- ‘Epal’ politicians can no longer publicize their names in government projects
- This developed after Sen. Francis Escudero filed Senate Bill 776 to prohibit public officials in placing their names and faces on projects which are intended for public use
- Necessary punishments will be served to those who will be caught violating the law
Senator Francis Escudero has filed a bill that prohibits public officials to publicize their names in government projects which they want to claim credit for.
The bill primarily bans the naming of government projects after elected or appointed officials or after personalities that may be associated with them, an article written by Camille Elemia on Rappler stated as it further noted that the measure excludes instances approved by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
“Government projects are funded using taxpayers’ money. However, it has been the traditional practice of government officials to label or acknowledge the procurement of items with their names or identities as if the projects or items were personally funded,” Escudero was quoted as saying in his bill.
As such, Escudero added that many government officials take the opportunity to place their names and faces on projects to include waiting sheds, ambulances, and even trash bins which are intended for public use.
Those who will be caught violating Senate Bill 776 will be slapped with corresponding punishments such as one year imprisonment and will be fined P100,000 to P1 million, depending on the cost of the project in question.
Meanwhile, second offenders, will also be slapped with the same penalties in addition to the absolute perpetual disqualification from holding office that they will have to face.
Similar to this, former senator Miriam Santiago earlier filed Senate Bill 54, or the Anti-Signage of Public Works Bill or the “anti-epal” measure.
Santiago’s bill had been refiled many times – in 2004 during the 13th Congress, in 2007 during the 14th Congress, and again in 2010 during the 15th Congress.
The “anti-epal” measure prohibits the placement of a public official’s name or image on a signage of a public works project, whether it is proposed, existing, or ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation.