By Jesus F. Llanto
Former Civil Service Commission chair Karina Constantino-David is among the three winners of a World Bank award for outstanding public servants.
David will receive the 2008 Jit Gill Memorial Award along with Indian social activist Kisan Baburao Hajare and Nigerian anti-corruption leader Nuhu Ribadu.
"The people honored today have embodied the highest ideals of public service," said Danny Leipziger, World Bank Vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) in a statement. "They clearly were able to translate their ideals into innovative public sector reforms."
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World Bank said David "battled against formidable obstacles to defend meritocracy and improve civil service pay as Chair of the Civil Service Commission of the Philippines until February of this year."
President Gloria Arroyo appointed David on February 23, 2001 as chief of the CSC. The commission is tasked to promote accountability in public office and strengthen government’s merit and rewards system. It has the power to sanction or fire erring government employees and reject appointments of government officials who fail to meet the minimum requirements.
Under David’s term, the CSC instituted performance management system in government offices, introduced new statement of assets and liabilities (SALN) forms and finished a draft proposal for a new government compensation system. David has been critical of many political appointments.
David retired from public service on February 1. She is one of the former senior government officials (FSGO) who issued statements asking the President to allow full disclosure of information about the botched National Broadband Network deal and stop "harassment" of witnesses in the controversial agreement.
India and Nigeria
The two other winners of the award were cited for their anti-corruption efforts in India and Nigeria. Hajare was recognized for championing the right to information and the fight against corruption, and for creating a thriving model village in a poor region in India.
Ribadu was cited for his anti-corruption drive as head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Established in 2004, the award is named after World Bank staff Jit Gill, a dedicated leader in public service governance and integrity.
Sanjay Pradhan, World Bank Director of the Public Sector Governance Group said in a statement that "the award is intended as an inspirational tool to recognize the courage, tenacity and contributions of outstanding leaderships who have championed reforms for better governance against formidable odds."