City Hall: Biz plate bearing Oca's face not ‘epal’

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Thursday, January 23, 2014


MAYOR Oscar Moreno’s decision to put his face on the new business plate did not violate the Anti-Epal memorandum of the Department of Interior and Local Government, City Hall said.

The Anti-Epal does not cover business plates, according to city administrator Hilario Roy Raagas.

Raagas said the Anti-Epal only prohibits public officials from affixing their “names or images on public works billboards and does not cover business plates and similar materials.”

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He added the yellow-colored business plates show the mayor’s commitment of transparent and accountable governance.

The look of the new business plates bearing Moreno’s image faced criticisms online and even from his allies.

Raagas added the image of the mayor is an express manifestation of his “solid partnership with the business sector and the stakeholders for the city’s sustainable growth and progress.”

Raagas furthered that the yellow color of the business plates stands for confidence and optimism that captures the city’s “vibrance and dynamism.”

“It captures CDO’s vibrance and dynamism of activities and linkages with and among the communities, business and other sectors and the city’s bright economic projections,” said Raagas.

He said yellow was chosen because traditionally it has been associated with the city as the City of Golden Friendship.

Meanwhile, critiques online said the color should be a neutral color (white) to avoid bringing politics into public offices.

Another critique on Facebook said that he does not agree with the business plates “colored with the political motif of the incumbent.”

He added that the mayor is a mayor for everyone and not just for those who voted for him.

Former city councilor Dr. Bob Ocio said the new business plates “symbolizes the new age of dictatorship restored in the city.”

He added Moreno thinks that his popularity will make him get away with the (politically themed) business plates without question.

Meanwhile, Moreno said in a press statement sent to Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro that he had always resisted the temptation of putting his face on his previous projects as he served various positions in the government.

Moreno was the representative of the 1st district of Misamis Oriental from 1998 to 2004. He also became the governor of Misamis Oriental before his election as the mayor in the city.

He said the ‘epal look’ in business plates did not occur to him.

Moreno added that it is also important to him that the commitment toward accountable and transparent governance has a face because the city is his responsibility.

The Anti-epal memorandum at the DILG has been filed into a bill.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 23, 2014.

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