Comelec sets limitations on use of broadcast election propaganda

By RUTCHIE AGUHOB of PIA-10

OZAMIZ City, Misamis Occidental–All parties and bona fide candidates will have equal access to media time for their election propaganda during the campaign period subject to certain requirements and/or limitations.

This ruling of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is contained in Resolution No. 9615 that sets the duration of air time that a candidate or party may use for their broadcast advertisements or election propaganda relative to the May 13, 2013 elections to be, as follows:

An aggregate total of 120 minutes for candidates/registered political parties for a national elective position and 60 minutes for a local elective position, for television advertising, whether appearing on national, regional or local, free or cable television.

An aggregate total of 180 minutes for candidates/registered political parties for a national elective position and 90 minutes for a local elective position, for radio advertising, whether airing on national, regional or local radio, either by purchase or donation,

In cases where two or more candidates or parties whose names, initials, images, brands, logos, insignias, color motifs, symbols, or forms of graphical representations are displayed, exhibited, used, or mentioned together in the broadcast election propaganda or advertisements, the length of time during which they appear or are being mentioned or promoted will be counted against the airtime limits allotted for the said candidates or parties.

The cost of the said advertisement will likewise be considered as their expenditures, regardless of whoever paid for the advertisements or to whom the said advertisements were donated.

Meanwhile, appearance or guesting by a candidate on any bona fide newscast/ news interview/news documentary, if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary, or on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events, including but not limited to events sanctioned by the Comelec, political conventions, and similar activities, shall not be deemed to be broadcast election propaganda within the meaning of this provision.

To determine whether the appearance or guesting in a program is bona fide, the broadcast stations or entities must show that prior approval of the Comelec was secured and that candidates and parties were afforded equal opportunities to promote their candidacy.

Resolution 9615 also provides that a copy of the broadcast advertisement contract be furnished to the Comelec, through the Education and Information Department, within five days from contract signing.

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