by: Ame-Phil O. Saquiban
The value of cooperation is embedded in our culture. The bayanihan spirit is one classic example that portrays solidarity, unity, and cooperation. This could be one of the reasons why we have a lot of voluntary organizations in the Philippines since it is natural for us to help one another. As others say, “it flows within our veins”. Time and again, bayanihan is demonstrated in various meaningful ways. From literally carrying “bahay-kubo” in the past to setting up community pantries at the height of the pandemic, we continue to embody the value of cooperation as Filipinos.
In government administration, there are programs and principles that uphold the value of cooperation such as the “whole-of-nation” or “whole-of-society” approach which is a principle, means, or strategy in order to address a problem or to implement a program or project by enjoining all stakeholders from both public and private sectors which may be affected in the implementation of the program or project or which may have a stake in the success or failure of a certain endeavor or have an interest in the solution of a certain national problem. This should continue for the attainment of the collective long-term aspirations articulated in the AmBisyon Natin 2040.
With cooperation that is driven by genuine love of country, every form of pursuit to make these Filipino aspirations a reality will surely succeed. It will propel us to do our part for the good of the nation and in ensuring that the public interest is upheld at all times.
However, actions that are subtly driven by self-interest, greed, and enriching a privileged few can also succeed when there is cooperation. This is probably the case why social ills such as corruption continue to prevail. People engaged in this kind of act do truly understand the importance of cooperation at all levels and on every side to ensure that everything is well covered and no one gets caught or exposed.
But it will just be a matter of time where all these acts shall come to an end, as more people will learn to cooperate from the place of deep love for the nation that doing nothing will no longer be an option. Saint Paul asserted that love is the most excellent way and that it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. With this foundation, we can be assured that the transformation of the nation will always be at the heart of our transactions, engagements and involvements in the community, in our offices and the society as a whole.
Will the Philippines rise again? Henry Ford and Edward Everett Hale stated that “coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. Indeed, it is in togetherness that we can make the impossible possible. The call is for us to cooperate now, not for wickedness to flourish but for righteousness to exalt the Philippines.
Repentance - A Change of Heart
by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
Repentance is not only being sorry. It is more about acknowledging our mistake, becoming sorrowful about it, and deciding to change our hearts which leads to a change of words and actions. As the Apostle Paul said, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds”. When a person genuinely repents, it is expressed outwardly.
Sadly, a number of people “repent” because they were caught in their wrongdoings, and not because they are repentant. Meaning, when their misdeeds were not uncovered they will continue to do it and will not repent at all. God’s Word says, “Whoever hides their sins will not be successful, but whoever confesses their sins and stops doing wrong will receive mercy. Great blessings belong to those who are careful to avoid sin, but stubborn people will have plenty of troubles”. Consequently, being unrepentant have serious consequences that are disastrous to the person involved, while humility in repentance results in blessings.
An unrepentant heart is caused by pride! Pride is the failure to admit a mistake. Also, it is caused by the thought of being always right and refusal to accept for correction from others. Arrogant people are on the verge of colossal downfall and disgrace as pride leads to destruction. We tend to forget that acknowledging our misdeeds and shortcoming and repenting from them never makes us less of a person nor a degradation of ourselves. Instead, it is key to gaining favor from God and respect from people.
In life, we should not expect people to repent, especially when they don’t want to. But let us be a man or woman of repentance whenever we fall into sin. Such is pleasing to our Creator. Apostle John syas, “If we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” In implication, whenever we commit a mistake, with the help of the Almighty, let us strive not to repeat it and live righteously as an outward expression that we have repented or have a change of heart. In humility in repentance, we receive a blessing; pride in an unrepentant heart results in disgrace.
by: Micah A. Tecne
As the author of book of Hebrews said that we need to obey our leaders and submit to their authority. Being under someone’s authority abhors us to follow what is instructed to us. It is a common practice to show our honor and reverence to the one who leads us. But what if we don’t agree or doubt the directions given to us and our perspectives and principles contradicts what is being instructed us to do? Are we going to do it or not? How can we still maintain a right attitude towards our leaders?
Is it possible that we can obey and not necessarily be submissive? Yes! It is possible for us to easily do the task given to us and we can still murmur, about it and despise our leaders. And because of our wrong attitude we are not able to produce excellent outputs. We lose our motivation that is silently sabotaging the whole work entrusted to us. It is easy to obey and follow instructions but it’s a great challenge for us to maintain a good attitude and be submissive to our leaders. John Bevere stated that obedience deals with our responsive actions toward authority. Submission deals with the attitude toward authority.
Being submissive is a heart challenge for all of us especially when our principles contradicts the directives given to us. How will we, the righteous, maintain a submissive attitude towards a wicked leader? David still respected and honored King Saul who numerously attempted to kill him recognizing the authority God placed in the latter’s life. He had the opportunities to win over the king, but he chose not to place the judgment over his hands but to the One who appointed the king. He still revered and treated Saul as the king over Israel and who was God’s appointed.
Again as John Bervere wrote that whether the authority is civil, family, church, or social, God admonishes a submissive regard to be our attitude, and we are to obey in action, unless authority tells us to do what is clearly seen as sin. We are called not to compromise but we are also admonished to still honor those who are in authority. The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to obey the verdict of the wicked King Nebuchadnezzar. They did not bow down to the kings statue as ordered given that it contradicts with their faith that enraged the king and summoned them. They still honored and revered the king as they stated their reason by speaking to him and acknowledging his position as his majesty. They were thrown into a burning furnace and miraculously, they were not burned and preserved that made the king convinced of what they stood for. Our best defense and assurance will always be a submissive heart towards the one who positioned people over us.
May it be that we will be submissive in every way as Jonathan’s armor bearer once said, “Do all that you have in mind, go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” This submissive attitude brought the two, the master and servant, to a glorious victory of killing some twenty men in an area of about half an acre. We don’t just obey , we submit!
By: Mr. Nathaniel A. Saquiban
In a country, like the Philippines, where poverty among the populace is one of the major problems, it is good to determine whether inequality is the root cause. According to the press release of the World Bank dated November 24, 2022, inequality remains high in our country. The top 1 percent of earners together capture 17 percent of national income, with only 14 percent being shared by the bottom 50 percent.
The above shows that only a small percent of the population enjoy a significant portion of the national income while a large percentage of the population share among themselves a meager portion of the national income. This signifies that there is maldistribution of wealth in our country, not because there is defect in the existing laws, processes, and procedures but how the riches of our country are managed and distributed. It is a fact that due to evil intent or motive, there are instances where the resources of our country are amassed by few who are in power. Selfish gain and partisanship largely affect the proper administration of our wealth. This results to inadequate modernization in places where development is much needed.
This is where the value of equality comes into play. For this value to be observed, there is also a need to take into consideration the Spanish term called “delicadeza”. As a Filipino citizen, there must be a sense of shame or personal discipline not to take advantage of the plight of others or not to keep enjoying and maintaining a luxury life while others are in want. The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees states, in relation to this, that public officials and employees should develop an understanding and appreciation of the socio-economic conditions prevailing in the country, especially in the depressed rural and urban areas.
How then can we apply the value of equality in simple ways? By doing away with “palakasan” system and undue influence which normally deprive someone from a position of power who ought to possess it or divesting someone from any privilege such as promotion, job, incentives, or benefits who ought to receive it. It is also by eliminating any form of oppression in an office or by putting an end to any act of discrimination based on culture, race, religious belief, or political inclination. Allegedly, there are instances where a local government hardly receives support from the national government if the national leader lost in the last election in the locality or if the local leader is not a political ally of the national leader. This must come to an end.
What does the government do in order to uphold the value of equality? Our country is replete with principles and laws on equality. In taxation itself, there is a principle called equality and uniformity in taxation which means that all taxable articles or kinds of property of the same class shall be taxed at the same rate. In the same manner, our constitution upholds the principle called equal protection of the laws under the bill of rights. This provision in our constitution is also called the equal protection clause which requires the following elements: (1) rest on substantial distinctions, (2) be germane to the purpose of the law, (3) not be limited to existing conditions only, and (4) apply equally to all members of the same class.
Based from the above principles, the value of equality, thus, admits differences and distinctions. This means that in our jurisdiction, equality is not without classification. Instead, it recognizes the distinctive characteristics or condition of properties and individuals. It simply means that those who are situated alike must be treated alike and accorded the same protection, opportunities, privileges, and benefits. In other words, people or properties should not be treated equally with the others if there is a clear and identifiable differentiation. To do otherwise is perpetrating inequality and injustice.
As we celebrate the national women’s month, let us therefore continue to ensure that women will be accorded the same rights and privileges as the men and let us continue to support the existing laws which uphold the protection of women against any form of violence or abuse.
By: Jesus V. Sison, PTRP
Deputy National Director, CRFV
All of us are governed by laws be it spiritual, natural and/or social. As in every place or organization that we set our feet upon, there will always be set of regulations and laws either written or unwritten, formal or informal. Once we come under the jurisdiction of such place or organization, we must submit, obey and follow to the existing regulations therein. Rules and regulations were set in place to promote order and to protect everyone. It is so because first and foremost, God is the God of law and order as He is also the God of grace and loving-kindness. He has designed all of His creation to be under authority. The structure God’s authority defines different roles, responsibilities and behavior. When fulfilled properly and obeyed explicitly, it will result to blessing, protection and favor that will drastically change ones’ life, agency and community.
If there are no institutionalized laws or regulations, there will be anarchy that chaos and problems are always present. No person would know what is expected of him/her and would just do his/her personal thing. It takes only a second’s reflection to see that the price of disobedience was high. Obedience is not a positive and popular word nowadays. Others view it as cold and harsh. Some view it as legalism or control. Perhaps it is a result of the inherent drive toward autonomy and individualism. The world has changed from what God has created it to be. God created a world of peace, order and tranquility. Tragically that order has been shattered because of disobedience and the world was filled with sin, sorrow, frustrations and suffering. Corruption and decay came into existence because of disobedience. By freedom of choice, rooted in pride, doubt and unbelief, the first man and woman acted in defiance to God’s direct command and revealed will. With their own hands, and now, with our own, forged the chains that bound us and subjected ourselves to the same state as our first parents experienced. Subjected to corruption, sin and death. We lack the power to free ourselves from them. We just do what we want to do and cannot escape.
Obedience is a strong voice of change that speaks louder than words. Through obedience, we shut down confusion and chaos. It will always challenge lawlessness, lies and insubordination. Moreover, it promotes trust, respect and honor. It opens the doors of peace and enjoyment of God’s favor. It ushers change, restoration, reconciliation and transformation.
Obedience and the blessings therein are utterly astounding. God made a way for us to be freed from our bondage to sin, corruption and death. He made a way for us to be reconciled back to Him and the world with us. Our dilemma can be overturned if we will forsake our rebellion, return to him and live a life subjected to Him in obedience. In truth, He Himself showed the very example for us through His Son Jesus Christ. He came to earth and lived a life of perfect humility, submission and obedience to the Father’s will. The ultimate expression of His obedience was submitting to the disgraceful, humiliating, and excruciating death on the cross. Though, His crucifixion was also the utmost expression of His love for the Father and for us. Through His act of explicit obedience and sacrifice, He “who knew no sin” became sin for us “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. His perfect obedience to God’s law as God’s faithful Son can now be assigned to us, and our disobedience and sinful nature can be laid upon him, reconciling us to God and setting us right with Him.
This transformational experience calls us to deny ourselves, believe and follow Him. Following God are steps of obedience as we move steadily away from our former selfish interest nature and back into the will of God. We can make great progress in this world to change it and impact other lives through obedience. This powerful voice of action stirs faith, hope and expectation.
Decide on What is Excellent
by: Atty. Carolina Lim-Gamban
Have you watched the movie Wakanda forever? If you have watched it, there was a fighting scene between Princess Shuri and Namore. At the end of the fight, the former could have killed the latter but Princess Shuri did not. It may be a swift decision to thrust the spear into the throat of Namore but, she chose what is the right thing to do – to go for peace rather than end in the war that may annihilate the people of the two nations. Princess Shuri’s decision at that time was founded on what she is really internally, her true identity – one who is not driven with vengeance nor with personal ambition, but one who values what is right thing to do. She took the decision which would bring peace to the two nations - hers and Namore’s.
In our every day life we can be confronted by a dilemma where we have to choose from more than two options. It is difficult to be caught in between the choices because of the consequences it may bring. Worse, every delay in decision-making may bring about another consequence - like a time bomb ticking and every second counts. Theodore Roosevelt, an American statesman said, “In any moment of decision, the best you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” This is true because decisiveness, according to Collins Dictionary, is the ability to make quick decisions in a difficult or complicated situation. However, at times, it is really difficult to make sound decisions but we can learn from what Roy E. Disney said - “It is not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.” It is more difficult to decide when we are compromising. Our moral compass should not waver, going to the left or right, or else our decision making will also waver. We have to ensure that our moral compass is pointing to the True North. For this to happen, we have to train ourselves in righteousness so that as our muscles are built up in righteousness, the decisions we make will also lean towards righteousness, that is, right before God, right before the people, right before our enemies, and right before ourselves.
Do not decide just because it is popular – many are doing it, and so you also do it. Remember, what’s popular isn’t always right and what’s right isn’t always popular, learning from the words of Albert Einstein. When you are in a crossroad make sure that you are in proper disposition – do not decide when you are angry sad, happy, intoxicated, or the like. Sound decisions happen when you have a sound mind, a sound heart, and a sound body. If anyone is lacking of this soundness, let us ask God for wisdom and discernment.
When we decide on what will bring love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, it will not bring any opposite reaction because it is written – against these things, there is no law . While we are confronted by many dilemma in our lives, in our workplace, or even at home, make sure that we are founded on truth and the precepts of God so that we will not be derailed or defocused. When we are in the Valley of decisions, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Accountability as a Norm
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.
by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
A lot of civil servants are still in their respective jobs, not much due to the honorarium they receive but because of their love and dedication to it. We know some of them, through CRFV’s training and seminars, being in the service for many years and have no plans of stopping until the age of mandatory retirement. An agency is truly blessed to have dedicated men and women of unwavering service. Such a breed of people have “the willingness to give a lot of time and energy to something because it is important,” defines Cambridge Dictionary on dedication.
One significant reason why we have to be dedicated to our work or task is that what we do is an act of worship. The Scripture says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ”. Accordingly, worship is not only through prayer, Bible reading, and attending mass or church activities. But also in doing our duties and responsibilities in the field, office, and home. With this, we ought to exercise dedication.
In the course of carrying out our work, there comes a time when we get exhausted, we are tempted to quit, and we get less to no recognition at all. In such situations, our dedication is tested and forged in fire. Nonetheless, a dedicated person will weather it through and continuously offer his time and energy because he recognizes that his role and what he does is valuable. In addition, a dedicated person knows why he does what he does. It is a worship to his creator God. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, said: “The man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise.”
Dedication to work must be exercised consistently. One way is by getting to the workplace before time. This means arriving 15 to 30 minutes before the work formally starts. Two, quality work - wherein outputs were excellently done thus needless to redo by colleagues or higher-ups. Three, take initiative. A dedicated person offers help to his peers though beyond his work sphere and working hour. In such a manner, a dedicated person is productive, and a valuable asset to his field of service.
By: Micah A. Tecne
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Spirituality is defined by the quality of life generated and nourished by the Spirit of God, in which believers experience the power and presence of God in their lives. True spirituality comes from living under the control of the Holy Spirit and is evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit, spiritual maturity and growth in holiness. It is more than knowing the Almighty God but it’s encountering the Divine that drives us to believe and move us towards a divine purpose. Encountering the holy God causes us to turn from our wickedness towards His righteousness. All of our desires would be anchored in pursuing a life that is pleasing to Him: a righteous life with no compromise. We shift from our filthiness towards purity and holiness. We allow the divine to change us - our hearts and minds.
Living a life of true spirituality is seen beyond what is seen by the naked eye. It is inward, which radiates on the outside of us. A divine shift! We no longer desire for our own self-gratification but to please the righteous God. Zacchaeus desired to encounter Jesus that brought Him into something spiritual, a life-changing experience! It was his decision; it was his choice with no external compulsion to repent from his wickedness and change. Our desire to live a life anchored on the value of spirituality starts with our firm decision to encounter the Divine Who enables us to move towards righteous lives. Are you desiring for a divine shift? Decide now! Have a genuine divine encounter through a genuine prayer like the Psalmist and David prayed:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Excellence is a Must
By: Mr. Nathaniel A. Saquiban
Excellence is the general description for outstanding, beyond average, or anything supreme. It is a value that is applicable to character and work output or services. It is expected among public servants and workers in the corporate world. The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public officials and Employees requires that public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill. In the same manner, employers of business enterprises expect their personnel to do their best in the performance of their duties in order to generate desirable profit.
Excellence, however, cannot be consistently demonstrated without possessing excellent nature on the inside. Any excellent act or work is the natural outcome of the exceptional character of a person performing such act or work. If a person is internally good, it is expected that he or she will do well outwardly. How then can a person be excellent on the inside? He or she must allow God to work on the inside of him or her because God is the source of all goodness and beauty.
The above proposition is derived from the Scripture itself. In one of the accounts of Jesus Christ, there was a rich young man who ran up, knelt before Him, and asked “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Thus, God alone is good. But while He alone is good, He also intended to share His good nature to us. That is the reason why He created us according to His image and likeness. Having been created in the image and likeness of God, we, therefore, have the potential to become good and excellent as He is. Every time we fail, we just need to surrender our lives to Him that He will dwell in us and supply us the grace to be excellent.
The need to be excellent nowadays is needless to state and is obvious under present circumstances. It is a must especially in the Philippines because the nation has been ripped-off of its beauty due to lack of excellence. The lack of discipline among us creates widespread and lasting devastation in the country. The poverty that we suffer now and the disservice to the public are simply the results of imperfection and continuing negative practices. We, ourselves, create our own disaster. While we plan well technically and financially to address any form of disaster that may happen, we devoid all these preparations due to poor implementation of established policies and programs. The ill effects of substandard projects alone make the innocent populace vulnerable to risk and hazards.
Excellent, thus, should not only be a value but a goal to achieve in every field of endeavor. It is a short-term goal that once we have achieved it, we will likely attain and fulfill our long-term goals. It is like dealing first with the root cause of the problem in order to realize a lasting solution. In short, pursuing excellence is pursuing our dreams and visions.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.