August 26, 2007

Steve T. Barreiro

A Man of Action

Barely two months in office, IN Governor Michael Marcos Keon, has demonstrated the leadership which had made him a legend in Philippine Sports. Fast acquiring a reputation as an “action man”, the Governor has begun the overhaul of the PGIN seeking to transform the bureaucratic monolith into a lean, mean machine much more responsive to the needs of the people.

Beset at the onset by the severest drought to hit the province in years, Gov. Keon acted swiftly to marshal the resources of the province to meet the threat by urging the Provincial Board to declare the province under a state of calamity. Immediately after the declaration last August 6, he ordered the PAO (Provincial Agricultural Office) to draw up the rehabilitation plan for the beleaguered farmers affected by the drought and the damage to the irrigation systems wrought by typhoons Chedeng and Dodong.

As of August 23, the PGIN through the PAO has already distributed more than P3 Million in fertilizers and certified seeds (palay) to affected farmers in all the 23 cities and municipalities of the province, with further deliveries scheduled.

This week, the Governor held office at the much maligned GRBASMH. True to his campaign promise to seek improvement in the delivery of basic medical services, the Governor has acted swiftly in order to identify the major areas of concern in the Provincial Hospital. So far, he has held direct dialogues with the doctors, nurses, municipal health workers, and even the patients. Such direct involvement is in keeping with the Governor’s leadership and hands-on style; he has always strived to ascertain the situation firsthand.

Reportedly, last Wednesday afternoon as the Governor was preparing to leave the hospital, an elderly woman patient came up to him in tears and implored him for assistance. Accordingly, the woman needed another operation; however GRBASMH staff could not operate due to the alleged unavailability of anesthetic. Upon appraising the woman’s plight, the Governor questioned the hospital staff and ascertained that there were stocks of anesthetic in “reserve”. He requested that these be released so that the woman could be operated on, promising to personally replenish the used stocks.

This reminds me of the many stories about his generosity and magnanimity during his tenure as the nation;’s sports czar. The story goes that he would go around the track oval to glimpse the athletes training; often he would chance upon athletes running with worn out running shoes or even barefoot. Next day, the athletes would be called to his office and he would present them with brand new shoes without they’re asking. Anybody wonder why the man has engendered loyalty and devotion from his former wards who even to this day respond to a single telephone call from their former boss, to drop everything they’re doing and come to Ilocos Norte to train our athletes for the IRAA competitions

Even the normally recalcitrant and petty media who have focused repeatedly on the length of the Governor’s hair, have been all praises to his initiative in seeking the improvement of the GRBASMH. Finally, they may have realized that we truly have a sincere, hard working Governor who truly has the interests of the province and the people at heart. .

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Copyright 2007 Ilocos Times. All rights reserved.

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