No ‘epals’ please, DPWH-12 warns politicians

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 July) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 12 has stepped up its campaign against “epals” or politicians who take credit for nationally-funded government projects in the area.

Engr. Reynaldo Tamayo Sr., DPWH Region 12 director, said Friday he issued a directive to construction firms that have ongoing projects commissioned by the agency to ensure that their project or work sites are free from political billboards.

He said such move was based on Department Order No. 141 issued earlier by their central office.

The official said the order mainly provides for the guidelines on the installation of billboards in work sites projects commissioned by the DPWH.

Tamayo said the billboards should only detail specifications, status and other vital information about a project.

“No political billboards are allowed at least 100 meters before and after a project, between project limits or within the covered road-right of way,” he said.

He reminded project contractors not to place names of politicians on their equipment or carry political billboards.

The official said only billboards provided or sanctioned by the agency should be installed in the project sites.

“This special project item is a vital independent facility that informs and guides the citizenry about the ongoing projects undertaken by the office. It is also tangible transparency effort of the department in the promotion of its programs and projects,” he said.

Tamayo said he mandated project contractors to strictly comply with the specific design, layout, dimension, place and distance that were set by the agency for the installation of the billboards.

For building projects, he said it should be installed in front or at a visible spot in the actual project site.

He said that for road, bridge and flood-control projects, two billboards should be installed in every five-kilometer interval.

“Names and pictures of personages should not also appear in the billboard,” he added.