Comelec retains shorter airtime limit on campaign ads-A A +A
Friday, February 1, 2013
MANILA -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to retain the "shorter" time limit it has set to broadcast election propagandas for candidates in the May 13 polls despite opposition from concerned groups.
In an interview, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the commission en banc has decided to retain the use of "aggregate" total of television and radio advertising as provided in their Resolution 9615.
"We will retain the aggregate. We will just maintain it," said Brillantes.
Asked for the reason, the poll chief said they were not convinced with the grounds for opposing the provision laid down by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and GMA Network Inc.
"We debated on this already even before we came out with the resolution and we did not find anything convincing on the side of those who wanted to expand it again," said Brillantes.
Among the claims of the KBP and GMA is that the shortened airtime is limiting the broadcast industry from "legitimate earning" during the election season while everybody does and is also tantamount to "restraint of trade."
As provided in Resolution 9615, national candidates are allowed 120 minutes of total television airtime and 180 minutes of total radio airtime, while local candidates are given 60 minutes for television and 90 minutes for radio.
In the 2010 elections, there was a similar airtime limit for political advertisements in the broadcast media but on a per television and radio station basis.
But while it rejected appeals on the airtime limits, the Comelec said it will adopt the amendment on the prior approval requirement for interviews of candidates.
From the original "prior approval" requirement for television and radio programs to interview candidates, the poll body is already downgrading it to "prior notice."
"Ire-reword lang namin yung prior notice… we are relaxing the rules a little," said Brillantes.
Section 9 of Comelec Resolution 9615 requires that in order to determine whether the appearance or guesting in a program is bona fide, the broadcast entity must show that "prior approval of the Commission was secured."
The poll chief also said they have also decided to retain the right to reply provision of the resolution believing that they have the legal authority to impose such rules, although they are set to include some supplementary provisions.
Section 14 of the resolution states that all parties and bona fide candidates shall have the right to reply to charges published or aired against them and that they may invoke it to the newspaper, television or radio stations.
Brillantes said they are looking to come out with the resolution on Monday. (HDT/Sunnex)