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Tribute To A Public Servant

March 16, 2010

Emilia ‘Emmie’ Boncodin must have felt out of place when she was in the Cabinet of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Having began her career in government at age 17, it must have come as a surpise for the girl from Naga City when Arroyo, flush from excitement over replacing Joseph Estrada via EDSA Dos, chose a career officer like her to head the vital Department of Budget and Management instead of hiring one of her political sycophants.

But there were surely high hopes then that the Philippines second lady President, daughter of the Poor Boy From Lubao, would set the bar high for dedicated public service.

But it was not to be.

Controversy after controversy colored by corruption became the hallmark of the new administration.

The atmosphere was surely most challenging for Boncodin at the DBM with its corridors  the regular haunt of project brokers and political wheeler dealers following up the releases of pork barrel funds and all sorts of Notices of Cash Allocations (NCAs) and Special Allocation Release Orders (SAROs) for public projects.

So it came to a point that Boncodin and 9 other Cabinet secretaries decided they had witnessed enough.

Thus did the Hyatt 10 leave the Arroyo administration and went public with their disgust over the low, low premium their President gave to integrity and honesty.

Now Emmie Boncodin is gone.

But she stands heads and shoulders over those who find nothing wrong with raiding the public coffers and living in stolen wealth while Filipinos are continually devalued by grinding poverty and immorality in public life.

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