How I wish the “anti-epal” bill of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is now enacted. I want to see Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva to go to jail.
The former anti-graft (CIBAC) champion is now top on the list of appointed officials who are using their office and public funds to advance their personal interest. It’s not a secret that Joel Villanueva is grooming himself to become senator as evidenced by his billboards financed by TESDA funds.
Senate Bill No. 1967, known as the anti-epal bill is formally titled as “An Act Prohibiting Public Offers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project”.
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.” If the bill has already been enacted, most likely, TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva would spend between 6 months to a year in jail. Amen.
Joel Villanueva, by using millions of TESDA money for self-promotion is a violation of the “anti-epal” principles. It is a form of corruption. It is very disgusting how Joel Villanueva use the hard-earned taxpayer’s money to fuel his ambition to become senator.
Do you want to see the epal billboards and tarps of Joel Villanueva? Check the post of Mom Blogger and see the shameless self promotion of Joel Villanueva.
In the words of Alvin Capino in Manila Standard Today,
Villanueva’s self-promotion campaign using Tesda funds includes not only traditional billboards (anyone who passes through NLEX cannot miss Tesda’s billboard featuring a huge photograph of Villanueva) but an expensive electronic billboard on Edsa as well.
There are even buses where Villanueva’s photos are prominently featured as part of the Tesda ad. We saw Villanueva’s Tesda “epal” bus ad in the back of a JAM transit when we went to Laguna last week and we wondered how much Tesda spent to put up those ads and how much the agency is paying monthly for those bus ads.
There are also TV commercials of Tesda again promoting Villanueva. It would not be surprising if there are radio and print ads that give Villanueva credit for Tesda’s accomplishments.
What gives people a bad taste in the mouth at seeing the expenditure of millions of Tesda funds to promote Villanueva is the fact that Villanueva is running for a Senate seat. He is not only engaged in what appears to be early campaigning but he is using public funds for it.
Santiago is right when she points out that public officials must not claim credit for projects funded by taxpayers’ money stressing that the practice is not only unnecessary and highly unethical.
But for a young ambitious man, would Joel Villanueva still remember his words about ethics, accountability, and about corruption?
It is very disgusting that in his website, he is described as leader with strong moral character. But what morals are they talking about when public funds are being used to print and promote his name and face? Where are the christian values of Joel Villanueva?
I think Joel Villanueva should not be given a chance to become Senator. Otherwise, our children would remember him as one of those who use their positions for personal interest.