New law provides bigger discounts for political ads
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Candidates in the upcoming May elections can take advantage of bigger discounts for the broadcasting of their political advertisements, thanks to a new law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said on Friday, February 15, that Duterte has signed Republic Act No 11207, an amendment to the Free Elections Act. It's name is an "Act providing for reasonable rates for political advertisements."
The measure orders that a 50% discount be given to candidates for the airing of their ads on television, up from 30%. For radio ads, the discount will be 40%, from 20%. As for print, the 10% discount was retained.
The law also allows media organizations to set even higher discounts, as long as the discount is given to other candidates running for the same position.
The higher discounts are supposed to help candidates with smaller budgets to air their ads and reach voters more effectively. This will level the playing field so that aired political ads are not dominated by candidates with heavy financial backing.
Reelectionist Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, sponsor of the bill in the Senate, allayed fears that the law would be exploited by well-funded candidates.
These candidates would still be limited by airtime restrictions – 180 minutes for radio and 120 minutes for television.
The law will take effect 15 days after publication, or well within the 2019 campaign period for senatorial and partylist candidates which began last February 12 and will end on May 11.
For congressional, regional, and local candidates, the campaign period is from March 30 to May 11, 2019. – Rappler.com