MANILA -- The signing of a law that will allow reasonable rates for political advertisements will level the playing field for candidates during the campaign season, Malacañang said on Monday.
“This new measure on discounted political advertisements would benefit all candidates of the political spectrum and hopefully would level the playing field, in accordance with the directive of the Constitution, beginning this year’s elections,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo was referring to Republic Act No. 11207 which amends Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Election Act.
The law states that during the election period, media outlets shall give registered political parties and bona fide candidates a discount of 50 percent for television, 40 percent for radio, and 10 percent for print, from the average of the published rates charged in the last three calendar years prior to the election.
“Nothing in this provision prohibits a media outlet from giving higher discounts: Provided, That the discount it gives one candidate shall be the same amount it gives to other candidates for the same position,” the law read.
“In no case shall rates charged to registered political parties and bona fide candidates be higher than rates charged to non-political advertisers,” it added.
Within 30 days from the effectivity of the law, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) must issue implementing rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.
The law must take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in any newspaper of general circulation.
The law is a consolidation of House Bill No. 6604 and Senate Bill No. 1985 passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on Nov. 27, 2018.
Last week, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the law along with the Rice Tariffication Act, the New Central Bank Act, and SSS Rationalization Act.
Duterte, meanwhile, vetoed the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund and partially vetoed the Tax Amnesty Act. (PNA)
Photo from OPS/Manila Bulletin