'Anti-epal' bill gets Senate backing but...

Posted at 11/22/11 3:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A Senate committee backed Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's "anti-epal bill," but wants to remove a provision punishing guilty officials with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Santiago's Senate Bill 1967 prohibits public officials from putting their names and pictures on signage for public works projects.
During a hearing on Tuesday, Senate civil service committee chair Antonio Trillanes IV said the penal provision may be too harsh, and may be taken advantage of by a politician's rivals.
Esther Cuadra, executive director of the Philippine Councilors' League, voiced the same concern.
Trillanes' committee also wants to include firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, and other public transportation facilities in the list of items where politicians' names and pictures should not be placed.
Trillanes said he will hold another hearing on the bill to hear the side of local politicians.