Integrity in public officials

…pathetic government compensation scheme…is the main reason honest bureaucrats are getting harder to find these days.

– Butch del Castillo, Columnist, Business Mirror

I find this connection faulty (although I’m also for a review of the current government pay scheme) because there are many brilliant young people who are graduates of top schools working in national and local government units and national government agencies whose compensations are “pathethic” yet are honest and diligent workers.

Civil service is not the job for those who want to be millionaires or billionaires. Neither is development or I/NGO work. My colleagues and I, when I was still employed, we liked to ask each other, as a joke, how come heaven hasn’t turned us into millionaires considering the sacrifices we put in in the name of poverty eradication etc. But we know the answer, of course.  Our work is funded by donors’ money and it is pathetic to even expect to be paid in the millions out of that. Our donors are varied but many are ordinary folks, school children even, who on their own donate part of their lunch money to causes supported through our organization. And because it is their money they want and expect to know where their money went to and did it bring about the results we told them it would? Similarly, government is run on people’s money and not every tax-paying Juan is a CEO or a corporation (and even if they are every taxpayer wants to know where and how their money was spent). If bureaucrats despite this fact expects and go on to make private millions from people’s money, one thing can only be said: their thought processes are fucked up.