TV, radio guesting needs Comelec nodBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines—Television and radio stations cannot put candidates on air without the nod of the Commission on Elections, the poll chief said Friday.
“Guesting could also be abused and it could be used as a form of campaigning,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. told reporters.
“If only one candidate is being [invited as] guest of a radio station every now and then we could always treat it as part of campaign propaganda,” Brillantes said.
Comelec will be requiring broadcast stations to seek approval first so they can monitor the amount of candidates’ airtime, he added.
The election period for the 2013 polls began Sunday.
The Comelec en banc has issued a resolution detailing the rules and regulations for election advertisements on all forms of media including the internet.
The resolution says that the appearance of candidates in “any bona fide newscast; interview; news documentary” as long as it is part of the news coverage of a legitimate election campaign event “shall not be deemed to be broadcast election propaganda.”
For a candidate to be allowed to guest in a program “the broadcast 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.”
“If [only one candidate] is being repeatedly invited as guest, [like] local candidates in local stations and not inviting the competition, and all commentaries are in favor of one particular candidate, then we’ll just have to monitor this up to a certain point,” Brillantes said.
“It can be considered as campaign propaganda,” he said.
Under the Comelec guidelines, national candidates are allowed 120 minutes aggregate television airtime and 180 minutes total airtime for radio.
Local candidates are allowed 60 minutes of television airtime and 90 minutes for radio, according to the resolution.