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Aquino to agencies: Don't put my name or pic on your projects

August 7, 2010 2:33am

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered all government agencies not to use his name or image on government programs and projects, Malacañang announced Friday.

In a press briefing, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the president issued the directive to all Cabinet secretaries and heads of government agencies and government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

The directive ordered the officials to "refrain from associating the president's personality and identity in their programs and projects," he said.

"These agencies, instrumentalities, corporations are advised not to put up tarpaulins, billboards, and other propaganda materials bearing the president's name and image," said Lacierda.

Aquino issued the directive after expressing support for Senator Francis Escudero's bill proposing to criminalize the practice of naming government projects after public officials and persons associated with them.

In a meeting with reporters Friday, Aquino said he refused offers to have some government programs named after him.

His predecessor, former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, had at least one government program named after her initials, the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani agricultural program.

Aquino said funds spent on tarpaulins bearing the names or images of project proponents were best spent on the programs themselves. "I'm wondering how much it costs to put up these tarpaulins," he said.

Aquino was congressman of Tarlac's second district for nine years and was a senator for three years before he was elected to Malacañang in the May 10 elections.

In filing his bill, Escudero — who supported Aquino in the May 10 elections — said naming projects such as waiting sheds, ambulances and even trash bins after politicians “falsely gives an inflated sense of accomplishment to public officials to their constituency."

Under Escudero's proposal, violators shall be punished with one-year imprisonment and a fine of P100,000 to P1 million depending on the amount of the government project concerned.

The bill, however, says that the National Historical Commission of the Philippines may exempt projects depending on its guidelines or regulations.Jam Sisante/JV, GMANews.TV
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