It has become almost standard practice: politicians plastering their names and faces on projects funded by taxpayers.
To counter this self-praise, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a bill, now commonly referred to as “Anti-Epal Bill,” prohibiting public officials to affix their name or image to any signage on a proposed or ongoing public works project.
In the explanatory note of Senate Bill No. 1967, formally known as the “Anti-Signage of Public Works Act,” Santiago said that appending the names of officials on public works projects either funded or facilitated through their office is “unnecessary and highly unethical.”
She added that crediting individuals instead of the government on such projects promotes a culture of political patronage and corruption, and diminishes the concept of continuity of good governance.
Thus, the bill allows only signs and billboards that bear the name, image or logo of the local or national government agency handling the project.
Malacanang welcomes 'anti-epal' bill
Once the bill is enacted into law, any official violating the provisions may serve jail time from six months to a year and perpetual disqualification from public office.
According to a press statement by the Palace on Sunday, President Benigno Aquino III supports Santiago’s initiative as it follows the president’s stand against the common practice of most politicians.
“Aquino has always rejected the idea of having his name or photos printed on a billboard alongside a public-funded project unlike other politicians who even have their names plastered in local government-owned vehicles,” the statement said.
The three-time Asian Tour champion, who bounced back from a mediocre start of 72 and 71 with a fiery 66 Friday to tie Tabuena at helm, pooled a 72-hole total of seven-under 281 to nail the elusive win on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour worth P650,000. Hounded by poor putting, Tabuena went birdie-less for the first time in a long while but still stayed in the title hunt with a slew of pars at the back until he bogeyed the 17th and fell by two. …