TARLAC: Newspaper publishers are calling for a uniform principle to standardize the rates in the billing of court-litigated publications and other similar legal notices.
Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) president Nelson Santos said it is about time that publishers follow a uniform rate in collecting publication fees from courts, banks and businesses, including local government units publishing ordinances and resolutions, to help the print industry cope with expenses.
He added Presidential Decree (PD) 1079 specifies the guidelines in the rates for publication of such documents.
“We have been exerting efforts to find a viable solution to the plight of our members regarding their collections. And this is one step,” Santos said.
He discussed the pertinent sections of PD 1079. Among them, Section 3 states that “no newspaper or periodical shall charge for the publication… less than ten pesos per column inch, nor more than eighty percent of their regular commercial advertising rate.”
“Provided, that publications whose regular commercial advertising rates are lower than P10 shall not charge below ten pesos P10 per column inch for the publication of the above-mentioned notices and announcements,” it said.
Newspapers or periodicals may only charge more than P10 up to 80 percent of their regular commercial display advertising rates when there is proper and adequate proof that the rate claimed is the regular commercial display advertising rate.
Printing of the text and heading should be solid, without slugs or leads between lines and margins.
But considering the 1977 decree an “outdated” law, Santos said that during PAPI’s general assembly in Cauayan, Isabela, in February 2014, the organization issued a resolution that set uniform and standard rates for advertising placements in community newspapers.
This has since become the guide of its members in billing their clients but certain publishers, especially non-PAPI members have stuck to the old rate or give special discounts that compromise the guideline, Santos said.
The resolution requires PAPI-affiliated newspapers to collect P160 per column centimeter from their clients, or 80 percent of the P200 nationwide standard for commercial advertisements and other related publication services.
PAPI also initiated moves to coordinate with the office of the Supreme Court Administrator for the needed amendments and rate adjustments in its guidelines in the accreditation of newspapers and periodicals seeking to publish judicial and legal notices and other similar announcements and in their raffling procedures.
The organization also pointed out that such rate would also apply to resolutions and ordinances approved for information dissemination by municipal or city councils to make all publication rates uniform.