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We are the BOSS!

In the corporate world or private business, when your boss makes a follow-up on your assigned task, you would be under extreme pressure to deliver. "Walang tulugan." (No sleeping until mission accomplished.) Or else, your performance evaluation and salary increase could be badly affected. Your future promotion could be in jeopardy, too. Any follow-up is in fact dreaded since it indicates delay, neglect, weakness, or outright failure on the job.

Moreover, you can't tell your boss that follow-ups are prohibited. Try that and you'll surely get fired.

But in government the mentality is altogether the opposite.

In one department, personal follow-up of cases or matters has been recently banned.

Yes, right at the gate of that department, security guards have been instructed to bar entry of anyone whose purpose was to follow-up. Indeed, when I went there and said I wanted to follow-up a case, the guard automatically told me that it was already strictly prohibited. I should instead call or just wait for a written notice.

But in the real world of our government, a telephone follow-up is next to useless since first you always get a busy line. And if you get through, the person who may have answered can simply dismiss you with "wala pa" (no development yet). Written notice takes forever, too.

Immediately, I insisted that I cannot be prohibited from doing a follow-up. And if only to bolster my purpose, I added that I needed to check the case records as well. That's the time when the gate guard softened and went inside her superior's office to make a call to the office of the department secretary. Thereafter, I was allowed in.

But when I got to the door of the cabinet official's office, I was again barred from entering. The guard showed me a copy of a "memorandum order" posted right on the door prohibiting follow-ups. I retorted that that is wrong and I insisted that I would go inside to make my follow-up.

The guard then asked for my name, and apparently he was advised that I should be referred to the undersecretary in charge of the case. In the end, I achieved my purpose.

On the way out, I reminded the gate guard that the people or the BOSS cannot be banned from making a follow-up on the work of the PUBLIC SERVANT. She apologized and explained that "kami kasi ang nasasabon" (we are the ones who get a tongue-lashing) if anyone is allowed in to follow-up.

Consistent with our Constitution, the President himself promised in his inaugural speech that we would be his BOSS. And that should be true with every PUBLIC SERVANT in the executive, most especially with his alter egos or cabinet secretaries. That there is one department secretary banning follow-ups by the people is certainly a shame.

We are the BOSS!