An ‘ageless’ congresswoman’s tarpaulins in 10-year challenge

January 24, 2019 - 2:02 PM
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Some Facebook users noticed that Rep. Trisha Bonoan-David (Manila) has been using the same stock photo on tarpaulins and posters her office releases for about a decade. (Bonoan David via Facebook)

A congresswoman might have amused social media users with her unchanging photo on tarpaulins throughout the years but the displays appear to violate policies on announcing government projects and programs.

Riding on the #10YearChallenge meme, Facebook user Julius Ceasar Medes shared photos of tarpaulins bearing Manila 4th District Rep. Trisha Bonoan-David’s face that had been consecutively used from 2009 to 2018.

The pictures were printed on tarpaulins announcing her programs for Manila residents, as well as some greetings and public notices.

Some Manila residents attested to the congresswoman’s constant usage of the same photo while others looked her up on the social media platform to glimpse her present appearance.

Facebook user JP Albao commented, “Hahaha nung nasa Sampaloc ako, ‘yan na talaga gamit niya. Tapos ‘yung kapatid niyang girl, ganun din. Lol.”

User Alex Katigak Jr. tagged his friend and wrote, “Huhuhu Sampaloc knows.”

Meanwhile, user Jappy Molina shared a screenshot of Bonoan-David’s recent photos taken on December 2018.

Policy on tarpaulins

Politicians, especially those at the local level, would usually include pictures of themselves in tarpaulins bearing announcements and greetings.

While the “Anti-Epal Bill” filed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao has yet to be passed, memorandum circulars exist that prohibit the inclusion of politicians’ faces and names in such public posters on projects.

The Commission on Audit’s (COA) Circular No. 2013-004 states that “picture, image, motto, logo, color motif, initials or other symbol or graphical representation associated with the top leadership of the project proponent or implementing agency/unit/office, on Signboards, is considered unnecessary.”

The policy also applies to members of the Congress and local officials whose projects are funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund or other government fund transfers, among others.

The size of the tarpaulin is also specified under the circular. For non-infrastructure projects, the maximum measurement is 3 x 4 feet.

Non-infrastructure projects include medical and dental missions, distribution of relief goods and services, feeding programs, sports, athletic and cultural events, employment and livelihood fairs, workshops and seminars.

Government officials caught violating the policy will be subject to administrative disciplinary action stated in Presidential Decree 1445 or the “Government Auditing Code of the Philippines.”

The public is also encouraged to report any violation of the rules by texting COA’s number designated for citizens at 0915-539-1957 or write an e-mail to citizensdesk@coa.gov.ph.