Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Civil Service Commission Chief: Mabuhay!

AT last, the Chief of the Civil Service Commission formally affirmed and publicly confirmed how sad is the state of the national bureaucracy with the coming of the present ruling administration; something that many rightly thinking and duly caring people already know long time ago. The primary cause of this depressing state of affairs is basically traced to the unreasonable and untenable exercise of the appointing prerogative of no less than the Chief Executive in the Country who should know better but does exactly otherwise.

It is bad enough that national, regional and local officials are by and large elected not really by reason of competence but by popularity cum money. It becomes even worse when those thus elected into public offices as public trusts, exercise their authority to appoint individuals to administrative entities—definitely not by reason of integrity and competence—usually on account of transactional politics, beneficial arrangements, partisan affiliation if not due to blood and/or affinity relationships and similar factors of convenience.

That is why while there are relatively few capable and distinguished appointees specially in the high and key offices in the government bureaucracy, there is a rather good number of such supposedly honorable men and gentlemen who should be doing anything, attending to everything—except precisely those serious concerns and weighty issues of national significance and implication they are in fact appointed to work on. The victims of all these seriously adverse socio-moral liability in the country are always the same, viz., the citizens who pay their salaries, huge benefits and big perks through their heavy direct and indirect taxes paid from birth to death—the poor, the hungry and the sick included.

Credited with the highest number of MalacaƱang appointees, it is said that more than half of those assigned to exalted positions by the national leadership are not even civil service eligible. As such, the proverbial phrase comes to mind that appointed to critical offices, they are like square pegs placed in round holes—contrary to elementary reason and basic propriety. No wonder then that notwithstanding all good sounding motherhood statements and visionary promises, more and more people in the country are in anger, disgust or despair.

As already long evidenced by a good number of revealing indicators and thus recently and expressly identified by the CSC Chief, the following are considered as the primary bloated and bloating Departments in the present government: Agrarian Reform. National Defense. Environment and Natural Resources. Interior and Local Government. Nothing surprising. Nothing astonishing.

This is why there is so much distrust and disgust with the government. There is so much dissent and resentment in the streets. No wonder that as the farmers cry for justice and as the drivers cry for the high price of fuel, as the OFWs lament the poor exchange of their hard earned dollars and as the general public complain about the weak buying power of the peso, their reigning leader with family and friends and appointees and loyal followers are traveling in style, in comfort, in a chartered plane. Guess, who pay?

23 January 2008