A saying says: “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Indeed, this is true to our esteemed politicians who have utmost fondness in seeing their names and faces on almost every street corners across their districts or towns.
If one politician wants to show his very photogenic face or wants everybody to know his name, all he needs to do is call a person who knows how to do stuff on MS Paint or if there’s more funds, get a graphic artist, photographer, then do some photo shoot, layout here and there and put every greeting possible, print it in a very durable tarpaulin which can withstand even the rage of “Ondoy”. Then hang or post it anywhere so the public can see it. Voila! Instant advertisement, with free greetings. Happy Fiesta! Happy Halloween! Happy Graduation Day! Happy Birthday! Happy First Communion! Happy Sectional Blocking! Happy Checkpoint. Please slow down. Happy Free Circumcision. (Okay, the last two are exaggerations.) See, if a politician wants to use public’s funds to showcase his name and face, he can. There’s a way. In fact, there are loooooots of ways.
On the other hand, if a politician wants to just serve the public without any buzz and grandstanding (which EVERY public servant MUST voluntarily do), he absolutely can. There’s also a way. In fact, there’s a loooot of ways too.
Let me cite one example. I won’t be hiding his name because I was totally impressed on his receptiveness as a public official to his constituents’ feedback.
I am residing near Parang Elementary School in Marikina City, my place is just a few blocks away. Two years ago, a construction started for a new 3-storey building inside the school. After a few weeks, I huge green tarpaulin was posted beside it, the poster says: “Proposed New ‘Q’ 3-Storey Building.” with the politician’s smiling photogenic face which covers half the size of the tarpaulin. If my memory serves me right, that was the only thing posted there, no details on the budget, source of funds, date construction started, estimated completion date, approval of gov’t agencies or whatsoever. When I first saw it, I instantly said to myself: “Ang epal naman nito.” As a taxpaying citizen, I hate ‘epal’ politicians. I commend the fact that having a new school building is indeed a noble project and the end result will surely benefit the students. But by having a huge poster there with nothing but a smiling face and hailing it as early as ‘Q’ building, claiming it as his own puts the politician’s intention of public service questionable. Did he really propose that project to help the students or to just make his self-advertisement free and justifiable? See, these questions can linger in people’s minds. Hence, putting the politician’s integrity at risk.
As a self-proclaimed blogger, critic, or just simply an online ‘pakielamero’, I tweeted about some of his ‘epalism’. Surprisingly, he was able to read some of my tweets and acknowledged my concern.
Anyways, last 2012 during the early months, for some unknown reason, the construction halted and it just resumed late last year. Fast forward today, the construction is still on going and to my surprise, I saw the following:
Epal free! Isn’t it? As far as the politician’s epalism is concerned this is undoubtedly impressive! See, if a politician wants his project to be free from any touch of epalism, it can be done! This is a great example. Trust me, the posters were not like these two years ago. Good job to the 2nd district representative of Marikina City, Cong. Miro Quimbo. Not only he is an RH Law advocate, he is now a non-epal politician and is being a 100% real public servant. Yes, being an epal can make you less of a public servant.
I have another issue. I am absolutely sure that the building’s construction started early 2011, so how come the date above shows that it just started November 2012? Maybe there were some issues before that’s why the construction was stopped for a long time.
Nevertheless, I cannot be more proud of my Congressman. I hope he can influence the representative of the 1st district of Marikina City to do the same.
We give credit to whom the credit is due. And now, I’m giving the credit to Cong. Miro Quimbo for taking a leap forward in being a public servant all the way in practicing servant leadership. You’re no longer a politician sir, and that makes a big difference.
I expect some people to criticize this blog entry for I know for a fact that it’s not well-written. Blog was published without proofreading.