Editorial: Public servants should serve-A A +A
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
THE day after always paint a bleaker picture; that is when everyone has gathered their senses and sent off updates of the real disaster.
While the breaking news estimated around 20 dead in the earthquake that rocked Bohol and Cebu, as of yesterday, the latest toll was 87, of which 77 are in Bohol.
The 7.2 magnitude quake was the third to hit parts of the Visayas in the last 20 months. Its epicenter was in Carmen, Bohol. As a result, six historical churches in Bohol, all over a century old, were destroyed while the belfry of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino in Cebu City crumbled.
But we should get used to that by now, not so that we will just shrug off these disasters, rather so that we know the drill and the need to rise up fast, roll up our sleeves, and extend our hand in help or supplication; depends on which side of the disaster you are.
The greatest challenge, of course, is on the government officials and how fast they can work.
By this time, we should have come to realize that public service should always be service to the public. Gone should be the days when we elect anyone because they are kin, they have bought our votes, or have sent our children on a scholarship. They are paid to work for us, vote for those who will work for the people.
The most crucial, these days, are the roles of the barangay officials. More crucial because barangay elections is less than two weeks away.
Choose well. Choose based on track record of service, whether as a government worker, executive, or a private person. Do not let anyone who is only there to aggrandize himself get any of the positions he covets.
We’ve been through the worse, we’ve seen the worst of the lot, both in disasters and in government workers. Let us not perpetuate in power those who are there to benefit at our expense. Spread the word among your neighbors and ensure that the sincere ones will not be outvoted by the cheats and the greedy.
That was a killer earthquake last Tuesday, it was a killer typhoon last December 4, 2013, a killer landslide on January 5, 2012, it was a killer rain on September 26, 2009, there were a lot of fatal disasters; but people had better chances of surviving because of alert officials, ready assistance, and a functioning search and rescue team. All these have to be set in place and be made ready to operate at a minute’s notice, and this can only be done by people committed to serve.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 17, 2013.