The buzzword among state employees now is Administrative Order 103 “directing the continued adoption of austerity measures in government.” This effectively cuts all foreign and local travels, unless urgent; paid media advertisements; the conduct of trainings, seminars, celebrations and cultural or sports activities; as well as the grant of all donations, contributions, and gifts. Likewise, a reduction in the consumption of fuel,water, office supplies and electricity has been decreed, and the grant of new or additional benefits to full-time officials and employees has been suspended.
My agency has responded in like fashion by cancelling our much in-demand sponsorships to outside parties. But what am really mourning for is the loss of our MWR activities. This means no more free aerobics classes, tennis-aikido-swimming lessons, same with bowling, basketball, and badminton tournaments. Uggggh! They also cancelled our company-wide Christmas party and employees’ giveaways.
Looks like a bleak Yuletide season for everyone.
It’s a pity that poor and middle-class Filipinos have to take the brunt for the abuses of the so-called “fat cats.” Aside from the specter of rising consumer prices, the Pinoy hoi polloi now have to brace for more taxes and mass lay-offs while the financial analysts paint a grim picture of RP becoming another Argentina.
We have no choice but to take the situation with a grain of salt… and a dose of humor. Notty sent me this email on an alternative approach to office austerity:
Each employee will receive 52 Annual Leave days a year (Wooow!).
They are called Sunday.
We will no longer accept a Medical Certificate as proof of sickness.
If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilets. There is now a
strict 3-minute time limit in the cubicles. At the end of three
minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract,
the door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second
offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board
under the “Chronic Offenders” category. .. Subsequent pictures will
be sold at public auctions to raise money to pay your salary
All personal internet usage will be recorded and charges will be
deducted from your bonus (if any) and if we decide not to give you
any, charges will be deducted from your salary. (note: Rs. 20 per
minute as we have a 4MB connection). Just for the record. 73% of the
staff will not be entitled to any salary for the next 3 months as
their internet charges have exceeded their 3 months salary.