DPWH steps up campaign vs credit-grabbing, ‘epal’ politicos | Inquirer News

DPWH steps up campaign vs credit-grabbing, ‘epal’ politicos

12:30 AM January 30, 2016

MALITA, Davao Occidental—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has intensified its campaign against epal, or attention-grabbing, politicians, who take credit for nationally funded government projects, especially during the election season.

Mariano Alquiza, DPWH director in Southern Mindanao, said in the region, public works officials are strictly implementing a department order that prohibits politicians from putting up billboards or hanging tarpaulins with their names and faces near nationally funded projects like roads or bridges.

“We cannot possibly prevent them all the time but if we see billboards or tarpaulins of politicians near our billboards announcing the projects, we remove them,” he said.


Alquiza admitted that DPWH field workers have recently removed such billboards and tarpaulins but would not reveal the identities of the epal politicians.


“No single politician should take credit for government projects,” he said of the department order that Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson issued in February 2013.

Under the order, politicians are barred from putting up billboards or hanging tarpaulins within 100 meters of the beginning and end of a project.

Alquiza said he is reminding politicians anew, especially during the election season, to keep their hands off government projects as tools to promote themselves.

He said while some politicians are persistent, DPWH workers would also be untiring in removing unauthorized billboards and tarpaulins despite the risk of retaliation by the politicians.

“There are indeed politicians who are epal,” said Alquiza.

“It would be difficult for us to monitor each and every project to ensure that there are no unauthorized billboard and tarpaulin put up there, but when we see one, we remove it,” he said.


Zenaida Tan, Davao del Sur first district engineer, admitted that aside from billboards and tarpaulins, some politicians would also take credit for nationally funded projects by making sure they are present at turnover ceremonies.

Tan recounted an experience when a ceremonial ribbon at the turnover ceremony for an unspecified project, which had already been cut, had to be rejoined so that another politician could cut it.

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“Actually, turnover ceremonies are just formalities. We could do away with it. What is important is we finish the project and have it received by the recipient local government unit,” she said. Eldie Aguirre, Inquirer Mindanao

TAGS: campaign, Credit, electorate, Epal, fund, Government, politicians, politicos, Projects, Votes

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