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all of the elective provincial officers are Filipinos, as are ten
of the appointive officers, it having been the policy to appoint
Filipinos whenever possible.

Regularly organized provinces are divided into municipalities
which elect their own officers and control their own affairs for
the most part. Provincial treasurers have intervention in municipal
expenditures, which are approved in advance for each fiscal year,
and municipal officers may be removed for misconduct by the
governor-general.

All officers of the six special government provinces are appointed
by the governor-general with the approval of the commission.

There are four regularly organized municipalities in these provinces,
but the remainder of their territory is divided into townships,
which elect their own officers, except their secretary-treasurers,
who are appointed by the provincial governor; and into _rancherias_ or
settlements, with all of their officials appointed by the provincial
governor. This latter form of local government is confined to the
more primitive wild people.

The judiciary is independent. The details of its organization will
be found in Chapter XV.

Three of the seven justices of the supreme court, including the chief
justice, are Filipinos, as are approximately half of the judges of
the courts of first instance and practically all justices of the peace.

At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1913, 71 per cent
of the employees in the classified civil service of the islands were
Filipinos painstakingly trained for the positions to which they had
been appointed.

Prior to the American occupation, the Filipinos had practically no
intervention in the government of their country.

The changes introduced in the twelve years since the establishment
of civil government began are of a sweeping and radical nature. For
reasons hereinafter fully set forth, I believe they have been somewhat
too sweeping, and too radical. At all events, it is now certainly the
part of wisdom carefully to analyze their results before going further.

I deem the subject of the establishment of civil governmental control
over the non-Christian tribes of the Philippines worthy of special
consideration. [484]






CHAPTER XIII

The Philippine Civil Service


Before the Philippine Commission left Washington, a clear understanding
was reached with the President and secretary of war to the effect that
no political appointee whatsoever should under any circumstances be
forced upon us. After arrival at Manila early attention was given to
the drafting of a civil service act by Mr. Taft, who was fortunate in
having the assistance of Mr. Frank M. Kiggins, chief of the examining
division of the United States Civil Service Commission. The passage
of this act and its strict enforcement led to very favourable comment
in the United States. In his first annual message President Roosevelt
said: -

"It is important to have this system obtain at home, but
it is even more important to have it rigidly applied in our
insular possessions....

"The merit system is simply one method of securing honest and
efficient administration of the government, and in the long
run the sole justification of any type of government lies in
its proving itself both honest and efficient."

Secretary Root also gave us his fullest support, calling attention to
the fact that the law which we had passed was of a very advanced type,
and that under such circumstances as confronted us, the securing of
the best men available should outweigh, and indeed practically exclude,
all other considerations.

Our action met with the unqualified approval of organizations
which especially interest themselves in the maintenance of clean
and efficient public service, such as the Cambridge (Massachusetts)
Civil Service Reform Association [485] and the National Civil Service
Reform League, whose committee on civil service in dependencies spoke
in very high terms of existing conditions in the Philippines. [486]

In its first annual report the Civil Service Board called attention
to some of the more important provisions of the Act in the following
words: -

"Competitive examinations must, whenever practicable, be
held for original entrance to the service, and promotions of
employees must also be based upon competitive examinations,
in which the previous experience and efficiency of employees
shall be given due consideration. The examinations for entrance
to the service must be held in the United States and in the
Philippine Islands, and applicants are required to be tested
in both English and Spanish.

"Disloyalty to the United States of America as the supreme
authority in the Islands is made a complete disqualification
for holding office, and every applicant for admission to the
service must, before being admitted to examination, take the
oath of loyalty. By an amendment to the Civil Service Act on
January 26, 1901, it is further declared that all persons
in arms against the authority of the United States in the
Philippine Islands, and all persons aiding or abetting them,
on the first day of April, 1901, shall be ineligible to
hold office.

"A minimum age limit of eighteen years and a maximum age
limit of forty years are fixed for those who enter the
lowest grades in the service. This avoids the difficulty
and embarrassment that would result from the admission of
men advanced in years to positions where the duties can be
better performed by younger and more energetic persons.

"The Board is given authority to investigate matters
relative to the enforcement of the act and the rules, and is
empowered to administer oaths, to summon witnesses, and to
require the production of office books and records in making
such investigations. Without such a provision it would be
very difficult, if not impossible, to conduct satisfactory
investigations, but with the authority conferred by the act,
the Board can make a rigid inquiry into the facts of every
case arising under the act and the rules.

"The act provides for the ultimate classification of all
positions in the service, from laborers to heads of bureaus and
offices, and the Board may, in its discretion, determine the
efficiency of those now in the service as well as those who may
enter hereafter through its examinations. This authority will
enable the Board to ascertain the fitness of all employees so
that only the most competent will be retained in the service.

"As a check upon the illegal payment of salaries the act
provides that whenever the Board finds that a person has been
appointed in violation of its provisions or of the rules of
the Board, and so certifies to the disbursing and auditing
officers, such payments shall be illegal, and if payment is
continued the disbursing officer shall not receive credit
for the same and the auditing officer who authorizes the
payment shall be liable on his official bond for the loss to
the government."

In its third annual report the Civil Service Board mentioned the
following among its distinctive duties: -

"All appointments to classified positions are required to
be made on a form prescribed by the Board, and the Board's
attestation is required in each case before the Civil Governor
or Secretary of Department will approve the appointment and
before the disbursing officer will pay any salary.

"The papers in all cases of reduction, removal and enforced
resignation are required to be submitted to the Board for
recommendation before transmission to the Civil Governor or
Secretary of Department for final action.

"The Board is required to keep a record of all unclassified as
well as classified employees in the Philippine civil service,
showing among other things date of appointment, original
position and salary, place of employment, all changes in
status and grade, and all accrued and sick leave granted.

"From its service records the Board is required to compile
annually, for publication on January 1, a roster of the
officers and employees under the Philippine Government.

"Applications from employees, classified and unclassified,
for accrued and sick leave for more than two days must be
made on a form prescribed by the Board and forwarded to it
for verification of service record and previous leave granted
and for recommendation before final action is taken by the
Civil Governor or Secretary of Department."

These extracts from official reports clearly show that the act was
indeed of a very advanced type, and if honestly enforced would of
necessity lead to the establishment and maintenance of "an efficient
and honest civil service," for which purpose it was enacted.

In 1905 the insular government dispensed with boards as administrative
agencies, and in accordance with this general policy, a bureau of
civil service with a director at its head was substituted for the
Civil Service Board, thus securing greater administrative efficiency
and increased economy.

At first the Civil Service Act applied to comparatively few positions,
as only a few bureaus and offices had been created, but as the
government was organized and grew, the different bureaus and offices
were placed in the classified service, the acts organizing them leaving
in the unclassified service positions to which in the judgment of
the commission the examination requirements of the act should not
apply. Ultimately these requirements were made applicable to the
treasurers of all municipalities and to all positions, including
teachers, in the executive and judicial branches of the central
government, the provincial governments, and the governments of the
cities of Manila and Baguio, except a few specifically excepted by
law, which for the most part are unclassified or exempt in almost
all governments, national, state and municipal, having civil service
laws. None of the states of the Union has such a widely extended
classification of its civil service.

With the exception of the positions specifically placed in
the unclassified service by law and of appointments made by the
Philippine Commission, all positions in the Philippine civil service
are classified and must be filled by appointees who have passed civil
service examinations. Neither the governor-general nor the Bureau of
Civil Service can, by the promulgation of civil service rules, or in
any other manner whatever, transfer any position from the classified
to the unclassified service or except from examination any position
in the classified service. Under most of the civil service laws of
the United States the President or the governor of the state has
authority to transfer positions from the non-classified or exempted
class to the competitive classified civil service or _vice versa_,
these powers sometimes leading to manipulation of the civil service
rules for political purposes.

In the Philippines, where emergencies, such as cholera epidemics,
sometimes lead to the employment of large bodies of temporary
employees without examination, when the emergency has passed the
temporary employees have always been discharged; and no employee
has ever received classification without examination on account of
temporary service. This is in marked contrast to the practice in the
United States, where large bodies of employees taken on for temporary
service due to emergencies, such as the war with Spain, are not
infrequently blanketed into the classified service without examination.

In its last annual report the board recommended that a number of
official positions in the unclassified service be placed in the
classified service, and gave as a reason therefor that such action
would "add to the attractiveness of the classified service by
increasing the opportunities therein for promotion to responsible
positions." This recommendation was adopted by providing that all
vacancies in the positions of heads and assistant heads of bureaus or
offices and of superintendents shall be filled by promotion, with or
without examination, in the discretion of the civil governor or proper
head of a department, of persons in the classified civil service,
if competent persons are found therein.

This provision is an important and distinguishing feature of the
Philippine Civil Service Act. The federal civil service has none
comparable with it. It is of special value in that it induces young
men of exceptional ability and training to enter the lower grades,
for they have the certainty that faithful and efficient work will in
the end earn for them the highest positions.

On February 25, 1909, the director of civil service made the following
statement with respect to the observance of the law: -

"A careful study of Act 5 and all acts amendatory thereof
will show that there has been no change in the policy adopted
by the Commission at the outset to extend the classified
service as widely as possible and to fill by promotion all
the higher positions so far as practicable. The provision
requiring the higher positions to be filled by promotion so
far as practicable has always been regarded by the Philippine
Commission, by this Bureau, and by others interested in
obtaining the best possible government service in the
Philippines as one of the most important provisions of the
Civil Service Act. It has been faithfully observed by all
Governors-General....With the exception of the positions
of Governor-General and Secretaries of Departments, the
Philippine Civil Service Act requires the highest positions
in the executive civil service, namely, chiefs and assistant
chiefs of Bureaus and Offices, to be filled by promotion from
the entire service in all cases except when in the opinion of
the appointing power there is no person competent and available
who possesses the qualifications required, and this provision
has been faithfully observed heretofore."

The enforcement of the law by the commission has received the
following commendation from the executive committee of the National
Civil Service Reform League: -

"We have further to note with satisfaction the course of
the Philippine Commission, by which, if it be persevered in,
the merit system will be established in the Islands of that
archipelago at least as thoroughly and consistently as in any
department of government, Federal, State, or Municipal, in
the Union. This must be, in any case, regarded as a gratifying
recognition of sound principles of administration on the part
of the Commission, and justifies the hope that, within the
limits of their jurisdiction at least, no repetition of the
scandals of post-bellum days will be tolerated."

Up to the time of the appointment of Governor-General Harrison the
provisions of the Civil Service Act and rules were firmly supported
by all of the governors-general and secretaries of departments,
and the annual reports of the governor-general uniformly expressed
satisfaction with their practical operation. Mr. Taft was always an
enthusiastic supporter of the merit system.

Governor-General Forbes in his inaugural address made the following
statements: -

"It is necessary that the civil service should be rigidly
maintained and its rules carefully observed. One very
distinguished Filipino has recently been appointed to
administrative control of one of the most important departments
of the Government, equal in rank to any executive position in
the Islands with the exception of the Executive head. In the
executive branch of the Government, the Filipinization of the
service must steadily continue. As vacancies occur Filipinos
will be gradually substituted for Americans as rapidly as
can be done without positive detriment to the service. At the
same time, care will be taken to provide a suitable career for
honest and capable Americans who have come out here in good
faith. They should know that during good behavior and efficient
performance of their duty they are secure in their positions,
and that when they desire to return to the United States an
effort will be made to place them in the civil service at home.

"I want no better men than the present officers and employees
of the Government, Americans and Filipinos. They compare
favorably with any set of men I have ever seen both as regards
ability and fidelity to duty."

Under the operation of the Civil Service Act the proportion of
Filipinos employed has increased from 49 per cent, in 1903, to 71
per cent in 1913, as is shown by the following table: -


Comparison of Percentages of Americans and
Filipinos in the Service

=============================================
| NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
YEAR | - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
| Americans | Filipinos
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1903 ......... | 51% | 49%
1904 ......... | 49 | 51
1905 ......... | 45 | 55
1906 [487] ... | - | -
1907 ......... | 40 | 60
1908 ......... | 38 | 62
1909 ......... | 38 | 62
1910 ......... | 36 | 64
1911 ......... | 35 | 65
1912 ......... | 31 | 69
1913 ......... | 29 | 71
=============================================


For the first few years after the establishment of the government
large numbers of Americans were appointed, as there were
comparatively few Filipino candidates with the necessary educational
qualifications. During the last two years, 89 per cent of the persons
appointed in the islands have been Filipinos.

There has been a great increase in the number of Filipinos entering
the civil service examinations in English. Ten years ago 97 per cent
of those examined took their examinations in Spanish, while during
last year 89 per cent of those examined took examinations in English,
the total number so examined being 7755. Almost all appointees
for ordinary clerical work are now Filipinos, but the supply of
bookkeepers, stenographers, civil engineers, physicians, veterinarians,
surveyors, chemists, bacteriologists, agriculturists, horticulturists,
constabulary officers, nurses, electricians, mechanical engineers,
and other scientific employees is still insufficient to meet the
demands of the service. Only one Filipino has passed the stenographer
examination in English since the organization of the government, and it
is necessary each year to bring many American stenographers from the
United States. A few Filipinos pass each year the junior stenographer
examination [488] and are able to fill some of the positions which
would formerly have required the appointment of Americans.

The salaries paid to executive officials, chiefs of bureaus and
offices, chief clerks, and chiefs of divisions equal in many instances
those paid to officials occupying similar positions in the service
of the United States government.

In the legislative branch the speaker receives $8000 per annum. Members
of the Philippine Commission without portfolios receive $7500 per
annum. Members of the Philippine Assembly receive $15 a day for each
day in which the assembly is in session.

In the executive branch secretaries of departments receive $15,500
per annum each, including $5000 received by them as members of the
Philippine Commission. The executive secretary receives $9000 per
annum. The salaries of other bureau chiefs range from $2500 per annum
to $7500.

The justices of the Philippine Supreme Court receive $10,000 per
annum. Judges of courts of first instance receive from $4500 to $5500.

The following extracts from an article by the chairman of the
Philippine Civil Service Board give information with respect to
salaries in the Philippine Islands, as compared with salaries paid
in surrounding British and Dutch colonies: -

"The salaries paid officials in all branches of the service
of the Straits Settlements are generally lower than those paid
in the Philippine civil service. In this connection, however,
it is only just to state that the population and extent of the
territory under British control, and the expenses of living,
are less than in the Philippines, while the difficulty of
the problems to be solved is not so great. The salaries paid
to natives who fill the lower grade positions in the civil
service of the Philippine Islands are three and four times
as great as the salaries paid to natives in similar classes
of work in the civil service of the British Malay colonies.

"A study of the colonial civil service of the Dutch in
the islands of Java and Madura gives us somewhat different
results....

"The matter of salaries is peculiarly interesting. The
comparison made above of the compensations received by the high
officials in the civil service of the English colonies and by
those in the Philippines does not hold good when applied to
the Dutch in Java. In fact, the salary of the Governor-General
of Java is somewhat remarkable in contrast with that of the
Civil Governor of the Philippines. As is well known, the latter
receives $20,000, while the salary of the Governor-General of
Java amounts to 132,000 gulden or something over $53,000. The
American official is given, in addition, free transportation
on all official investigations and free use of the governor's
palace, but not the cost of maintenance. On the other hand,
the Dutch governor is granted 51,000 gulden (about $21,500)
as personal and household expenses and travel pay.

"The general secretary of the government receives 24,000
gulden ($9648), as compared with the executive secretary
of the Philippine government, whose salary is $7500. [489]
The seven heads of departments in the Javanese service each
receive a like compensation of 24000 gulden. The Raad,
or Council, of the Dutch colonial government is composed
of a vice-president and four members - the former receiving
about $14,500, the latter slightly over $11,500 each. In the
Philippine government the executive functions of heads of
departments are exercised by four members of the legislative
body, each of whom receives $10,500 for his executive services
and $5000 for his legislative duties. Without going further
into detail, the conclusion is evident that all officials of
high rank are much better paid in the Dutch service. When a
comparison is made between the chief clerks and other office
employees of middle grades - not natives - the salaries are
seen to be about the same in the two countries.

"All natives in positions of lower grades, however,
in the Philippine Islands fare better than their Malay
brethren, either in the Straits Settlements or in the East
Indies." - (Second Annual Report of the Philippine Civil
Service Board, pp. 60, 61.)

"Difference in salaries for subordinate positions in the
British and Dutch colonial services and the Philippine service
are distinctly in favour of subordinate employees in the
Philippine service; only the higher officials, after long
experience, in the British colonial service receive larger
salaries than corresponding officials in the Philippine
service; the leave of absence and other privileges for the
Philippine service are not less liberal than for other colonial
services." - (Report of the Philippine Commission for 1905,
p. 74.)

The entrance salaries of Americans brought to the islands are
considerably in excess of the entrance salaries received on appointment
to the civil service in the United States.

The following table shows the minimum entrance salaries given to
Americans appointed in the United States to the United States civil
service, as shown by the manual of examinations of the United States
Civil Service Commission for the fall of 1913, and to Americans
appointed in the United States to the Philippine Civil Service: -



Online LibraryDean C. WorcesterThe Philippines: Past and Present (Volume 1 of 2) → online text (page 28 of 43)