November 23, 2011 Leave a comment
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago‘s “Anti-Epal Law”, formally known as Senate Bill 1967, is currently being deliberated upon in the Senate. But thousands of netizens show support for the measure, with more than 5 Facebook Groups up and running in support of the bill.
The bill, if passed by both Houses of Congress, shall prohibit the placement of names and photographs of elected or appointed government officials in public announcements of public works projects. Violation of the law shall merit imprisonment, a fine, or both. The bill only allows the name and logo of the agency to be part of the announcement.
This is a welcome development for the Filipino people who, over the post-EDSA years, have seen the faces of their officials in every major digging or public work project in their constituency. Everyday, we see tarpaulins mounted beside public works projects telling us that the road we’re using is a priority project of Councilor X, through the efforts of Mayor Y, and presented by Congressman Z, and so on and so forth. The list goes on like an end credit of a movie. Our friends in public service must remember two things: first, that the project is funded by the taxes of the people; and second, that they are merely facilitators of the project, agents of the people to undertake their needs and aspirations.
The senate is expected to pass the bill but may face extreme scrutiny in the House of Representatives, which I anticipate and fully understand. After all, compared to the senators who has ready access to national media in hyping their efforts, congressmen, especially those in many far-flung districts, may only have these tarpaulins as the sole means of communicating efforts to their constituents. They, unlike their senate brothers, do not have as much access to airtime, or their constituents don’t have access to the media, or both.
I support this bill and I’m confident that, if passed, constituents will be able to see the efforts made by their leaders. After all, the most pronounced deed is the one that is most silent.
Thank you, Senator Miriam, for another well-crafted legislation.
Attached is Senate Bill 1967, “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project” a.k.a. “Anti-Epal Bill”
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