By RUFFY MAGBANUA
Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.’ –The Constitution, Article XI, Section 1E
THE President’s continuing call to rid the tourism department with the misfits and the corrupt is aimed at dissecting the malfunctions of the tourism sector down to the regional level.
The feisty President has a direct and harsh definition of corruption and misfits in government service, in this case at the tourism department: it is a social evil with immediate economic effect with long-term damage on good governance.
In fact, the Crusade for Good Government in which this writer is the lead convenor, has been very vocal in espousing decent and efficient government service in all levels of the bureaucracy, including the tourism department – from national down to the regional level.
Like drugs, President Duterte sees corruption and misfits in the tourism industry as pandemic and needs surgical operation with a sense of urgency.
They are identified as square pegs in round holes, and were frontally classified as misfits in the bureaucracy.
From his own words, the purging continues. His call for resignations of all presidential appointees is in effect up to this very day.
Most recent official sacked was Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, one of the President’s avid supporter from Davao.
Indeed, the words of the President are very clear: “they have to go.”
This brings us to the question: how do we get rid of the misfits at the tourism department from the national down to the regional level?
There is a need for a strong and effective vigilance for the press whose sole mandate is to educate the citizenry on good governance.
First and foremost, a public official must not be onion-skinned. Public office is a public trust and therefore, upon assumption of public office, a government official must hold his/her life open to public scrutiny.
Make corruption and inefficiency in good governance a subject or topic in basic education by carrying out a national campaign on the evils of corruption and misfits in government.
Having looked at some of the ways in which corruption and inept services damage the social and institutional fabric of this nation, the Crusade for Good Government has further suggested that a two-pronged strategy aimed at increasing the benefits of being honest and the costs of being corrupt must be put in place into the very fabric of the working force.
A sensible combination of reward and punishment system must be put in place to serve as the driving force of reforms and good governance.
The Crusade for Good Government would also want to discuss two more complementary approaches in addressing corruption and putting a stop of misfits in government.
First, the government must create transparency and openness in public spending.
The more open and transparent the process, the less opportunity it will provide for malfeasance and abuse.
Second, press freedom and levels of literacy will, likewise, shape in important ways in the context for reforms and good governance.
The recent actuation of Tourism Regional Director Unchuan against a newspaper reporter is a no brainer and has no bearing at all.
A rectification story has been done. To tell us to delete the name of Mark Francisco from the roster of our Club is none of Unchuan’s business.
With an active press, the culture of participation and transparency is an important ingredient to support various strategies aimed at reducing corruption and trumpeting good governance. In this particular case, at the regional office of the tourism department.
Direct contact and openness between government officials and the citizenry can pave the way for good governance.
In many of the measures aimed at combating corruption and inefficiency in government service, the underlying philosophy is to close off loopholes and eliminate misconceived rules that encourage corrupt and inept behavior.
Finally, an approach that will focus solely on changing the rules of the game, accompanied by appropriately harsh punishment for violating the rules, is likely to be far more effective if it is supported by efforts to buttress the moral and ethical foundation of good governance. (email@example.com)
Sep 20, 2018 0By MARK FRANCISCO CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The non-government organization Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) has allotted 40 slots for this city’s interested female sixth graders and junior high students to join an extra-curricular science enhancement training called #STEMPower our Girls....