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Career Spotlighting Narrative

Career Spotlighting Narrative

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Published by Jiordan Simon

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Published by: Jiordan Simon on Dec 19, 2009
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12/18/2009

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Through my parents, I gave letters of request for an interview to a selectedset of councilors and to the Vice Mayor of Quezon City. The night before theinterview, we contacted Councilor Bayani Hipol to confirm if he would be available.He said he was available and was looking forward to it.Tuesday, JULY 22, 2009, my mother and I went to City Hall right afterdismissal time. We first brought some of the letters to the Councilors and set anappointment interview with the Vice Mayor on the same week. He was free on theFriday, July 24, 2009 after classes, so I grabbed the opportunity. Then, we went tothe office of Councilor Bayani Hipol, and we were ten minutes early. However theCouncilor was absent and seemed that he forgot to remind his staff that he hadmade a commitment for an interview. It was depressing and annoying when we lefthis office. Upon going home, someone called my mother’s cellphone. I wasCouncilor “Bong” Liban. He told us that he was willing to give an interview onMonday morning, July 27, 2009. He was also willing to help me interview otherCouncilors on that day.We gave a letter of request with an attached set of interview guide questionsto the Barangay Secretary of Barangay U.P. Village last JULY 23, 2009, Thursday.The letter of request stated that the interview would be on Saturday, July 25, 2009.We tried to communicate, with my father’s help, with the Barangay Captain, Virgilio “Leo” Ferrer III, to confirm if he was free on the requested date. The Barangayofficial confirmed that he would be glad to have the interview, but suggested if wecould reschedule the interview on Sunday at 6:30PM because he has otherappointments to attend to. I agreed upon the schedule of the Barangay Captain.On the afternoon of JULY 26, 2009, my mother (my camerawoman) and Iwent to the Barangay Hall to interview the Barangay Captain in his office. Wewaited for awhile and a car drove into the Barangay Hall grounds and it was theBarangay Captain. I greeted and shook his hand. Then, he escorted us to his office,where we held the interview.I started with the preliminaries; “I’m now with Attorney Virgilio Ferrer,Barangay Captain of U.P. Village…” I asked him my first question “Why did you
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choose this kind profession?” He stopped for awhile and answered, “Well actually,it’s not really a conscious effort on me choosing a particular profession it was moreof an outcome”. There was this general assembly around 1993 and during that timeI was able to understand the situation of the Barangay. So, I eventually ran as “
Barangay Kagawad” 
, after which in 1997 I ran for Barangay Captain, by therequest of the previous “
Punong Barangay 
” because he no longer wanted to servethe Barangay, and I won. I needed to equip myself on basically how to govern theBarangay and to get know the Law, so I studied Law as my degree. From 1997 upto the present, I’m still the “Punong Barangay” here in U.P. Village.” I continued myqueries, “Sir, who influenced you to choose your profession? Was it your parents,your peers or your own beliefs?” He substantiated, “It was more on my own beliefsand my background when I was in the university. My course then was CommunityDevelopment and I was then working with Non-Government Organizations. I sawthe need to go into politics because it was necessary in order to make policies andto handle the funds of the Barangay. I didn’t look at it as a profession, it was moreof a
calling
because if you say it is a profession, it is your bread and butter, butreally it was a temporary kind of thing, a profession is something permanent.” Icontinued, “Sir, what motivates you to do your work as a public servant?” Heexclaimed, “Motivation! My source of motivation is more on public service andgetting a sense of fulfillment in seeing the plan, in helping people, in seeing thingswork and in seeing lives change.” I gave a follow-up question, “Sir, what is thenature of your work? What do you do exactly?” He explained, “The work of theBarangay Captain has three folds: the legislative, the executive and the judicial. If we say executive, it’s basically management. You manage the budget and disperseit accordingly. Legislative, you make ordinances and resolutions. Judicial, you try todebunk the courts with certain cases by hearing it on the Barangay level includingthe “
Lupon Tagapamayapa
”. It’s quite complicated because it’s a three-in-oneoffice. All of the function of the national government is within the Barangay…” Ispontaneously asked, “Sir, how do you evaluate yourself and your success as of thenature of your work?” He responded, “If I would evaluate myself based on thenature of my work and my council, it’s a thinking effort. It would probably be 80percent in terms of good governance. 80 percent because we were able to save a
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lot of funds, raise a lot of funds and disperse funds accordingly without corruption.The rest of the remaining 20 percent is a space wherein we could do better. Thereshould be room for improvement! There is success, and as well as failures, becausein management there are some goals that are met…“ I kept on pressing, “Sir, areyou saying that, your basis of success is the tangible effects of the councils’ projects and programs?” He bragged, “Yes! It should be tangible, success should betangible! For example, we were able to save a lot of funds and scrutinize everyexpense. Basically, that’s how we value success. Also, being recognized is onemeasurement of success. We were able to get an award for the
Best in SolidWastes Management
for the whole of Quezon City. So, those things are what wecould find as tangible.” I asked him again, “As a politician, what are thedisappointments in your career?” He chuckled, “Well, not all people are alike. Whenyou say politician, sometimes it bears a negative meaning, but the true meaning of a politician is to look after the welfare of the people. The disappointment is, not allleaders are looking after the welfare of the people. We are doing our part here inthe Barangay level but in the national level they are not doing their part, it is verydisappointing. We can only do so much. I followed up with another question, “Weall know that there is a stereotype that stigmatizes politicians that shows they arecorrupt and only follow personal interests. How do you handle these criticisms?” The Barangay Captain gave a sigh, “First, of course, you need to understand theycriticize you because probably they experienced it. Second, I always remind myself that corruption is a coin. It has two sides; the government and the private sector. Ittakes two to tango! It is the Private Sector who gives the money to the Politiciansfor favors and it is the Politicians who ask money from the private sector. When yousay corruption, it’s not only the politicians’ doing, it’s a system. If you want to getrid of the system, you need to focus on these two aspects. The best way to combatcorruption is a proper government system. I just stop criticizing others and I justfocus on the responsibility vested in me. I have this philosophy, it’s hard to talk andtalk if I can’t do something about it. Sometimes, I just keep quiet. This is theresponsibility that the people trusted in me.” I tried to lighten up the interview andasked, “What is the most rewarding and the most fun you’ve had in your career?” He looked at the ceiling and said, “The most rewarding is when you see the fruits of 
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