• In public service, friends are not forever



    News: “Government, Reds agree on joint interim ceasefire.” We are now looking at how long the word “interim” lasts.


    Duterte fires DILG chief over fire trucks deal. Fire prevention month is over.

    It is not true that President Digong fired the interior secretary after watching “Coldplay Manila.”

    I don’t think the President will make such a tough decision ousting a very close friend based only on hearsay or innuendo. He is a lawyer and have access to intel at his fingertips backed by hard evidence. Granted that the anomalous contract was done in the past, he was expected to raise a howl and not just play dead. The DILG is a major and sensitive portfolio that one can’t just play around with, much more fire the head abruptly in less than a year. As a mayor before, the President can quickly sniff the slightest smelly intentions and pinpoint exactly where it came from. Sad for friendships but best for the country.


    Bureau of Immigration records show that more than 3,000 immigration officers have been on leave as of February 17. Others have resigned for good. Their take-home pay is P15,000/monthly average. With overtime pay, their take-home would be roughly P45,000 per month. And we all know that call centers pay an average of P20,000 to P30,000 a month. Forty-five thousand is not that much considering the position as airports frontliners. Hope the budget and justice departments can address this issue soonest. Public interest comes first but immigration officers have families to support. My humble take.

    Immigration employees migrating? The justice and budget departments should sit down together once and for all. Facing the media separately will only worsen the gap. It’s President Digong’s image that will eventually get hurt. And our country’s eventually.


    Nowadays, corrupt Cabinet members are asked to resign or they get fired immediately. A breath of fresh air. Unlike before when they always clung to power and “always serve at the pleasure of the President.” And the appointing power will always keep them justifying that “they still have my full trust and confidence.”


    Remember that case about the ugly photobomber building? The Supreme Court on Tuesday failed to decide on the case involving the Torre de Manila condominium that critics say ruins the iconic sight line of the monument of the national hero Jose Rizal at the Rizal Park.

    Jose Rizal is waiting. He is not keen on turning around just to please one congressman before.


    A magnitude 5.5 earthquake jolted Batangas province and other areas on Tuesday night, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. The earthquake was previously recorded at magnitude 5.4 but was later upgraded to 5.5.

    No more upgrading please. We were shocked already.


    PNP: Gun listing, permit now online. Just click www.onlineltopf.pnp

    Terrorists are not likely to avail themselves of this new technology.


    These recent quakes are warning signs that there is really a “big one” coming. Disasters always strike unexpectedly. Preparation is not an antidote but will always lessen the impact. Let us keep in mind the Boy Scout motto “Laging Handa.” We are good with this motto, especially during fiestas.


    We sincerely hope that the outcome of the current peace talks will bear good results. Both sides should discard the “igniters” within their ranks. Loyalty to the flag can only be achieved if they start being loyal to one another.


    Tourism realities:
    Connectivity counts most. Most travelers prefer direct flights. The most they can tolerate is one stopover. Moving around a destination easily is also a consideration.

    The market is ever changing. Tourists now are open to new destinations with culture and history in mind.

    Frequent travelers are always on the lookout for new interesting places. Most have seen North America and Europe. Asia, Africa and South America are now competitors for the pie.

    Budget is also a consideration since online reservations are very much used these days. Currency value comes next. Competitive pricing is paramount to win the game.

    Hospitality, peace and order, sanitation and access to health care are also factors to consider.

    Government support for the industry is needed. Tourism is one industry that reaps the same amount of money invested. The bonus is the multiplier effect. It means jobs for everyone.

    Promotion is badly needed but improving the product ten-fold should be the main goal if we want returning visitors.

    Airports are windows. Pleasant memories of arrivals and departures should be kept in mind.

    And so is the efficient flow of traffic in major arteries.


    Friendly communication bits for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO):

    If you want to communicate with young people, think about social networks. They’re definitely into it. SMS campaigns and peer-to-peer communications appeal to them.

    If you can’t measure the effectiveness of what you are doing, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.

    In place should be outputs and evaluation mechanisms and then make sure you review how well you are doing on a regular basis. If you find a particular activity is doing well, then put more resources into it; if you are not getting the return you want, then you might not want to carry out the activity again.

    As communication specialists, you should not be talking to the media. Keep in mind that you should be talking directly to the people. This is your audience. Media is just a circulation tool.

    Learn what your unique selling point or points of differentiation are. Products abound but emphasize why your principal is unique.

    Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.


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    1 Comment

    1. You seem to miss the point over the mess at the Bureau of Immigration. You say that their take-home pay is P15,000/monthly average. Okay, that’s for an 8-hour a day workload, no problem.

      But do you mean to say that with overtime pay upping their monthly-take home pay to P45,000 (that’s 200% more), they are working a total of say, 16 hours a day? Hey, that’s not humanly possible. Also, they observe three (3) shifts per day which means they are earning the additional P30,000 in overtime by working for just an additional few hours daily, granting they are really working excess hours at all. That’s a real killing right there, a highway robbery! Which means their overtime earning is much much more than 200% of their regular pay.

      But yeah, they can quit their post at BI and just work at call centers where they may even get more overtime pay, much luck to them.