Solon refiles ‘Anti-Epal’ bill banning names, faces of officials on gov’t projects
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has refiled the “Anti-Epal Bill” which seeks to prohibit and penalize government officials who post their names and faces on government projects funded with taxpayers’ money.
Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers’ House Bill No. 71 seeks to prohibit the following:
- affixing or causing to be affixed the name, initials, logo or image of any public official to signage announcing a proposed, ongoing, or completed public works;
- crediting an individual officer by placing his or her name or photo on any public service project or vehicle
“Crediting individuals instead of the government on any public work, project, assistance or program is unethical and a manifestation of the nation’s deeply troubling political patronage,” Barbers said in his explanatory note of the bill.
“This system of political advertising also promotes corruption among our officials, sending a wrong sense of accomplishment among the citizens,” he added.
Violators will be slapped with a penalty of six months imprisonment, a fine ranging from P100,000 to P1 million, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
The Department of Public Works and Highways, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, is also tasked to remove such signages three months after the effectivity of the measure.
Concerned officers are also required to remove the banned signages within 30 days after the proposed law’s effectivity.
The late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago also filed a similar bill in 2011, while Barbers filed his in 2016. The measure has yet to successfully pass into law. /muf
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