Quezon City. President Benigno “P-Noy’ Aquino III earned praises from civil society groups for issuing a directive banning the use of his name and image in projects funded out of public funds.
The EcoWaste Coalition, Citizens’ Organization Concerned with Advocating Philippine Environmental Sustainability (COCAP) and the Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC) lauded P-Noy for reaffirming his sense of delicadeza and commitment to clean politics.
Ang NARS, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Greenpeace, Krusada sa Kalikasan and Mother Earth Foundation likewise commended P-Noy for his latest directive.
They also welcomed the filing of Senate Bill 2187 by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero that will make the naming of government projects after public officials a criminal act punishable with one year imprisonment and a fine of P100, 000 to P1,000,000.
“These initiatives by President Aquino and Senator Escudero are the first steps in dismantling the patronage political system, which should have no place in a genuine democracry,” said law professor Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, Coordinator, PEJC.
“This may be the destined time for the entire nation to take out from us the kind of politics that we have been so used to – concessional, contractual and gratitudinal. We should never owe it to anyone but ourselves as the power resides in us. We must put an end to subliminal messages of the olden politics that perpetuate our predicament,” sated Rene Pineda, President, COCAP.
“Public funds should be wisely spent to meet the people’s basic needs and to enforce environmental laws, especially since the national budget is extremely tight. Let us stop the practice of planting billboards and hanging tarpaulins for personal airs and political vanity that only wastes resources and aggravates the street litter and clutter. We urge our country’s political leaders to follow the lead of P-Noy,” said Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.
On Friday, P-Noy directed all Cabinet members, heads of agencies and instrumentalities and government-owned or controlled corporations not to put up tarpaulins, billboards and other propaganda materials bearing his name and image.
Senate Bill No. 2187 which Escudero filed declares as unlawful any government projects to be named or identified after government officials and other persons whose name or identity may in any manner be associated with said officials.
In a press release issued by his office, Senator Escudero said that "Filipinos have entrusted their money to the government by way of taxes, it is the people's money not the public officials'. Their
offices are merely given the authority, privilege and right to identify, administer, implement, coordinate or propose a government project. Thus, laying personal claim to it should be deemed criminal.”