Perks And Privileges In The Philippine Government

We have heard news about excessive bonuses and allowances given to upper management and executives of the Philippine government. Do not leave out also the perks and privileges given to these blessed individuals, examples of which may come disguised in the form of communication and office automation requirements like laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other high-tech gadgets and services, which are not only excessive but also redundant.

Corruption is an issue as old as governance itself. Filipinos therefore tend to be cynical about corruption in government. They are shocked that public officials are corrupt, although they may sometimes marvel at the magnitude of the thievery. Many have also started to accept it as part of the government culture because those who oppose or refuse to take part of the irregularities are alienated, reassigned, or worst, forcibly removed from office.

Now that the Aquino administration has been very determined to go after the perpetrators, more and more Filipinos are now raising issues about the effectiveness of government performance, the accountability of government institutions, and the transparency of government agencies. Many have also realized that democracy in itself does not ensue that government officials and institutions are immune to the corruption that plagued authoritarian regimes. The people should remain vigilant and keep a constant watch because there still exists many who can’t wait to get their idle hands on “evil” opportunities.

Many are already challenged in trying to address these concerns. Our country’s so-called award-winning investigative reporters are taking the initiative to find out why corruption persists and what is being done to stop it. Activists, bloggers, and other social media personalities have joined the fray. There would soon be comprehensive case studies to reveal the fallibility of individuals and institutions. These would also show how democratization, economic growth, and liberalization bring about new temptations and new forms of abuse.

We should expose the many facets of corruption in the Philippines and pinpoint who is responsible no matter how high in government he is cradled. But we should also go beyond muckraking to directly examining the social structures and the institutions that breed graft. We should also examine what can be done about it and provide the possible remedies and work-a rounds, if lasting solutions are really not available.

However, we should be optimistic that a resolution to all these complex issues would soon be at our reach if we remain patient, courageous and determined. Our President only has a few years to try to figure out how to effect change and reform in our country so let us help him out by openly letting him know we support his “productive” moves, and resent the otherwise. But also shout out to him, we could only effectively do so much if he would pass the Freedom of Information bill to effect transparency, and eventual accountability as well.

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