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Politics of Patronage in the Philippine Educational System

Politics of patronage is not only practiced by politicians in the Philippine educational system. School administrators practice it also. It comes in the form of giving favors to favored employees at the expenses of those who are not within the good graces of their school administrators. It is this kind of patronage that breeds corruption, inefficiency and incompetence because a very special relation has been established between the school administrator concerned and his employee.

This special relation having been established entails loses for the government in terms of man-hours lost because the employee given the favor does not perform his assigned task when he/she is allowed to travel on official business on the pretext of attending seminars when actually main purposes is to visit his loved ones in Manila or elsewhere. Hence the government also loses money because this employee abandons his work. This travel is unfair to the government since the expense is paid out of government funds.

Since this is happening in educational institution, one now wonders what happened to their much-vaunted educational reorientation program where they have been making a lot of noise in teaching, developing, and reorienting good Filipino values. This is dishonesty of the highest order because the employee and the school administrator willfully commit fraud in the performance of their sworn duties. And yet you can see them devoutly performing their religious rituals, praying and receiving Holy Communion every Sunday and other holidays of obligations. I wonder if their conscience does not bother them for their sins of omission and commission.

This politics of patronage in schools has created a pool of subservient employees aping their school administrators because they are opportunists (balimbings). These subservient employees always look forward to unlimited favors such as seminars, promotion, favored assignments, travel abroad, etcs. They (the middle-level echelon) are the ones who are very quick in defending their boss against criticism. It is, of course, natural for them to defend the source of their unlimited favors.

This politics of patronage in Philippine educational system must be put to stop if only to save government money. Travel must be strictly on official business. Personal interest must be set aside. A respectable employee, especially an educator who is tasked to develop, promote and reorient good Filipino values, must be willing to spend his/her own money if the purpose of the travel is to visit loved ones in Manila or elsewhere. Through this they will be admired by colleagues for being honest educators and deeply religious people.

If politicians practice politics of patronage, educators must not follow their example because they are the paragons of honesty, sincerity and integrity in public service. Some politicians are not as concerned about moral and spiritual values as they are known to be cheaters during elections and, therefore, have been cheating themselves into power. They have no sincerity to speak of nor morality of any kind to defend or die for. Politicians do not practice the highest degree of statesmanship as they could hardly portray themselves as respectable statesmen especially when their political interest is at stake. Therefore, school officials concerned who wield power and authority must not abuse such power and authority by dispensing favors only to their close friends and relatives.

School officials practicing politics of patronage may not realize that their actuation’s can boomerang on them. For instance when a special favor on someone got a promotion at the expense of others who are more deserving, demoralization among the rank and file of employees results which is counterproductive to the organization’s goal and objectives.

Dispensing favors begets another favor. Hence, when not all employees enjoy the spoils of the school administrator, trouble begins and this will come in the form of deficiency of the employees’ performance. In other words, disgruntled employees cannot be expected to be efficient and effective workers because they are discriminated upon by their own school administrator. In this instance, the school administrator concerned can blame nobody but himself. His actuation’s can destroy his own image and the institution he/she represents. So favored employees who are enjoying strong connections with your school administrator, do not think only of your personal interest but consider your benefactor whose image and credibility you have unknowingly destroyed.

To the school administrator concerned, stop dispensing favors that can only destroy your own image and the institution you represent. Personal interest should be dispensed with in favor of public welfare. Attending seminars as an excuse to visit loved ones in Manila or elsewhere is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. You are not only cheating yourself but the people who are supporting our schools with their tax money. You should stop playing politics, dispensing favors to people and your organizations who are supportive of your personal interest and ambition.

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