Senate of the Philippines

‘Anti-taray’ bill triggers online sentiments, experiences with rude gov’t workers

Iya Gozum

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‘Anti-taray’ bill triggers online sentiments, experiences with rude gov’t workers
While many support the ‘anti-taray’ bill because of personal experiences, others question if it is necessary


MANILA, Philippines – Almost everybody seemed to have one or two encounters with “snooty” government workers. 

This is a reality that many Filipinos do not talk about in public, until the immigration incident of a Filipina traveler went viral. 

In a TikTok video, Cham Tanteras recalled missing her flight last December 2022 because an immigration officer conducted a lengthy interview which included asking for her yearbook and graduation photo.

In response to this controversy, Senator Raffy Tulfo filed Senate Resolution No. 554 seeking a probe on rude government workers. Tulfo said the investigation will help craft the “anti-taray” bill which aims to penalize rude public servants. 

Instances like what Tanteras experienced create “an atmosphere of fear and mistrust in government institutions, agencies, and personnel,” the resolution said. 

Public servant, public trust

Besides making memes about bringing graduation tarpaulins and wearing togas to the airport, netizens also aired their experiences on “snobbish” government employees after Tulfo’s bill was reported. 

Online, people lamented how abuse of position and fear of power-tripping diminished public trust. Some hoped for the speedy passage of the bill to make arrogant government workers “learn their lesson.” Sana makapasa para matakot mga abusado. (I hope the bill becomes a law to scare abusive gov’t employees,” said a certain Joel Ablao on Rappler’s callout.

Others view this rudeness as biased treatment of “lowly” citizens. 

Facebook user Prescie Billen said, “Tama. Maraming government employees masungit lalo na sa mga lowly citizens, akala mo kung sino sila.” (“Right. Lots of government employees are rude especially to lowly citizens. They think they’re high and mighty.”) 

Another commenter, Cecil Carmine Leuenberger Jueco, raised alleged discrimination of solo parents from the staff of the Department of Social and Welfare Development. “DSWD staff are mostly mataray to solo parents applying for ID.” 

Grandstanding? 

However, a neophyte senator like Tulfo tackling a contentious issue is bound to get skeptic comments from online users, too. 

“Grandstanding lang naman ‘yan,” said Facebook user Oliver Ocampo. (“He’s just grandstanding.”)

Ocampo pointed out what many others also raised: that there is no need for the “anti-taray” because it already covered by Republic Act No. 6713 or the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.”

RA 6713 says public officials, employees should “discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence, and skill.” 

Response to public’s inquiries, concerns should be done in a “prompt, courteous” manner in order to deliver adequate service. 

The law also enumerates penalties for violations. 

“Technically ‘di naman na kailangan ‘yan kasi meron naman nang Ombudsman at Civil Service. Kailangan lang matuto ng mga tao paano at saan magreklamo,” commented online user Franco Rommel Reyes. 

(“Technically, that bill is not needed because we already have existing guidelines from the Ombudsman and the Civil Service Commission. People just have to learn how and where to complain.”)

While many responded positively to the bill, others are wary of ‘fairness.’ 

User Divina Borbon Roldan advised caution, “‘Wag lang maaabuso. Madami rin naman sa atin ng mga bastos at demanding kapag lumapit.” (“As long as the bill is not abused. Many of the clients are also rude and demanding.”) Rappler.com 

1 comment

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  1. DN

    Abusive government employees need to be held accountable including building inspectors. Employee IDs should be displayed at all time and subject to cell photo at all times by clients. After service survey should be instituted in all interactions.

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Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.