Manny Pacquiao’s cheap talk on government corruption won’t solve it

Manny Pacquiao memefied following exposé on corruption.

I waited for Senator Manny”Pac-Man” Pacquiao’s exposé on corruption in various government agencies before writing about what I experienced about corruption in government at the level of a public educational institution. Corrupt government employees are socio-psychopaths. Most of them have a distorted sense of values. They’re engaged in corrupt practices but like to think they’re doing the institution they’re part of a lot of good. It’s about the image they have of themselves in their heads and what they project.

The Vice-President for Administration and Finance in that institution was clearly not qualified for her post. Why? Her undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Arts. Her postgraduate degrees had nothing to do with either administration or finance. But she was very close to a former Mayor with a one syllable surname. She was slated to become the President of the institution but didn’t get the appointment because her political patron lost in the election. Her group was the largest faction in the institution. They had the most rackets going under the supervision of their syndicate members but it was hard to get evidence because she controlled the two divisions where the evidence could be found.

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Another form of corruption is the promotion of unqualified individuals by non-adherence to human resource actions under the Civil Service Code. You have a situation where you have full-time faculty members who are inarticulate. An example is a faculty member whose undergraduate degree is Architecture with a Master’s degree in Public Administration teaching Physical Education. Inarticulation is prohibited by both the Civil Service Commission and the Commission on Higher Education.

Then you have the money-making ventures such as the pocketing of tuition and other fees for off-campus programs under the graduate school. The “package” includes a ready-made thesis with a passing grade. These are offered to government employees who have to continue with their education in order to qualify for the next higher plantilla position. It used to be that there would be no increase in pay without a promotion but the salary standardization law corrected this error with annual step increases based on the formula provided for.

In a local city university where everything is supposed to be provided for free, students are asked to pay for ID cards, Physical Education (PE) and National Service Training Program (NSTP) uniforms, the purchase of textbooks written by faculty members themselves, food and drink from a canteen concessionaire whose patrons hold office at City Hall. There is also the improper disbursement of grants from Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other non-goverment organisations (NGOs) or aid organizations.

Most employees aren’t qualified for their jobs either. Those who don’t have civil service eligibility are lumped into Administrative Aide I and II positions. Their income is augmented by having them take post-graduate studies in the same institution where they are sure to pass. Upon “completion” of their studies, they then become part-time instructors in minor subjects such as NSTP. Their teaching loads augment the low pay from their plantilla positions. The employees who try to expose these corrupt practices usually become pariahs. They are the object of white paper exposés sent to the gods at City Hall. Each college’s Dean and his faculty members also have rackets going on specially in Health Sciences, Engineering and Criminology.

If you’re wondering why public education is in such a sorry state, this is why. But the rot doesn’t end there. The rot has reached private educational institutions as well. This is why our students have fallen behind Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Just the other day, it was a World Bank study which called attention to the deteriorating situation in the education sector. Even if you have the evidence, filing the case and seeing it through at the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan is a tedious process. Just look at the cases filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) against the Marcos cronies as an example.

In short, it’s easy to say that there is corruption in government but it is hard to prove. While I don’t begrudge the effort of Pac-Man, it’s clear that his is not a sincere effort but more of catching the public’s attention for his political plans. Minimizing corruption in government needs a radical solution. Digitization is the solution but given the size of the bureaucracy and our political structure, it’s hard to implement it. It is easier to replace the bureaucracy wholesale than pursue cases against the guilty. This is why we should not be fooled by motherhood statements coming from candidates for 2022. They need to have a specific plan of action. Otherwise, talk is cheap and evidence is not easy to collect.

12 Replies to “Manny Pacquiao’s cheap talk on government corruption won’t solve it”

  1. This is probably the best article I have read at GetRealPhilippines.

    The more corruption is talked about the more people can understand and even possibly solve (it will take years, but hopefully with more information, things will change).
    One of the problems is there is so much corruption everywhere, it is almost impossible to catch it all.

    One ridiculous thing I had to deal with, not even super corrupt….

    I wanted to buy a tricycle for 145,000 pesos. (I wanted to help the driver, he has been “renting” the tricycle for 5 years with no end in sight, he will never be an owner in his current scenario. I did the math and I could buy the tricycle and after 3-4 years the driver would have paid me off and I would just give it to him so he would be the owner. I would be like a bank giving a car loan in most developed countries)

    A seller has a tricycle and legal tricycle number (this is the value) and wanted to sell it to me.

    The local government will not allow the number to be transferred to a different person, the seller has to “surrender” the tricycle number and get nothing from the government. Then the government would decide who the tricycle number goes to…

    No person would ever “surrender” their number for nothing.

    So one alternative is you can go pay a lawyer and have a contract, etc, but according to the government you would not be the owner of that tricycle number.

    The whole process is so dumb one just gives up.

  2. @Ramon Ortoll: Manny Pacquiao came up with this because the President asked for it. Pacquiao isn’t even putting the blame on the President so why put the blame on him instead of the corruptors in the government?

    Duterte vows to fight corruption till his term ends. Before that, he promised to eradicate corruption and illegal drugs within the first six months of his presidency during his campaign. Talk is cheap?

  3. President Duterte, getting personal, threatening to campaign against Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao in the 2022 elections will not solve corruption in the government.

    1. Threatening to campaign against Pacquiao in the 2022 elections seems like a sign of political vengeance to be honest which isn’t good for Filipinos. Political vengeance and necropolitics are big evils in the Philippine politics.

  4. Exposing corruption is nonsense when one is in a position to prevent it in the first place. Why do these frauds get treated as gods when they can easily be exposed as corrupt and inept.

  5. Challenging the political structure itself is a long road to take as if you are gonna battling it head-on.

  6. Anything else can be figured out except corruption. And while you’re at it, why not digitize the system? Surely that’s going to make things easier.

  7. “Diploma Mills” schools, have been with us ever since….you got the money, you get the degree…your head is empty…So. what do you do, when you get the position ? Mag kurakot !

  8. Rabid allies of Duterte are more interested with what’s wrong with Pacquiao than what’s wrong within the government.

    They would rather destroy a single senator than to find remedy to the whole hideous system of corruption to which they participate, operate and benefit from within the administration of the president.

    These Rah! Rah! boys rally in support behind their leader with vested interest as long as it’s convenient then leave when it gets too hot for comfort. Rah! Rah! Rah!

  9. This recent case of ‘vaccine for sale’ proves that corruption from within the government isn’t just cheap talk.

    All vaccines (whether purchased and/or donated) coming into the country passes through approving assigned agencies in the government. They are not available commercially.

    The NBI also certifies that the seized vaccines are not fake but all legit. No ordinary personnel working in the government can take a sizable amount of these supplies without proper documentation and authority from higher officials within the government.

    It cannot be denied this scheme has to be addressed, not only by Pacquiao, but more by the government itself.

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