Press Release
July 13, 2011

Trillanes wants to relax limit on use of tri-media for political campaign

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV wants to ease the limit on media time and space for candidates and political parties during elections under a proposal seeking to amend the Fair Election Act in order to ensure equal opportunity.

In Senate Bill 2881 filed in the upper chamber, Trillanes seeks to amend provisions in Republic Act 9006 that specifically pertain to the use of tri-media for political campaign to give candidates more latitude and discretion in choosing their media platform for their campaign.

"This proposed amendment to the Fair Election Act seeks to relax the limit on the access to media time and space of political parties and candidates during elections. The idea is to give them more latitude to pick out and decide on the medium of campaign where they can make the most effective use of paid advertisement," Trillanes explained.

Trillanes said that there are different views on which mode of paid advertisement is best. "Depending on the audience, some swear to the superiority of print media while others prefer the audiovisual channel experience in communicating their messages to the electorate. These philosophies are most important during the electoral campaign period" the senator said.

Instead of limiting the access to print advertisements to one-fourth page in broadsheet and one-half page in tabloids thrice a week, Trillanes is proposing to expand it to two full pages per newspaper, magazine and other publication per day during the campaign period.

He is also proposing to allot 120 minutes of television advertisement per station per registered political party and 180 minutes of radio advertisement per station. Political parties for local elective office will be entitled to not more than 60 minutes of TV ad and 90 minutes of radio advertisement per station as well.

Trillanes described the provisions of the law imposing strict limits on the access to media as "superfluous and unnecessary" in view of the existing cap imposed on the maximum amount a candidate or political party may spend for the campaign.

Given the stringent campaign finance regulations in place, Trillanes said, candidates and political parties "should be given unhampered discretion to decide how best to spend their campaign funds with as little interference from third parties as possible."

"As long as they remain within the cap prescribed by law, it shouldn't matter how a candidate and/or a political party spend their money. After all, is their campaign and it is their money and they should be allowed to spend it in the best manner they believe they can," he added.

Under the existing law, the spending limit is set as follows: P10.00 per voter for candidates for president and vice-president, P3.00 per for voter for other candidates, P5.00 per voter for candidates without political party and without support of any political party, and P5.00 per voter for political parties and party-list groups.

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