A Call to De-politicize Government Agencies
And Dissolve Non-performing Ones
By Apolinario Villalobos
A monumental accomplishment of the Philippine government could be the de-politicizing of agencies and dissolving non-performing ones. There is a need to gauge the performance of all government agencies, to check their relevance and duplication of functions. But first, priority should be given to the de-politicizing of all agencies by putting a stop to Presidential appointments. What is the use of having civil service eligibilities and career service program if worthy government employees are bypassed by Presidential appointees?
The Career Service Officers who are spending the best years of their life in agencies deserve promotions when there are opportunities. They have the necessary expertise and knowledge of the jobs for the smooth operation of agencies, unlike the neophyte appointees whose credential for the job to which they are appointed is only the friendship with the President. To put it bluntly, I am referring to the agency “heads” with category of Secretary, and their assistants with the category of Undersecretary, as well as, the lesser agencies headed by Commissioners.
This traditional practice of “accommodating” Presidential friends in sensitive positions in the government gives nothing to the overall administration of the highest executive of the country but disaster. The latest glaring manifestation of this bad side of Filipino culture due to “gratitude” system, is the Benigno Aquino III administration. From the first day of his stay in Malacaῆan palace to the present, all that he gained for accommodating friends in his administration are headaches.
Worth mentioning in this regard is the Commission on Human Rights which others say deserves to be dissolved outright for not only being a non-performer but, contributes as well, in embarrassing the administration no end, with its out-of-tune pronouncements, the latest of which is its “report” about Mamasapano massacre. Aside from the non-performing Commission on Human Rights which most often is overshadowed by mere human rights NGOs, there are other agencies which have been created to accommodate “friends” despite their irrelevance and duplication of function of the already existing ones.
De-politicizing government agencies will free them from the influence of any political party, especially, the sitting President responsible for the appointment of their heads, aside from their being used as part of the machinery during campaign and election.
The only question now is what branch of the government has the mandate to take the initiative in making the move….shall it be the Executive, Legislative, or Judiciary? With the seemingly dysfunctional government of the Philippines, such that it cannot even resolve the issue on mayoralty in Makati City, can we expect something, at least….good enough?