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Anti-epal bill Articles http://newsinfo.inquirer.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiagos anti-epal bill has drawn the support of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) and Malacaang. Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of CBCP-Nassa, said Santiagos proposed bill was a good measure because it had biblical basis. Santiagos Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project would prohibit politicians from plastering their names and faces on billboards announcing road projects and the like. The bill has been popularly called the anti-epal measureepal being derogatory slang for a scene stealer or attention grabber, someone who is always trying to butt in and wrest the spotlight. (The word may be a contraction of mapapel, another street term for someone always trying to play a big role in anything. Some say the word may have also evolved from makapal, meaning someone who is insensitive and thick-skinned.) Gariguez said the bill was a good measure because it reminded people of a Gospel passage in which Jesus said that when one gives alms, one must not let his left hand know what his right is doing. In laymans terms, one must not blow a trumpet to publicize the good works he or she has done, said the priest. Those in the government should really give their total dedicated service to the people [and] the services they give should not serve their own personal interest, Gariguez told reporters yesterday. So in light of the Gospel, the proposal of Senator Santiago is very appropriate, he added. If passed into law, the bill would curb the pervasive practice among public officials of plastering their names and faces almost everywhere. In pushing for the bill, Santiago said that such a practice merely promotes a culture of political patronage and corruption, aside from it being pointless and highly unethical. Malacaang supports Santiagos anti-epal measure. We welcome (Santiagos) initiative. If you remember, President Aquino has made it known that he does not want his picture placed on these kinds of billboards, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said. The President was very clear on that from early onthat he did not like the practice, Valte said last weekend. With a report from Christine O. Avendao

Sen. Santiago to shame vain politicians thru anti-epal bill

Credit belongs to the taxpayers, so take those billboards with your big smiling face somewhere else. This, in essence, is the message of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago in Senate Bill No. 1967, her version of what the man in the street would call an anti-epal measure, as it is directed at politicians or bureaucrats who claim credit for projects built with public funds. Epal is slang for mapapel, a Filipino term for attention grabbers, scene stealers, or people who crave a role (papel) in affairs that are not necessarily theirs to handle or decide. Epal is slang for mapapel, a Filipino term for attention grabbers, scene stealers, or people who crave a role (papel) in affairs that are not necessarily theirs to handle or decide. The term originated from the streets to become a buzzword in political circles especially last year, when President Benigno Aquino III initiated a shame campaign against such annoying public officials. Currently undergoing committee deliberations, Santiagos anti-epal bill is formally titled An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project. The senator maintained that public officials have no business claiming credit for projects funded by taxpayers money. Prevalent practice

It is a prevalent practice among public officers, whether elected or appointed, to append their names to public works projects which were either funded or facilitated through their office, she said in the bills explanatory note. This is unnecessary and highly unethical and promotes a culture of political patronage and corruption, said Santiago, who is also busy campaigning for a seat as judge in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The bill imposes a jail term of between six months and one year on a public official who would have his or her name or image printed on a signage announcing a proposed or ongoing public works project. The prohibition also applies to existing government projects that are undergoing maintenance or rehabilitation. Agency name, logo OK

The bill only allows signs that bear the name, image or logo of the local or national government agency handling the project. Santiago said allowing incumbents or appointees to grab undue credit diminishes the importance that the public needs to place on supporting government officials, not because of their popularity, but because of their essential role in policy determination, whether on the local or national level. Secondly, it diminishes the concept of continuity in good governance in the mind of the public, she said. If the bill gets passed into law, the Department of Public Works and Highways, in coordination with the interior department and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, has three months from the day of the laws effectivity to remove all existing signages that violate its provisions. by C. Esguerra November 2

Anti-epal bill tackled by Senate

Senators on Tuesday started formal deliberations on the anti-epal bill and agreed to expand the measure to include politicians and public officials who put their names and images on donated police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. But members of the committee on civil service and government reorganization could not agree on whether violators should be penalized. Senator Antonio Trillanes, committee chairman, floated the idea of removing the penal provisions in Senator Miriam DefensorSantiagos Senate Bill No. 1967, also known as the anti-epal measure. I believe that at some point, this practice will go away without having to penalize anyone, he said during the first hearing his committee conducted on the bill. But Senators Panfilo Lacson and Aquilino Koko Pimentel III opposed Trillanes proposal. I would like to express my strong reservations against removing the penal provisions because it would become implementable, Lacson said. Change in behavior Pimentel said the measure would not lead to a change in behavior of erring public officials if they would not be penalized. SB 1967 provides for a jail term of between six months and one year on a public official who grabs credit over a public works project by including his or her name or image on the signage. Trillanes said his committee would still conduct further studies on the penal provisions, warning that warring politicians might take advantage of them later on. We have to scrutinize the penal provisions because (the issue) is quite tricky, he said. Political opponents might take advantage of (the law). Theyll just put up a signage with your face on it so that you would be the one to be charged. During the hearing, senators expressed reservations on how the bill would be implemented should it be enacted into law. Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., a former congressman and governor of Ilocos Norte, suggested that the measure should provide protection to local law enforcement officers, who might be tapped to implement it. It would be very difficult for the local police to tear down the signage. We probably have to give them some kind of special protection and support if they are going to go against their local masters, he said. In some cases, a signage costs more than the actual project, the senator noted.

West Leyte Weekly Express

4th Dist. constituents welcome Anti-Epal Bill

PEOPLE of Kananga and Palompon towns generally welcome Senate Bill No. 1967, commonly known as the Anti-Epal Bill as indicated by the positive response from interviews by this author. The bill, entitled An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project, is introduced by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. It aims to illegalize the placing of billboards and signages bearing politicians names and faces on public works projects. Epal is a Filipino slang for mapapel which Inquirercolumnist Conrado de Quiros describes as people who are constantly in dire need of attention. Judith Merriam Fontanoza, tourism officer designate of Kananga town describes as shameless politicians who are fond of displaying their names and faces. Nganong dili man sab sila mauwaw? she said, referring to the tarpaulins bearing the faces of the congresswoman and her brother scattered all over town. Another municipal employee, Ricardo, 28 of Brgy. Montebello believes that the bills approval should be fast-tracked to remove what he termed as eyesores. He cited an example the name of the congresswoman painted on schoolhouses as if laying claim on those buildings even if she didnt build them. Barangay Captain Noel Gomez believes that strict enforcement should be observed once the bill is approved. He also couldnt see the logic of writing the name of Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez on schoolhouses walls. Uldarico Navarro, 33, president of Mahawan Farmers Association in Kananga said politicians should set an example to their constituents. Dili man sab maayo tanawon nga malukop na lang sa nawong sa politiko ang mga karsada, he commented. Rustico Tapales, 40, owner of a shoe repair stall in Palompon town observes that the tarpaulins of Rep. Gomez are scattered at the Palompon-Isabel highway even if there are no project announcements. Na, mapono na lang ang mga karsada og mga tarpaulin kung dili ni sila bawalan, magpatuyang lang! he said. Efren Naya, 36, an overseas Filipino worker of Ipil I, Palompon is convinced that the bill has more advantages than disadvantages considering the practice of putting up tarpaulins has been abused in Leyte 4th District. His father, former Barangay Captain Alfredo Nayra agrees, saying the practice is unnecessary. by Gerardo C. Reyes, Jr. Manila Bulletin Publishing corporation

Anti-Epal Bill
November 6, 2011, 10:15pm

MANILA, Philippines Malacaang has endorsed a bill seeking to ban the names and photos of politicians from billboards on government projects. Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said they welcome the anti-epal measure filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago because President Aquino likewise frowns on self-promotion in projects built with public funds. Epal is slang for mapapel, a Filipino term for attention-grabbers. Santiago earlier said public officials must not claim credit for projects funded by taxpayers' money, describing the practice as unnecessary and highly unethical. The anti-epal measure, formally entitled Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project," is presently under committee deliberations. (Genalyn Kabiling) Airbase Conversion The Department of National Defense is opposing the bill seeking to include the Fernando AirBase in Lipa City, Batangas, in the conversion of military installations and reservations for other productive uses, saying that the proposal could endanger base security and safety of military student pilots. The DND said House Bill 4176 should not include the airbase among the areas to be converted for alternative productive use, saying the defense and security purposes of the base should still be the prime consideration of Congress. The House Special Committee on Bases Conversion chaired by Rep. Manuel Agyao (LP, Kalinga) has been conducting committee hearings on the proposal authored by Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas. (Ben Rosario) Tsunami Exercise At least 30 Pacific Rim countries, including the Philippines, are to take part this week in a United Nations-backed tsunami warning exercise to improve their ability to respond to an alert and enhance regional coordination in the event of a disaster. The test scheduled for November 9 and 10, known as PacWave11, is organized under the aegis of UNESCOs Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. The UN said the exercise will consist of nine different scenarios to allow each participating country to respond to a regional or local source tsunami based on powerful earthquake events generated off the shores of the Philippines (South China Sea and Pacific Ocean), Vanuatu, Tonga, Ecuador, Central America or Japans Ryukyu Islands. (Roy Mabasa) Terminal Rehab While the Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) gets a face lift, its Terminal 3 will also undergo structural rehabilitation. Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Mar Roxas II said the government may need P1 billion to fix the structural deficiencies of NAIA Terminal 3, which was built by Japanese contractor firm Takenaka in 2000. Well be spending about P1 billion to fix the structural works that Takenaka was unable to do and to bring the airport to 2012 standard because the airport was built in 2000, he said. (Kris Bayos) Hajj Accident At least 10 Filipino pilgrims in a bus-load of 60 traveling Saturday to Arafat, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, suffered injuries, four of them very seriously, in a road accident. National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Bai Omera D. Dianalan Lucman told the Manila Bulletin Sunday she was awaiting detailed report from the NCMF Hajj Supervisory Group (HSG) now in the Kingdom.

She said she has no names of the injured yet, but they are from the Lanao provinces. The pilgrims were on their way to Arafat, 9.65 kilometers from Makkah, site of the "Uqof" or Standing in Arafat, the paramount rite of the hajj. (Edd K. Usman)