Bigger discounts on political ads mandated

February 16, 2019

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the bill requiring higher discount rates for political advertisements of candidates and parties in mass media during elections.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Friday confirmed Duterte’s favorable action on the bill, three days after the campaign period for candidates for national positions-- senators and party-list groups -- in the May midterm elections started.

The law, which amends the Fair Election Act (Republic Act 9006), provides that the discounted rates shall be as follows: from 30 percent to 50 percent for television and from 20 percent to 40 percent for radio.

The discount for print was retained at 10 percent. 

“Relieved of the burden of the prohibitive costs of political advertisements, candidates and political parties participating in future elections will now have more opportunities to communicate their messages to the electorate in all forms of the so-called mainstream media,” reelectionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, a co-author of the measure, said in a statement in October last year.

Pimentel also said political advertisements should be part of the social responsibility of media outlets because the true purpose of these advertisements is “to educate the electorate about the qualifications, platforms, and track records of political candidates.”