The Context of Justness and Sincerity (As Among the Demands of Ethical and Accountable Conduct of those in Public Service:
- Elections -- For example, vote buying and padding of voters' list.
- Legislation -- The perks and privileges of our solons; they have discretion over the allocation, use and disbursement of development funds.
- Revenue Assessment and Collections -- Bribes are paid to lower assessments or into into compromises.
- Regulatory and Licensing Arrangements -- Money is given to obtain licenses.
- Law Enforcements -- Bribe money is paid to avoid prosecution or to settle cases.
- Appointments or/and Promotions --- Preference is given to relatives or friends in appointment or promotion, some positions are "sold" to highest bidder.
As we identify these failures, we must over and over again remind ourselves with the national condition that they have brought us to. Lest we forget that as public servants we are potential contributors to our already sad state.
- In 2000, it was estimated that 34% of the Filipino population lived below the poverty threshold level. The cost of living escalates, while the purchasing power of our monetary unit depreciates. The prices of basic commodities steadily rise, while the minimum daily wage remains the same, even eroded by the decelerating value of the peso.
- Social inequity, i.e., concentration of landholdings in landlord's hands, political power in political dynasties, and wealth in the hands of the rich
- As of January 2004, the country's foreign debt is P3.41 trillion. If the liability is equally divided among all Filipinos, each must cough up PhP41,585.00. 40% of the national budget is for debt servicing (big thanks to PD 1177!), while the budget allocations for health, education and agriculture, among others are on steady decline.
- It has been observed that, after deducting debt servicing and personnel expense, at least 20% of the national budget is eaten by corruption.
- Corruption wolfs down 30% of tax collection, 20% of government's procurement budget, and 50% of allocations for road building (2004 World Bank Report: Combatting Corruption in the Philippines).
- The Corruption Perception Index survey conducted annually by Transparency International reveals that corruption in the Philippines is worsening -- 65th least corrupt in 2001 when 91 countries were surveyed; 77th among 102 countries in 2002; and 92nd among 133 in 2003.
Lord, help us...