Candidates for public office and political parties will be paying less for their political ads in broadcast media starting this year. Radio and television stations are required to charge political candidates and parties less than regular commercial advertisers with the approval by Congress last November 2018 of Senate Bill No. 1985. The bill amends Section 11 of Republic Act No. 9006, otherwise known as the Fair Election Act, which gives discounts for political advertising on television, radio, and print media.
The amendment gives higher discounts for political advertisements in media: a discount of 40 percent in television (up from 30 percent), 30 percent for radio (up from 20 percent). The discount for political ads in print remains at 10 percent. The discounts will be taken off the average published rates charged by the station during the last three years prior to the election period, one year in the case of print. The amendment does not cover ads on social media and the internet.
Under the new law, media may give higher discounts to a candidate or party but are required to give the same discount to other candidates and parties. However, in no case are they allowed to charge political candidates and parties higher rates than non-political advertisers.