Playing with Fire
My next journey in public service
By Gonzalo Duque
AS I write this column, I was about to embark on a trip to New York to attend the opening of the SSS representative office at the Philippine Embassy there on June 20.
You know, I have tendered my resignation as SSS Commissioner on April 4 but up to this time, my resignation has not yet been accepted. So, this explains this trip. I hope it will be successful.
But on the other hand, I hesitate to leave. You know why?
While I was making my way to the airport, a beautiful lady friend of mine and her equally beautiful amigas came to send me off. Thanks to them, with my newly-found fitness the proof of which is my trimmed body, minus the protruding belly of old, and our usual sound mind, we literally conquered the process of aging.
It is as if I have regained my youth, my stamina, my vitality. That is the problem now. Some ladies now mistake me as a 30- year old or something.
Unfortunately, the lady I am talking about is very much married. So, I may have to wait for a long time, until she gets widowed. I figure out that if that ever comes, it will already be too late, I may be already dead too.
So, I just have to meet her in another life, in another form. He, he, he! Love is like a bed of roses, you know. Just kidding!
* * * *
Levity aside, I hope to stay abroad for 35 days unless it is shortened by the signing of my appointment papers for another government position, this time as the administrator and vice chairman of the national board of the Philippine Coconut Authority.
You know, when I resigned as Commissioner of SSS, which is yet to be accepted, anyway, the corporate counsel of the Government Owned and Controlled Corporations interviewed me preparatory to giving me another post.
I was told that the Office of the Special Assistant to the President and the Presidential Management Staff recommended me to these posts that will put me in a better position to do something for the progress and development of the Philippine coconut industry
That appointment papers had not come before my trip. Maybe upon my return.
* * * *
I have talked with all the SSS commissioners and officials about my resignation and I sensed that they do not want me to leave. I don’t know why and what’s up in their minds.
Other SSS commissioners and officials, like Manny Dooc, president; Commissioner Pompie Lavinia and Dean Amado Valdez, chairman, had tendered their respective resignations and were immediately accepted.
I don’t know why they have to delay the acceptance of my resignation.
I have to confess that I really do not want to be in government anymore. I just want to spend the rest of my life seeing the beautiful roses blooming elegantly in the rose garden of my heart. Pero mukhang hindi ito mangyayari with my pending appointment to head the PCA.
As PCA administrator, I hope to make a difference in the lives of thousands of coconut workers and growers and all those depending on it all over the country. We could spur the planting of more coconuts to sustain the needs of our export market and our own industries dependent on coconuts.
I pray to God to help me, guide me so I can handle efficiently and effectively our new mission in our next journey in public service.
* * * *
By the way, while in the U.S., I will touch base with alumni of Lyceum Northwestern University now working in varied professions and living in America. I was tasked by LNU Board of Regents and its faculty and staff to invite our alumni to come and join us during our 50th Anniversary from September to October.
On this occasion, we are expecting the Commission on Higher Education to award us our certificate as a new autonomous university, which is a recognition of our proven excellence in the area of education as well as in researches and extension works.
We thought that during our Golden Year, it would be the appropriate time for LNU alumni all over the world to stage a grand homecoming as well as reunion. MABUHAY LNU!
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