I heard from the news that the Philippine president appointed both her gardener and her manicurist as members of the board of trustees of two government-controlled corporations. The appointments carry fixed terms (for two years) and will earn for each of the appointees around P1.5 million pesos in guaranteed allowances per year (roughly ten times the average annual family income). I have nothing against the two lucky employees as I am sure they are honest and capable workers who served the president well, but this sure smells like an over-the-top going-away present (the president’s term expires in two months). Given that the act is discretionary (she’s still the president afterall), it still smacks of impropriety (why them instead of others who may be more qualified to assume the post)? Why now when her term is about to end? While I have nothing against dying heiresses who leave their fortunes to their maids or to their dogs (I couldn’t care less), I have something against politicians who make midnight appointments as parting gifts to underlings (and who treat government positions as personal favors). This has got to be the mother of all tips! Only in the Philippines!