Comelec 7 chief urges media to be mindful of violations on airtime, ad sizes

COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) 7 Director Temie Lambino yesterday advised media to comply with Comelec regulations on campaign materials and airtime.

Under Comelec Resoltuion 9615, national candidates are allowed a total of 120 minutes broadcast time in all TV networks and 180 minutes in all radio stations. Local candidates have 60 minutes in all TV networks and 90 minutes in all radio stations.

Paid advertisements in broadsheet newspapers should not be bigger than one-fourth of a page. In tabloids, candidates are allowed half a page.

The ads should not see print more than thrice a week.

Lambino, in a roundtable discussion with Sun.Star Cebu, said the Comelec requires media outlets to report on campaign ad placements and broadcast interviews of local and national candidates.

Comelec reminds media of election rules
BE WARNED. COmmission on Elections (Comelec) 7 Director Temie Lambino explains Comelec regulations on campaign materials and election candidates' right to reply to Sun.Star Cebu advertising executives, news reporters, and editors. (Sun.Star Photo/Allan Defensor)


However, the Comelec, in Resolution 9631 promulgated last Feb. 1, clarified that "appearance or guesting by a candidate on any bona fide newscast, news interview, news documentary … or on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events” are not considered broadcast election propaganda and will not be deducted from the airtime of the candidate.

Comelec requires the media entity, though, to give prior notice about the interview or guesting.

Resolution 9631 states that if prior notice is not possible, the media outlet should report within 24 hours from the airing of the program or interview.

Contracts between media outlets—TV, radio and newspapers—and advertisers (whether the candidates or their supporters) are required by the Comelec to contain the name and contact information of the person who paid for the advertisement.

This form part of the monitoring on election campaign expenditures.

Lambino said candidates belonging to political parties are allowed to spend up to P3 per voter. Independent candidates and party-list groups are allowed to spend as much as P5 per voter.

The expenses of the candidates will be declared in their statement of contribution and expenditures to the Comelec.

Unlike in previous elections, Lambino said, Comelec is seriously monitoring campaign spending in the May elections.
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