The country’s senior bank executives hailed the dramatic changes of Pangasinan under the leadership of Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr.
Gov. Espino wowed the bankers from the major banking institutions following his speech as guest speaker of the general membership meeting of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAIPhil) on January 27, 2009 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
BAIPhil Director and Banco De Oro Private Bank First Vice President Agnes Santos said that BAIPhil members were so impressed with the transformation of Pangasinan when they heard the governor’s speech followed by an audio-visual presentation entitled “Pangasinan’s Golden Age.”
The governor was invited by BAIPhil to share his experience in the pursuit of excellence in governance in the province.
In his speech, the governor recalled the nagging question that stared him in the face upon assumption as governor: How could the provincial government of Pangasinan operate and respond to the needs of its constituents with a demoralized bureaucracy, dysfunctional machinery and decrepit buildings and facilities?
He said that the job at hand looked enormous and simply overwhelming but as the governor, he had no choice but to confront the problem head-on. “The primary task was to put the house in order,” he said.
For the next one and a half years, he and his trusted aides worked tirelessly thru extended hours, with a sense of urgency and with a passion, single-minded focus and dedication to attend to the things that had been neglected for so long.
The difficult and daunting part of the job was transforming the mindset and culture of the provincial government bureaucracy from indifference and non-performance to professionalism and excellence, and in restoring their dignity and self-respect as public servants.
The provincial government had to be mindful that each employee deserves recognition, respect, adequate compensation and reasonable incentives.
In a span of 18 months, the salaries of the employees were increased two times and were given several opportunities to mingle with their fellow employees in other departments thru overnight team-building sessions. Today, the provincial employees who commute from different parts of the province enjoy the services and comfort of seven shuttle buses that bring them every day from home to work and vice versa.
Today, the Pangasinan capitol stands out as the best in the entire country where employees are proud of their work, proud of their province and proud to belong to the provincial government of Pangasinan, the governor pointed out.
Now with better buildings and facilities, more conducive working conditions backed up by an inspired and well-motivated workforce and the growing trust and confidence of the people in their provincial government, Pangasinan is ready to tackle the real more challenging task ahead, he said. He called on the civil society to do their share.
“We know we can only do that by continually outdoing our own best efforts, and providing leadership and direction. Leadership means taking risks, thinking out of the box and daring to be different,” the governor said.