Random Thoughts

WHAT HAPPENED TO DUE PROCESS? —In our last issue, the banner story was on the dismissal from service of Provincial Administrator Rafael Baraan and Provincial Housing and Urban Development Officer Engr. Alvin Bigay. For this, they were meted the accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for reemployment in the government service. All these wee imposed, while the motion for reconsideration (MR) of the resolution filed by the two and other respondents is still pending in and unresolved by the Ombudsman.

I may not be well versed with all the provisions of the law, but I believe everyone has the basic constitutional right to due process or to a tribunal that “hears before it condemns.”

So what happened up there? Again, the MR was not favored with a response and yet a decision dismissing our officials, who have brought laurels to the province, was enforced just like that? I’m afraid that if such can be done to high-ranking provincial officials, how can we, ordinary people, be assured of a just system. A just system where the truth prevails at all times, is definitely my Christmas wish this year. – Johanne R. Macob


LAZY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE— Mrs. Calimlim is one collection agent of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Malasiqui who needs a refresher course on public service work ethic, best assigned to the remotest barangay in the country where there are only 10 taxpayers.

A taxpayer, accompanied by a radio broadcaster, went to see her one Monday afternoon in her office to remit tax payments. She was referred by another collection agent in Calasiao in order to help her meet her target collection.

But Mrs. Calimilim had a different view of her duty. She refused to accept the accomplished tax forms, with ready payment including penalties and surcharges of the taxpayer, outright!

Reason? Read this! She pointed to a pile of tax forms on her table (about two inches thick) still pending that she said still needed to be issued receipts. She claimed it takes time to process receipts and she had been working overtime without pay for two days because the small machine where payment is encoded worked so slow in issuing receipts.

But after observing her, the processing per transaction actually only took about two minutes per each transaction and the receipt came out just as fast. She just refused to do more work!

With her work ethic, no wonder she could not meet her target. She didn’t even offer any suggestion or help how and where the tax payment could be made. The taxpayer wondered if she had responded differently if an “incentive: was offered.

Finally, the taxpayer decided to leave and finally found someone willing to receive the tax payment without any hesitation.

Mrs. Calimlim is the typical lazy and inconsiderate government employee who should not stay in her position one minute longer. Paging Civil Service Commission Chairman Francisco Duque III! – Tita Roces


EX-FUTURE TALLEST BUILDING – What happened to the proposed construction of an 11-storey main building of the Region 1 Medical Center, touted to be the tallest building to ever rise in the whole of Pangasinan if not in Northern Luzon.  Today, I doubt if the structure will still be constructed since President Benigno Aquino III has only 18 more months in office and no permanent replacement has been named to take over from Health Secretary Enrique Ona, under whose stint the project was conceived.

There were talks that the initial land preparation for the project could not be started because one top official of the DOH wanted a rebidding so that he can install his own contractor for the project.

This project should be investigated, too, along with the purchase of children’s vaccine said to be less effective and overpriced. – Leonardo Micua 

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