Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Change Agent

When this Change Agent graduated from the University of the Phlippines Los Baños (UPLB) in 1991, he is ready to devote the first quarter of his mission in life to public service and return to the people what they have generously given him in the form of scholarship grant through the UP Iskolar ng Bayan Socialized Tuition Fee and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).


To fulfill this mission he took the Career Service Professional examination conducted by the Civil Service Commision (CSC) and passed. Hence, his name was entered in a register of eligibles from which appointment to a position requiring this eligibility will be made provided he possess the qualifications and other requirements thereto.


Indeed, upon being certain he passed the CSC examination, his thoughts rushed back to the year 1985 when he got the 99 percentile ranking in the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) conducted by the then Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. This was the highest percentile rank among all the examinees that year from the Padre Vicente Garcia Memorial Academy (PVGMA). The NCEE, however, was abolished in 1994.

Career Path

In 1993, he decided to transfer from the UPLB Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) to become an Agricultural Technologist at the Office for Agricultural Services (OAS) of the Municipal Government of Rosario, Batangas under the administration of Mayor Rodolfo "Rudy" Guerra Villar.

It was a dream come true for this idealist. Even while he was still in high school back in 1983, he decided that one day he shall be working in this government office. Ten years passed and his vision became a reality. Thus, it is with much enthusiasm that he read all the available printed materials in the office to educate himself about his new role.

Community Organizing

Several lecture hand-outs attracted his attention. He was immediately an avid believer of these ideas. And this was how he was introduced to the concept of community organizing as an approach to increasing income and improving the quality of lives of farm families and the barangay or barrio (village) as a whole.

Neophyte Organizer

But he realized, this is something familiar. It is as if he had already done this before.

He recalled the time when he was in college and became in 1986 the youngest University Student Council (USC) Councilor where he got the third highest number of votes out of 20 candidates for the position.

Pandayan Winning Ticket 1986
He ran under the Pagtataguyod ng Dangal ng Sambayan (PANDAYAN) Party, which adheres "to peaceful means of struggle in advancing the students and people's rights and welfare" according to the UPLB Perspective, Opisyal na pahayagan ng mga mag-aaral sa Pamantasan ng Pilipinas sa Los Baños (August 25, 1986).

Pandayan Ticket
It was a landslide victory for PANDAYAN which won the very first student council election conducted just six months after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. Those elected to the 1986-1987 USC were the following:

Jose Manuel "Bimsy" Mapa - Chairman
Senen Salacup - Vice Chairman
Ma. Theresa Lagtapon - Councilor
Jude Rommel Rasco - Councilor
Manuel Luis Quizon - Councilor
Gabriel Barreto - Councilor
Joel Garcia - Councilor
Zaldy Geonzon - Councilor
Ronaldo Sison - Councilor
Artemio Dumaoang - Councilor
Hafid Cangara - Councilor
Jesus Antonio Diamoy - Councilor
Omar Mercurio - College of Human and Ecology (CHE) Representative
Cyril Coliflores - College of Forestry (CF) Representative
Edward Barroga - College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Representative
Jaime Montesur - Graduate School (GS) Representative

1986 Pandayan Victory

It was also during his tenure as USC Councilor that he first met Sen. Kiko Pangilinan who was then the U.P. Diliman University Student Council Chairman and Presiding Officer during the 1986 KASAMA SA UP Convention at Diliman, Quezon City.

Passion for Work

This Change Agent's tenure as a USC Councilor required him to practice the principles of community organizing although he was not aware of them at the time. He handled the rights and welfare concerns of the STFAP Grantees. Therefore, using community organizing in his new position as a public servant is one that he would love to do. Indeed, he is tempted to say - he is in his element when doing community organizing work.

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