Solons want media outlets airing, publishing positive advocacies given tax incentives

By on May 17, 2014

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MANILA — Lawmakers are seeking the granting of tax incentives to broadcast and print media that devote time and space for gender equality, human rights, environmental protection, family values, patriotism, transparency and accountability, national peace and unity and other positive advocacies that heighten public awareness and responsiveness.

AKO-Bicol Party-list Reps. Christopher Co and Rodel Batocabe raised the tax incentives proposal through House Bill 4274, noting that broadcast and print media have been proven to be effective avenues of and alternatives to education and knowledge transfer to the population.

They further noted that media serves as a means to reshape behavior especially of the younger members of the population.

Co said the importance of media in national development is enshrined in the Constitution under Article II, Section 24, which provides that “The State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building.”

Batocabe said their proposal likewise complements other sections of Art. II namely: Sections 13 (role of youth in nation-building); 14 (role of women in nation-building); 15 (right to health of the people); 16 (right of the people to balanced and healthful ecology); 17 (priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture, among others); 22 (rights of indigenous cultural communities); 23 (encouragement of non-governmental, community-based sectoral organizations); and 27 (maintaining honesty and integrity in the public service).

House Bill 4274, now pending at the House committee on ways and means chaired by Rep. Miro Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City) provides that all broadcast facilities shall hereby be required to allocate a minimum of three minutes airtime a day, and all print media facilities shall be required to allocate a minimum of five column inch space for write-ups per edition that will raise awareness of the people on matters concerning positive values and advocacies.

These values and advocacies concern gender equality, human rights, environmental protection, family values, patriotism and nationalism, health consciousness, good governance, transparency and accountability, national unity, peace and reconciliation, and other similar advocacies in order to heighten the awareness and increase responsiveness of the people, the bill provides.

It further provides that all expenses incurred in the production of commercials, advertisements, and/or programs in compliance with the proposed Act as endorsed by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI), Philippine Press Institute (PPI) and other media organizations, shall enjoy tax deduction of not more than 10 percent of the gross operating expenses of the advertisers or sponsors.

These commercials, advertisements, or programs are actually delivered to the general public, the bill provides.

The measure provides that broadcast and print media shall give 10 percent lower airtime rates and cost of space for every paid feature of production with education content, as endorsed by broadcast and print organizations, the difference from the regular rates shall be chargeable to the value- added tax (VAT) accruable.