THERE’S an “oversupply” of politicians in the Philippines, an impoverished Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people, where elections are held every three years.
Many of these politicians are highly-influential local leaders, who are fielded and supported by powerful political dynasties during an election, which is democracy in action.
That’s why the use of government assistance, financial or material, for partisan political purposes is a “no-no” under Section 82 of the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).
It prohibits the use of the name, visage, appearance, logo, signature or any other analogous image of any public official in all programs, activities and projects of the government.
Aware of this, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday warned against the use of a politician’s name or photo in the distribution of the “ayuda.”
The government is set to distribute a financial assistance of P1,000 per individual, with a maximum of P4,000 per family, in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The “ayuda” will be distributed by local government officials in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna, which are under ECQ.
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, DILG spokesperson, said the department will never tolerate the “politicization” of government assistance.
People, including the ordinary citizens across the country, are made to believe that the government will hit hard at violators of Section 82 of the annual GAA.
In the view of many, what is needed is for the public to report the activities of “epal” politicians in the distribution of government financial assistance to the people.