PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte recently appointed Davao City Social Services Development Office (CSSDO) Buhangin District head Norman Baloro and 2014 Ramon Magsaysay award recipient Randy Halasan as commissioners for the Presidential Commission for Urban Poor (PCUP).
Both of their names were up in the air after the President booted out commissioners in the PCUP due to anomalies like corruption allegations and junkets or lavish foreign trips.
Baloro, a former child on the streets, 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.
Meanwhile, 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.
Here in Davao City, we saw how their efforts paved way to help the alleviate the poor. For example, famers, coffee and grain mills, a seed bank, and livestock thrived in the far flung village of Pegalungan through the help of Halasan.
With their background and the nature of their job, we can be assured that Halasan and Baloro has a wide knowledge and understanding of what the poor really needs.
However, coupled with high expectations, we hope that both will continue to do what is right and not be affected by anyone who is corrupt.
We know both will do great things for our nation and for our brothers and sisters who are barely making ends meet.