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Anti-Epal Bill is OK but how about the Kapalmuks?

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FACT: The practice of putting up billboards or signages bearing the names, initials and images of government officials on government programs and projects has been noticeably abused and misused by some public officials for their personal interest and has taken the credit away from us, the taxpayers who are paying for such programs through our tax payment.

Inquirer columnist Randy David, called the practice “the new narcissism,” while the street punks called it “Ka-epalan” or “epal” which simply means the shameless self –promotion of attention grabbers, scene stealers, or people who crave a role (mapapel) in affairs that are not necessarily theirs to handle or decide.

But hey, thanks to the Epal Slayer, the mighty Sen. Mirriam Defensor Santiago. Only a law can kill the powerful epals, hence Sen. Santiago proposed the Anti-Epal bill – “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project.”

Oooops, what about the Kapalmuks?

You will see the names and pictures of the Kapalmuks: at government buildings, city facilities, overpass, underpass, greeting tarps, lamp posts, benches, plant boxes, fire trucks, ambulance and waiting sheds. They have their names on everything except for the urinals. 

Kapalmuks of course are the masters of shameless self-promotion. They find it an effective and inexpensive means of obtaining free publicity for the next election.

Not only that, they are also using the walls of business establishments their personal profile graffiti wall via business license plates which are required to be displayed in public. Take a look at these:
business license plate in Mandaluyong City
Mandaluyong Business License Plate

business permit registration
Business License Permit Manila
Lungsod ng Maynila Business Permit Registration

Is there really a need to include their grinning profile photos on business license plates? DTI or related government agencies should stop this like the MMDA ban on vanity plates.

And yes, even Barangay Captains are now putting their faces on license plates!

Barangay Business Permit
Barangay Business Plate

Maybe it isn’t illegal but is it ethical to make our walls their scrapbook?

Why not just help our dying tourism industry by putting pictures of major attraction of the city, a delicacy or maybe anything of historical value.

These things are telling us something

I know it is not generally true but it is tempting to think that today’s politicians in the Philippines are corrupt in an unprecedented manner, and can always find reasons to explain it. Despite EDSA I and II, morally corrupt politicians still get elected. 

It is almost as if there is a general recurring phenomena that Pinoy politicians in power discover they like power and begin to do shocking and obnoxious things to try to maintain that power. 

Maybe because we are a colonized nation. I always felt that Filipinos don’t really have a nation as the Spaniards or as the Japanese do. We are just a persecuted minority. Maybe that’s what they’ve done to us.

That is why we must be ever skeptical about granting more power to elected – or worse, appointed – officials.

Oh well, at least we always got something for our entertainment – the latest of course is the P-noy – Arroyo who’s-the-Kapalmuks blame-game. 

P.S. Could you name or share pictures of other business license plates with Kapalmuks?  Please note that above license plates are examples only - they are not being singled out from the rest of the Kapalmuks gang.

Related News:
» Cabacungan, Gil. 12 November 2011. "‘Anti-epal’ bill meets resistance from ‘epals’ in House" Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved: 17 November 2011
» Esguerra, Christian V. 4 November 2011. "Sen. Santiago to shame vain politicians thru ‘anti-epal’ bill" Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved: 17 November 2011
Image Citation:
» First Image {Facebook Face}: Beaux Arts Magazine Close Up. [Leo Burnett] 2008. 3D Waldo Lee. Photography - Marc DA CUNHA LOPES. Art Director: Stepanue Santana/Edward Capelle.

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