Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Goodbye with a slap!

Juan Miguel Luz's resignation letter sounds like the letter I wrote for a professor (or so he claims) ten years ago ... a letter that says goodbye sandwiched with a slap.

Well, my professor woke up and realized perhaps that he is wrong. But will Gloria in the Palace wake up, too? That would be wishing for a star. The pictures of Gloria in the Palace these days shows her cheeks becoming thicker and thicker. Are these in preparation for more slaps especially this coming May 1?

Back to Luz's letter. I am highlighting some of the points he raised for the intelligent people under Gloria in the Palace's skirts. Hopefully these would tinker their minds as well and advise their president how good she is............................................................................... in driving away good people and professionals from her administration.

  • I have indicated publicly that I have no desire to be reassigned at the “president’s pleasure” to some other agency “for the exigency of the service” – two of the most misused concepts in the vocabulary of the Office of the President.
  • At that time, all presidential appointees were directed to secure CESO eligibility and rank in order to attain the necessary security of tenure that would make them immune from politics from administration to administration. The CESO is a mark of professionalism that even the President of the country cannot mess with despite her mistaken notion that career professionals “serve at her pleasure”.
  • It takes ten years to educate a child in basic education, a period when there will likely be up to ten appointed secretaries of education
  • There is no room for quick-fix solutions with dubious value-added to the public school system (e.g. Strong Republic Schools, rice distribution rather than in-school-feeding programs and the like). What is needed is steady, continuous and committed investment based on a clear and focused education agenda.
  • The incident involving the issuance of post-dated cheques (not allowed under government accounting and auditing rules) from the President’s Social Fund (with no documentation) intended for projects of certain politicians and attempting to use the Department as a conduit for this purpose is also revealing of the following:(1)How little value is placed on genuine education reforms by this Administration;(2)The low level of trust in the Department of Education as contributing to the development of this country as a nation; (3)A high disregard for government accounting and auditing rules and regulations (with civil servants expected to follow instructions in the face of this disregard for law, at their peril); and,(4)The low regard this Administration has for the professionalism of the civil service and the career executive service corps.
  • My greatest regret now is that the education reforms we have worked hard to put in place may not survive given this Administration’s preoccupation with political expediency rather than genuine reform; with deal-making rather than development; as well as the lack of appreciation, much less commitment, to the rule of law and good governance.
  • Ours can never be a strong republic given this traditional approach of politics first. Ours cannot be a Government of quality if the professionalism of the civil service is constantly under siege by politics.
  • One hopes that in the remaining four years of this Administration, that there be an epiphany of spirit and in the consequent behavior of our leaders. Otherwise, we are destined to muddle through another half-decade, divided and distracted, while the rest of the region marches forward confidently and with the best interests of their citizens in mind.
The whole letter is worth publishing but that would further slap Gloria in the Palace on the face. Doing so simply means she hadn't read her undersecretary's letter. For those interested in Luz's letter, that can be accessed at PCIJ or here.

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