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

March 19, 2022 - 9:23 PM
Screenshot of presidential debate held March 19, 2022. (Comelec)

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

The Comelec hosted the first debate that is eyed to present the respective platform and stances of the candidates for the highest post in the land.

The debate, dubbed “The Pilipinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point,” started at 7 p.m. on Saturday and is being held 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
  • Leody De Guzman
  • Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso
  • Norberto Gonzales
  • Panfilo “Ping” Lacson
  • Faisal Mangondato
  • Jose Montemayor
  • Manny Pacquiao
  • Vice President Leni Robredo

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

Meanwhile, each attendee of the presidential debate is given 90 seconds to answer each debate question and 30 seconds for rebuttal and rejoinder. They are

The candidates are given a warning ten seconds before their time to respond to the questions runs out.

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

Some said they wanted to see the debate timer on the screen to ensure that each candidate is given similar enough time to respond.

“Timer reveal,” a Twitter user said.

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

Sana may timer sa screen no,” one Twitter user said.

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

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

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

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

They also included a space for the sign language interpreter.

During the CNN Philippines debate last February 27, the news network added included a debate timer on its livestream and telecast.