Taxpayers’ money is wasted in awareness campaigns of the government programs and projects. Where before only politicians in the national, provincial and city levels are brandishing their thick faces on tarpaulin signs, the practice had been adopted by politicians in the barangay level as well. The idea of giving information about what their government is doing on billboards and streamers scattered all over is costing so much from the public coffers. We are bombarded of the many things that government is purportedly but people seldom feel anything of such programs and projects. If there are, only those close to the powers that be are able to receive the benefits as the identification and distribution is highly politicized.
The law that requires the placement of billboards on every project is intended to inform about the cost and nature of the project so that the people can oversee its implementation. It is supposed to banner the cost, specifications and the timeframe for its completion. Unfortunately, the information is trivialized for they are buried in small letters under the bold names and shameless faces of the government officials who claim the project as their own. These government officials had developed the temerity to claim credit on the project as if it is being implemented using their money. The billboard of their shameless faces cost much out of the dilapidated funds that are mere remnants of percentage cutters.
Aside from projects that are used for advertisement of shameless government officials, programs are likewise used in similar manner. We also see larger than life-size images of cabinet secretaries that carry slogans of government programs. Most of these portraits are of cabinet men who are eyeing national elective office in the forthcoming national elections. The awareness campaign is funded by taxpayers’ money. They are getting mileage not just on billboards but in media advertisements as well. The budget for these advertisements is too high a burden for the taxpayers. But the practice continues even if elections are still too far. These public officials are eager to establish name recall among the people.
What is appalling is the reality that most of these programs and projects do not create the intended impact on the people. The banners and streamers merely awaken public awareness and nothing more. People get information from media about programs and projects but they do not get the beneficial effects of what they get aware of. The practice will go on beyond the barangay elections as politicians in the municipal, city, province and national levels until the national elections for people to remember the politicians with thick faces.
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