by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
Accountability is one of the most important values that we should observe as Filipinos. Our Constitution uphold and enforces it to the optimum standard at all times especially among civil servants in relation to the execution of their public functions. Section 1 of Article XI of the Constitution states that “Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must, at all times, be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”
The provision of the law is directed to public officials and employees because of the duty to give account to those who voted for them in the political office and to those who are paying their taxes with the expectation that excellent public service will be delivered to them. It is due to accountability that the standard of public service is high. It means that there is no room for poor performance and lackadaisical attitude in all aspects of administration. It also means that the value of accountability applies even outside office hours as it emphasizes that it should be practiced “at all times”. Simply put, a public official or employee cannot misbehave as they should be honorable representatives of the government.
The importance of accountability is doubtless and needless to exaggerate. The Council for the Restoration of Filipino Values took note of its crucial role for the effective and efficient delivery of services to the public. This resulted to the crafting of its program called “Public Accountability and Values Enhancement Seminar” in order to reinforce the requirements of the law on accountability. We must realize that it is one of the values that is mandated to be applied in the discharge of public duties. Demanding the officials of the government to be accountable at all times means that accountability as a value should be observed at all times. It is an indispensable requirement for public service. It is a norm of conduct for public officials and employees. Section 4 of Republic Act 6713 states, “Public officials and employees shall commit themselves to the democratic way of life and values, maintain the principle of public accountability, and manifest by deeds the supremacy of civilian authority over the military”.
In the same manner, while the Constitution focuses to govern the conduct of public officials and employees by imposing the value of accountability, it can also be said that accountability is applicable and expected of equal weight to us as private individuals. As citizens of the Philippines, we have the duty to take care of our country and keep its beauty. We should not be participant and contributory in the degeneration of our natural resources. The proper disposal of our garbage in itself is an act of accountability. Responsible mining and reforestation are also reflections of accountability. There are a lot of ways by which we can observe the value of accountability. We should therefore participate with the government in its effort to uphold the country from destruction. We should be law-abiding citizens rather than living selfishly at the expense of our country.
As citizens of the Philippines, we are all receiving benefits from the wealth of our nation. We are all stakeholders and become affected of its progress or decline. Whatever happen to our country, we are all accountable. We should therefore continue to take into consideration the value of accountability in all our endeavors.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.