My statement may come as a bit heavy just after Valentine, but I just want to remind our government and ourselves about a topic that should not be allowed to rest.
Section 4 (a) of Republic Act 6713 states: ¨All public officials and employees shall always uphold the public interest over and above personal interest. All government resources and powers of their respective offices must be employed and used efficiently, effectively, honestly and economically, particularly to avoid wastage in public funds and revenues.¨
The provision is very clear. Commitment to public interest requires unselfishness. Government people are paid by the public and public welfare should be their utmost concern. What really commands trust and respect is the effort to make a difference and discarding selfish motives. This strategy will put people’s trust back to the government but is used far too little in our country.
We often see supplies in government offices being stolen, facilities being carelessly used and service vehicles are driven somewhere unofficially, issued phones became for personal use, etc, etc… It’s a very common scenario that makes me sad and gloomy for the future of this country. I don’t see any job description that says: while in office, you should taint the government´s reputation for your own good. Entering government service to gain power, extravagance, and lavish lifestyle is 100% condemnable.
Taking care of government funds and properties is a virtue because it shows the care and respect for the owner: the public. The people’s trust in return will ensure their cooperation with whatever projects or endeavors the government will implement. It is therefore essential for government people to perform with integrity.
Commitment to excellence is equally important but why can’t we do it for others? When are we going to improve the basic services for our countrymen, and where is our devotion and dedication to duty?
It should be unnecessary asking these questions again and again. But almost every time I’m dealing with our bureaucracy, these thoughts enter my mind. I’m dreaming about the day that reminders like these aren’t necessary anymore.