General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry turns 40!

In unity there is strength. Entrepreneurs and businessmen have long realized that by banding together in the true spirit of cooperation, mutual respect, and best-practice sharing, they become stronger, and their civic, commercial, social, and economic interests and rights protected. Such is the beauty of founding the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GSCCCII).

GSC Chamber Logo_BigBorn on October 25, 1974 as the local business community’s response to the challenge of countryside business development, GSCCCII has grown strong and evolved through the years. Like all growing organizations, it obtains its share of victories and challenges.

In the early 1980s, it was given real impetus and renewed vitality when the city’s tuna and fishing industries, complemented by the rise of the mainly agri-based sector, began its phenomenal growth. In 1988, GSCCCII expanded its membership and range of services. As of to date, it has 160 individual and corporate members coming from all sectors of the business community.

These 160 individual and corporate members come from the following sectors: Industry and Manufacturing; Financial Services; Agriculture; Fishing and Aquaculture; Commerce and Trade; Transportation and Communication; Information Technology; Real Estate and Construction; Tourism; Livestock; General Services; and Sector-At-Large.

Young at 40, GSCCCII is still a growing organization. We advance as we prepare the business community to embrace the future, capacitate our members professionally, and ready everyone to welcome the full impact of the ASEAN economic integration. We will lead the business community to prepare, tackle, and mitigate the impact of climate change. We will continue to champion what is true, right, and just. Above all, GSCCCII remains steadfast in our quest for Excellence, unwavering Commitment, and effective Service.

We toast to our victories!

Good governance mocked!

One of the saddest realities that confronted me while serving the government for sixteen solid years is seeing with my two naked eyes, supposedly government “servants” turn abusive, arrogant, high-handed, and totally unprofessional individuals mocking good governance.

Look around you. Look around your work place. They are lurking there. Plain-looking people pretending to be important to cover up for deep-rooted insecurities and utterly lack of skills. Pathetic. Why are they in government in the first place? Your guess is as good as mine. What a disservice to the government.

You can be sure their favorite past time is sowing and peddling intrigues poisoning the environment of the work place. I totally pity the office they are in. What a rotten office atmosphere they would create and inhabit. Woe to the rest of mankind.

Not only that, they congregate in small groups to form a power base. Ah, people and their insatiable love for power. These small-minded mediocre supposedly government servants think that by creating a power base through a group of like-minded scoundrels, they have become a powerful clique and a force to reckon with. Such insipid thoughts.

With their lack of brilliance (will they ever have one?), they will never know that power comes from within. But what do they really know apart from name-dropping, passing second-hand information, and exploiting government resources? Small wonder the younger employees – those who are supposed to be guided and mentored – get totally disillusioned about good turned “bad” governance. Poor kids.

What a sad reality in government. Public servants turned rotten eggs. Good governance mangled, mocked, and ridiculed by the very people working in it. And how do they do this? Simple. By conveniently leaving the office during office hours, in groups served by a government vehicle to do their personal errands including a visit to the parlor! Not only that. They have themselves driven to their homes in the guise of official trips. And mind you, a one-way trip to their hometown consists of a two-hour land trip from Gen. Santos City. Calculate the fuel consumed for these so-called official trips to serve the whim and caprice of abusive government personnel (to transport them to their hometown), multiplied by the number of days a government vehicle is used for a year, and you will see how much they have corrupted government funds.

On top of that, these erring government servants also use government vehicles after office hours and during weekends for their “other” activities. And they stay in government facilities as well, in the guise of being itinerant workers for years! Give me a break. Seven years of government aid because you can’t find your own boarding house? Pathetic. Always at the mercy of government? They are probably our modern day nomads.

Oh well, that is good governance mocked. Rotten government workers paying lip service to good governance. What a shame. You should be ashamed of yourselves! In fact, you should resign from government. The government sector does not deserve you.

You are a mockery to good governance.

Note: This article was originally written as a newspaper column in February, 2007.