U.N. Public Service Day - Para sa Bayan

Trex | June 23rd, 2021

Every 23rd of June, the international community unites as one in celebration of the United Nations’ Public Service Day (UNPSD). With that said, what exactly is public service? 


Technically speaking, public service is a “service provided by the government to the people in a specific jurisdiction” (Columbia, 2020). Therefore, under this definition, public service would only encompass the many different facets of governance, from healthcare to environmental protection to the preservation of human rights among others (EESC, n.d.).


 Given that, it is definitely arguable that Filipinos would have a hard time celebrating this occasion. After all, it is by no means a hidden fact that the world is neither idyllic nor perfect in its current state. With a global pandemic constantly looming over the lives of billions, along with ineffective measures of pandemic response, life for a majority of Filipinos has plunged into turmoil. Furthermore, this is only ever amplified by the stream of disasters that the country has faced, from typhoons that have displaced people from their homes to a less-than-stellar rolling out of more-than-necessary vaccines (Jalea, 2021).


Many have suffered and continue to suffer, and often as a result of factors that they themselves are not able to control. Despite this, however, glimmers of hope appear in the people that champion the values of public service, capacity-building, and selfless generosity regardless of the landscape that they live in, and despite the novel and unorthodox definition that they impart on the act of “serving the public.” 


Truly, Filipinos have borne witness to community-driven initiatives that attempt to address the shortcomings of our national leaders. Community pantries catered to those in impoverished areas have been launched in order to address the lacking support rendered by the government for its people. Certain government leaders have also stepped up and amplified the services that their government units provide for the benefit of their people. Furthermore, medical frontliners work around the clock to guarantee that proper healthcare is administered to all patients, while frontliners of other fields and industries labour in order to keep the cogs of society turning, ensuring that people may have reliable access to utilities like water, electricity, and more in the face of the pandemic (DOTY, 2021).


Rightfully then, UNPSD is an opportunity for the public to challenge their public servants. Democracy is the means by which people are able to take power in their own hands and elect officials that would be able to serve and represent them properly. Therefore, while public service can be an act of selflessness for others, it is also a constitutional responsibility for many of those that we celebrate.


More than anything, UNPSD is a day in which we honour the members of society, both governmental and otherwise, that tirelessly work with-and-for the citizens of the world. We venerate the human spirit – one that has boundless capacity for true compassion and unyielding service – that remains undefeated in its countless bouts with global distress as it marches ever forward towards the common good of all.


 

References:

https://www.columbiasouthern.edu/blog/march-2020/importance-of-public-service

https://www.eesc.europa.eu/en/policies/policy-areas/services-general-interest

https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/3/25/TIMELINE-COVID-19-vaccines-deliveries-rollout-Philippines.html

https://www.un.org/en/observances/public-service-day

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/public-service-day/

 


Keyword: UN, Public Service, Leadership

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