DILG Memo: No names, pictures of government officials in billboards and signages of government programs, projects, and properties

Here’s a scanned copy of the memorandum issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). This is originally posted in the official website of Tacloban City government (www.tacloban.gov.ph) (accessed on July 25, 2012).

Have we forgotten that once upon a time newly elected President Noynoy Aquino directed all members of the Cabinet and other government instrumentalities to refrain from associating the President’s personality and identity in their programs and projects?

It looks like only few DILG offices enforce this memo. This must have been forgotten elsewhere but not in Tacloban City.

DILG Memo banning names or initials, images or pictures of government officials on gov't programs, projects and properties

This memorandum of DILG clearly stated that

the practice of putting up of billboards and signages and other information materials bearing the names, initials or pictures of government personalities on all government projects, and government properties (firetrucks, ambulances, vehicles) are hereby prohibited.

Until we see the results, this memo remains a useless paper. Even the President himself starts to forget that he once told the Filipino nation that epals have no place in his administration.

Even when the anti-epal bill (Senate Bill No. 1967) of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is enacted, it will have no meaning if the Filipino nation continue to tolerate epals in this society.

Among the epals in the government I am watching is Joel Villanueva. But despite all criticisms, TESDA Director Joel Villanueva continue to justify his billboards and other ads. He is determined to his ambition to become senator and it seems President Aquino has no problem with. That’s the problem with Noynoy Aquino – he is inconsistent and he give special treatment to his men.

TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva and the Anti-Epal Bill of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

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.