But this idea of deleting the name of the “politician-sponsor” and publicizing instead the project costs and contractor’s name is already running foul with a number of politicians at various levels. They’re objecting because they feel that the narcissistic exercise of plastering their names and photos on projects helps to ensure their reelection. Moreover, they argue that exposing their contractors’ names would make the latter targets for the NPAs’ taxation, but I suspect that the likelier reason is that the publicity would open the contractors to pesky queries about profit-sharing deals with the politicos.
One has only to drive around the country to see stadiums, amphitheaters and convention halls named after these politicians, as though they paid for those projects. Not even waiting sheds and basketball courts are spared. This is certainly true in Rizal province, where the Ynareses have ruled for so many terms now---every place bears the Ynares name. In Laguna it’s the same, as well as in many other parts of the country.
Deputy Speaker Daza pointed out that of the 261 current members, there are about 109 first-termers as well as 41 “recycled” or returnees after the mandatory one-term to sit it out. Perhaps many of these neophytes entered the institution with glowing idealism and could be persuaded to put more emphasis on genuine public service, rather than making their term a means to get rich quick through substandard public works projects and other malpractices in Congress.
Rep. Daza and we had a good laugh over his recollection of how this columnist used to tease him that his LP in the old days of Lakas’ supremacy could fit into a taxi. Now it has grown so large with defections from Lakas that the LP can now fit into the center orchestra floor of the Araneta Coliseum! With his party having grown so large so fast, it should be a great help for P-Noy to get his pet bills passed quickly. But one problem I can foresee is how he would help fund the candidacies of these House allies come the midterm elections in 2013. Everyone will be trooping to him for the fat envelops, as they did with GMA. If P-Noy would be true to his campaign promise to be corruption-free, would his allies be content with a pat on the back come election time?
As the ruling party in the House, the LP has resolved to meet every Tuesday at 3 pm. Two Tuesdays ago it called a caucus to take up the lack of quorum (Daza pointed out that the LPs are always present in each session; so who are those habitually absent?). Last Tuesday it took up the barangay elections scheduled for this October, but the problem noted was that these elections will again take up so much money (estimated from P2billion to P3 billion) while the government claims to be broke (note the taxes, taxes everywhere, including the VAT intended to be slapped on the SLEX, which the Supreme Court recently TROed). Several bills have been filed seeking to postpone these elections from one to two years, while others want them synchronized with the 2013 mid-term national and local elections. Also on deck is the proposal to increase salaries for local government officials, to which the League of Governors, headed by Mindoro Oriental Gov. Boy Umali is said to be amenable. All these caucus issues will involve money and more money.
Email Bel Cunanan at