Archive for the ‘PROFILES’ Category

LTO-12 Director Arlan Mangelen: RISING ABOVE

Embarking on 3-point policy agenda – good governance, documented transaction and quality accomplishment – as key to better serve the public

By Anthony S. Allada

AS he assumed office more than a year ago, many cast doubts on the integrity, sincerity, qualities and capabilities of Datu Arlan Mangelen to be appointed as the regional director of Land Transportation Office in Central Mindanao.

For one, Mangelen’s youthfulness and being a rookie at the LTO may be a factor that he could not bear the pressure from his colleagues who serve the government agency almost half of their lives. And here comes this 39-year-old man so new to this post to be at the helm, taking charge of the region’s transport sector.

But he proved his critics wrong.  Applying the excellence and competence he showed when he was an election officer and a congressional chief-of-staff back then, he instituted the needed reforms to make the LTO 12 to be at par from other LTO regional offices and to better serve the transacting public.

Mangelen embarks on a three-point policy agenda – GOOD GOVERNANCE, DOCUMENTED TRANSACTION and QUALITY ACCOMPLISHMENT — to effect change and institute reforms under his stewardship.


The first policy agenda is good governance. He defines good governance as work excellence in law enforcement, transparency, administrative and operational reforms.

While having an inspection of its roster of employees, the new LTO director found irregularities and discrepancies when he found that retired employees and even dead ones were still at the list and receiving salaries.

“Kaya ang ginawa ko, pina-scrap ko talaga yun at pina update ko yung roster natin sa ating employees. Hindi pwede i-tolerate yun,” he said.

And, he also made it clear that the LTO-12 has no room for fixers. Allowing them is to add more fees for the transacting public since fixers are the ones who jack up the fees even in double.

“Huwag nating bigyan nga problema mga kababayan natin kasi karamihan sa kanila mahihirap din,” he said.

Moreover, Mangelen sourced out funds to construct a conference room to cater their district meetings and other conferences to save them time and money in holding these gatherings outside their office.

Aside from that, he initiated the purchase of an 8-hectare land to be constructed next year with the new LTO regional office to become a one-of-a-kind ONE-STOP-SHOP, where an area will be set aside for actual driving to applicants.

“We have no other purpose here but to the convenience of our transacting public and to serve them well,” he said.

Two months ago, Mangelen introduced the “I-Report sa LTO-12” stickers in PUVs, which encourages commuters and motorists to report any violation by those involved in public transport service.

This plan to establish SMS hotlines  came after Mangelen received so many complaints such as smoking while driving, extremely loud sound systems, shaded license plates, and many others.

“This is in response to the clamor of several commuters. Public utility vehicles need to be compliant not only regarding government standards but also on keeping our streets and travel orderly ” he said.

To submit a report, according to the direction on the stricter, a complainant needs to text his or her full name, plate number of the vehicle, and the nature of violation and send this to 09152988092 or 09051964660.


The second policy direction is documented transaction. The LTO director said that all transactions at their office should be documented. This came to his attention when its main office in Manila required them to submit some important documents but they failed to comply because records were found.

That’s why, he issued a directive to make an inventory and established a room for the safekeeping of files and documents.

The personnel of the records section should see to it that all files are in place and in order for ready reference when they are needed.

Aside from that, they should also be careful to receive documents from transacting public especially when those were tampered or fake.


Last policy agenda is quality accomplishment. Accomplishment is but normal for a government agency which has a day-to-day transaction with the public. But it should be a quality one. For Mangelen, quality accomplishment means meeting the requirements to have a real quality accomplishment.

He humbly admits the lack of proper skills trainings for his enforcers. That’s why, he encouraged them to join trainings to enhance their skills and knowledge on law enforcement and other must-know to be more effective and efficient in dealing with the motorists.

Administrative staff are also allowed to participate these trainings for the same purpose and are told to re-echo their learnings to their colleagues.

Mangelen is a believer of team work where quality accomplishment can only be achieved if everyone is  a team player. With his leadership, he sees to it that his guidance to his men would inspire more quality accomplishments.


The young LTO director would not just let his enforcers do their jobs without securing the benefits they should get in line of their work.

Like the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, LTO enforcers are soon to get their hazard pay for risking their lives in dealing motorists in the streets.

Besides, those employees who might be facing charges over their jobs can avail the services of their legal department

Mangelen said aside from their usual work, LTO-12 personnel are also involved in civic action activities as well as participating in medical and dental missions initiated by other line agencies of the government.

There are also times when there is a calamity, they get the consensus of their personnel in providing cash and in kind assistance to the affected victims.

Some district offices still in manual will soon be computerized. The LTO-12 has 19 district offices in six cities and six provinces.




The man named JV Ejercito

San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor (JV)  Ejercito is an epitome of an excellent young public servant, always concerned with the interest of his compatriots, over and above his personal political career. His phenomenal governance as Mayor of San Juan for nine years, along with his conviction to make a difference in the lives of the masses has shown a new type of public servant.

Since he assumed the public spotlight, JV believes that he is called upon to serve and make a positive difference in the lives of the Filipino masses, especially on the youth. His JV Ejercito Scholarship Foundation has already benefited 1,000 college scholars as of this writing. He also helped in addressing the health problem of his constituents in San Juan by distributing Medicare para sa Masa (Philhealth Insurance) and the San Juan Health Card. Along with various youth organizations, JV is tirelessly helping the youth in their pursuit for a better future.

Under JV’s leadership, San Juan had emerged triumphant amidst the economic and political crises besetting the nation. To date, San Juan has the lowest poverty incidence of 2.92% as stated by the National Statistics Coordinating Body, achieved a 200% increase in its revenue in merely four years, and recognized by the Commission on Audit as the best fiscally-managed municipality in the entire country. Despite being in the opposition, and not having received a single centavo or project from the current administration, San Juan likewise emerged as the country’s Most Progressive Municipality in 2006 as adjudged by the Commission on Audit. This is a feat which shows that JV has excelled as a good local executive, while being active in fighting for his principles by being part of different mass actions about various national issues. Because of JV’s sound financial management, San Juan is the only local government unit in the country to be given a AA credit rating by the Local Government Unit Guaranty Corporation, the highest rating among the local government units. Against all odds, JV emerged as one of the best, if not the best performing local chief executive as he spearheads San Juan’s “economic boom”.

JV, also as a successful “entrepinoy”, had managed to draw in local and foreign investors in San Juan. Thus, San Juan now is also known as the “Tiangge Capital,” generating a hefty tourist and merchandizing market that created an opportunity for more jobs for the people of San Juan and nearby towns. After introducing innovations thru computerization and making San Juan a business friendly community, an estimated P2 Billion worth of investments has poured in since 2001. This goes to show that the business sector in particular has given their full trust and confidence in the leadership of JV. As a result of San Juan’s Economic Miracle, thousands of jobs and opportunities have been given the youth in San Juan.

Now as Congressman of the city’s lone district, JV had elevated San Juan into a new booming city in the metropolis that enhanced his health campaigns by providing affordable medical and hospitalization needs, improving the local education system by establishing an affordable City College and promoting technical and vocational courses which provided livelihood programs, and an on-site housing program to the poorest of the poor in San Juan.

Driven by his idealist and nationalist nature, JV had established the first “Museo ng Katipunan” showcasing the Katipunan artifacts and a diorama that dramatized the “Battle of San Juan Del Monte”, the lone incident that sparked the Philippine Revolution. JV made sure that the San Juan will honor heroes and martyrs by establishing monuments and murals of Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Macario Sakay and now Leandro Alejandro.

If only JV had solely focused on his political directions, he should be called “Senator JV” by now. His strong showing in the pre-election surveys and the dominating victory of the United Opposition in the recently-concluded senatorial elections, among others, manifested a most likely resounding victory for “Senator JV”. But JV is not a man for himself. He gave way so that the opposition would be united and have a bigger chance of winning in the election. He sacrificed his personal ambition for the good of his party. JV Ejercito is a man driven by conviction, not by ambition.

JV has become not only a politician but a unique public servant that continues to inspire the Filipino youth to serve our country with honor and dedication. JV belongs to the new breed of public servants that puts the interest of the country above self. JV had been continuously upholding the principles of “bayan muna bago ang sarili” which makes him truly “A Man for Others.”

Lt. Gen. Arthur I. Tabaquero: The Team Builder

A soft-spoken person with a fatherly figure, one could not immediately notice that he is one of the top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In fact, Lt. Gen. Arthur I. Tabaquero, the commander of the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command, is a humble fellow and he is fond to mingle with his men and other people from all walks of life.

Tabaquero, a product of Philippine Military Academy (Makatarungan) Class of 1978, is a man of few words. He believes in the saying that goes, “actions speak louder than words.” He lets his deeds do the talking.

With less than a year after his assignment at Eastmincom on November 19, 2010, he has already proved his worth.

But he does not act on his own alone. He wants to involve everybody. He is a team builder himself. His initiative in tapping the help of government agencies and non-government organizations in improving military facilities is a thing that should have to be commended.

Just recently, the provincial government of Maguindanao through Gov. Esmael “Toto” G. Mangudadatu and North Cotabato through Gov. Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza donated cash assistance for the improvement of the wards of the Camp Panacan Station Hospital.

Tabaquero also continued to look after the welfare of the soldiers and their respective families by providing them technical education, livelihood projects, among others.

Before being assigned at Eastmincom, he has a short stint at the National Capital Region Command. But this was before his more than years stay as commander of the 8th Infantry Division based in Leyte.

As division commander, he also initiated the renovation and construction of a lot of facilities, inside and outside the division headquarters, including the station hospital, training facilities, Welness Center and other sport facilities for the welfare and general well-being of the personnel.

Tabaquero is a well-rounded boss. His leadership improved administrative processes and support system of his field units in order to raise the level of morale of his men.

“We made them feel that we care for them. We took the responsibility of looking after their welfare and keeping their spirits high so that our soldiers are always motivated and inspired to perform their duties and responsibilities to he best of their abilities,” he was quoted as saying.

He also promotes the policy on transparency, especially on the utilization and management. “We embraced transparency to make sure that our limited resources are judiciously used to support all our administrative and operational pursuits which were geared for the accomplishment of our mission.”

P/Supt. Leonardo A. Felonia: His profile


Police Superentindent Leonardo Almirante Felonia hails from Arakan Valley, North Cotabato and was born on August 24, 1962.

He spent most of  his childhood days in his hometown until he joined the defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) in 1986 with a rank of 2nd Lieutenant after finishing his criminology course at the International Harvardian University in 1984.

Felonia took his masteral degree in 2006 at the Rizal Memorial Colleges with Master of Arts in Educational Management.

He is considered to be one of the most decorated police officers, after receiving numerous citations and awards including the Medalya ng Kasanayan, Medalya ng Papuri, Medalya ng Paglilingkod at PNP Badge of Honor.

He has also undergone several international trainings and workshops as well as local seminars.

Felonia spent most of his years in the police career in Davao City where he became a police station commander in almost all police stations of the Davao City Police Office.

Noticeably, his stint as station commander of the Sasa Police Station in 2003 earned him praises from his superiors when he led his men to neutralize a big-time drug syndicate. This accomplishment was the basis of his special/meritorious promotion from police chief inspector to police superentindent that came out in 2006.

Felonia is currently the regional chief of the Regional Intelligence Unit of the PNP’s Intelligence Group.



Col. Leopoldo Galon Jr.: A dove among hawks

Col. Leopoldo Galon Jr. emphasizes the youth's role in "winning the peace" in Eastern Mindanao

Col. Leopoldo Galon Jr.: A dove among hawks

By Carmelle Marie Harrow

HE IS a peace advocate and a man of honor, a servant of God and country. At least, that’s how he describes himself.

Colonel Leopoldo Galon Jr. is one whom many may refer to as a dove, a peace-maker among armed men, in contrast to hawks in the military. His focus: the youth.

Urging the younger generation to become good citizens of our country Colonel Galon leads symposia to students from different schools as a part of the Youth for Peace Development Program here and in other parts of the region. Their mission is to educate students with what is happening in both the military and the communist side. They have been to schools inDavaolikeUniversity of SoutheasternPhilippines,SanPedroCollege,JohnPaulIIAcademyup to Surigao del Sur State University, St. Thaddeus College,NorthEasternMindanaoCollege, Notre Dame of Tulunan and to schools in Bukidnon.

“Nabibigyan sila ng sapat na impormasyon ahead of time to have an informed decision, ayoko yung white paper thing…kasi pag napasama sila sa isang organisasyong wala talaga silang alam, hindi na sila nakakpagtapos ng pag-aaral at masasayang ang kanilang kinabukasan,” Galon added.

Born and raised in Calamansig, Sultan Kudarat on October 1964, Colonel Galon graduated fromNotre DameUniversityinCotabatoCitywith a Bachelor in Science major in Civil Engineering in 1985.

Being a government scholar under Coconut Federation, he had his political awakening when Senator Benigno Aquino was killed.

As a student, he was a member of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) who rallied beside former President Corazon Aquino in dreaming for better governance in the country. Wanting peace for the country he loves he says, “I remember volunteering to campaign for President Cory, bringing placards that says ‘Sobra Na, Tama Na’ with the radio blasting songs that depict peace in the lyrics.”

Being an activist himself when he was still a student, Col. Galon says, “I want the youth of today to be an activist for the right reason at the right time, yung hindi ba sila naroromanticize and will be left to feel that it’s okay to be a revolutionary, tuloy nadi-distract yung kanilang studies.”

After graduating from college, he underwent the general classification for direct commissionship, an army battery test for engineers.

From the 300 applicants, he was one of the 23 chosen to train to become a soldier. It was also post Edsa Revolution when he was asked to go toManilato undergo a series of interview to identify his proficiency.

He was not assigned to the engineering unit when he became a junior officer in 1987 as a civil engineering graduate would have most likely been assigned to.

Instead, he became the Platoon Leader or the company commander of 64th Infantry Battalion under the Charlie Predator Company. His company was assigned in Panabo, Laak, andCompostelaValley, which were part of the undivided Davao del Norte, aside from Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental. His group was among the striker company that was asked to go to battle. “Na-assign din kaminoonsaCampAbubakar, pero binalik din kami dito,” Galon noted.

Colonel Galon took up Special Force Specialization Courses for Airborne and Explosive Demolition Course that made him excel as he has pre-knowledge on leadership and war fare tactics. Because of his command authority skills, the problem of land mines used by the leftist are easily solved.

With a slogan in his Infantry that “Everybody goes home”, they make sure that they all will be able to go home not like what happened to other soldiers after a fight that their dignity was lost after they are stripped off their uniforms and their service firearms.

“Gusto ko ang napasukan ko, may sense of adventure, I was also given a leadership command na bininigyan ako ng panahong makahalubilo at makausap ang aking mga tao…to be with them in happiness and in harm’s way,” Galon added.

In 2002-2003, he was called to serve the 54th Engineers Brigade in Manaog, Pangasinan, to help in the construction of roads and in rebuilding Pampanga, the lahar-stricken town.

“I wanted reform, yung concept ng reform sa units, di ko nakikita yun nung nandun ako, kaya umalis ako and rejoined the Infantry,” Galon said.

As a young soldier he was enraptured thinking of being in a war.

“Kalaban ko rin pala kapwa ko Pilipino, that’s what I never realized, kaya now I am doing things that will help my unit to reform and make sure the people in a town we have served will not experience any conflict between the military and instead consider us as friends and allies to change,” Galon said.

Busy with the military’s Bayanihan efforts, like tree planting and coastal clean-ups, he is also inclined to help the indigenous tribes by giving books to schoolchildren in boondocks, and helping with the Brigada Eskwela.

He’d also want to bring Operation Smile to the indigenous children who have cleft palates.

When not at work, he’s just an ordinary guy who loves buying collectible toys and memorabilia from fast food chains.

“May sense of accomplishment kasi pag nabuo mo, hindi ko na siya masyadong nagagawa ngayon pero if I have time I still look for collectible items in flea markets,” Galon added.

In college, he used to collect band posters and jingle magazines, as he loves to sing and play his acoustic guitar.

“Gusto ko talaga bumili ng bass guitarnoonpa, wala pang peranoon, pero ngayon na may pera na, wala naman akong time,” he said.

He lives by the serenity prayer and makes an effort to uphold it. Married to a doctor who is based in the National Capital Region (NCR), Colonel Galon wants to keep his family life private.

Rep. Guillermo Romarate:The David beating Goliaths in Surigao del Norte

Rep. Guillermo Romarate:

The David beating Goliaths in Surigao del Norte

This man can be likened to Biblical character diminutive David who toppled giant Goliath to the ground. Unlike what is written in the Bible, he defeated two Goliaths. But this was through local elections in the province of Surigao del Norte.

Second District Rep. Guillermo “Jun” Romarate won over former Surigao City mayor Alfonso Casurra in the May 2010 national and local elections and in the 2007 midterm elections he was victorious against former Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers.

In the 2007 elections, many are skeptical about the chances of Romarate when he was up against incumbent Surigao del Norte Gov. Barbers. Barbers has a name, Romarate has not. Some dismissed him as an alien (he was alleged to be from Ozamiz). Some are nastier. Accusing him of protector of smugglers and illegal activities.

Election time came and to the surprise of everyone, Romarate beat Barbers by a mile.

Now in 2010, many are saying Romarate’s feat is a fluke (“tsamba lang.”) They were able to say this because they are parading incumbent Surigao City Mayor Casurra. If it is in boxing, Casurra is undefeated, and undisputed king of Surigao, having won as councilor, vice mayor and mayor three times.

For the Romarate haters, this could be it. Surigaonons will definitely vote for their own.

Like in 2007, the issue of Romarate not being a pure Surigaonon is resurrected. This is very evident in the campaign poster of Casurra which banners “My Congressman, kay Surigaonon man” (My Congressman because he is a Surigaonon).

Also, the issue of Romarate’s link to the criminal underworld is again highlighted.

This is it. Romarate is finished.

Casurra was enjoying an early lead in Surigao City and the Romarate haters are rejoicing. However, just like in 2007, the votes in Tubod town, Romarate’s came in. It was a whooping 6,000 plus vote lead, just like in 2007.

It was certainly a knockout punch sending Casurra down the canvass, hard.

Then came, the votes from Bacuag town, the bailiwick of an ally, Mayor Orquina-Cebedo. It gave Romarate a 3,000 votes plus. Casurra was not able to recover.

And so, after the smoke cleared, Romarate was again declared the “undisputed, the undefeated two time champion of the world” in a Michael Buffer style.

Robert Lyndon Barbers, Alfonso Casurra. They are political heavyweights. And they tasted their first defeats from Guillerno Romarate.

The braveness of Romarate in facing the political heavyweights in Surigao del Norte is simply amazing.

His answer to the people’s unselfish support to his candidacy is to initiate a lot of projects for his congressional district – from giving thousands of Philhealth cards to construction of school buildings, road rehabilitation, among others.

Romarate top health benefactor in Caraga

Romarate recently made history as the first high-ranking government official to breach the 30,000 mark as sponsor of Philhealth cards being distributed to indigent families either in a congressional-wide or province-wide scale categories in Caraga Region. The feat earned for him the distinction as the top health benefactor from among the five provinces in the region, it was learned.

Official records from the Philhealth Caraga Regional Office revealed that Cong. Romarate were able to subscribe and distribute 34,000 Philhealth cards to indigent families in the second congressional district of Surigao del Norte which covered the towns of Alegria, Tubod, Mainit, Placer, Bacuag, Gigaquit, Claver, Taganaan, Sison, San Francisco, Malimono and the City of Surigao. He earmarked more than ten million pesos from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) for the largest health benefit coverage in the region’s medical history.

Rodrigo Ariar, Philhealth provincial head of Surigao Del Norte, explained that a Philhealth card given to a single family would usually benefit five members of the household. “So, if we multiply 34,000 by 5, we simply have 170,000 people as direct beneficiaries of the health care program of Cong. Jun Romarate”, Ariar concluded.

Romarate explained that his massive distribution of Philhealth cards to thousands of poor beneficiaries reflected his rare concern for the health aspect of his constituents believing that progress would only start rolling with a healthy people behind it. For him, the true wealth of a nation is its healthy people – apparently putting emphasis, in a large-scale context, to the popular saying “health is wealth”. He stressed that his distribution of the health cards was non-political or had no emphasis on the political affiliations of the recipients.

Kitaotao: The Manobo homeland


Kitaotao: The Manobo homeland

uring the Spanish regime, a Manobo Tribe in Bukidnon, headed by Datu Tayaotao, was known among its neighboring settlements for his bravery and leadership.

When the Spaniards invaded Cotabato, in one of their drives to expand their colonial control over the Philippines, Datu Tayaotao was called upon for help by one Datu Muslim.

The combined forces of the Muslims and Manobo successfully repulsed the Spanish operation.A feast was declared by the Muslim chief to honor and thank Datu Tayaotao and his men.

During the feast, which is celebrated every 24th of September, the Muslim chief offered his only daughter to Datu Tayaotao to be his wife, as a reward and to strengthen the bond of the two tribes.

The wedding took place at Datu Tayaotao’s enclave, followed by a three day feast.

The Muslim Datu, overwhelmed by the gaiety and lavishness of the celebration, proclaimed and called Datu Tayaotao as Datu Kitaotao, the chief of the land of wealth. After his death, the locality was named after Datu Kitaotao.

Places of Interest

Quarry Cave

Harboring a unique ecosystem is the Quarry Cave located at the East Poblacion of Kitaotao, some 2 kms from the center of the Poblacion. The cave network is one characterized by abiotic components of water and the speleothems, such as stalactites, formed continually inside the cave. The cave is a rare kind. It is composed of several interconnected passages and has several ingress and egress which ranges from .60 meter to 19.10 meter in width, and from 1 meter to 6 meters in height.

Seagull Valley Mountain Resort

The untamed beauty of nature is readily experienced at Seagull Valley Mountain Resort where the resort facilities of swimming pools, benches, and day and overnight cottages are decorated with a sprawling garden of beautiful flowers. One is enveloped by its cool breeze, fresh air, and early morning or late afternoon fog while breathing in the spectacular sights seen from the viewing area; or from taking the mountain trail; or from trekking to the spot, some distance from the resort where the pristine waterfalls is nestled. Seagull Valley Mountain Resort is located at Barangay Lorega, Kitaotao; also about an hour and a half’s ride away from Davao City.

Kipilas  Falls

Covered with growth forest is Kipilas Falls located some distance from the Sitio Paraiso proper of Barangay Lorega, Kitaotao; along the Davao-Bukidnon National Highway. It measures 150 feet in height is 150 feet and 2.5 meters in width, and has a discharge of approximately 3.0 cubic meters per second.



MAYOR:              RAFISURA, Rodito B.

VICE MAYOR:   GAWILAN, Lorenzo, Jr. A.




NALA, Villarosa P.






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