Embracing change

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Under the sun, there is a season that keeps everyone turning. As Ecclesiastes says, there is a time to be born and a time to die. A time for merry-making and a time to mourn. A time to build and a time to remain still.

The people of Negros Oriental gave the late Gov. Agustin “Tuting” Perdices his rite of passage last Tuesday. Judging from photographs posted on Facebook by Alex Pal and Judy Flores-Partlow, the funeral procession was well attended from all walks of life.

A cursory glance at the D Metropost’s Vox Populi reveals how people close to him and his family are missing Tuting badly. Hurting so bad or just hugely awed by Tuting’s exemplary life as a public servant. Alex captioned his posts with “burial of a great public servant…worthy of emulation”.

To paint Tuting with words, here he is in the eyes of his peers and admirers. Man of ‘honesty and integrity…untainted with graft and corruption.”– Archbishop Angel Lagdameo. “Total devotion to serve the common tao.”– PNP Sr. Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas. “A dedicated public servant.” — Roy T. Cang. “Transparent governance.”– Atty. Gloria Futalan. An epitome of the dictum “a public office is a public trust.”–Woodrow Maquiling. “Kurakot was never in his agenda…an endangered specie in Philippine politics.”– Dr. Rico Absin. Going around serving the public “…without bodyguards.”– Atty. Manuel R. Arbon and Rene Genove. “A rare breed of a man.”–Baby T. Armogenia. “A superior public servant.”–Fr. Gamaliel Tulabing. “His commitment to serve. despite personal odds.”–SU President Ben Malayang III. “His generous support for the University’s CSR in undertaking community projects such as the Dumaguete Adventure Marathon, Banica Atong Suba, and the Manjuyod Experiment.– FU President Mira D. Sinco. “Kasaligan in public service.”–Newly-installed Gov. Roel Degamo.

Everything turns around in spite of the emotional hangover. There is a season to lose and a season to gain. Time to let go, and time to embrace the change. Behold, the old is new at the Provincial Capitol. There is a changeover in the stewardship of the provincial ship of state from Tuting to Gov. Roel Degamo.

Contemplating on it, there is a generational change from the late Gov. Agustin “Tuting” Perdices to Gov. Roel Degamo. Tuting was 76 when he passed away. Roel is 44 as he assumes the mantle of provincial leadership.

Born in 1935, Perdices belonged to “The Builders” generation. Born in 1967, Degamo belongs to Generation X. Another generation, The Baby Boomers (mid-1940’s > mid-1960’s) separate them.

This is the game-changing situation that the provincial government is breaking into. The old leadership is receding, while the new is emerging into full view.

The change will spell the difference between crisis and opportunity. It will be in a crisis in the provincial leadership if the new fail in filling up the power vacuum left gaping by the passing of the old leadership.

On the other hand, an opportunity presents itself to the new, daring it to step into a new brave world for her people.

True to the defining qualities of his generation, Governor Perdices was dutiful, frugal, and had a strong sense of right and wrong in the exercise of his responsibilities as a public servant.

It will do well for the new Governor to build the foundation of his stewardship on these unchanging ethical value of the old.

This is very relevant in the light of President Aquino’s mantra for good governance “walang mahirap kung walang corrupt.”

Mooring his governance on the old values will temper his tendency to change for sake of change — which is one of the defining qualities of Gen X.

Gen X’ers experience frequent changes in fashionand technology in their lifetimes, and have learned to embrace that the only constant is change. They are familiar with computers and mobile phones evolving from luxury items into affordable necessities. They are knowledgeable with their potential to various field of human activities and governance.

Time was when the provincial leadership was accessible only to a few political heavyweights. Time was when the people embraced them somehow to govern the Province right into their ripe age, rarely wondering where all the young leaders have gone.

Time was and is when the local governments was always hopelessly-dependent on the national government in delivering the basic services to the people.

Now, a new age is dawning. A political non-entity belonging to Gen X is at the helm of the provincial leadership by a quirk of fate in legal succession.

Being an Xer, it is hoped that Governor Degamo will bring outside-the-box thinking into the provincial leadership. Gen X is creative. Gen X is innovative.

Let Roel bring them on in laying down his vision, programs, and projects for the rest of his three-year term. Let the Governor use digital technology to get Negros Oriental future-ready.

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