MANILA – While political advertisements are now allowed to be displayed in public utility vehicles (PUVs), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Monday who or what will be advertised is within its discretion.
“What will be advertised is not within our discretion. The Board will not favor any political candidate. We only get to decide how or where the political ads will be placed,” LTFRB board member Ariel Inton told the Philippines News Agency in a phone interview.
Inton made the statement after the Board announced in a memorandum circular that it has lifted the prohibition of political ads in PUVs such as buses, jeepneys, trains, taxicabs, ferries, pedicabs and tricycles.
To recall, the Commission on Election (Comelec) previously deemed it “unlawful” for PUVs to post, display or exhibit any election campaign or propaganda materials.
However, transport group 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK) filed a dispute against the resolution arguing that displaying political ads was part of the right to freedom of expression.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of 1-UTAK, thus allowing the lifting of the prohibition of political ads in PUVs.
Inton, meanwhile, said that despite the go signal to display political ads, PUV operators should still comply with regulations in relation to the said ads.