Diplomas, PhDs, & Ruin; (Editor's Note: A College Diploma, an MA, or PhD from a Top US School Does Not Guarantee Success in Business or in Political Leadership Cited in This Article.)

Manila Bulletin, January 5, 2004 | Go to article overview

Diplomas, PhDs, & Ruin; (Editor's Note: A College Diploma, an MA, or PhD from a Top US School Does Not Guarantee Success in Business or in Political Leadership Cited in This Article.)


TO Filipinas middle and upper middle-class, a college diploma of any kind is a symbol of ability, capacity, and intelligence. Its a passport to employment in the government and private companies.

We have an excess of doctors, MA degree holders, nurses, and engineers who seek government employment, even as casual employees for a start.

Crazy rule

For example, theres a civil service rule that employees without an MA cannot be promoted to division chief.

Has this rule improved efficiency, honesty, and devotion to duty in our vast bureaucracy of 1.2 million civil servants?

As one analyst puts it: This is a crazy rule that encourages employees to steal government time or cheat. They are tempted to buy MA diplomas from small shops and mills on Claro M. Recto and other ghost schools.

Phony diplomas

Years ago I was shown a diploma signed by a retired Supreme Court justice. I told the holder the signature is phony. They asked why? My answer: The genuine signature appears on my law school diploma as dean; he was also my Civil Law professor. The parties did not submit the diploma for accreditation.

Poe Jr. and Schwarzenegger

Fernando Poe Jr. may be the least qualified of the presidential candidates, but his credentials for success were established years ago.

Our brightest presidents have not made RP rich like Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea.

The Constitution has no special requirement (like a college diploma or a PhD) for a presidential candidate, and he qualifies if he is: 1) a natural-born Filipino; 2) a registered voter; 3) able to read and write; 4) 40 years old, and 5) a resident of RP for 10 years immediately before the May election.

In the province, friends and kinfolks asked if Arnold Schwarzenegger was qualified to run as a Republican candidate in Californias recall election last Oct. 2003.

My quick answer: I first saw Arnold carrying a buxomy actress on his right shoulder in the 1960s. That was his first appearance without a speaking line, because he spoke German only. His bodybuilding hobby as a soldier led to more titles as Mr. Europe, Mr. Universe, and roles for Conan that needed bulging muscles. He found it easy to beat all the veteran and titled politicians in California, the worlds fifth richest economy.

To Pinoys, Arnold is called barbelista (weightlifter) who starred in blockbuster movies like Terminator I and II and dozens of action pictures.

When casting their votes, Californians did not ask if Arnold holds a grade school, high school, or college diploma. All they wanted was a change in political leadership that FAILED them. …

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