Cebu Citizens-Press Council

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Commission on Elections Resolution 9615

RULES AND REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING REPUBLIC ACT 9006, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “FAIR ELECTION ACT,” IN CONNECTION TO THE 13 MAY 2013 NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS, AND SUBSEQUENT ELECTIONS

Promulgation: January 15, 2013

SECTION 1. Definitions. – As used in this Resolution:

4. The term “political advertisement” or “election propaganda” refers to any matter broadcasted, published, printed, displayed or exhibited, in any medium, which contain the name, image, logo, brand, insignia, color motif, initials, and other symbol or graphic representation that is capable of being associated with a candidate or party, and is intended to draw the attention of the public or a segment thereof to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the election of the said candidate or candidates to a public office.  In broadcast media, political advertisements may take the form of spots, appearances on TV shows and radio programs, live or taped announcements, teasers, and other forms of advertising messages or announcements used by commercial advertisers.

Political advertising includes matters, not falling within the scope of personal opinion, that appear on any Internet website, including, but not limited to, social networks, blogging sites, and micro-blogging sites, in return for consideration, or otherwise capable of pecuniary estimation.

5.  The terms “blog” and “collective blog” refer to websites on which an individual or group of users, respectively, record news, opinions, and information, in varying degrees of regularity. A “micro-blog” refers to a blogging format which allows users to exchange small elements of content – referred to variously as posts or status updates – such as short sentences, individual images, or links to video material uploaded to the Internet.

Sec. 6. Lawful Election Propaganda. – Election propaganda, whether on television or cable television, radio, newspaper or any other medium, is hereby allowed for all parties and for all bona fide candidates seeking national and local elective positions subject to the limitation on authorized expenses of candidates and parties, observation of truth in advertising, and to the supervision and regulation by the Commission.

Lawful election propaganda shall include:

f. Paid advertisements in print or broadcast media subject to the requirements set forth in Section 9 hereof and Republic Act No. 9006;

Sec. 7. Prohibited Forms of Election Propaganda. – During the campaign period, it is unlawful:

a.    To print, publish, post or distribute any newspaper, newsletter, newsweekly, gazette or magazine advertising, pamphlet, leaflet, card, decal, bumper sticker, poster, comic book, circular, handbill, streamer, sample list of candidates or any published or printed political matter and to air or broadcast any election propaganda or political advertisement by television or radio or on the internet for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public office, unless they bear and be identified by the reasonably legible, or audible words “political advertisement paid for,” followed by the true and correct name and address of the candidate or party for whose benefit the election propaganda was printed or aired.  It shall likewise be unlawful to publish, print or distribute said campaign materials unless they bear, and are identified by, the reasonably legible, or audible words “political advertisements paid by,” followed by the true and correct name and address of the payor.

b.    To print, publish, broadcast or exhibit any such election propaganda donated or given free of charge by any person or publishing firm or broadcast entity to a candidate or party without the written acceptance by the said candidate or party and unless they bear and be identified by the words “printed free of charge,” or “airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge by”, respectively, followed by the true and correct name and address of the said publishing firm or broadcast entity;

d.    For any newspaper or publication, radio, television or cable television station, or other mass media, or any person making use of the mass media to sell or to give free of charge print space or air time for campaign or election propaganda purposes to any candidate or party in excess of the size, duration or frequency authorized by law or these rules;

e.    For any radio, television, cable television station, announcer or broadcaster to allow the scheduling of any program, or permit any sponsor to manifestly favor or oppose any candidate or party by unduly or repeatedly referring to, or unnecessarily mentioning his name, or including therein said candidate or party; and

The printing press, printer, or publisher who prints, reproduces or publishes said campaign materials, and the broadcaster, station manager, owner of the radio or television station, or owner or administrator of any website who airs or shows the political advertisements, without the required data or in violation of these rules shall be criminally liable with the candidate and, if applicable, further suffer the penalties of suspension or revocation of franchise or permit in accordance with law.

Sec. 9. Requirements and/or Limitations on the Use of Election Propaganda through Mass Media. – All parties and bona fide candidates shall have equal access to media time and space for their election propaganda during the campaign period subject to the following requirements and/or limitations:

a.    Broadcast Election Propaganda

The duration of air time that a candidate, or party may use for their broadcast advertisements or election propaganda shall be, as follows:

For Candidates/Registered Political parties for a National Elective Position – Not more than an aggregate total of one hundred (120) minutes of television advertising, whether appearing on national, regional, or local, free or cable television, and one hundred eighty (180) minutes of radio advertising, whether airing on national, regional, or local radio, whether by purchase or donation.

For Candidates/Registered Political parties for a Local Elective Position – Not more than an aggregate total of sixty (60) minutes of television advertising, whether appearing on national, regional, or local, free or cable television, and ninety (90) minutes of radio advertising, whether airing on national, regional, or local radio, whether by purchase or donation.

In cases where two or more candidates or parties whose names, initials, images, brands, logos, insignias, color motifs, symbols, or forms of graphical representations are displayed, exhibited, used, or mentioned together in the broadcast election propaganda or advertisements, the length of time during which they appear or are being mentioned or promoted will be counted against the airtime limits allotted for the said candidates or parties and the cost of the said advertisement will likewise be considered as their expenditures, regardless of whoever paid for the advertisements or to whom the said advertisements were donated.

Appearance or guesting by a candidate on any bona fide newscast, bona fide news interview, bona fide news documentary, if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to the presentation of the subject or subjects covered by the news documentary, or on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events, including but not limited to events sanctioned by the Commission on Elections, political conventions, and similar activities, shall not be deemed to be broadcast election propaganda within the meaning of this provision.  To determine whether the appearance or guesting in a program is bona fide, the broadcast stations or entities must show that: (1) prior approval of the Commission was secured; and (2) candidates and parties were afforded equal opportunities to promote their candidacy.   Nothing in the foregoing sentence shall be construed as relieving broadcasters, in connection with the presentation of newscasts, news interviews, news documentaries, and on-the-spot coverage of news events, from the obligation imposed upon them under Sections 10 and 14 of these Rules.

Provided, further, that a copy of the broadcast advertisement contract be furnished to the Commission, thru the Education and Information Department, within five (5) days from contract signing.

b.    Printed or Published Election Propaganda

The maximum size of print advertisements for each candidate, whether for a national or local elective positions, or party shall be, as follows:

In broadsheets    One fourth (1/4) page
In tabloids    One half (1/2) page

Said print advertisement, whether procured by purchase, or given free of charge, shall not be published more than three times a week per newspaper, magazine, or other publication during the campaign period.

c.    Online Election Propaganda

The maximum size of online propaganda for each candidate, whether for a national or local elective position, or party shall be as follows:

Name    Width/pixels    Height/pixels    Aspect Ratio

Rectangles and Pop-ups
Medium    300    250    1.2
Square Pop-up    250    250    1
Vertical Rectangle    240    400    1.67
Large Rectangle    336    280    1.2
Rectangle    180    150    1.2
3:1 Rectangle    300    100    3
Pop-Under    7.20    300    2.4

Banners and Buttons
Full Banner    468    60    7.8
Half Banner    234    60    3.9
Micro-Bar    88    31    2.84
Button 1    120    90    1.33
Button 2    120    60    2
Vertical Banner    120    240    2
Square Button    125    125    1
Leaderboard    728    90    8.09

Skyscrapers
Wide skyscraper    160    600    3.75
Skyscraper    120    600    5
Half-Page ad    300    600    2

Said online advertisement, whether procured by purchase, or given free of charge, shall not be published more than three times a week per website during the campaign period. For this purpose, the exhibition or display of the online advertisement for any length of time, regardless of frequency, within a 24 hour period, shall be construed as one instance of publication.

d.    Common requirements/limitations:

1.    Any printed or published, and broadcast election propaganda for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public office shall bear and be identified by the reasonably legible or audible words “political advertisement paid for,” followed by the true and correct name and address of the candidate or party whose benefit the election propaganda was printed or aired.  It must also bear, and be identified by, the reasonably legible, or audible words “political advertisement paid by,” followed by the true and correct name and address of the payor. This rule shall apply to online advertisements.

2.    If the printed or published election propaganda is donated by the publishing firm, or the broadcast election propaganda is given free of charge by the radio, or television station or cable television, it shall bear and be identified by the reasonably legible or audible words “printed free of charge,” or “airtime for this broadcast was provided free of charge by,” respectively, followed by the true and correct name and address of the said publishing firm or broadcast entity. This rule shall apply to online advertisements.

3.    For the above purpose, each broadcast entity and website owner or administrator shall submit to the Commission a certified true copy of its broadcast logs, certificates of performance, or other analogous record, including certificates of acceptance as required in Section 7(b) of these Guidelines, for the review and verification of the frequency, date, time and duration of advertisements aired for any candidate or party through:

For Broadcast Entities in the NCR – The Education and Information Department (EID) which in turn shall furnish copies thereof to the Campaign Finance Unit (CFU) of the Commission within five days from receipt thereof.

For Broadcast Entities outside of the NCR – The City/Municipal Election Officer (EO) concerned, who in turn, shall furnish copies thereof to the Education and Information Department (EID) of the Commission which in turn shall furnish copies thereof to the Campaign Finance Unit (CFU) of the Commission within five (5) days from the receipt thereof.

For website owners or administrators –  The City/Municipal Election Officer (EO) concerned, who in turn, shall furnish copies thereof to the Education and Information Department (EID) of the Commission which in turn shall furnish copies thereof to the Campaign Finance Unit (CFU) of the Commission within five (5) days from the receipt thereof.

All broadcast entities shall preserve their broadcast logs for a period of five (5) years from the date of broadcast for submission to the Commission whenever required.

Certified true copies of broadcast logs, certificates of performance, and certificates of acceptance, or other analogous record shall be submitted, as follows:

Candidates for National Positions

1st Report     3 weeks after start of campaign period    March 4 – 11
2nd Report    3 weeks after 1st filing week    April 3 – 10
3rd Report    1 week before election day    May 2 – 9
Last Report    Election week    May 14 – 17

Candidates for Local Positions

1st Report     1 week after start of campaign period    April 15 – 22
2nd Report    1 week after 1st filing week    April 30 – May 8
3rd Report    Election week    May 9 – 15
Last Report    1 week after election day    May 16 – 22

For subsequent elections, the schedule for the submission of reports shall be prescribed by the Commission.

Sec. 10. Fair and Accurate Reporting. – All members of the news media, television, radio, print, or online, shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts or distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis.  They shall recognize the duty to air the other side and the duty to correct substantive errors promptly without prejudice to the right of said broadcast entities to air accounts of significant news or newsworthy events and views on matters of public interest.

Sec. 11. No Suspension of Franchise. – No franchise or permit to operate a radio or television station shall be granted or issued, suspended or cancelled during the election period.

Sec. 12. Comelec Space and Time for Announcement of Candidates.
– The Commission shall procure print space and air time as follows:

a.    Print Space

The Commission shall, through the Education and Information Department, upon payment of just compensation, procure print space in at least three (3) national newspapers of general circulation wherein candidates for national office can announce their candidacies.  Such space shall be allocated free of charge equally and impartially to all candidates for national office on three different calendar days, as follows:

1st day – within the first week of the campaign period;
2nd day – within the fifth week of the campaign period;
3rd day – within the tenth week of the campaign period.

b.    Air Time

The Commission shall, through the Education and Information Department, also procure free air time from at least three (3) national television networks and three (3) national radio networks wherein candidates for national office can announce their candidacies.

Air time shall be allocated free of charge equally and impartially to all candidates for national office on three (3) different calendar days, as follows:

1st day – within the first week of the campaign period;
2nd day – within the fifth week of the campaign period;
3rd day – within the tenth week of the campaign period.

Each advertisement shall be in the form of a maximum of thirty (30) seconds spot, or in the form of interviews or campaign speeches at time limits to be set by the Commission in consultation with the said candidates or the parties;

Costs of production of political advertisement shall be at the expense of the candidate or political party, but the speeches or interviews shall be free of charge and the moderator shall be a COMELEC Official or one designated by the COMELEC for the purpose.

Sec. 13. Comelec Space and Time for Comelec Information Dissemination. – The Commission shall furthermore procure print space and air time as follows:

a.    Print Space

The Commission shall, through the Regional Election Director (RED), or in the case of the National Capital Region (NCR), the Education and Information Department, upon payment of just compensation, procure print space in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the province or city which shall be known as COMELEC Space to be utilized exclusively for public information dissemination on election-related concerns.  In the absence of said newspaper of general circulation, publication shall be done in any other magazine or periodical in the province or city.

b.    Airtime

The Commission shall, through the Regional Election Director (RED), or in the case of National Capital Region (NCR), the Education and Information Department, also procure air time free of charge in at least one (1) major broadcasting station or entity in every province or city which shall be known as COMELEC Time to be utilized exclusively for public information dissemination on election-related concerns.  In the absence of a major station or entity, broadcasting shall be done in any radio or television station in the province or city.

Each radio, television or broadcasting station chosen by the Regional Election Director or the Director of the Education and Information Department, as the case may be, shall provide airtime including primetime at least sixty (60) minutes daily.

Sec. 14. Right to Reply – All parties and bona fide candidates shall have the right to reply to charges published or aired against them.  The reply shall be given publicity by the newspaper, television, and/or radio station which first printed or aired the charges with the same prominence or in the same page or section, or in the same time slot as the first statement.

Candidates may invoke the right to reply by submitting a formal, verified, claim against the media outlet to the Comelec, through the appropriate Regional Election Director, or in the case of the NCR, the EID.  The claim shall include a detailed enumeration of the circumstances and occurrences which warrant the invocation of the right to reply.

The Comelec shall, within 24 hours of receipt of the claim, endorse the same to the media outlet involved, which shall, within 24 hours, submit a report to the Comelec, through the appropriate Regional Election Director, or in the case of the NCR, the EID, on the action it has taken to address the claim.

Sec. 15. Rates for Political Propaganda. – During the election period, media outlets shall charge parties and bona fide candidates a discounted rate for their election propaganda over the average rates charged during the first three (3) quarters of the calendar year preceding the elections, as follows:

a.    For television – Thirty percent (30%);
b.    For radio – Twenty percent (20%);
c.    For print – Ten percent (10%)

Sec. 16. Regulation of Election Propaganda through Mass Media. – In all instances, the Commission shall supervise the use and employment of press, radio and television facilities insofar as the placement of political advertisements is concerned to ensure that candidates are given equal opportunities under equal circumstances to make known their qualifications and their stand on public issues within the limits set forth in the Omnibus Election Code, Republic Act No. 9006, and these rules.

Sec. 32. Mass Media Columnist, Announcer or Personality Running for Public Office or is a Campaign Volunteer. – Any mass media columnist, commentator, announcer, reporter, on-air correspondent, or personality who is a candidate for any elective public office, a party-list nominee, or is a campaign volunteer for or employed or retained in any capacity by any candidate or party shall be deemed resigned, if so required by their employer, or shall take a leave of absence from his/her work as such during the campaign period; Provided, that after he has filed his certificate of candidacy but before the campaign period, it shall be his obligation not to use his media work for premature election campaign or partisan political activity: Provided, finally, that any media practitioner who, while not himself a candidate, is an official of a political party or a member of the campaign staff of a candidate or party shall not use his/her time or space to favor any candidate or party;

Sec. 35. Election Offense. – Any violation of RA 9006 and these Rules shall constitute an election offense punishable under the first and second paragraph of Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code in addition to administrative liability, whenever applicable.  Any aggrieved party may file a verified complaint for violation of these Rules with the Law Department of the Commission.

Source: Commission on Elections

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