During Comelec’s first presidential debate, viewers ask: Where’s the clock?


Screenshot of the presidential debate on March 19, 2022. (Comelec)

Several viewers of the first presidential debate moderated by the Elections Committee lamented the absence of the debate timer on livestream and telecast.

Comelec hosted the first debate scheduled to present the platform and the respective positions of the candidates for the highest post in the country.

The debate, dubbed “The 2022 Pilipina Debates: The Turning Point”, began Saturday at 7 p.m. and takes place at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City. It will run for two hours.

Nine out of ten candidates attended the presidential debate. These are:

  • Ernesto Abella
  • Leodye de Guzman
  • Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso
  • Norberto Gonzales
  • Panfilo “Ping” Lacson
  • Faycal Mangondato
  • Jose Montemayor
  • Manny Pacquiao
  • Vice President Leni Robredo

Presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. did not attend the debate.

During this time, each participant in the presidential debate has 90 seconds to answer each question in the debate and 30 seconds for rebuttal and reply. They are

Candidates receive a warning ten seconds before the end of their time to answer the questions.

However, several debate viewers asked why the Comelec did not include the debate timer on the live stream and telecast.

Some said they wanted to see the debate timer onscreen to ensure each candidate has a similar amount of time to respond.

“Timer reveal,” said one Twitter user.

“Bakit walang timer his screen ugh #PiliPinasDebates2022.[Ang] tagal tagal nang practice nun hindi pa rin mutilation,” asked another online user.

sana may timer no screen,” said one Twitter user.

Others compared the Comelec-sponsored debate to the presidential debate hosted by CNN Philippines last month.

“Bakit walang timer na nakikita yung tulad nung viewers on cnn? Nakakagulat yung bell, ” said another Twitter user.

Based on the Comelec livestream and the telecast of the presidential debates, the only texts appearing on the screen are the following:

  • Debate
  • Vote Pilipinas Co-producer
  • Partner Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

They also included space for the sign language interpreter.

During the debate on CNN Philippines on February 27, the news network added a debate timer to its live stream and broadcast.



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