The Commission on Elections (COMELEC),  Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and the four major television networks – ABS-CBN, GMA, Nine Media (CNN Phhilippines), and TV5 – signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA), last January 13 to formalize the plans to organize public debates for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the May 2016 elections.

The agreement followed several months of discussions among the COMELEC, KBP and the networks on how to put up the debates. The Fair Elections Act, Republic Act 9006, authorizes the COMELEC to require national television and radio networks to host at least three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate within the campaign period. The goal is to help voters in making well-informed decisions on the issues of the elections.