DABAWENYOS from fields of social service and education were selected to fill in vacant positions in the Presidential Commission for Urban Poor (PCUP) Commissioners.
Davao City Social Services Development Office (CSSDO) Buhangin District head Norman Baloro and 2014 Ramon Magsaysay award recipient Randy Halasan were appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to replace PCUP officials who were fired due to informal actions.
The President named the new appointees last January 16, 2018.
Baloro, in a media forum, said that he had mixed emotions having been appointed as one of the new commissioners.
“To be honest, I am having mixed-emotions, I only wished for myself a decent job - I remember dreaming of becoming head of CSSDO. I was working to prove that I am worthy of that position but I was given something bigger," he said.
He admitted that he thought it was fake news at first and up to the moment, during the media forum yesterday, he said that everything has yet to sink in.
During the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Party on December 2017, the president, who was the guest of honor, made a pronouncement that he would want to have an LGBT to work at PCUP.
"The LGBT Davao Coalition nominated me and then when the Presidential Management Staff called me if I am willing to give up my present post once I am appointed, I said yes. So it started through that confirmation but I go through with the process," Baloro said.
Baloro started his work in the city government as a volunteer, a Youth Services Coordinator under the Davao City Social Services and Development Office, in a Badjao community at Isla Verde. After a year, he was given a regular position.
He has been working in the city for more than 15 years.
In a previous interview, he said that he did not expect to be assigned as district head and also to be awarded as the most outstanding district head in Davao City in 2014.
Baloro was also the only registered social worker sent out by the city to help in Leyte after Typhoon Yolanda hit.
Under Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, he leads the LGBT group.
Aside from Baloro another appointee of the president is Randy Halasan.
Halasan is a school teacher who received Ramon Magsaysay award last 2014, for taking part in educating the Matigsalug Tribe in Sitio Pegalugan, Marilog District with agricultural techniques. He taught them to plant cash crops like cacao, coffee, fruit trees, in addition to growing root crops for their consumption.
Halasan's relationship with the sitio started in January 8, 2007 when he was assigned to the Pegalungan Elementary School. It was in 2010 when he started to teach residents on agricultural techniques.
In 2015, through Halasan's effort, the once-neglected village in Pegalungan thrived with farms, coffee and grain mills, a seed bank, and even livestock.