I AM halfway through my maternity leave, and things are not exactly well in my universe. Career-wise, that is. I distinctly remember, while also on maternity leave with my third child in 2006, I received sad news via text message from my boss, Director Annie Gonzales-Tesoro, who was then in Manila for the SEC Annual Strategic Planning Session, telling me that the Commission is seriously considering moving us to another province where rentals were expectedly cheaper, and where business was reportedly flourishing. It almost cost me bouts with postpartum depression back then.
Fast forward ten years later, on maternity leave with my fourth child, and we’re back in the same sorry boat. The SEC Baguio Extension Office is again threatened with transfer to a location outside of Baguio, or worse, its closure or abolition. We have no idea why of all extension offices it is Baguio that is always threatened this way. Our clients from all over Luzon would attest to the fact that we try our best to deliver prompt and efficient public service. Considering that we are not jurisdictional – that we can and do register and process SEC papers of corporations wherever their principal offices may be, save a few exceptions when it comes to licenses or certificates of authority of lending and financing companies – many clients not only from the Cordillera Region but also Regions I, II, III and even NCR, vouch for the practicality, convenience and pleasure of transacting with our humble office because it also gives them the chance to visit our beloved city, which remains as a top tourist destination (despite all that negative publicity).
I know many other provinces or nearby cities will be more than happy to “adopt” us, but we’re hoping we still get to stay. BEO has been here for 29 years now, and we believe we have thus far provided apt assistance to our clients with what we do, where we are. We at BEO would also like to think we can sustain our operation costs with sufficient net income we earn every year; add to that the fact that we are not a corporate entity that needs to “earn” to sustain our operations, as we are here primarily for public service. We hope that these considerations, and in addition, considerations of ease of doing business, freedom of information, and bringing public service close to the “countryside”, will be enough to help us in this predicament we’re in. Be needing all your prayers and support for this. (firstname.lastname@example.org)