Bossiness-A A +A
An Independent View
Monday, October 8, 2012
WE LIVE in a bossy society. There are far too many who are overly fond of giving people orders. Of course, organizations cannot exist without a hierarchy in which there are those who are empowered to issue instructions to subordinates. I am not concerned about the legitimate use of authority which enables organizations to achieve their objectives. What is a cause for concern is the inappropriate bossiness which blights our lives. We all experience this every day and generally we accept it because:
(a) There is nothing, or we think there is nothing, we can do;
(b) The act of inappropriate ascendancy is about an issue too trivial to worry about;
(c) We are too busy to waste time or energy on the person/systems that push us around;
(d) We are immunized against the slings and arrows of the outrageous event that befall us.
Every month we receive our electricity bill which we have to pay. We do not dispute Ceneco’s authority to instruct us to pay what we owe. What we are unrelaxed about is that in this electronic age we are, nevertheless, expected to take the bill and the funds to Ceneco’s office (or SM, or a bank; it does not matter) line up and pay. Ceneco may consider our time to have no value but we disagree.
Some years ago I spoke to then Ceneco President Roberto Montelibano on this topic. He explained that electronic payment mechanisms were being considered. Perhaps they still are. It would be much more efficient, both to us and to Ceneco, if we could cause funds to be transmitted electronically, thereby debiting our account and crediting Ceneco’s without unwanted human involvements.
Causing us to have to wait in line to pay our electricity bill is, whether we or Ceneco accept it or not, an unfortunate example of Ceneco’s bossiness towards its customer.
GMA was bossy. This meant that her subordinates could not develop their policies without being checked. This was not always a bad thing.
Now we have a looser cabinet where Departmental Secretaries are able to set policies and implement decisions without explicit approval. A good example is education policy. PNoy has given recognition to ‘K to 12.’ This enables, it seems, for Armin Luistro to decide, without being properly challenged, the details of what this means in practice. Therefore, we have well over a million students, who entered First year high school in June 2012, not knowing whether they are taking a four-year or a six-year course. Two years in someone’s life is not trivial and it is a supreme act of bossiness to be cavalier about what students are being subjects to.
This is not the Liberal Party’s finest hour.
On a more detailed level, Luistro’s Departmental Order No. 11 forbids parents to be on school premises during school hours. Clearly it is not appropriate for parents to interfere with classroom activity.
But Tay Tung, a school which used to have a cohesive and harmonious community between parents, students, teachers, and the school’s management, has erroneously decided to interpret ‘school hours’ as including lunch hours. The previous and helpful custom whereby parents and their children could enjoy lunch together at the school has become forbidden. Parents resent this change since it disadvantages those students who liked the practice and confers advantages on nobody. Luistro seems to want schools to become closed communities. The consequences of closed communities are that bullying and abuses can flourish.
It is advantageous to the school that it is an open community. Luistro knows this. Catholic communities in Ireland, Britain, Australia, and the US have recently been exposed as fermenting horrible abuses, previously covered-up. In the US, where huge financial penalties are applied in cases of proven abuse, the Catholic Church has been sorely damaged.
Luistro’s bossiness involving K to 12 and school regulations should be checked. Why do we elect Congressmen and Senators if they are not going to deal with Executive Branch excesses?
The decision by the Commission on Audit (CoA) to approve the land deal between the province of Negros Occidental and Ayala Land Incorporated (ALI), sadly, does not make much difference. This is due to the court case brought by SM Prime Holdings Inc (SMPHI) against the provincial government as to whether or not the letter was correct in declaring the 7 July 2011 bidding a failure. The villain of the piece is not ALI, not SMPHI, not the provincial government, but the inefficient Judicial Branch which can never decide anything with finality.
The Corona Supreme Court reversed itself even when it did decide something ‘with finality.’ We believe that CJ Sereno will not repeat this maladministration but it will take several of her 18 years in post before she establishes a credible track record. But if SMPHI is tenacious, and there is no evidence to the contrary, it may take years before the issue is resolved. If SMPHI wins the case, this means that the Court has decided that the province was wrong to declare the bidding a failure. This does not mean, I believe, that the province is forced to sell, or that SMPHI is forced to buy, the property at the SMPHI’s bid price of July 2011.
So the matter may take years, if ever, to resolve. This means that there is no point in those, such as Rep Benitez, bossily telling ALI what it should do.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 08, 2012.