Aquino hails ex-jeepney barker

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Friday, May 16, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III lauded Thursday a former jeepney barker who worked for seven years and is now a call center supervisor.

Aquino earlier expressed admiration to the 25-year-old Mark Joseph Escora through Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Director-General Joel Villanueva, but this time he did it personally.

The President was in Sagay City Thursday to inaugurate the P313-million Himogaan Bridge and Access Road.


"Simula pa lang ng ating panunungkulan, sinikap na nating itaguyod ang malawakang kaunlaran sa Pilipinas—mula sa mga lungsod na sentro ng komersyo, at lalo na sa mga komunidad at lalawigang sagana sa Pilipinong masipag, maabilidad, at handang kunin ang anumang dumarating na oportunidad, tulad po ni Mark Joseph Escora," Aquino said in his speech.

Escora was seated in the front row along with Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center (NOLITC) head Ma. Crisitina Orbecido.

"Mark, alam mo kinukuwento ka sa akin ni Joel Villanueva. Sabi nga kanina ni Governor Freddie (Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Maranon Jr.) mula barker ng jeep, ngayon raw ay supervisor ka na yata at ma-propromote pa. At kapag kinausap ka raw ni Joel, eh parang galing ka sa ibang bansa at ‘wursh-wursh’ ka na raw ngayon. [Laughter] Kung tama tanda ko, sinabi ho ni Joel, something to the effect na, ‘Have you ever been to any other country?’ And your answer was something to the effect of, ‘No, just here.’”

Escora is a polio victim and a former jeepney barker (one who calls passengers to ride a jeep) who became a call center agent and was recently promoted as escalation supervisor at PanAsiatic Solutions.

The story of Escora was featured in a three-minute video that won Best in Video-School category of the 1st Tatak Tesda Video Making Contest.

Escora did the voicing in the video. It was NOLITC’s entry to the Tesda's video contest.

Villanueva awarded NOLITC a trophy and check worth P250,000 for its training for work scholarship program, and awarded Escora a trophy and a Samsung tablet during the awarding ceremonies at the Pagcor Grand Theater in Paranaque last May 1.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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