Press "Enter" to skip to content

IMPULSES | The sacred Monday oath

By Herman M. Lagon

EVERY early Monday morning, as the Philippine flag is raised and the national anthem is sung, government workers and public officials gather to recite a solemn oath with their right hands raised. This “Panunumpa ng Kawani ng Gobyerno,” a commitment to serve with honesty and excellence, says:

“Ako’y kawani ng Gobyerno
Tungkulin ko ang maglingkod nang tapat at mahusay Dahil dito,
Ako’y papasok nang maaga at magtatrabaho nang lampas sa takdang oras kung kinakailangan,
Magsisilbi ako ng magalang at mabilis sa lahat ng nangangailangan;
Pangangalagaan ko ang mga gamit, at kasangakapan at iba pang pag-aari ng pamahalaan
Magiging pantay at makatarungan ang pakikitungo ko sa mga lumalapit sa aming tanggapan;
Magsasalita ako laban sa katiwalian at pagsasamantala;
Hindi ko gagamitin ang aking panunungkulan sa sarili kong kapakanan;
Hindi ako hihingi o tatanggap ng suhol;
Sisikapin kong madagdagan ang aking talino at kakayahan
Upang ang antas ng paglilingkod sa bayan ay patuloy na maitaas.

Sapagkat ako’y kawani ng gobyerno
At tungkulin ko ang maglingkod nang tapat at mahusaySa bayan ko at sa panahong ito;
Ako at ang aking mga kapwa kawani ay kailangan tungo sa
Isang maunlad, masagana at mapayapang Pilipinas.
Sa harap ninyong lahat, ako’y taos-pusong nanunumpa.”

It outlines the fundamental principles that should guide their conduct in fulfilling their roles as civil servants. It is a powerful declaration of their dedication to the Filipino people, their families, and their duty to their country, regardless of their beliefs.

The oath begins with a simple yet profound statement: “I am an employee of the Government.” This declaration is more than just a job title; it signifies a position of trust and responsibility granted by our 118 million countrymen. It is a reminder that they are public servants—better yet, servants of the public—tasked with a noble duty to serve the nation and its citizens with integrity and selflessness.

The subsequent lines of the oath provide a clear roadmap for how government workers, paid by public money, should conduct themselves in the fulfillment of their duties. They are called to go above and beyond (not what is below standard, even mediocre), arrive early (never late), and work diligently (not irresponsibly), ensuring that the needs of the people are met promptly and courteously (not tardily or rudely).

They are entrusted with the care (as opposed to negligence, misuse, or abuse) of government resources. They are expected to treat everyone fairly and justly (never through nepotism, cronyism, palakasan, collusion, discrimination, or those other actions or decisions that lack fairness, justice, impartiality, or equity), regardless of their station in life and, in most cases, with the preferential option with those who are excluded, voiceless, marginalized, neglected, or powerless.
Moreover, the oath mandates that government workers speak out against (and never tolerate, or worse, be silent, or worst, enable) corruption and exploitation and refrain from using their positions for personal gain. It unequivocally abhors soliciting or accepting any shape or form of bribe, emphasizing the importance of maintaining ethical standards and upholding the public’s trust.

Also, the oath pushes for continuous self-improvement, urging employees to reinforce and enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities for the betterment of their office, in particular, and of the nation, in general. Beyond lip service, this oath is a profound and binding contract to the people they serve. Every word spoken carries the weight of the public’s trust, and public servants’ expectations, especially elected officials, to live up to these principles are immense.

While reciting the oath may seem routine, its importance cannot be ignored. It serves as a start reminder that our country’s progress and the well-being of its people are directly proportional to the integrity and dedication of those who have taken this sacred pledge.

Sadly, it is no secret that not all (perhaps a significant number) who recite this oath uphold its principles. The traditional, alternative, and social media platforms are full of inefficiency, corruption, and unethical behavior that tarnish the reputation of public service and politics in its pure essence and erode the public’s confidence in government. This is a call to introspection, discernment, and change for those who have strayed. The oath they recite is not a mere ritual but a moral and ethical code they have sworn to abide by. They owe it to the Filipino taxpayers, to their families, and to their conscience to honor the commitment they have made.

This regular Monday morning oath of government workers all over the country is a powerful mandate that embraces the essence of public service: a commitment to integrity, excellence, and the betterment of the nation. It is a solemn vow, a constant reminder that true service transcends personal gain, anchoring every action for the greater good.


Doc H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions he is employed or connected with.



Powered By ICTC/DRS