‘Anti-epal’ bill sure to pass –Sen. Sotto

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Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III. FILE PHOTO

Bet on the “anti-epal” bill being passed by the Senate next year.

“There’s no doubt about it—it will be passed,” Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone Tuesday.

“It’s a good bill and I think majority, if not all, of the senators would support it,” he said.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had filed Senate Bill No. 1967—An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project.

Sotto is confident the bill would face no serious opposition among his colleagues, saying “we’re not into credit-grabbing anyway.”

The measure would punish public officials who splatter their names and faces on billboards announcing public works projects funded with taxpayer money.

It has come to be known as the “anti-epal bill,” referring to the colloquial terms for people who love to be in the spotlight (mapapel) or are thick-skinned and insensitive (makapal).

“It’s more of a problem at the local level,” Sotto said. “In my case, I can honestly say I don’t do it. I give out my (priority development assistance) fund to local executives and that’s it. I don’t ask them to put my name on any projects in return. In fact, I don’t encourage it at all.”

SB 1967 slaps a prison term of between six months and one year on government officials whose names or images are posted on “signage announcing a proposed or ongoing public works project.”

The bill only allows for the name, image or logo of the local or national government agency handling the project to be on billboards. The measure is pending in committee.

Sotto said the bill would be formally tackled in January because the Senate would be focused on the 2012 national budget for the rest of this year.

“It’s not a difficult bill so it should pass by next year,” he said. “I just don’t know the sentiments of the members of the House of Representatives on this. But for the senators, there’s no problem.”

Santiago’s bill drew widespread attention after the Inquirer published a story on it on November 4. As of Tuesday, the INQUIRER.net story had been “shared” on Facebook at least 29,000 times, on top of 11,000 “recommendations.”

The story also made the rounds of the microblogging site Twitter 1,225 times, and was discussed on other sites such as LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Digg, StumbleUpon, Blogger and Delicious.

Comments on the bill were generally passionate and supportive. They also expressed collective dismay over politicians grabbing credit for projects they never actually funded.

“I am in absolute agreement with this bill. It’s the taxpayers’ money and [it is] the politician’s duty to provide such services. No need for a publicity grab,” went one comment.

Read another: “A lot of corrupt politicians and opportunist politicos won’t be happy with this bill. It’s true the money comes from taxpayers… not self-serving, do-nothing, corrupt politicians.”

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Anonymous

    parang FOI ito. yung may mga iniipit na bulok sa kilikili, they were the ones who effectively blocked the ratification of the FOI bill. e di ganon siguro ang mangyayari dito sa EPAL/KAPAL bill. kokontra din siguro mismo yung mga talamak na EPAL/KAPAL.

    pero, maaring hindi rin. dahil sino naman ang gustong nababandila sa publiko na sila’y EPAL, KAPAL!

    ewan ko lang….kaya nga nataguriang EPAL/KAPAL ang mga ito dahil sobra na ang KAGARAPALAN , e.

    sa kabilang banda, e kung sabihin naman ng mga EPAL sa hindi EPAL: “kasi kayo, kaya n’yo lang hindi dini-display ang mga mugs at pangalan n’yo sa mga proyekto, dahil wala naman kayong natatapos na proyekto, e! wala kayong mapaglagyan ng mga pagmumukha n’yo!

    whew! this is interesting.

  • Roman Guerrero

    Bakit kailangan pang gumasto ng milyones para sa batas na ito? An Executive Order from PNoy would be enough to stop these mahilig-pumapel-na-mga-pulitiko from posting their names and pictures on government projects na di naman sila ang gumastos kundi taong-bayan. Di na ba nila talaga kayang gumaya kay PNoy? Si GMA pa rin ang ginagaya nila na kahit mga PCSO ambulansiya ay di pinatawad! Kapal muks talaga!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JZMLIRZIQAIQLS2CC2TIRLY3YQ Mamu

       Hindi nman kailangan ng budget ang batas na ito wala namang kasamang programa ito. It’s more like a criminal law. At dahil maraming siguradong kokontra nito sa local government units kaya di pwedeng executive order lang, pag-aawayan pa sa korte pag ganun tapos matatalo lang. The best talaga may batas.

    • Ian Velasco

      Kapatid, a law will surpass presidents.  It’s longer lasting than EOs.  Also, kung EO, paaano niya ipapatupad yon?  Sa DILG?  E hindi naman sakop ng DILG ang communication functions ng LGUs, otherwise, magiging dictatorial ang nature ng DILG at ergo ng presidente kung mag-uutos lang sila on what LGUs can or cannot do.  Ergo, to implememt this genius of an idea from thankfully-thinking Sen. Santiago, this must be passed as a law.  :)  

      • Anonymous

        EO is concurrent to the president’s term?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VBFHX6G6YH3ZMZWKUZA7JISX74 Saul

    yung tongressman namin na si Suarez tutol dito..haha..nagpa interbyu pa..kapal ng mukha..

  • Anonymous

    Asus, maniwala ako kay Sotto kung suportado yang anti-epal bill na yan ng buong Kongreso. Ang i-epal nila e, lalo na ang mga Tongresman! Kelangan nila yan especially in their bid for reelection! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BUONPVWVOJJFZEHIFF3YXU2NSY KC

    Yung ANTI-DYNASTY BILL ang ipasa nyo para maging ganap na batas na. SAWANG SAWA na kaming mga Pilipino na sa karamihang lugar sa bansa isang pamilya lang ang naghahari. Sa Baler, mga Angara. Senator, Gobernador, Conressman, Mayor, Bokal, Konsehal, Brgy. Kap. Ewan ko kung pati brgy. Tanod ay Angara. Sa Makati puros Binay. At sa lahat ng sulok ng Pinas ganito ang nangyayari. Ano ba itong Pilipinas at mga Pilipino. NOONG PANAHON NI MARCOS NAGIIIYAK kyo/tyo ng POLITICAL DYNASTY against Marcos against his relatives at croonies. YUN PLA GUSTONG GUSTO natin. Ano nangyari? After Marcos lalong lumala ang political dynasty. Bwisit kyo kaya hanggang dyan nlang ang Pinas, NEVER NEVER na AASENSO!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OJWHBJLMWPTRUOZMN6JOMHLO2A Banana Na

    NA-EPAL NA NGA KAYO NG MGA REVILLA….what a pity,senator……….

  • Anonymous

    kung pabor sya sa anti-epal bill, dapat umalis na din siya sa eat bulaga. panalo ang media mileage nya sa kaka co-host nya.

    sorry, hindi kasi ako nanonood ng noontime shows maski weekends.

    • Bab ski

      mukhang galamay ka ng isang ‘lolong” na politician….

      • Anonymous

        hahaha hindi naman.  kindly re-read my post.  you dont have to read between the lines, believe me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LHPXXEV6GDM7S74O6K2P4JMLFY jayvee

    I think every sane Filipino would want this pass into law. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TZWMHK2PMYHXVGT6EOGYW3BICE Kidz

    ok yan..ma epal naman talaga mga politiko. sana pati sa mga kabaong at korona na ibinibigay nila e ilagay na rin nila yun picture nila.

  • mmm choco

    if passed fair game ang politics.. walang EPAL  na mukha sa pader ng projects.. elected officials should just be proud of their achievements.. without placing their fu….king  face on the project.

  • Anonymous

    teka muna…kung bawal na ang “this is a project of (insert politician’s name)” paano naman ang “happy fiest from…” o kaya sa nalalapit na pasko, “meri xmas n hapi new year from…” considered epal din ba eto?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AKU44UKYF6DLGYBF2RSINPXSII Nobet

    ..bago magstart ng project required a contractor na maglagay ng Project Signboard.. kulang isang buong plywood para maisulat ng malaki ang pangalan ni Congressman, at ni Governor.. o ng Board Member pa minsan…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natalie-Fenton/100001649651277 Natalie Fenton

    i saw a waiting shed somewhere in cavite where the design looks like this:

    A^^^A

    two concrete “A” with a roof. the initial of the politician is AA. disgusting.

  • Anonymous

    I am sure Gullas will oppose this bill. kapal na mukha e! Look on his district projects in Cebu, it is always written “Love project of Gullas.” Kailangan kaya mamatay ang mga traditional na politiko? Never mind, ang asawa, kapatid or anak naman ang tatakbo in the next election! Stupid politics is a family business in the Phil. in order to protect the interest or businesses of those leeches in Congress!

  • Anonymous

    maganda ito 100% support ako dyan… dapat e pasa nga ito…  sa province din namin tuwing umu-uwi nalang ako nakikita kung mas malaki pa yong plakards ng politician kaysa actual na ginagawa na mga proyekto…  di man lang nahiya kaba ng bayan ung ginagamit ang hilig mag post ng mukha nya…

  • Anonymous

    simple, ang di sumuporta sa bill na ito- EPAL ….

  • Anonymous

    Ok naman tong Bill na to pero lang yung talagang solution para malutas ang kahirapan ng bayan ay di man lang magawan ng batas or di kaya maipasa pasa. RH Bill kelan yan ma approve? Mga bill na wala masyadong impact sa problema na bayan and bilis maipasa. Sus Pilipinas laging pasikat lang ang mga walang kwentang senatong na to.

  • Edgar Rubas

    Hay!!! Sa wakas… BOW ako kay Sen. Miriam at naisip nya gumawa ng batas na ganito… Tagal ko na ring hinihintay yung ganitong batas….

  • Martha Rodriguez

    I support this, may mga nagsasabi na hindi ito ang solusyon sa kahirapan ng pilipinas, o sige ano? sa bill na ito… ito ang magandang simula ng pagbabago at kahit papaano malutusan ang corruption anf pagbrain wash ng mga politiko sa mga tao. kung mapapatupad ito, may malaki talagang pag babago. Tama si Sen. Miriam instead na ang pondo na ginagamit sa mga billboards, statue at mga daan ay napupunta na lang sana sa education at mga hospital. At sa mga politiko makapal lang talaga mukha na ilagay ang pangalan ng project by congresman _____ or bldg of mayor ______ kung tutuusin pera ng bayan yoon!!! kapal talaga ng mukha. 

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