Punzi in Government

A continuation of previous posts (from My Early Law Career, and Hanging Up my Shingle).

First, some preliminaries to this entry…

As my regular readers know, I’m currently in government service, albeit in a consultancy capacity only. With the current state of affairs right now, I feel that one way or another, I will be leaving government and go back to full-time private practice. I have already mapped out my “exit plan” and the prospects outside have not looked better.

But the time for my validictory has not yet arrived. I will still cast my lot with my personal agenda in all of what’s happening, in staying on, the reason why you will know as you read further… I will, as I have always done, cast my boat, unfurl my sail and go where the wind will take me…

Anyway, here goes…

After EDSA II, my best friend and active member of civil society recruited me to work, in a consultative capacity, in the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (“PCUP”), a government agency created during the time of President Corazon Aquino to serve as a direct link between the president and the urban poor. Call it the urban poor’s direct complaint desk. With such mandate, it can direct and coordinate other government agencies to deliver services targetted to the urban poor. This best friend of mine introduced me to the incoming (and still incumbent) Chairman, a man I have grown to admire for his dedication and tireless and generous efforts in serving his constituents, even before he went into government service. And that has infected me somewhat in my stint there.

Then another friend offered me a higher government job. I became Chief Legal of a very large GOCC… totally turned it around. And as Forrest Gump would say, “And that’s all I have to say about that…”

So I quit that government executive post and out of the blue, the PCUP picked me up again and I regained the feeling of fulfillment being in government service.

Wait a minute! My Bosses from the Civil Society have just resigned irrevocably… hence, I will turn this into a validictory now.

Our meeting last week to discuss our position papers to pending house bills involving the urban poor went well. We had a spirited discussion and made our heart-felt positions known. When we broke for lunch, I quipped, “I will miss these meetings…”

Now the time has come. After this blog, I will prepare my resignation letter. If it were up to me, I will continue in the PCUP as this office fulfills the term “public service” in the truest sense of the phrase. Our service was direct to the public, unlike my high executive former government position. I will miss my co-employees who I now call my friends. And I will miss our Chairman.

And now I go back to full-time private practice. Again back to pursuing my self-interest. If it were up to me, I would like to stay. I hope someday I get to serve again…with my friends…

Vaya con Diyos, PCUP, and good luck!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Punzi in Government

  1. i once worked for government, too, as a consultant at a GOCC. and i was even recruited by the CEO, so i thought that there would be no problem carrying out the reforms that needed to be made. sadly, i was wrong. to cut a long story short, i left with the CEO after just a few months. and i don’t think i will ever make the same mistake again. unless, of course, someone comes along and restores my faith in government… which is not likely =)

  2. I know the feeling when I went to that GOCC thing. But in PCUP, we did a lot of good. That’s the reason I stayed for so long…

    Tsaka pst pst…, wala kasing pera sa PCUP kaya ok lang talaga don…

  3. obet old buddy:

    as the best friend who introduced you to develoopment work and the PCUP, i feel quite proud and accomplished that you think and feel the way you do..

    Hopefully in the new PCUP reincarnation (ChaCha na remember?), we’ll be given more power to once and for all ensure Section 28 of UDHA!

    J.

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