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Who’s the boss?

The elimination of “queues” in government offices is one among the initial marching orders of President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte to the members of his Cabinet. This is a very doable reform in government and it can be done immediately. While the “queues” in government offices may seem less serious than the problem of corruption, solving the same will set the right tone for the “change” that we expect the incoming Duterte Administration to serve the Filipino people with Some may view the “queues” in government offices as a less serious problem but when we look at it deeply, we will have the same appreciation as what President-elect Duterte has on the matter. Obviously, he sees it as a serious concern that merits it to be included in the initial orders he gave to the members of his Cabinet.

The Filipino people are the “bosses” of those who work in government, as what President Benigno S. Aquino III emphasized during his inaugural address in 2010. The move of President-elect Duterte to eliminate the “queues” in government offices is a concrete illustration as to who the “bosses” really are.

The President-elect correctly pointed out that the people have already paid for the services that they require from government through the taxes they paid and thus deserve a better treatment from our government personnel. This reasoning is a product of a mindset that is at the opposite side of the prevailing mindset in government.

People queue for government services and government workers do not see anything wrong about it (and thus do not do anything to eliminate the queues) because the latter do not see the former as their bosses. In fact, we can safely state that government workers see themselves as the “bosses” who should dictate the what, how, when, where and why of the government services that the people will get.

The incoming members of the Duterte Cabinet have to be firm in their actions because the elimination of queues in government offices does not only require a simple change in systems and procedures but also the complex change in the mindset of the people in government agencies.

Change is coming. We really hope that the people will no longer have to “beg” for the services that they need and deserve and that the workers in government will act as servants and not masters of the people.
(Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate)