 will be hosted by TV5 and Philippine Star.
ABS-CBN and Manila Bulletin will be in charged of the Luzon presidential debate on April 24 while the vice presidential debate in Metro Manila on April 10 will be handled by CNN Philippines and Business Mirror.
The Comelec has also given the lead media entities the prerogative to identify the host facilities, preferably in schools.
Among the possible issues to be debated upon are agricultural development, poverty reduction, charter change, peace and order, disaster preparedness, healthcare, education, corruption, public transportation, traffic, electoral reforms, foreign policy, tax reform, and national defense.
Earlier, the poll body said that national candidates are not mandated to the debates.
Section 7 of the Fair Election Act states that the Comelec “may require national television and radio networks to sponsor at least three national debates among presidential candidates and at least one among vice presidential candidates”.