Twenty-six individuals and four groups, all government workers, were recognized Wednesday for “upholding the ideals of excellence, professionalism and integrity in public service.”
The Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award is conferred for exceptional or extraordinary contributions resulting from an idea or performance that had nationwide impact on public interest, security and patrimony. The contribution may be a suggestion, innovation or superior accomplishment.
The Dangal ng Bayan is conferred to an individual for performance of extraordinary act or public service and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior on the basis of the employee’s observation of the eight norms of conduct provided by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The Pagasa Award is for outstanding contributions resulting from an idea or performance which directly benefit more than one department of the government.
Maria Corazon de Ungria, scientist and researcher for the University of the Philippines, is one of the Dangal ng Bayan Awardees. In a social media post she said: “In my 18 years in the DNA Analysis Laboratory of UPD-NSRI, I know that there were many challenges and mistakes and triumphs, and today’s award gives me the assurance that amidst my own human frailties, the effort to live up to the standards of being a government employee and working for the people, has its rewards.”
The reminder comes at a time when the people are all too aware of the human frailties of their public servants. We have likely never heard of most of those who received the awards this week, but we have certainly heard much from our more vocal, visible officials.
We wonder: Are they as conscious as their humbler counterparts to live up to the standards of being a government employee?
We congratulate the awardees as we wish fondly for a time when they would be the norm, not the exception.