GOVERNMENT SERVICE IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS
by Atty. Bruce Rivera

A poseur in FB commented that I am making a noise because I want a Cabinet position. And many of my friends actually also assumed I wanted one. Well, news for you…it is not in my wishlist.

Honestly. Pwede pa na maghost ako ng sariling talk show, maging political commentator, maging theater actor or even do something that entails travelling and being beautiful.

Because, in reality, government service is really for people of integrity and service minus the benefits.

I tried being in government for almost two years as Chief Political Affairs Officer of Cong. Ulan Sarmiento and I hated every moment of it.

First of all, I had the fortune or misfortune (to some) to be under an honest public officer who trembles at the sight of dirty money. So clean, I had to sometimes force him to just be quiet so we will have a semblance of pork barrel so that we can at least stop going all over the Philippines for him to lecture so the money he will earn will augment the income lost in our legal practices.

But he talked anyway, openly opposing the denial of the GMA impeachment. So, ribbon-cutting sa opening ng parlor at pabasa sa lamay ang engagement namin habang ang mga kaberks ni GMA kasama sa junket. But I did not mind it. In due time, if people really understand public service, this practice of patronage politics will end.

I am insulted if people will tell me I am making a noise because I want a Cabinet post. Guess what, the posts are all filled and I am still noisy. Malamang, sa totoong cabinet ako gustong malagay.

While it is an honor to be appointed or even considered, it is not something I would really want because if I really wanted it, I had every opportunity to put myself in a position to be near the good graces of PDuterte but I chose to campaign in social media shunning sorties and campaigns (I only attended the Luneta rally and even left before the President spoke) because I do not want to appear that I needed something to do extra work.

Writing a post is not work for me. It is the time when I sit down the toilet bowl to the time the actual expulsion of accumulated waste from the body. Waiting time that is. So what you see as big deal, I see it as the result of a fuzzy bowel movement. Hence, to be rewarded or thanked is really embarassing.

Why am I not interested in government service?

Because, government service for me is not a career for the greedy and materialistic. Both of which, are my traits. A public office is a public trust and people serving government are supposed to live modest lives.

I am not saying it a sin to be wealthy in government. For as long as you have a valid reason to be wealthy i.e. Your spouse is wealthy, you were rich before your entry and the likes, that is even commendable for as long as you do not flaunt your wealth to give the citizens wrong notion that being in government makes you wealthy because it should not be.

Nobody should get rich working in government because it is a service not a business where profits are expected. You serve the people and the money you will earn as salary is presumed to sustain your modest living.

Hence, it is reserved for people with the genuine love for serving the people with little or meager compensation or for those people who are secure in their lives that earning so little will not matter because they have reached a point in their life where money no longer matters and it is time to give back.

Sadly, I have not yet reached that level to be joining government and being sure that I will live up to the real sense of public service and integrity, probity, genuine love for others and living a simple life.

It is hard to be a civil servant, if you really live up to what the laws provide for. It only becomes something to aspire for when you have genuine love for public service and willing to live a life of modesty OR you intend to derive some financial benefit from such position.

And people like me who is open about my need for money and the trappings of materialism, I will be a hypocrite if I will be in public service because I genuinely love to serve the people.

 

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