This week’s Saturday Success Story does what most people stay away from: politics. He has dedicated a lot of his time in helping people in many different ways possible such as improving their lives, giving them opportunities to experience various trainings, educating them and most of all showing them the way that politics and sincerity really go together.
At his young age, this week’s featured guest has done what most of the politicians are just in the planning stage. He believes that putting a plan into action and implementing them for the good of the people is a stronger way to be “one” with the people. His heart is big enough to accommodate anybody who needs some help. If a neighbor is in need of a cup of sugar, he will literally go way and beyond to supply that needy neighbor with more than a cup of sugar. He will go out of his way to make sure that everybody is taken cared of, especially in his own barangay (a neighborhood). That is why, it was no surprise when he was asked by his neighbors to represent their interests and become their community leader, becoming THE YOUNGEST elected Barangay Captain (a neighborhood leader) in the entire Philippines!
He is the pride not only of his own neighborhood, but also of the entire Region III for being the youngest yet one of the smartest politicians to head the league of neighborhoods in the entire region which comprises of several provinces. His work speaks louder than his words. When he says he’d do things for the sake of the people, his people know and trust his words.
He is what we can call the “hope” and the “future” of the Philippine Government.
He wants to be crystal-clear in all of his dealings.
He wants to be honest and will fight for what is the best for his townspeople.
At his young age, where he coud have been in the club scene or still unsure about his future, he chooses to carve his own path. He listens to his people and his people respect him. He is well-known and well-loved by them. He is their hope. They put their trust on him. They believe in him. And he knows, he will deliver what the people needs from him.
This is MR. JOHN PATRICK AGUSTIN in his own words:
AMS: Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currenly involved in.
PA: I am the first born of the two children of Neil Tan Agustin and Mylene Santos Riparip, born on March 13, 1985 in Camiling, Tarlac. I have attended grade school at the Camiling Central Elementary School (CCES) and went to Tarlac College of Agriculture-LHS to finish my secondary education. I took AB Philosophy and Human Resources Development at the San Beda College in Manila and also finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration at the Trinity University of Asia. I am currently taking Bachelor of Laws (Juris Doctor) in Manila.
After my graduation in 2006, I have worked as a Recruitment Specialist at HSBC in Makati, Philippines but I had to leave the Company so soon because I had to run my father’s campaign in 2007 as he bids for the Mayoral Position in Camiling, Tarlac.
From there, I was elected unopposed as the Barangay Captain of Poblacion I and became the President of the Liga ng mga Barangay Camiling Chapter. As the President of the Camiling Chapter, I represented the town and became the elected Provincial Chapter President of the Liga ng mga Barangay making me an Ex-officio Board Member of the Province of Tarlac.
Being a Provincial President of the Liga ng mga Barangay Tarlac Chapter, I became the youngest elected President of Central Luzon (REGION III) covering the Provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales with a total of 3102 Barangays which gave me a seat in the L n B National Chapter as the youngest Board of Director at the age of 25.
AMS: You have been very active in the political scene in the Philippines. At what age did you realize you are going to be seriously involved for the sake of our countrymen? What is your philosophy as a young politician?
PA: I grew up with a family that has been serving our townspeople for decades but I seriously have never thought of getting myself involved in politics until I was elected as a Barangay Captain at the age of 25.
“A good leader must be a good follower” being young is sometimes a hindrance to effectively become a good leader, but for you to be followed by anybody, you must make them feel that you are doing things not just for them but also for yourself, by thus you would instill in them that your intention is good for everybody.
AMS: Did having a municipal mayor for a father influence you a lot? What did you learn from him?
PA: In terms of entering public service, it is not my father who influenced or convinced me to do so, my neighbors actually convinced me to run for the position.
My father would always tell me and my brother to be humble, respectful and always be willing to offer a helping hand to other people, that in public service, you always give your best for the best interest of the people and see to it that you carry out programs beneficial for the majority.
AMS: Now that you work almost very closely with your father in the town of Camiling, how is it like to work with your father?
PA: I and my father share the same vision for our town so we always jive together and became good partners in formulating methods to effectively address the concerns of our kababayans.
It sometimes feels awkward that I call my dad “your honor, sir or mayor” when we are on meetings but I am left with no choice but to say the words to show them that in work and in the office, we are not Father and Son.
AMS: At this point in your political life, what are some of your greatest achievements? What are some of the most successful projects you have done for the youth and for the town?
PA: Since I was sworn into Office on January 14, 2011 as the Regional President of the Liga ng mga Barangay I am empowered to settle cases and controversies involving the manner of election of Barangay Captains in my jurisdiction. I have promulgated a decision on the case of Mangahas V Ponce in the Liga ng mga Barangay Municipality of Hermosa, Bataan, and it was affirmed by the Justice Committee of the L n B National, Impressed by the decision I have promulgated, it is now a landmark case used by other chapters to settle controversies with the same issues observing the principle of Stare Decisis in Statury Construction.
As for the municipal and provincial chapters, I have successfully raised funds to support our colleagues in the L n B on their medical expenses and have raised funds for death benefits.
I with the support of my father also regularly conduct “Libreng Gupit” (Free Hair Cut) for all the students once in every quarter so they can save money for their other school expenses by giving them free haircuts.
AMS: In going for these achievements, who helped you? Did you have any mentor or somebody who inspired you to become who you are now? Who are/were your motivators?
PA: My friends whom I have met during my Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) years helped me to put all my plans to reality, they are Giles Castillo, Romeo Primero Jr. and Yedelilah Miguel, they are always ready to put my visualization into reality.
The greatest mentor I had is my paternal grandfather, Lolo Martin. I remember when we were kids, he would always tell me that I should always put into my heart what I am doing, mahirap daw gumawa ng isang bagay kung pilit (it is actually difficult to do work if your heart is not into it). So when he told me that I should take dentistry for college, I told him my heart tells me that I want to become a Lawyer not a Dentist.
My father is also an inspiration to me, by performing his duties well and his efforts to address the needs of our kababayans (townsmen). He won on his bid for re-election on his 2nd term as the Mayor of Camiling in 60 Barangays (our town has 61 brgys.) garnering a difference of more than 15 thousand votes against the other candidate setting a record high in Camiling Electoral History.
Now that I am already in politics, I always give my best to my constituents wholeheartedly and observing governance with transparency.
AMS: If, you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful – what are they?
PA: The most important skill that one should possess is the ability to become adaptable so that he can easily cope with abrupt changes and have a logical mindset so he can foresee the effects of his actions.
AMS: How about being a young politician, what are the three things that somebody should have in order to thrive in this industry (and not just become popular)?
PA: 1. Must have ears to listen 2: Must have eyes to see and 3. Must have the heart and hands to reach out.
AMS: While growing up what were your dreams? Have you reached all of them? If not yet, what are you doing to achieve them?
PA: When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a super-hero like that of Spiderman, Batman, Spiderman but as I grow older I realized that they are like lawyers in real life, protecting the rights of the people. So I told myself that I should become a Lawyer someday. I know I am still in the process of reaching for it. As I mentioned earlier I am currently enrolled in Law School to fulfill my dream while also doing public service.
AMS: What are your next goals? For yourself and for the town?
PA: My concentration is into becoming a lawyer. This I must say that one should not set a goal on his political career that is by only enriching oneself. It is not a craft. Politics should always be defined as service in the paramount interest of the people and for the people.
The barangay is the smallest political unit and it is the most neglected yet overused part in the Philippine Bureaucracy. Being the representative of the barangay officials to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and to the National Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, I would like my constituents to enjoy the benefits that were provided in the Local Government Code. We have already submitted a resolution to the Congress of the Philippines urging them to legislate and amend the provisions of the code so that the Barangays would enjoy the benefits provided by the law and hopefully before my term ends. I hope that it will be accorded to us.
AMS: Do you think you’ll be in the political scene for a long time? What are some of your long-term goals?
PA: I can never tell if I would be in Politics for a long time, only the voters would dictate how long can I stay.
My long term goal is to implement a scheme that would not only be beneficial in one barangay but Camiling as a whole. The idea is to amend or review the Comprehensive Land Use Program by strategically planning the proper zoning that will strengthen the potential of the town of Camiling to become a business hub in the Western part of Tarlac Province while preserving the rich culture of Camilenos.
AMS: Do you have any advice to get better at whatever somebody is doing?
PA: My mom inculcated in my mind that patience and perseverance would help me reach the top. I think that is the best arm on the road to success.
AMS: Finally, what is your definition of success.
PA: Success for me is achieving your goals without hurting anyone and reaching out your hands to other people when you are already at the top.
Daily with you,
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