Koko Pimentel files bill on cheaper political ads
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III filed Senate Bill No 1777, seeking to lower costs of political advertisements on media “in the interest of democratizing public service.”
Pimentel, who will run for reelection in 2019, proposed to amend Republic Act 9006 or the Fair Elections Act to lower advertisement costs by 50% for television, 30% for radio, and 20% for print media compared to the average rates charged to their most favored advertisers during the first 3 quarters of two calendar years before the elections.
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."
In pushing for his bill, Pimentel said Article 2, Section 26 of the Constitution provides that everyone shall be given equal opportunities to public service.
But due to financial constraints, Pimentel said other candidates are unable to compete with the rest. He added that “only rich people or those backed by wealthy financiers are able to run due to the costs of campaigning."
“In this day and age, an undeniable feature of running a successful election campaign involves media exposure. Unfortunately, many qualified but financially disadvantaged candidates are unable to compete in this regard because of prohibitive rates charged by media entities,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel said cheaper rates should not be an issue with media companies because they have always been willing to lower costs for certain parties or advertisers.
“This proposal complements our campaign against political dynasties – voters won’t have to put up with the same old tired faces if they have more options to choose from,” he said.
Pimentel is among the 7 incumbent senators who can run for a second term, along with Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Juan Edgardo Angara, Cynthia Villar, and Nancy Binay.
The fate of the proposed bill now lies with the Senate. In December 2017, the House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 6604 that seeks to introduce a 50% discount for parties and candidates for political propaganda on print, radio, and television. – Rappler.com