House bill seeking huge discount on campaign ads approved on 2nd reading

MANILA, Philippines – A bill at the House of Representatives seeks to increase the discount on campaign ads placed by political parties and candidates during the campaign period.

House Bill 6604 was approved on second reading on Tuesday, December 5. The measure aims to amend Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act. 

According to the fact sheet, the bill intends to provide "equal opportunity among qualified candidates to avail affordable political propaganda" through print, radio, and television.

"During the campaign period, media outlets shall provide registered political parties and bona fide candidates a discount of fifty percent (50%) for political propaganda on television, radio, and print," said the proposed amendment

"In no case shall rates charged to registered political parties and bona fide candidates be higher than rates charged to regular advertisers," the bill added.

HB 6604 also gives the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the power to "regulate the rates of political propaganda and prevent media outlets from increasing the rates to more than the average rates charged to regular advertisers one year prior to the start of the campaign period."

Section 11 of RA 9006 sets a discounted rate of 30% for political ads on TV, 20% on radio, and 10% on print "over the average rates charged during the first 3 quarters of the calendar year preceding the elections." 

The current discounted rates apply during the election period.

HB 6604 replaced House Bill numbers 4898 and 5922. It was sponsored on the House floor by Cibac Representative Sherwin Tugna, who also heads the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and 22 other congressmen are also listed as co-authors. –

Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.