PASAY CITY, July 28, 2018 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones told the country’s Career Executive Service Officers (CESOs) and Eligibles that public service is about “suffering – financially, physically, and psychologically.”
The Education chief shared the reminder during her keynote address at the National Union of Career Executive Service Officers (NUCESO) Inc.’s 2018 mid-year convention on July 12 at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City. NUCESO is a national association of government executives from different regions and departments in the country, and aims to promote professionalism in the government service by implementing programs for career development welfare of career executives.
Briones also led the oath-taking of officials of the Philippine Educators Association of Career Executive Service Officers and Eligibles (PEACE) Inc., DepEd’s Chapter of Career Officials and one of the biggest delegations of the event, of which Undersecretary Tonisito M. C. Umali is the concurrent president.
“This event is so special to our third-level officials, but it becomes more special with the presence of our guest of honor, DepEd Secretary Leonor “Liling” Magtolis Briones, who is truly an advocate of a strong Career Executive Service System, a true champion, and advocate of CESOs” Umali, who is also NUCESO’s immediate past president, mentioned.
In her first time to address the CESOs, Briones traced the roots of the Career Executive Service – from the Philippine Executive Academy and the Development Academy of the Philippines, to the Civil Service Academy and the Career Executive Service Board.
The Education Secretary, who has also served as Secretary to the Commission on Audit, Vice President of the University of the Philippines system, and Treasurer of the Philippines, also discussed the challenges faced by top-level government executives, including the politicization of the bureaucracy and the delineation of politics vis-à-vis administration.
In response, Briones encouraged the CESOs and eligibles to continuously improve their qualifications and competence; to keep up with the changes in the organization, the public administration system, and the country; to not stop studying; and to be courageous and prepared to sacrifice. “Your best defense against threats to your survival are your qualifications,” she pointed out.
Pains and joys of public service
Briones further expounded on the hardships of public servants: “Public service – I hope you share some of these ideas with me – is not about power, although we are called bureaucrats.”
She added that public service is not the way to go if one wants to get rich. “There is no gratitude,” she cited, adding that it also takes “a terrible toll” on the physical system.
“It is also attacks from all corners, but at the same time, it is also joy – the joy of introducing changes, and the risks, and the excitement, and public as well as private campaigns that you have to engage in to convince the public and to communicate what you are trying to do; the joy of touching people, changing lives,” the Secretary enthused.
In conclusion, the Education chief expressed her hopes that the CESOs and eligibles present in the convention will ponder on their role in the government service.
“I hope that at least, some of you will reflect and think of the meaning in being in government, what is required of us, on the meaning of what you do, and how we can contribute to the emancipation of our people.”