Anti-epal bill reaches Senate plenary debates



Senator Antonio Trillanes IV: Anti-epal INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Efforts to penalize politicians who habitually plaster their names and faces on government projects funded with taxpayers’ money finally gained a foothold in the Senate with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s sponsorship speech on the so-called “anti-epal” bill before the chamber adjourned earlier this month.

Committee Report 443 prohibits the “practice of affixing name, initials, logo, or image of a public official to a signage announcing a proposed, ongoing or completed public works projects, as well as installing signage announcing the maintenance, rehabilitation, construction of public works crediting individual public officer, bearing his or her image.”

The report consolidates separate bills filed by Sens. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Francis Escudero.

The term “epal” is street lingo for a credit-grabber. In this case, it refers to a politician who claims a government project would not have materialized had it not been for his personal efforts or, worse, his personal funds.

Trillanes, chairman of the Senate civil service committee, said the bill required the Department of Public Works Highways “in coordination” with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Metro Manila Development Authority to take down billboards and posters announcing the construction, repair or rehabilitation of pubic works projects bearing the faces of politicians.

“This measure was (triggered by) the prevalent unethical practice among our public officials who affix their names and/or pictures to projects funded or facilitated through their office, despite the fact that these were funded using the taxpayers’ money,” Trillanes said.

The senator explained that the practice of heralding a government project while giving a politician unnecessary credit “in a way promotes corruption among our officials and projects a wrong sense of accomplishment among the constituency.”

Trillanes’ pet bill provides for the imposition of administrative charges against the designated officers of agencies who will refuse to and comply with the law.

His committee report does not specify penalties to be imposed against the epal themselves.

A check with the Senate website showed that Santiago’s bill would impose a prison term between six and 12 months and immediate perpetual disqualification of the offender.

Escudero’s version, meanwhile, calls for a one-year prison term and a fine between P100,000 and P1 million for the first offense.  A recidivist politician who commits a second offense would be permanently disqualified from public office.

“With this measure, it is hoped that our public officers will serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, honesty and efficiency,” Trillanes said.

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  • Jay

    Dapat naman talagang tinatangal ang mga yan.kaya lang parang walang makagawa.takot ata sa mga politician.

  • jeffrey_01

    Can they implement that 24/7 all over the country?

    • Jay

      They Could implement the they say”Hindi kulang sa batas ang pilipinas.ang problema ay yun Pagpapatupad sa batas.

      • Mamerto

        you are very RIGHT.!

        at ang pagpapatupad hindi gawin sa daan nga pumipili kung sa-an ipatupad

    • Mamerto

      Instead of 24/7, shouldn’t it be 7/30/365…?

  • $14334231

    can you remove the names of politicians’ names on public schools’ roof too?….it’s very epal!!!…and waiting sheds too….

    • Mamerto

      “engraved in stone” pa…, or rather “concrete”.

      • kebinkosme

        e.g. HERBERT BAUTISTA of Quezon City having his epal “HB” signs everywhere. muka tuloy puntod ng namatay.

  • aristeosj

    why would a bill like this be put on the senate timetable for deliberation?it is just a waste of time and money when more important bills need to be discussed.if only our so-called ‘leaders’ know how to really behave themselves…

    • Mamerto

      Yes.., better known as “delicadeza”…, or propriety…, or “modo”

      kung wa-klass…, eh di alam nito.

    • Tyler Go

       Because, as you’ve correctly put it,  not all of our “so-called ‘leaders’ know how to really behave themselves.”


    >>>The term “epal” is street lingo for a credit-grabber.<<<

    MALULUNGKOT ang kaibigan kong erpat sa simbahan ng kaTOLik…..nalalapit na ang masayang araw nya ng pagpapasikat at pagpapalapad ng papel sa parokya nya. 

  • INQ415

    Dapat lagyan din ng sign ang mga bahay ng epal na yan…

     “This house is currently being paid for by the Citizens of (town/municipality here)”

    Pati mga sasakyan nila etc etc.

    • Adarna

      waaahahhhhahh! TAMA!

    • Tethys245

      Mae Paner,  a.ka. as Juana Change is a
      protege of Sec. Mar Roxas to attack Chiz Escuero. Magkano kaya ang talent fee
      kay Mar?

  • anton kinuton

    one very bad practice that should also be stopped and should also be included in this anti-epal bill is the naming of government school buildings, bridges, stadiums or any other public  infrastructures in memory of the dead father or mother of the congressman or senator or mayor who facilitated the construction but actually funded by peoples’ money.

    • Mamerto

      Lahat yata nang mga ito funded nang gobierno…, di ba…?

      My mga lupa nga donated nang privado…, pero yung mga gusali eh..gobierno mga iyan.

    • Rabbitspirit

      Hindi pa naman election period, saka commercial lang yon, walang masama.
      Inggit lang sila kay Sen. Chiz.

  • batoph

    After his antics at Manila Peninsula I never thought the day would come when I actually agreed with Senator Trillanes!

    Regret that the likelihood of this Bill becoming law before 2013 elections is probably zero.

    The practices sought to be eliminated are inculcated in the Philippine political physchie and are considered Standard Operating Procedure from Barangay Councilman to the lofty office of The President

  • MangDolphy

    What about giant posters with a huge smiling face of a congressman with the phrase ” DRIVE CAREFULLY, WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN” – (name of Congressman and his wife); or “BOTIKA NI (CONGRESSMAN) LIBRE GAMOT, KONSULTASYON AT DENTAl SERVICE” – (mula kay Congreesman at asawa). Ngayonpa lang naka isip na ng exemption ang kumag na ito. Mukhang di masasakop ng anti-epal bill ito. Galing no?

  • Rosauro

    Kailan naman yong anti-DYNASTY bill? It is there daw sa constitution pero di man sinusunod. Kailan namang yong anti-PORK BARREL? Law making a mandate nila, isinama ang paggawa ng proyekto. Doon kasi sila makaganansiya e at pinakamababa 15% ang komisyon. Ang kakapal. Kaya maraming gustong maging Congressman at Senator. Mga bulok kayo!

    • Mamerto

      Why is Congress given “Pork Barrel”…?
      Congress should just Legislate not do part (the juicy part) of the Executive’s work.
      This is an “explicit” nga “suhul” by the President to Congress.

      Anti-Dynasty & its non-enforcement is a BLATANT EXAMPLE…., where 
      Politicians can Over-Rule the People’s Will

    • popeyee

      Kailan naman ang anti-dynasty bill? Baka sa panahong di na uso ang eleksyon ipapasa na nila..

  • Rosauro

    Maalala ko itong si Trillanes. In 2009 he was the most travelled Senator according to COA. Panong nangyari yon e nakakulong siya? Hahahaha!

    • anton kinuton

      so anong koneksiyon sa topic? di nakakatawa…

      • Mamerto

        Si Sen Trillanes ang sponsor nang Anti-Epal-Bill…., ganoon siguro.

  • RyanE

    Tsk.tsk.. our lawmakers are definitely wasting their time on non-essential bills. Other more important bills such as those of RH, FOI, sin tax, K+12, etc. remain languishing in their chambers.

    • Mamerto

      Lahat nga mga ito ay importante.
      Baka…, sa iba nito…, eh…, “pa-ano…, wala naman sila pakinabang  duon”.


    Bakit me MMDA sa National Law?…

    Meron bang MMDA sa buong bansa? WTF?

    • Tyler Go

       Maybe the law specifies that MMDA is for metro manila only.


        Bwahaha! Ambowbo naman!


    Good law anyway! All projects came straight from our pockets!

  • juandelacruzii

    good job trillanes! sa wakas may magpapatigil nadin sa mga kaepalan ng mga pokitikong ito. wag iboto ang epal!

    • popeyee

      Kung masusunod lang ang payo mo na huwag iboto ang mga epal, i’m sure walang mai-de-declare na panalo sa 2013. Lahat kasi ng mga politiko epal…

  • juandelacruzii

    sa tingin ko tama lang na admin charges ang ipataw sa mga designated authority na magtatanggal sa mga epal na gawa. mahirap kasi na kung yung mismong politiko ang ipakulong tulad ng gusto ni escudero at santiago kasi panu pag ginamit ng kaaway na ipaskil ang muka mo ng wala kang kaalam alam o tapos ikukulong kana. siguro dahil pilot palang naman ito, kapag hindi talaga effective pwede naman iamend.

    • popeyee

      kung talagang sincere sila, pwede naman nilang tanggalin ang mukha nilang inilagay ng kalaban…

  • melanieyu

    We badly need this law. Madameng pulitiko ang gumagamit ng proyekto at pera ng bayan para sa kanilang ikapopogi at ikapapanalo pagdating ng eleksyon.

  • Lolo Mo

    He he he! Bobo talaga itong mga Senators natin. It’s too obvious, the EPAL bill is long time waiting to be came a law. Besides that, there should be anti-Nepotism. It’s too clear. We are in a democratic country and everyone should have an equal opportunity. Walanghiyaan na, mga kamaganak incorporated lahat katulad ni Angara, nasa gobyerno. That is one form of consolidating their power over their constituents. Bakit, sila lang ba any matalino? Lol!

  • Lolo Mo

    To maintain a Senator, a single Senator, the tax payer pays about 30 million pesos for their office, travel allowances, gasoline allowances, their office, their bonus, their incentives, their living allowances, etc. Another 200 million pesos is for their pork barrel. As Lady Senator Miriam Defesor said, “If we want to serve our country, all of us (the rest of the Senators) poke a gun to our head and pull the trigger. 

    Kaya gumagastos itong mga Senator Candidates and wanna bee to win is because of the 20% kickback and some times higher on their “imaginary projects.” Imagine, a Senator has 38 thousand pesos basic salary. Kaya lang, sobrang corrupt lahat yan. Magnanakao.

    • popeyee

      Kaya nakakapagtaka, with 38k salaray papaano nila nami-maintain ang kanilang lifestyle. At ang yayaman pa. Kung tutuusin mas malaki pa ang sinasahod ko sa mga senator at congressmen pero unti-unti lang ang pag-usad ko samanatalang sila makikita mo sa mga SALN lumalaki ang mga assets taon-taon… nagkamali ako ng kursong kinuha ko…

  • juandelacruzii

    it is important that our legislators are doing their best to check their ethics. this is one step, hope it will become law, same as the foi, and anti-dynasty law

  • Tyler Go

    About time we enact this.

  • Jeremy Samson

    Hayan, nang medyo manginig naman sa takot ang mga politiko dito. Hindi umuubra ang hiya sa kanila, batas dapat.

  • kilabot

    matahari trillones is the highest-spending senator and all he can come up with is one bill copied from miriam and chiz.
    goodbye trillones. time to start preparing your immigration papers to china. who knows, the chinese might sustain your expensive lifestyle and your obsession for 5-star luxury.

  • AntiAko



    • Crevesris

      Juana Change leads the anti-Epal campaign. Pero siya rin naman mukhang
      epal like his friend Sec. Mar Roxas.

  • Joe

    What about streets, schools, plazas, playgrounds, stadiums, government buildings, barangay halls, sports complexes, important makers, and other permanent structures that were named after the politician or his parents or relatives during his incumbency, or his initials, insignia, logo, slogans, or other markings identified with the politician. What about government vehicles like utility vans, cars, fire trucks, ambulances and other service  vehicles that bear the politician’s name.  Were all these considered in the propose bill?

  • Adarna

    i strongly support this!

  • peter_payper

    gusto ko yung version ng Committee, mukhang pinag aralan at mas pinag isipan talaga. kudos to Chairman of the Committee on Civil Service. great job!

  • Guest

    Ang mga advertisers, humahanap yan ng mga endorsers na sikat para mabenta ang kanilang produkto. Sikat  si Chiz kaya natural lang na kunin siya as an endorser.

  • Agata Baltazar

    ang galing naman ni senator trillanes! mula sa sangkaguruhan dito sa cavite, mabuhay ka senator!

  • Aleksander Boleslaw

    i read in the other news that trillanes has posters in cemeteries. i said there that i dont believe that crap as he is the same man who is putting forth the socalled anti-epal bill. man, you should be including in the legislation stuff to penalize those who use other officials name and post them in posters, too! 

  • David Fabian

    tama ito a napapanahon. sana nga mapasa ito ni senator trillanes. para sa taong bayan din ito 

  • Jing Oreta

    trillanes, as always, never fail to bring into the agenda important timely concerns. i have great hopes that he will be able to pass this legislation before the campaign period. other legislators should support this measure, else they have other things in mind this coming elections.

  • Sophia Castro

    gusto ko nito! sige trillanes, ipagpatuloy mo yan! magandang may masampolan ng kulong pag naging batas ito para naman magtanda ang mga politikong yan!

  • Aiden Dela Cruz

    Eto ay magandang senyales ng pagbabago ng pulitika sa ating bansa! Mabuhay ka senador trillanes! 

  • Karen Mabini

    This is a welcome development. We should rally behind trillanes so we can have this law before the campaign period. 

  • Jing

    We should support trillanes all the way! 

  • Andrea

    it is high time we have a law like this

  • Angel

    other senators should be one with trillanes in passing this bill

  • Gerald Bautista

    trillanes has my vote on this 

  • Minnette

    sana maipasa nga itong batas na ito para matuto yung mga epal na politiko… total pera naman ng taong bayan yung ginagamit para sa pagpapagawa ng proyekto ng gobyerno……….

  • Arvy

    salamat naman may kumikilos na para maisabatas ito. tsktsk parami nang parami nga epal eh. husay talaga ni trillanes. idol!

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