Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Giving public service a good name

Securing purok, barangay, and police clearances earlier today was a pleasant surprise. I started out all psyched up for long lines and longer waits that I even brought a book just to be ready. I blocked the entire day to finish these errands and braced myself for the worst. Instead, I was happily proven wrong in my assumptions. Even better, I got reminded that there are still a lot of government employees who give justice to their roles as public servants.

My first stop for the day was in our purok leader's home to get a purok clearance. The leader was nice and very thorough that the entire transaction took less than ten minutes.

Next I went to the barangay hall, which looked well-maintained, and met employees who gave the impression that they were happy to serve. I got my community tax certificate (CTC) in less than five minutes then proceeded to the cubicle exclusively for barangay clearance requests. Again, I did not have to wait long for the clearance but what surprised me more was the lack of fees. With the exception of the money I spent for the CTC, I did not pay any single fee for both the purok and barangay clearances.

I then proceeded to the police barracks (as they call it) to get a police clearance. I had to backtrack though since I did not know beforehand that I had to pay Php25.00 first at the Sanggunian building, which is a block away from the barracks.

The Sanggunian building was crowded but the number system and the efficiency of the staff behind the windows relieved the tedium of waiting. All in all the time I spent there was not that bad. I then went back to the barracks with the required official receipt in hand. Getting the police clearance was as easy as the previous transactions despite the number of people present.

Call me jaded but I had several experiences over these years that made me wary, sometimes resigned, and often frustrated with how public servants deal with public like me. But today's experiences reminded me that there are still people out there who give public service a good name. I do not know their names but I salute them. Thank you for making me believe in public servants again.

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