Board member Ryan Maminta has filed an ordinance seeking to prohibit the display of the names of public officials on any government properties and projects.

Maminta, the author of the proposed “Anti-Epal Ordinance of the Province of Palawan,” stated in an interview following their regular session on Tuesday that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued Memorandum Circular No. 2010-01, addressed to all provincial governors, mayors, DILG regional directors, and other concerned agencies, prohibiting the display of government officials’ names, initials, and photos in billboards, signage, projects, activities, and proper names.

Pursuant to the order, Maminta said all local government units are directed to revisit all government projects and properties to ensure that policy against displaying names is strictly observed.

The RA 11518 or the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the fiscal years 2021 and 2022 also contains provisions of a similar prohibition against government officials from self-promotion through the placement of names and images.

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Maminta said that the ordinance aims to ensure that public and appointed officials serve their constituents with honesty, efficiency and have the initiative against graft and corruption.

“Ang mga pangalan ng mga appointed or halal ay hindi pwede ilagay sa mga proyekto, programa, service vehicles, ambulance ng pamahalaan. Ito ay mula sa buwis at hindi ito pribadong pera ng mga lingkod bayan kaya hindi pwedeng ilagay ang mga pangalan,” Maminta said.

“Ang mga nakalagay noon pa ay kasama sa tatanggalin pero sa penalty or sanction ay doon hindi maisasama. Hindi natin pinopromote ang vested interest sa pamamagitan ng mga proyektong ganito dahil wrong sense ‘yon,” he added.

Under the Section 6 of the proposed ordinance, the Provincial Engineering and Pool Office (PEPO) in coordination with the DILG and Department of Public Works in Highways (DPWH) are authorized to remove all existing names, photos and signatures on all ongoing or completed public works projects in the province within three months after the effectivity of the ordinance.

While public officials should remove existing signage in any and all public service projects within 30 days once ordinance take effect.

On its Section 7, any public officer committing any of the prohibited acts shall be penalized of six months imprisonment and be fine with P5,000.

“Unang-una na gagawin ay tatanggalin ang mga existing na mga pangalan ay maiiwan siguro ay ang logo at ang nakalagay na for official use only. Local ito na batas ibigsabihin ang kakayahan lang ng local na Sangguniang ang pwedeng i-adopt at ‘yan ay nakalagay din naman sa Local Government Code,” Maminta said.

He is also confident that the measure will be approved after further discussion in the committee on Rules and Laws.

“Papasa ito sa tingin ko dahl lahat naming kami dito ay nagnanais ng maayos na pamamahala, public office is public trust nga kaya bakit natin aangkinin ang mga proyekto na ito samantalang ang pera na ito ay inilagak lang sa pamahalaan para pagdesisyunan kung saan ilalagay at hindi ibigsabihin na sa atin ito,” Maminta said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.