Up to P1M-fine and DQ from public office: Pacquiao files bill vs. epal politicians

  • Senator filed bill penalizing credit-grabbing politicians
  • Bill to penalize offenders with hefty fines and disqualification from public office
  • DPWH, DILG and MMDA to spearhead enforcement, removal of self-serving posters and tarps

MANILA, Philippines  –  Sen. Manny Pacquiao has filed a bill imposing heavy penalties on public officials who engage in the practice of grabbing credit for government projects or accomplishments.

In Senate Bill No. 1535, Pacquiao explained that he wants to foster genuine public service by stopping the common practice of shameless self-promotion by officials.

“This bill seeks to uphold the honesty, integrity, and transparency to foster good governance in public service,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.

According to the senator, this has also led to the public becoming increasingly jaded by the government’s distrustful of officials they believe are self-serving.

“Over the years, elected or appointed public officials have been either appending their names on signage of public works and various government activities or label such projects after their names,” he said. “This unethical practice” has led the public to believe that the projects named after incumbent government officials were indeed sponsored by them “thus tolerating said officials to prematurely campaign for reelection and cultivate a culture of political patronage.”

Under Pacquiao’s bill, government officials are prohibited from affixing their names or images to all public works. First-time offenders would be fined anywhere from P100,000 to P1 million depending on the gravity of their offense. Those who violate the law for the second time meanwhile, would be penalized with perpetual disqualification from public office.

Exempted are those whose significance in a government project or accomplishment has been determined by the National Historical Commission.

If it becomes law, the agencies tasked to spearhead the enforcement and removal of any violative material are the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).