A Better Philippines: To the Good People of the Duterte Government

The difference between working for a corporation and working for the Duterte government is that for the latter, the politics extends beyond the workplace.

If you work for the private sector, you can probably escape it when you go home. But if you work for the government, you have to deal with an additional layer of criticism on your personal time. The intrigues, the alliances – these things don’t make your job any easier.

The reality of civil service

For non-government workers, think of it this way. You know how hard it is to make reports, or get your bosses’ approval, or secure funding for proposed activities? Imagine that, but on a national scale. The public will criticize you to the ends of the Earth. And it will never be about your work ethic, sometimes not even on your output, but your allegiance.

Government workers deal not only with office chismis – they also deal with national chismis. It could be the news, or it could be a social media post. Sometimes it’s just the opinion of an acquaintance over Twitter. Instead of just doing your job, you end up having to explain yourself. Even when you’re not targeted, it hurts to read and hear some of the things they say.


It happens no matter what your political “color” is, not just now in the Duterte government. It’s tiring. You’re supposed be worrying about your daily tasks, not about what people will say about your boss. Or what your boss should be saying about another person’s boss. Sometimes you defend and you attack, and you get caught up in public opinion. It can feel good. If you have the energy to argue, good for you – but what if you just want to do your work humbly and quietly? What if you just want a better Philippines, for you and for your loved ones?

In the end, all the politicking seems to come at the expense of the public good. It’s amazing how our government workers pull it off.

You keep the wheels turning

To the strong and resilient people in the Duterte government, thank you. For doing your job despite all the attacks hurled at your bosses (and in turn, you). That you don’t get political allegiances get in the way of your work. Thank you that even if the public hurls fake news and chismis at your project, you’re not going to let that get in the way of doing a good job.

The reason why the government has not fallen into ruin despite the instability of our political climate is precisely because of you. Despite the corruption, despite the fake news, despite the bickering on both sides – you know why you entered public service in the first place.

First and foremost, you are here to serve. You are here to contribute to a better future for the next generation. You are here because of a deep sense of nationalism, because you want to give back, and you want to make the Philippines a better place.

READ: Why I Chose to Stay in the Philippines

Public service is never going to be easy. That’s why it’s called service. What many don’t understand, those who go against the government just for the sake of going against it, is that the people they’re attacking are just the same as them. They’re people with bills to pay, families to support, people who just want to do their part for a better Philippines.

Let’s not let politics get in the way of a brighter future for all of us. Yes, call out what needs to be called out, but please recognize the positive things that the good people in the Duterte government are doing. At the end of the day, this is our country, we are all Filipinos, and you don’t want to lose those good ones who keep the wheels turning. Again, thank you.

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