FAELDON, DE LOS SANTOS, SUENO AND THE NEW CULT OF PERFORMANCE

Nicanor Faeldon has been let go.

Whether we think he was in cahoots with the drug smugglers or failed to deliver performance is a matter of opinion at this point. Reality is that when you serve at the pleasure of the president, there is no due process for getting kicked out.

Truly, Faeldon already asked to be relieved three times.  Former Bureau of Corrections Chief Benjamin de los Santos also resigned in the wake of supposed drugs being found inside our prisons.  DILG Secretary Mike Sueno, well, resigned after the president discovered anomalous things.

Asking to be relieved or resigning is fresh language in Philippine officialdom, where for many years past bureaucrats will fight to be retained no matter how they bungled their jobs. They bring in their padrinos or backers to convince past presidents to retain them despite their incompetence. Of course, they have interests to protect. All they needed to do was pretend they were working, constantly take pictures with the president, and appear like they were achieving targets.

We are reminded of forgettable secretaries like DOTCs Joseph Emilio Abaya, where despite failing to improve the MRT, curb flight delays, release license plates and drivers licenses on time and other problems at his department, the PNOy administration persisted in retaining him.

Contrary to the opinion of many of his supporters, even Foreign affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario is faulted for concentrating too much on the territorial claim of China (it was under his watch that China actually built those structures, take note) in the West Philippine sea while neglecting the plight of many OFWs, the slower release of passports and passport renewals that saw many OFWs lining up to sleep in front of DFA offices just to have their passports renewed.

We are also reminded or Mar Roxas, where, having taken the helm at the DILG, crimes spiked (check the records) and drugs, according to his boss Noynoy Aquino went from 1.3 million users to 1.8 million users within his term in 2015 (http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/08/01/17/aquino-on-dutertes-war-on-drugs-parang-wala-yatang-nangyari). Of course there is Yolanda.

These three examples in the PNOy era show just how  incompetence ruled and no one resigned despite clear inability to deliver. Abaya and Roxas were LP stalwarts who were key to ensuring the continuation of Daang Matuwid. Del Rosario, well, is suspected of taking personal and business interest in the outcome of the SCS ruling.

Resigning  reveals a new trend in the way public officialdom, where the officials themselves acknowledge their inabilities and voluntarily leave, either out of shame for shenanigans or the embarrassment of not delivering, which is also a shenanigan.

A cult of performance has taken root in the bureaucracy. We have to admit, depite our own cynicism, that this is the seed of a new meritocracy. We hope that down the line, the murderously incompetent or corrupt will just leave and let others partake of our tax pesos to deliver the performance we demand. We hope this trend continues. We deserve no less.