Philippine Bureaucracy

Philippine bureaucracy: bloated and corrupted PDF Print E-mail
Written by CENPEG, ISSUE ANALYSIS No. 02, February 4, 2008, Series of 2008
Tuesday, 05 February 2008 22:48
Most bureaucrats see their positions as both a power and a privilege shielded by immunities instead of as a public service that involves accountability. Ed San Pedro (not his real name) had served five presidents, from Ferdinand E. Marcos to Gloria M. Arroyo, at the Malacanang press office. A civil service eligible and career man, he became an assistant secretary after more than two decades of unblemished public service. A few years later under the Arroyo presidency, San Pedro was forced to obey the orders of a superior which he thought were irregular and unethical. He was bawled out by the chieftain thus forcing him to resign. He died a few months later. In a tribute at his funeral, his former staff, acquaintances, and a former Cabinet secretary extolled him as being in that rare breed of government men who remain clean till the end.

In the bureaucracy of a government known as one of the most corrupt in the world, there are Ed San Pedros as there are also lowly employees who remain devoted to their work and end their service with just enough retirement pay to last in their twilight years. They watch in quiet indignation as many of their superiors, from top executives, department secretaries, and generals, to local officials loot the government treasury without remorse. Many promising career personnel, proven for their competence and meritorious service, are passed over in promotion as a new administration takes over and puts its political appointees in key positions. Loyalty to political patrons comes first in their placement within the bureaucracy. Then they claim authorship to “accomplishments” even if these are a product of labor by low-salaried career men and civil service employees.

It came as no surprise when Karina C. David, immediate past commissioner of the civil service,.