26 September 2010

Start Small and Finish Big

His detractors can harp and whine all they want, but this will not distract President Benigno Aquino from correcting all the small and big problems synonymous with the government bureaucracy.

The latest example of his laudable effort was seen by the public after he was shocked to see his own face on hundreds of immigration cards at Manila's airport this week and immediately ordered them withdrawn.

Aquino spotted the cards at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport as he left last 21 September 2010 for a seven-day trip to the United States, said immigration bureau information officer Freddie Cortez.

"He saw his picture on the cards when he was leaving at the airport. That was when he ordered them removed," he said.

The order came because they violated Aquino's directive banning officials from publishing their pictures on government-issued goods, to stop them exploiting such projects to boost their own image.

Aquino's rule came into force in August but the cards were printed in July, Cortez said.

The immigration bureau has rushed through a delivery of new, Aquino-free cards, he said -- though some of the old cards might still be in the hands of airlines who may issue them to passengers heading to the Philippines, he added.

Philippine politicians previously had their pictures printed on government-issued supplies, such as food, schoolbags and on billboards for infrastructure, in order to take the credit for the projects.