Names and faces of local officials were spotted on free coffee sachets, a taho stall and tarpaulins.
Some social media users posted photos of these items bearing prominent images of officials from the municipalities of Montalban and Taytay in Rizal and in Biñan in Laguna.
One Facebook user posted on September 12 a 3-in-1 coffee sachet bearing the image and name of Montalban Mayor Tom Hernandez.
The user quipped with laughing emojis: “Tsaka nyo na po kami yabangan pag si mayor na yung dahilan kung bakit kayo bumabangon sa araw araw.”
As of writing, the Facebook post garnered 9,300 reactions and 8,500 shares.
This photo eventually reached a Facebook page called Bantay Epal. It monitors “epal” politicians or those that self-promote in programs, projects and other initiatives funded by the taxpayer’s money.
Another Facebook page also posted a photo of a taho stall with an enlarged face and name of another politician named Arky Manning, Sangguniang Kabataan president in Taytay, Rizal.
It was captured during a free taho activity held last April where the official gave away 200 cups of free taho to residents of Sitio Batasin 1, Floodway A, San Juan in Taytay.
Another photo of the event was posted on his official Facebook page.
“Nakapamahagi po tayo ng 200 cups of taho ngayong umaga. Ang taho ay maraming bitamina at minerals tulad ng proteins, pampalakas ng ating katawan at resistensya,” part of his post read.
Last week, one Reddit user posted a photo of a tarpaulin in Biñan, Laguna with the faces and names of City Councilor Liza Lopez Cardeño and her son and chief of staff Raffy Lopez Cardeño.
Their full names and faces were edited out.
Some users in the discussion section noted that it’s better to not remove or blur the identities of government officials to hold them accountable.
Others, meanwhile, lamented the still pending anti-political dynasty bill in Congress.
“You can’t expect senators/congressmen to stop something that benefits them. An anti-political dynasty bill is really just a stop gap measure. These clans would still find ways to game the system,” one user said.
Last week, priest and TikTok creator Fr. Fiel Pareja, along with other users, also called out some local politicians in Malabon City for a tarpaulin that featured their enlarged photos in their supposed greeting for the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In contrast to this, some Filipinos who had their COVID-19 vaccine shots in Marikina shared that they received some freebies without prominent logos and pictures of their local officials.
Government officials are banned from self-promotion acts such as putting their pictures and names on government-funded projects and programs under the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), the anti-epal provision or General Provision 82 of the adopted 2021 National Budget.