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Three years after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit the country, victims of one of the worst disasters in our country’s history are still wanting of the fruits of government action to alleviate their suffering.
It is undeniable that the Aquino Administration failed. The fact that only a few families victimized by the disaster are living in new bunkhouses is a clear proof that nothing much was accomplished by the government after building temporary shelters for the victims.
Will things be different under the Duterte Administration? Since he took office last June 30, President Duterte has consistently shown that he is an action leader – one knows what needs to be done and wants things to be done in a timely manner.
During his visit to Tacloban City for the commemorate the third anniversary of the disaster, President Duterte tasked President Adviser for the Visayas Michael Dino to oversee the construction of permanent housing facilities for all the Yolanda victims. The President’s directive was clear – such housing facilities must be finished by December this year.
Is the December deadline realistic? This column believes that the value of the December deadline set by President Duterte is not solely on the 100 percent completion of the task but also on the 100 percent “change” in how the concerned government agencies work.
The people, particularly the Yolanda victims, will certainly understand the delivery of needed services beyond deadline if they can see that the reason is anything expect the indolence and indifference of the concerned government officials and employees.
President Duterte is correct that “indolence is part of corruption.” Indeed, indolent government workers are “robbing” the people because the amount of the people’s money that they are getting (in the form of their salaries) is more than the value of the “services” they provide.
Indolent and indifferent government workers clearly do not have a place in government because they betray the people’s trust and they fail in the most fundamental mission of government – to serve and protect the people.
Ridding the government of indolent and indifferent officials and employees and institutionalizing a culture of timely delivery of services are among the changes that President Duterte needs to make. Even if he achieves only these in his six years in office, he will certainly be the greatest Philippine President!
(Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate)