Lawmakers want names display on gov’t projects

August 17, 2010 9:58 am 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Aug. 16 — Lawmakers on Monday said they will continue to display their names in projects funded by their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or the so-called "pork barrel" for the sake of transparency and for their constituents to know where the funds went.

Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez and Zambales Rep. Ma. Milagros Magsaysay, in the weekly meeting of the minority bloc of the House of Representatives, said this was the position of the group, and even some lawmakers he knows from the majority.

Both lawmakers said displaying their names on public works projects is one way of showing their constituents that they have not failed on the promises they made during the campaign period.

Suarez said they are also willing to shoulder the cost of printing their names and even their photographs and billboards, if the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will insist on implementing President Benigno S. Aquino III’s directive.

Camarines Sur Rep. Elmer Panotes said that some other politicians like mayors might claim responsibility for the project if it does not have the congressman’s name on it.

"We really need to put our names there because sometimes, the mayors display their photograph on them," he said.

If President Aquino is firm about the ban on politicians’ names on billboards, Panotes said he should ask Congress to pass a law, but stressed that this should cover all officials, from the President to the village officials.

During the meeting of the minority bloc, Suarez said they raised the matter to DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson and the latter vowed to bring it up with the President.

Last week, Singson announced they were banning the names and images of politicians on billboards of infrastructure projects under the revised format of the DPWH Project Billboard, in accordance with the directives of the President.

Under the DPWH modified format, the project billboards will bear the name of the project and location, name of contractor, date started contract completion date, contract cost, construction consultant, implementing office and source of fund. (PNA)



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