Monday, July 09, 2012

Local Public Officials Watch

It could have another title. It might have a different heading. But it surely carries and forwards one great news for the Filipino people – for a change. To the DILG belongs the credit. To its leadership goes the gratitude of the citizenry for the needed grading and upgrading of local public officials supposedly elected by their respective constituencies. It can be said that the over-all commitment of said officials is to safeguard the public trust reposed upon them and to provide what the public service expected from them. Otherwise, there would be a distortion – or contradiction – of the nature and finality of a public office as such.

Irrespective of what it is called, the essence of the DILG leadership move or initiative can be summed up in the following agenda specifically on the part of those who elected their local public officials from the city or municipal up to the provincial levels: One, let civic organizations as well as individuals watch over their respective local public officials, particularly in terms of the evil they are doing and the good they fail to do. Two, have the said organizations and personalities make and keep properly documented records of all the significant achievements or big shenanigans of their respective local public officials. Three, transmit the said records to the DILG for the latter’s pursuant action whether to praise/away or censure/rebuke them as per submitted and verified documents.

Such a watch of vigilance on local public officials about their “sins of commission and/or omission,” is in good order. It is not a secret that there are graft and corrupt practices in public offices in the national level – notwithstanding all contrary rhetoric and declamations of the executive Chief-in-Command in the national level. Considering the mere body count of local public officials all over the land plus their direct hold on public funds and their exercise of public authority – the citizens concerned do not only have the right but the duty as well, to watch it their elected public officials in their own localities are doing their given jobs – or otherwise.

At this juncture, it would not be superfluous much less irrelevant to make mention of a good and practical reference specifically in conjunction with the watch envisioned by the DILG. This: The Local Government Code Revisited (2011 Edition). While the national government has much to do with the common good or public welfare of the people of the Philippines in general, the local government has very much more to do with no less than the 24/7 concerns of the particular Cities, Municipalities, Provinces all over the Country.