By ATTY. GREGORIO LARRAZABAL
Previously we discussed and answered questions regarding digital billboards. Another issue raised by several individuals is the installation of campaign propaganda on vehicles. Specifically PUVs such as jeeps, buses, and taxis.
As background, previously there was a prohibition on the installation of campaign propaganda on PUVs. In 2015, a petition was filed by 1-UTAK (United Transport Koalisyon) with the Supreme Court contesting Comelec Resolution No. 9615. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the petitioner. After the decision of the Supreme Court, the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular 2015-029, lifting the prohibition on political ads on PUVs such as jeeps, buses, and taxis.
Q: What are the restrictions on the installation of campaign propaganda on PUVs?
A: The following are the conditions that have to be complied with, before campaign propaganda can be installed on a PUV:
- Political advertisements are allowed on public utility vehicles (PUVs) as long as they meet the standards as prescribed in Comelec Resolution No. 10488.
- The election campaign materials must meet the rules and regulations set by the Comelec and pass standard requirements and guidelines in the processing, approval and issuance of permits on transit advertisements.
- The size of campaign materials installed should not exceed 8.5 x 11 inches for stickers and 2 x 3 feet for posters.
- Before installation of the campaign materials, the candidate / political party / partylist organization, or their duly authorized representative must go through the application process to get a permit and pay the required fees;
- All campaign ads must not cover the trade name, license plate, body number or any required markings on the vehicle and should not constitute a traffic hazard, or compromise the safety and convenience of passengers, and the public in general. The campaign propaganda must likewise not limit, impede, or obstruct in any way the driver’s line of sight.
Q: Where should the campaign propaganda be located on the PUVs?
- For PUJs: advertisements shall be limited to toppers.
- For taxis: they shall be placed on toppers, its rear back and upper portion of the back windshield not exceeding 8 inches in width.
- For buses: on both sides, transit advertising materials shall be specifically positioned from its middle of its front axle to the middle of its rear axle in the right and left external surfaces of the bus, excluding its windows.
Q: What is the procedure for securing permits for political rallies and meetings?
A: Sec. 31 of Comelec Resolution 10488 requires that “All applications for permits to hold public meetings, rallies and other similar political activities shall be filed with the authorized city or municipal official who shall acknowledge receipt thereof in writing.” Sec. 31 also mandates that the application shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the cityhall or municipal building immediately after receipt of the written application.
The authorized city or municipal official has three (3) days to decide on the applications. If no decision is made, the applications are deemed approved.
Please take note that while Sec. 30 of Comelec Resolution 10488 states that candidates shall inform the local election officer of the planned campaign activity, it is the local city or municipal official who is mandated to issue the appropriate permit.
Q: Should Comelec be informed of the applications for rallies, meetings and similar campaign activities?
A: Yes. Aside from the candidates informing Comelec of their planned political rally, Comelec Resolution No. 10488 also requires that the official before whom the application is filed shall submit to the City or Municipal Election Officer concerned on the first working day of each week the list of applications, if any, filed during the previous week and the action taken on the applications.
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