In a post in her Twitter account @commrguanzon, Guanzon underscored the need to go after PUVs being used by some candidates as campaign medium.
Boy Santos
Comelec also monitoring campaign materials on PUVs
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - February 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Public utility vehicles (PUVs) displaying campaign materials like posters can be held liable for violating conditions set in their franchises, according to Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.

In a post in her Twitter account @commrguanzon, Guanzon underscored the need to go after PUVs being used by some candidates as campaign medium.

She said this should be made in partnership with relevant agencies like the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

“Comelec should partner. Owners of buses with illegal campaign posters are liable for committing an election offense,” she said.

Later in an interview, Guanzon said they would discuss the matter in a meeting on Wednesday.

For LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra, there is no problem with PUVs displaying campaign posters, as long as they comply with the standards set by the Comelec.

Delgra said compliant campaign posters or any election material are allowed in all PUVS under Memorandum Circular 2015-029.

Based on Comelec regulations, authorized posters should be no bigger than 2x3 feet while sticker size should not exceed 8.5x11 inches.

If PUVs are caught violating the Comelec standards, it would be considered a violation of their franchise, “which may result in fine, suspension or even cancellation,” said Delgra.

The prohibition against displaying campaign materials was lifted under the MC issued in 2015, following the Supreme Court decision that declared null and void a Comelec resolution banning propaganda materials in PUVs.

The SC ruled in favor of partylist 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-Utak), which questioned sections of a Comelec resolution prohibiting privately owned PUVs and terminals from posting campaign materials.

The partylist argued that it infringed on freedom of expression, to which the Supreme Court agreed.

“The Supreme Court ruling in 1-Utak versus Comelec is prevailing doctrine on political ads in transit advertisements unless this has been superseded,” Delgra said in a text message.

While campaign materials are allowed, PUV operators still have to comply with the requirements and guidelines in the processing, approval and issuance of permits for transit advertisement under MC 2013-005 and 2017-020.

The MC mandates that an advertisement should not be a traffic hazard, does not impede in the driver’s line of sight, must conform to decency standards, and installed where PUV identification and operational information would not be covered.

Sought for comment, the LTO said the issue is purely a concern of the LTFRB and the Comelec. – Romina Cabrera

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