The Civil Service Commission has acknowledged the complaint of a civil service exam taker who aired her disdain for a test item that seemed to favor China on the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
“We would regard and take this instance as a sign for us to be more circumspect in constructing test items in the future,” Angie Guevarra of the publications and media relations division of the CSC said in an email reply when Interaksyon asked for a comment on the story.
While its non-disclosure policy prevents it from elaborating on the details of the formulation of the test questions, the CSC explained that the questions on the exam cover a variety of subjects.
A look back at the discussion
Since the Twitter thread complaining about suspicious Question 58 on the CSE went viral, numerous test takers have corroborated the initial accounts and likewise expressed their grievances on the matter.
Hi everyone happy sunday!! I want to make a short rant on Question #58 in this year’s Civil Service Examination kasi ibang klase talaga ‘tong gobyernong ‘to ??
— GEMINA DE LA CRUZ ? USC COUNCILOR (@xandicheeks) March 18, 2018
Triggered din ako sa question na yun. Actually did the same thing as looking to the Examiner. Nakakatemp maglagay ng note sa answer sheet pero baka ma-void. hehe
— Art (@haringARTur) March 19, 2018
The tenor of the uninhibited speculation that took place has been that, inline with administration’s shift towards a China-friendly diplomatic and economic policy, the government may have started conditioning the minds of future civil servants.
While the CSC was initially unavailable for comment, there were those who questioned the author of the thread drawing attention to the poster’s admission that she was unable to memorize the items in verbatim.
So you lacked critical thinking to be swayed by your perceived deception for a hidden motive? What do you think is treasonous about it? What do you think it promotes? Care to bring it to the media to amplify your rant and let the people judge it for themselves?
— niccolo (@matsvsmats) March 18, 2018
Not in previous exams
Some previous CSC takers also said they did not encounter similar questions to the one complained about this year.
Of course. It is very different from the CSE I took in 2015. We have to call out these small things as well, because they build up our tolerance and make us indifferent.
— Alec Geradila (@alecgeradila) March 19, 2018
Interaksyon also spoke to a current employee in the executive branch who took a prior civil service exam in 2017. She did not notice any items in the test that piqued her curiosity. While there were questions on international relations in Asia, she does not recall any item that sounded “pro-China.”
Another taker of the 2017 test who is currently not employed by the government related that he does not remember encountering any item in his exam that sounded like the question complained about in this year’s test.