Politics had been too influential in our setup that career positions had been placed at its mercy. The condition is revolting if we look at the career service as a pool of competent men and women who are had been educated, trained to perform the required tasks in the bureaucracy. We know too well that that the bureaucracy is the biggest organization than runs the administrative function of government. People are only aware from academic discussions that government is comprised of three branches, namely: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Nothing is ever mentioned about the larger organization of government workers named “bureaucracy”. It seems important to underscore the great role that the bureaucracy plays in running government. With the best and select workers in its ranks, there is no doubt that the bureaucracy can deliver the best quality of public service to its clientele.

But “negative bureaucratic behavior”, also known as, “graft and corruption” had created an ugly image of the bureaucracy. Indeed, some shenanigans in government who have access to public funds would tinker with taxpayers’ money for their own personal aggrandizement. Many have accumulated riches from juicy deals and contracts that offer a lot of perks under the table. We hear many scandals and anomalies in government projects and the public seems to have gotten numbed about such irregularities for them to lodge complaints that often lead to nowhere.

But one bitter reality is that workers in the bureaucracy, especially the rank and file employees, are mostly underpaid for the tasks they perform vis-à-vis their expertise and competence, many workers in the bureaucracy try to delve into other gainful activities just in order to live decently and make both ends meet. The reality in government work is that even with husband and wife working as civil servants, the combined income from government employment is barely enough to support the cost of a decent living of the family. It may be the reason why many workers would go out of their way to earn a little more to augment the family income.

In this year’s celebration of the Philippine Civil Service, it is apt for all civil servants to give meaning to the theme, “Itaguyod ang Kasarinlan ng Career Service”. This year’s celebration aims to uplift the identity and stature of the career service as a distinct institution. We ought to uphold the integrity of the career service by shielding it from the bad influence and intervention of dirty politics.

We know how politicians had bastardized the career service by forcing into the career service incompetents whose only qualification is enjoying the grace and blessings of politicians. It is high time for those at the helm of the bureaucratic hierarchy in the various agencies to crumple into the garbage bin political endorsements that ruin the morale and deprive the qualified and competent who has the necessary merit and fitness for career positions from obtaining the right positions. Appointments made in accommodation of politicians’ intervention will always result to payback time once the appointee assumes the office by way of political eligibility.
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