City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III led the conferral of the Dangal Balangueño Award in the 2014 Gabi ng Parangal Para sa mga Natatanging Balangueno held recently at Crown Royale Hotel here.
This year’s awardees were: Dr. Ariel G. Ilaya (Medicine); Amelia A. Anastacio (Business); Engr. Eusebio B. Aquino (Construction Industry); Lorenzo A. Dilig (Farming); Virgilio D. De Leon (Fishing); Hon. Remigio M. Escalada (Government Service); Jose S. Vitanzos, Jr. (Education); Luz T. Dispo (Charity); Norberto C. Gonzales (Overseas Work); and Rolando D. Rosal (Transportation).
“As a matter of fact, I did not expect to receive this award because I still have many things to do for the TODA (tricycle operators and drivers association),” said Rosal, chairman of the Balanga City Federation of TODA.
The leader of the 3,054 tricycle operators revealed that he was surprised of the distinction because he believes he still has many to accomplish for the sector which has been the biggest mode of transportation in the city for decades.
As chairman of the tricycle federation, Rosal pioneered the establishment of the Talyer ng Bayan where drivers could have their tricycles fixed for a “reasonable price and cheaper than those outside.”
He is leading the campaign for the engine conversion of tricycles which use diesel to the cheaper and more environmental-friendly liquefied petroleum gas. He also started the SSS (Social Security System) Alkansya where the drivers can chip in their monthly contribution so they won’t have to queue in SSS and Pag-IBIG.
“I plan now to implement a dress code for all the drivers. I want them to be in proper attire every day,” Rosal said.
Advocacy for inmates
“If you could visit the jail even for just a while, you will see the terrible situation there now. It is very hot,” said former Executive Judge Escalada of Regional Trial Court-Bataan.
Escalada, the Dangal Balangueño awardee for government service, said it has been his advocacy to help the inmates of the provincial jail through medical and dental missions and seminars with the support of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Bataan and non-government organizations.
“It is my advocacy to help the inmates, may they be errant or innocent. After all, they are now inside the jail,” he added.
Serving as executive judge in Bataan from 2004 to 2012, Escalada is now a presiding judge in Caloocan Regional Trial Court while serving also as assistant executive judge in Bataan which helps him to reach out to detainees in the province.
During his eight-year stint here, the Brgy. Puerto Rivas native brought the Justice on Wheels program of the Supreme Court to Bataan which brings mobile courts to conduct brief trials or initiate settlements aimed at making the wheels of justice move faster in local areas.
“This award is not only for me but for my fellow judges, lawyers, legal community, city, and for my family. I hope this (Dangal Balangueño Awards) would continue for a lot of years to come. It encourages all those who are well-meaning in service at the government to work harder,” Escalada said.
Outside the hospital
When Dr. Ilaya, the Dangal Balangueño awardee for medicine, is not in the confines of hospitals and clinic, he is seen meeting with other sectoral leaders to map out plans for the development of Balanga City.
The Ilaya Medical Clinic owner is also the chairman of the Multi-Sectoral Governance Coalition which is composed of leaders from different fields who plan and implement developmental projects that directly benefit citizens like in tourism and transportation.
He led the Run for One Balanga which is touted to be the biggest run for a cause in the history of the city aimed at helping Yolanda victims in Visayas and to fund the projects of the coalition.
“It is a big impact that my work is appreciated and that I am able to help the community. I get the eagerness to work more in civic service,” said Ilaya.
The Dangal Balangueño Awards is an annual activity of the city government intended to give due recognition to outstanding citizens who have rendered exemplary performance and dedication in their respective fields. (JMG/PIA 3, Bataan)