Ethics and Accountability in the Philippine Public Service: Role ...

Page 1 of 3

Ethics and Accountability in the Philippine Public Service: Role of Citizens, Public Officials, Private Sector and Civil Society

By | September 2009
Page 1 of 3
“Ethics and Accountability in the Philippine Public Service: Role of Citizens, Public Officials, Private Sector and Civil Society

In my previous paper, I mentioned that values are as important in our government system as the other functions and political processes are. Unit VI discussed how crucial and vital ethics and accountability is in our government. It also talks about the significance of our own moral code, seeing that public ethics are part of the overall value system, and is culture as well as country-specific. Politicians and public servants especially those in high positions are hailed as models of integrity, and the public expects nothing more but honor and morality from them since they were elected or appointed to that public office. Have you heard of the saying “Public office is public trust?” It means that, since the citizens found you worthy and collectively agreed to entrust and grant you with power and authority over them, you owe it to them to put it to good use, the control and use of information and resources, to act for and in behalf of them and to put their welfare first before any personal interests. There are provisions and code of conduct which deals with that, grounded on ethics and accountability. Ethics and accountability means so much for public officials, both appointed and elected by the Philippine government. Ethics serve as a guide for behavior of people in public service, a common reference point and a unifying thread. Simply put, it is the notion of right and wrong. However, something right and trivial for normal citizens might not be so negligible when done by a public official. A businessman can treat his family to Hawaii for a two-month vacation, and people wouldn’t so much as lift an eyebrow, but if a public official has done that, it would surely cause uproar. It is a sad thing, that citizens have such double-standards when it comes to our state yet you can’t really blame them. When they elected you,...