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Model bureaucrat

Government employees who dedicate their lives to public service are hard to come by. But one person fills the bill, and her name is Lilia B. de Lima.

Posted: November 2nd, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

A faulty incentive system


It is argued that the public service attracts too many incompetents and people with less than noble intentions because government salaries do not amply reward excellence and professionalism. As they say, if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys. Look at our neighbors Singapore and Malaysia, for example. Government employees and officials there earn salaries competitive with or even better than those in the private sector. Not surprisingly, the quality of the civil service is high, and corruption in the bureaucracy is not among their most prominent problem. Notice, by the way, how one would not easily find Singaporean or Malaysian bureaucrats in international agencies like in various UN bodies or World Bank. But dining in the cafeterias in these organizations’ offices abroad would make any Filipino feel right at home, with our language dominating the chatter all around. For obvious reasons, such institutions have been prime employment targets for our government people at all levels.

Posted: September 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Maynilad’s overcharge defies common sense

I read Bienvenido Atienza’s plaint about Maynilad’s service (“Common sense, please,” Inquirer, 3/2/12). I too have experienced the problem complained of. And I thought that if it has become a “trend,” Maynilad owes it to affected consumers to immediately attend to such complaints.

Posted: April 11th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Water, power firms overcharging the public


As we celebrate the 27th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution that freed us from the shackles of a dictatorship, perhaps we should also start another revolt to free us from the shackles of greedy private corporations. I am referring to the utility companies, such as water, power, communications and toll road operators, which [...]

Posted: February 24th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Recognizing true public service


Are true public servants a dying breed? Indeed it is easy for most of us to find fault with government and the people who make it up. For many an ordinary citizen, government is that bureaucrat sitting behind a window or counter, standing in the way of a required document such as a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, or clearance from some agency of government. For others, government is that politician whose likeness or imprint is all over town, in posters greeting us a happy fiesta or whatever occasion, or in public facilities like lampposts bearing his initials. For most Filipinos, dealing with government tends to be an unsavory experience, often marked by inefficiency, incompetence or arrogance.

Posted: September 24th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Jesse’s passion for public service

I have fond memories of the late Secretary Jesse Robredo, a government co-worker. We worked together in three inter-agencies to enfranchise and empower three vulnerable and marginalized sectors—the Inter-Agency and NGO Network to Empower Detainees, the Inter-Agency and NGO Network to Empower Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), and the Inter-Agency, NGO and PO Network to Empower Indigenous Peoples (IPs). The Department of the Interior and Local Government was part of the three inter-agencies, and Secretary Jess was a cell phone away when I would bring to his attention concerns involving these sectors. His response was always immediate.

Posted: September 9th, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

A rare man

How do we mourn the passing of Jesse Robredo? Let us, for a start, recall his words. For in a stellar career in government that spanned more than 25 years, ending with the ill-fated plane flight on Saturday that felled him and left his family and the nation grieving and orphaned, Robredo had the opportunity [...]

Posted: August 21st, 2012 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »



The personalities in the impeachment have all sorts of advice to give to the new crop of lawyers. Not least of them Renato Corona himself who quipped in a congratulatory speech to them last week: “Kung gusto niyong mag-volunteer as additional defense counsel (for me), puwede na rin kayo.” Others had far more serious things to say, but they were largely in the nature of platitudes. Certainly, they themselves were not the best examples of the idealism and high-mindedness they were encouraging the new entrants to the force to possess.

Posted: March 6th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Battle lines


It’s a Catch-22. Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno may not be subpoenaed by the impeachment court because, as Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago pointed out with a degree of lividness that makes even ballistic sound pale, that sets the impeachment court on a collision course with the Supreme Court. But even if Sereno wants to appear in the impeachment court voluntarily, she still may not. That is because the Supreme Court has banned anyone from its ranks from appearing there.

Posted: February 28th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Public service and principles


Many congressional trips are simply junkets paid for by the taxpayers. In some instances, however, a few distinguished political figures move around seriously looking into specific concerns that affect the national interests of their country as well as that of their allies.

Posted: January 23rd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion,Uncategorized | Read More »

Raining insults


I turned 21 last August and decided to work as a call center agent. I was lucky to be accepted to one of the most prestigious outsourcing companies based in Makati. One of the requirements for employment is an NBI clearance. So at 6 a.m. last Aug. 31, I was on my way to the [...]

Posted: October 7th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »


The endless bickerings in government service shows the kind of leadership we have and the bad service we get. The question is:  Why is there so much opposition to investigate the reported anomalies? Isn’t the moral imperative to “be clean” part of public service? If the service being given is “clean,” why fear an investigation? [...]

Posted: September 5th, 2011 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »



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