By: Bennie A. Recebido
SORSOGON CITY, April 8 (PIA) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in its effort to ward off confusion among beneficiaries of government programs especially of the “Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program” (4Ps) and put a stop to politicians who are using the 4Ps in their political propaganda, will have a provincial launching of their most recent information campaign dubbed as "Bawal ang EPAL Dito" on April 11, 2013, 10am-12nn at the Paradise Resort in Brgy. Pangpang, this city.
DSWD Bicol Regional Director Arnel B. Garcia said that due to various reports that the 4Ps are being used by politicians and their supporters for campaign purposes, the information campaign was conceptualized to eliminate the "epal" in the implementation of the government programs.
“The launching is part of the DSWD’s effort to facilitate the implementation of the 4Ps during the 2013 National and Local Election period free of political influence and manipulation while safeguarding the rights of the beneficiaries for free and honest election,” Garcia articulated.
He also added that the “Pantawid Pamilya” Program is a rights-based program implemented by the national government and not by any individual or political party.
The "Bawal ang Epal" campaign aims to empower the beneficiaries with the knowledge that "No one has the right to delist a beneficiary. Only the DSWD Regional and National Office are authorized and have the right to delist a beneficiary if s/he will not comply with the conditions of the program".
“This will also strengthen the identity of the Pantawid Pamilya that it is not merely a dole-out program of the national government,” Garcia said.
Following the delivery of key messages from the DSWD and invited speakers, an open forum and a covenant signing with the media, parent leaders and partner agencies will be conducted.
Meanwhile, the DSWD Bicol has conducted earlier on, some activities in Sorsogon that would further intensify their Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign by way of distributing “Anti-Epal” flyers, reading materials, and a regular radio program aired every Friday at Radyo Natin Sorsogon, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon hosted by Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program Information Officer Agnes Mayor and staff. The program can also be heard in Masbate, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.
“Epal” is a Filipino short term for “ma-papel” or “pumapel” (a street lingo for credit grabber). It applies for politicians who personally claim for successes of government programs. The popularity of the term’s usage in government can perhaps be attributed to Senator Miriam Santiago who filed in 2011 an “Anti-Epal Bill” that would penalize public officials who attach their names to roads or bridges being built. The bill would mete out six months’ to a year’s imprisonment to any public official caught advertising his picture or name alongside public works projects. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)