Change is coming — A time for healing! PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 August 2016 12:00

SQUARE POINT

BY Jack Edward Enriquez

President Rodrigo Duterte has said over and over again that he hates to see people dropping in long lines before a public office to seek prompt action either a job application or business permit or passport, legal clearance or simply obtain government assistance. Poor people should not be made to sacrifice too much the inconveniences in getting basic services from the government, he emphasized.

In line with this, the pro-poor president instructed the heads of all public agencies to streamline all requirements or remove all redundancies, ban all fixers and stop all forms of bribes that have become a part of the process of legal documents . In other words, he wants that ordinary citizens protected against the crocodiles of the road or those in offices ready to prey on their helpless victims.

On the other hand, the new officials of the Civil Service Commission disclosed that they have initiated a secret monitoring of all public offices to determine whether the employees are complying with the civil service rules and regulations while in the performance of their functions.

Every week or month, the boat from Malaysia would arrive carrying hundreds of deportees caught with documents and undesirable on the foreign soil after passing through the so-called backdoor. Our government takes care of these deportees and facilitates their return to their respective provinces and towns. But seemingly befuddled, why the number of deportees never lasts. Every time the ship comes, there are many deportees on board. And our government keeps on spending for their return to where they supposedly came from.

But why do these people keep on crossing the border without legal document or passport? Why don’t they secure first valid travel documents before trying to seek fortune on foreign soil?

Many years ago, a 17-year-old village boy from Margos ventured his way through the backdoor into the exotic land of Malaysia. That time their laws on foreign workers were not strictly enforced. He worked from one job to another and stayed most of the time in rural areas to avoid police detection. After 30 years he has learned special skills like how to operate heavy equipment; thus, he got a stable job. But he has to get and possess a passport now. So he is here to get it.

The DFA regional office gave him the requirements to comply driver’s license or SSS ID. Student permit is not acceptable. He has to wait six months for the pro license. He paid the SSS contribution but the ID will come after three months. For the photo, another form he’s told to fill up. Then, more requirements follow. He felt exhausted going back and forth to the office exerting so much efforts. He went to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, twice to correct the error in this live birth certificate. He was born in Margos, but mistakenly placed Bongao. Another problem is with the NBI office. The place of birth has been corrected in the process but the error still printed. His passport is still a long way of agony and a never ending nightmare before reaching his hand. After spending 30 years in Malaysia, on alert the most, fleeing and hiding to elude the Malaysian police, now he’s here moving heaven and earth just to get a passport.

Not only passport. But other kind of services or assistance needed from any public agency will mean the same journey of agony in the hands of miserable office workers. They make the life of applicants so miserable. For example; the social pension for indigent senior citizens aged 70 and above. At the Tetuan Barangay office and the DSWD personnel, what are they doing with the applications? They are just shuffling from top to bottom until the applicants die without enjoying what they are entitled to.

Diagnosis showed—discipline deficiency, infected moral character, the whole system of government is in jeopardy that needs to be healed before it’s too late.

Pres. Duterte was right in his sons. The time for healing is now. Hopefully he would be able to overcome all obstacles and get rid of all those rascals and scalawags from the bureaucracies. This is a cancer in our society.