THE COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) has issued the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the amended election law, setting out the discount rates and guidelines for the May 2019 campaign ads that will be placed in different media outlets.

Under the IRR, media companies are ordered to give the following discounts for campaign ads by registered candidates and parties: 50% for television, 40% for radio, and 10% for print. The percentage will be based on the average regular rate in the past three years.

Media outlets can give even bigger discounts, but it should be applied to all candidates for the same position.

The Comelec requires media outlets to submit the average published rates charged during the past three years, and a certification that shows the discounted rates were applied uniformly to all those running for this midterm elections.

The IRR, contained in Comelec En Banc Resolution No. 10517 released on April 1, is in line with Republic Act 11207 signed last February 14, 2019, which amends Section 11 of RA 9006 or the Fair Elections Act.

“For the May 13, 2019 National and Local Elections, media outlets shall give registered political parties, party list groups, coalitions, and bona fide candidates the above discounted rates upon effectivity of these rules,” states the resolution signed by the Comelec En Banc on March 30.

The definition of media outlets include “intermediaries” who act between media outlets and candidates, political parties, party-list groups, and coalitions “for the purpose of entering into political advertisement contracts.”

Media companies are also still subject to the reportorial requirements for election-related advertising contracts contained in Comelec Resolution 9991. — Gillian M. Cortez