Manila — Newly appointed government officials were sworn in by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, February 6, reminding them of their sacred duty as public servants and their role in the administration’s fight against corruption.
During his speech at the oath taking rites in Malacañang Palace, the Chief Executive expressed optimism that the new public officials will advance the development agenda of the administration in their respective offices.
The President reminded the new government officials of their noble obligation to serve the country with integrity, impartiality and independence.
“As government workers, we are duty bound to uphold the Constitution, aid in the administration of justice, serve selflessly and promote transparency and good governance,” he said.
He expects them to lead by example and inspire their fellow civil servants to be “strong willed, dedicated, able, fearless and honest in dealing with our people.”
At the same time, President Duterte called on the newly sworn-in officials to be vigilant against corruption and other unethical motives and interests that diminish public trust.
The President said he hasn’t wavered in combating corruption in government and remains serious in firing officials who committed abuses and wrongdoings.
He admitted, however, that he does not have the wherewithals of how to go about weeding out corruption at the lowest level saying, “Kung ako ang magbantay doon sa baba, mahihirapan ako. I cannot and it might not surface at all.”
He also asked them to use state resources wisely.
The welfare of Filipinos and the improvement of their lives are of utmost importance in his administration, the President said in his message.
The administration is facing new challenges particularly with recent calamities such as eruption of Taal Volcano, compelling the government to realign its resources, according to the President.
Despite the hurdles, the President expressed optimism saying, “With you by my side…I am confident that we can sustain the gains of the ‘Malasakit at Tunay na Pagbabago.’”
Also during his speech, the President raised the need to improve the country’s healthcare infrastructure and services. He posed a challenge to the new public officials to check the condition of local hospitals.
“Itong tunay pagmamalasakit. Try to visit. Hamon ko lang ito sa inyo, hamon ko lang. Try to visit ‘yung mga ospital lalo na kung may contagion. Nasa sahig ‘yan sila lahat.
Even sa emergency room dito, mag-ano kayo ng gabi. ‘Yung ibang pasyente maghintay, they are lying there in the throes of death on the floor. Tingnan ninyong mabuti. ‘Yun ang sabi ko na unahin natin pag-ano,” he said.
A total of 193 new officials took their oath of office during Thursday’s event.