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May 2019 Elections: Political ads, a game-changer

May 2019 Elections: Political ads, a game-changer

By Martha Teodoro

May 2019 senatorial candidates who spent more on TV advertisements earned better chances at winning a seat in the Senate.

A total of 47,296,442 Filipinos turned out to vote in May 2019. Of this number, Cynthia Villar of the Nacionalista Party got the highest votes in the senatorial race with 25,283,727 votes. She also had the most overseas absentee votes of 11,977 and had 14,805 local absentee votes.

Next in the running for senator was an independent candidate, Grace Poe, with 22,029,788 votes.

Third on the winning list is then presidential aide Bong Go with 20,657,702 votes.
Villar also came first in the race for political ad spending. She placed a total of 486 TV advertisements worth P478,693,236.00 and 118,380 seconds on radio ads valued at P140,910,560.00. Her total political ad spending amounted to P619,603,796.00.

The Villars are known for their political advertisements. Her 2019 campaign advertisement started out with the livelihood struggles of an ordinary Filipino and then featured her as Mrs Hanepbuhay.

Husband and former senator Manny Villar during his run for senator in 2007 used the melody of a popular song as a campaign jingle. His “Dagat ng Basura” campaign advertisement had another catchy tone and lines that were used in his advertisements for his 2010 presidential bid. 

Juan Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara spent the second most on political advertising. He spent P444,669,054 on television, P193,170,140.00 on radio and P330,060.00 on print. He was the third highest spender on TV with a total of 21,450 seconds of ads and second highest on radio with a total of 16,321 seconds of advertisements.

His 2019 political advertisement featured Sarah Geronimo as his endorser and focused on education as his kind of alaga (care).

He was sixth in the running for senator, gaining a total of 18,161,862 votes.
The third highest ad spender was Francis Tolentino. He spent a total of P555,322,614.00 for 802 TV advertisements, 111,405 seconds of radio ads and 48 print ads.

Tolentino was elected as Tagaytay City mayor from 1995 to 2004 and later served as Metro Manila Development Authority chairman from 2010 to 2015. He joined the 2016 national elections as a contender for a Senate seat in 2016, but lost the race.

His advertisement focused on his efforts on emergency and disaster preparedness. One of his ad also included an endorsement from Duterte. He came in 9th in the 2019 senatorial race.

The election results of the 2019 midterm elections as well as data on political advertisement spending are uploaded in Datatalk.


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