WHILE their male counterparts in many government offices are busy ducking charges of corruption and ineptness or busy preparing for Elections 2016, the female leaders in our government are making headlines with their personal achievements, positive contributions to good governance in our country and outstanding public service track record.
As we celebrate Women’s Month, let us recognize the terrific women in government and their innovative feats and successes. Let’s offer cheers and prayers for:
· Honorable Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales
· Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
· Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldos
· Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman
· Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles
· Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Patricia Licuanan (Miriam College president)
· Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares (former BIR deputy commissioner)
· Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima (erstwhile Commission on Human Rights chairperson)
· Commission on Audit officer-in-charge Heidi L. Mendoza who, this early, is showing her grit and wit
· COA Chairperson Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan, who ended her term at the helm of the audit body making good on her promise for reforms in the commission’s organizational structure, policies, systems and procedures that paved the way for a more efficient, effective and independent audit service
· Landbank of the Philippines President Gilda E. Pico, whose strong and able leadership contributed significantly in making LBP the country’s premier financial institution in the countryside today. She is the first homegrown and woman president of the bank.
I know there are thousands of women in government service who deserve to be honored similarly, but they remain quietly doing their job. No press releases. One of them is Dr. Victorina Datu Arevalo, who teaches out-of-school youth and adult learners under the Balik-Aral Program of DepEd. I met her the other day at the LRT-2 train and she was so full of enthusiasm and hope for the unrelenting efforts of the P-Noy government to extend education to this marginalized sector of our population.
She commutes daily from Pasig Manggahan (by jeepney, LRT-2, LRT-1 and tricycle) to P. Burgos Elementary School along Libertad, Pasay City to do her arduous job. She says it doesn’t pay much to be a public school teacher but she has the loving support of her husband (of 34 years) Arturo Arevalo, a construction worker. With their home business of siopao and puto pao, they were able to send their four children and a niece through college. Those who wish to order may call her at 0917-4509403 and 646-3132. They have been through a lot, including the explosion of an LPG gas tank that gutted their house to the ground. She said she would continue to teach until her mandatory retirement. She regaled us with the success stories of her out-of-school youth students.
Take a bow, ladies, including those whose names are not mentioned here! Ah, what would men be without women? What would this P-Noy government be without those admirable women in his cabinet and the entire government system? Let’s have more women in government (and in business)!!!!
Meantime, there is construction work going on along Ang Buhay St. in Sta. Mesa. This week, work stopped altogether because, according to the workers, there have run out of materials. So there are gaping holes where they had dug and there are no safety rails or markings to warn pedestrians or motorists. My neighbors’ children are merrily playing in and out of the cavernous meter-wide holes. In the past weeks, while one of the workers was operating the backhoe, five were just watching. Now, they are all just sitting down.
I asked them who the contractor is but they don’t know. One said, it sounds like Flordeliz or something. Huh?!?!?!? My neighbors are paying them (during their office hours) to dig holes for the drainage from their yard or septic tank to the culverts. They charge between P1,200 and P1,500 per pipe for labor while doing it during their working hours. I asked for a discount and they said that it was their regular charge, no discount. Huh?!?!?!?! Who authorized them to do work on the side and charge exorbitantly? Isn’t their contractor paying them for their labor? Is this good business practice?
This is a clear case of corruption and fraud (for those who hire their services) in government. What should we do?