SOME taxpayers are often quick to claim that they pay the salaries of public servants whenever they do not get the kind of service that they need, or rather desire. While it may be true, the reason for the claim may be suspect, depending on its reason.
There is no question about rendering the right service because the public, taxpayers or not, deserve to be served promptly. And those in the public sector must provide that service without expecting any “reward.”
Everybody can start by refraining from offering, or by refusing any offer of, “pang snack lang” or “panigarilyo lang.” These “tokens” are often offered in exchange for concessions or preferential treatment. And the problem becomes worse when the public employee gets used to the grease and demands to be “rewarded” for services rendered.
If we surf the Internet, we will find many forms or examples of graft or corruption even at the lower rungs of government.
Even those who do not make decisions in the procurement service could demand money from suppliers in exchange for purchase orders. There are also those who “borrow” money from suppliers and repay the amount through reductions in the quantities to be delivered by the latter.
This may be exemplified by, “mag advance ko’g singkwenta mil. Naa koy purchase order nga biente ka ligid. Napulo ra e-deliver para mabawi nimo ang 50 mil.” Or, “naa koy purchase order para nimo. Cash lang e-deliver.”
A corrupt employee could mulct five thousand for his birthday bash with friends but when the supplier complains, the employee is quick to claim, “gi’-utang man nako to nga kwarta,” and repays the supplier just one day, yes just one day, after.
Another possible scheme is when corrupt employees order materials and supplies on credit from favored suppliers and never pay for them. And suppliers get to absorb the loss in exchange for continued patronage by corrupt employees who directly contact suppliers.
Or, when a corrupt employee gives the “favored” contractor utility bills for the latter to pay.
But even granting there was no hanky-panky, the “favor” extended by the supplier could readily influence the corrupt employee’s decision when contract awarding time comes.
The public knows about these practices. Probably only the corrupt ones are not aware of them.
There simply are many ways to kill a cat.
(Egay Uy is a lawyer who serves as a consultant at city hall.)