THERE'S a teenager among Talisay City’s councilors. Is he for real? Is he serious? For Eduardo “Digul” Gullas III, yes, he is serious. Which is why he is taking up BSBA in legal management, with law to follow so he can someday be a lawyer.

He had always wanted to be a politician like his grandfather, Congressman Eduardo Gullas, who is his idol. But that he is a councilor today was unplanned. It happened, he said, on the last day of the filing for certificates of candidacy, which also happened to be the birthday of his older brother, Samsam.

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At Samsam’s birthday celebration, among the topics discussed was the fact that no one wanted to follow in his grandpa’s footsteps. It occurred to Digul, then, to ask about the minimum age requirement for a councilor. That was when Congressman Eddie perked up, got his people to find out and pretty soon, the party was over in order to rush 18-year-old Digul’s candidacy for a council seat in Talisay. And the rest, as they say, is history: Digul topped the councilors’ slate. He is the youngest councilor in Philippine history.

Digul looks like an ordinary kid, baby-faced and with a ‘60’s Beatle mop hairstyle. He has clear, dusky complexion and an endearing smile. And, yes, he has girlfriend. Asked what his plans are as councilor of Talisay, he said he is chairperson for the youth sector; and for that he plans more sports clinics and sports leagues to take the youth away from drugs and other senseless pursuits.

He is also vice chairman for education and health. For education, he says the thing is to improve and strengthen Talisay City College, which has made it possible for children of tricycle drivers to have a college education.

For health, he wants improved health clinics and birthing centers as there is a law that says births should be done in proper clinics or hospitals, not at home which is still the practice in some rural areas.

He is also chairman on women’s concerns, a chairmanship he says he is unprepared for.

So this interview had to be done in 15 minutes flat because he had to hurry, meet up with grandpa Eddie to consult him on what he, Digul, can do for this sector. As he said: ”I’m still learning the ropes. We have plans, but nothing concrete.”

As for his goal in politics, he reiterates ”Grandpa is my idol.

He is the perfect example of leadership for service, not foe power. Someday, I hope I can say I am a leader for service, not for power.”