Attracting the Best to Lead the Philippines

'We're looking for a star, and I truly believe that star could be you...'
‘We’re looking for a star, and I truly believe that star could be you…’

.     Part of the reason why the Philippines is not doing well is the quality of leadership.  The country is only as good as the leaders in our midst.  If we are ever to build for ourselves a great nation, we must focus on putting the best people in the highest, if not all government positions.  Also, government is not out to recruit the best talent.  They will just take in whoever wants to go in, great or mediocre.  Things need to change for us to improve government leadership.

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.      First, and most important, we encourage the best students/youths to pursue civil service.  Youths,  after hearing their dads say how corrupt government is, avoid working there.  What happens is those that ever go into government are not the best, but rather the mediocre and the crooked.   Schools, churches, and families should motivate the young to improve society by running for public office.  Government is currently corrupt because good people do not want to occupy it.  Government has been tarnished as a terrible brand, thus our lives as well.

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.     Second,  we must increase the salaries of influential government posts.  Call center directors are currently getting around 200k pesos a month, more money than top government officials (declared salaries).  We could not hope to install the cream of the crop if we do not put in worthwhile pay.  Singapore has done this successfully, as the late Lee Kuan Yew has emphasized in his quote (which unintentionally speaks of Philippine domestic helpers):

You know, the cure for all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government. You get that alternative and you’ll never put Singapore together again: Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again… my asset values will disappear, my apartments will be worth a fraction of what they were, my ministers’ jobs will be in peril, their security will be at risk and their women will become maids in other people’s countries, foreign workers. I cannot have that!” – (Justifying million-dollar pay hike for Singapore ministers)

.       After all, you only get what you pay for.  And we increase without raising taxes.  Even if the budget would be allocated more to salaries, it pays better results.  Honest, well paid people will do a great job even with meager resources.

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.     . Third, we need to raise the standard of accountability.  We hear the stupid idea of a congressman having drugs and yet still in office, not even properly penalized at least.  We see any minority party list put their congressmen in office, even if he even does not really represent his constituents (tricycle drivers and security guards, for example).  We expensively put in more congressmen than before (due to Gloria Arroyo) for no benefit.  Government officials are allowed to get away with wrongdoing and silly antics.  It has become too easy to put just about anyone  in government posts, but very hard to penalize or remove them for ill action.  What are ways to make them accountable for their actions?

.          – The freedom of information bill (FOI) passed by Lorenzo Tañada III is a great way to expose what government has been doing.

.          – Upgrade civil service eligibility to be competitive by allowing great private employees to government positions.  Private corporations are the better standard as these are competitive.  Government,  on the other hand,  is not in competition for productivity, excellence against anybody.

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.          – Take for example, measly pastors being removed from service if they fail in their families.  It is a biblical standard, though something similar should be demanded of government.  There are high government officials whose kid or wife committed suicide.  If this high government official fails in his family,  how much more would they fail in the lives of countless Filipinos?  If their wife goes to another man, or if their families are broken, why should the Filipino be at risk for their incompetence in little things such as their own personal lives?

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.          – Have the leaders be above reproach.  Serious evidence against a leader should be dealt with promptly.  Some of the current government leaders are crooks because they are accepted as such.  We should allow only men and women of integrity in office, and deny otherwise.  Have officials removed/suspended/penalized for due cause.

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14-Jun-2015

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