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>What’s in uniform?


Iloilo Provincial Capitol

By Pet melliza

One simmering controversy that excites Iloilo provincial employees is their uniform that is still inchoate. The furore broke after they sensed that they had nothing else to do but accept a fait accompli : the P4,000 clothing allowance for each of them was already gone, to be deducted from the payroll sans their consent to pay for materials and labor supplied by a single contractor in Manila.

Multiply P4,000 to more than 2,000 provincial employees equals P8 million plus, enough to send employees raising their hackles at the mastermind, Superwoman whose unsavoury reputation as a racketeer precedes her wherever she goes.

Superwoman ratiocinates she is doing that, not for kickbacks or similar consideration, but for pure altruism, gratis et amore, for the love of the provincial government and employees. From her own admission, she has already put the cart ahead of the horse and all that remains is the seal of imprimatur from Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr., to compel employees to comply to her terms, to be more precise, whims.

This scenario is another example of the substance – form dialectics, with our heroine taking the stand of the Scribe and Pharisee mistaking form for substance. Listen to her muddled twaddle. She pushed for a direct purchase, single contractor-single supplier scheme to ensure public respect and uphold the dignity of the Iloilo Provincial Government because her scheme would ensure that what would be delivered to 2,000 plus Iloilo provincial employees is “uniform not anyform”. Local tailors would certainly crucify her for her innuendo that only her Manila contractor is capable of delivering the right quantity and quality of

Such twisted logic, of course, is not her monopoly. A choir of racketeers, chorus the same equating “public respect” and “dignity” to the wardrobe oblivious of the Spanish proverb that tweets: “Dress a monkey as you will, it remains a monkey still”.

The “uniform vs anyform” line is just an invention to cover up the obvious, three of them in fact, namely: commission, commission and commission. The real issue is employee’s welfare which Superwoman and her ilk sweep under the rug.

The reason why the law itemizes the P4,000 in the annual budget “clothing allowance”per employee is premised on that objective. In other words, the amount belongs to the employees to ameliorate their living conditions (to buy new attire) because their regular salary is insufficient. It just stretches the imagination that somebody can simply arrogate upon herself the power to strip fellow employees that right.

I have already written enough on Superwoman in my blog at http://pet-thebeekeeper.blogspot.com and in Facebook and am not delving on the unsavoury information on her personal life here but suffice it to say that employees were not born yesterday and know her dark past from head to foot. Employees can only wink at one another after reading her ranting in one local paper foisting her imaginary integrity.

Digressing a bit, I am fascinated by fellow employee, “Onyok”. He is hard working, dedicated and unassuming. He already “sold” his clothing allowance because his family had more pressing needs. At least 30 percent, mostly rank and file employees, already guaranteed their clothing allowances for their loans at the Iloilo Provincial Employees Cooperative at 16 percent discount.

Her kilometric twaddle in the local paper, replete with outrageous crimes against English grammar and logic, brands Onyok and others like him as “thieves” and “corrupt” for spending their clothing allowance elsewhere. But how can Onyok and company “steal” what is theirs in the first place?

In any case, Onyok does not cease to impress me as an exemplary provincial employee. His patience and readiness to run extra miles explains why many provincial officials, including Gov. Arthur Defensor, Sr., seek his services in transporting them safe and whole to their destinations.

Onyok can stand proudly with head up that despite his humble work attire, he still serves as example of what good public service is; he shines brighter than Superwoman whose only proof of her imaginary integrity is her unexplained wealth and her palatial residence whose materials were pilfered from deliveries for the repair and maintenance of the Old Provincial Capitol. (to be continued)


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