Former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) director general and now Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco Jr finds nothing wrong with putting his name and face on billboards proclaiming his projects.
After all, he appeared in a TV ad for TESDA with celebrity Sarah Geronimo just before the May elections to promote…something. TESDA’s vocational training programs, probably. Or possibly the 49,000-peso dough cutters TESDA bought when they could have gotten them for just 120 pesos.*
In response to a proposed ban on using government projects as political advertising, Syjuco says:
“Sari-sariling diskarte yan. Wala naman sigurong masama kung lalagay mo yung pangalan mo o picture mo lalo na kung gwapo ka o maganda ka” (It really should be up to us [to put our pictures and names on billboards]. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with putting your name or picture especially if you’re handsome or pretty.)”
Syjuco, who would make a pretty cute grandfather, adds putting their names and faces on billboards is “essential otherwise they (constituents) would presume that nothing has happened.”
And, really, our members of congress cannot be blamed for wanting to make a name for themselves. Putting their names on public infrastructure projects is one way to do that. Another way is, you know, doing their jobs by writing and passing laws.
[*To be fair, Syjuco was cleared of involvement in the purchase of overpriced equipment. By an investigation panel that he formed himself.]