“Those faces..grrrr!!!!@#$%6!!!..”; perhaps, this could be the dismayed reaction of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago whenever she passes by a bill board of a politician with smiling faces and thank you credits written on the billboard along the streets and roads she travels from home to Senate. Therefore, in order to get rid of these faces that annoys her every day, why make a bill that will scrap these “ma-epal” faces of politicians off from the public works project billboard and will ban others to do the same; viola! Thus, came forth the “Anti-Epal” bill, entitled, “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project”
“Epal” is a Filipino slang word that usually refers to a person who either goes into a situation wherein one’s presence is not needed or a person who like to butt into a conversation or butt on others.A colloquial term derived either from Tagalog words, ”Mapapel” or “Pumapapel”.
Actually, it is more than the annoyance the reason why Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago would like to get the bill passed into law, because according to her public officials have no business claiming credits for projects funded by taxpayers’ money because it is unnecessary and highly unethical which only promotes culture of political patronage and corruption.
The Senator wants to end the prevalent common practice of politicians in the Philippines that append their names on public works projects that are either funded or facilitated through the department’s office. The bill will jail a Filipino public official that would violate the ”anti-epal” bill or that would have one’s name or image printed on proposed or ongoing public works project for six months and one year.
What are only allowable are signs that bear the name, image and logo of the national government or local government agencies that handles the project.
Let us wish that this bill will be in true effect and not only on the start. If this bill could be passed as one of the Philippine laws, a lot of scrapping will be done nationwide for sure but let us see what would be the reactions of some politicians and public officials in the Philippines if this bill has become a law and in effect.
However, if putting faces and names of politicians and public officials on public works projects displayed on large billboards along the road and on built public infrastructures guide the clueless Filipino mass on which to vote during elections, what would happen to these clueless Filipino mass when election comes? More worst voting, I guess they will just guess on the list of candidates.