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E/MDM 2015 Student Response by Jethro Sabariaga

17 February 2016 - December 6 marked the graduation day for AIM's Batch 2015. Below is the transcript of Atty. Jethro Sabariaga's E/MDM Student Response on behalf of E/MDM 2015.

E/MDM 2015 Student Response

The President of the Asian Institute of Management, Jikyeong Kang, Dean Juan Miguel Luz of the Masters Development Management Program, Deans of the respective programs, our Program Director, Dr. Rufo Mendoza, faculty and staff, fellow graduates, guests, family, loved ones, and friends, good morning.

I am a public servant in the Department of Finance. I seize the initiative to improve a little each day, in the way I am, in the way I work, in the way I care.

I strive for excellence in everything I do. By the constant search of professionalism, by the pursuit of competence, by the observance of teamwork.

I take the lead and serve, by putting country above self, by showing concern for others, by thinking of myself last.

I think and act to ensure integrity in the way I live, the efficiency of the work I do, the effectiveness of the service I render.

I believe that God is my father who cares for and loves me always.

These are the tenets we hold true which have fueled us to finish this degree of Executive Master in Development Management. Yes, my dear batchmates. Should you find time to do a cost-benefit analysis of the program, and taking into consideration opportunity costs, as aptly explained by our esteemed economics professor, you will find that from a personal interest point of view, there is something else than personal gain that was at stake.

We came knowing that AIM is an institute of excellence, and that it will take a lot from us. Mostly from time that we probably devote to our personal lives, family and friends. The kind of things that improve the quality of life of a public servant working in a severely undermanned bureaucracy.

Unlike most students in this institution, 45 of us came here purely for the pursuit of improvement of public service. We do not entertain any career improvements or options after we graduate, we do not entertain any idea that our market value in our respective workplaces or anywhere else will be improved, we did not entertain any idea that we’ll be able to be richer businessmen after the program.

In basketball, Michael Jordan is associated with the phrase, "for the love of the game". I guess for us, though we were really not able to articulate it, we came here and shed God’s greatest gift - time, tears and a lot of heartaches “for the love of public service". 

And strived we did. The hardest struggle of course, was oftentimes, we were confused why, even if we thought we were doing the right things, we are being made to answer for faults and mistakes we did not even know were there. It seems that the world was existing and thinking in a different plane of logic other than ours. The harder professors hit, the harder we defended the status quo and the logic that established it there. The hardest part came when the world’s logic started to make sense. The paradigms we held true no longer seemed consistent and inviolable. The funny thing is that when learning set in. We learned to listen and discern. In the process of listening and discerning comes a flurry of skills that are necessary for “sense-making”.  After sense-making came the process of deconstruction and root-cause analysis. After all, we cannot expect to solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking that got us there in the first place- Of course that was a poor reprisal of Einstein, for fear of plagiarism.

The allegory of the cave goes to tell that the farther people are bound at the back of the cave, all that they see are shadows. I guess in learning the process of deconstruction of dogmas we hold dear in the name of public service, we can bring the torch farther back and lead everyone closer to the light. It is in these process that we, the batch of 2013-2015 can find leverage in our education, and truly find our impact in the organizations we work in, and eventually in public service.

To my batchmates graduating with me now, may we never lose that love for public service. Our existence and essence should find definition in that love and not in any adornments, accolades and adulations that normally blind public servants.

To my equally worthy batchmates, 33 of them still being held captive by the capitol, time and circumstances were in our favor to finish ahead. Thus, may the odds be in your favor. We have come so far from 2 years ago. Let the fire for the public service fuel you through the remaining requirements of the course. 

To EMDM batch 2013-2015, Congratulations. Actually our greatest achievement is not our surpassing the bar of academic requirements set by the Institute. It is simply bearing with each other for that long time under highly stressful circumstances. Surprisingly at the homestretch, and ironically in the IFR, some bridges have to be burned to diffuse tensions. But please rebuild those bridges. Those bridges are necessary for everyone.

To our professors, support staff and faculty assistants, thank you for the learnings and for guiding us along the way. We will meet each other again and we hope we can proudly say by that time, we are better servants, and that is partly because of you.

The members of this batch may not have measured with your stringent standards for distinction, but I assure you, the challenge has been cast and continuing. We will be out to prove we can render better public service even without recognition.

Finally, to our loved ones and our officemates who saw us through this struggle and learning process, thank you for the patience and forbearance. We can now return to a semblance of normal lives and enjoy some quality time with you.

Thank you and Merry Christmas, everyone.


About the Speaker

Jethro Sabariaga.JPGAtty. Jethro Magno Sabariaga is a native of Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. He started his career in public service at a young age of 19 years old, when he entered the Bureau of Internal Revenue as a Security Guard in 1997.

He has since then finished his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from University of the Philippines-Diliman (1998), his Juris Doctor from the Ateneo de Manila School of Law (2002), a degree in Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Philippine School of Business Administration-Quezon City (2005), and his Masters in Development Management (Executive Program, Public Finance) from the Asian Institute of Management (2015). His career in the Bureau has seen him rise from Security Guard to become Assistant Chief of the Litigation Division, and the Excise Taxpayers Regulatory Division, OIC- Revenue District Officer, RDO No. 28, Novaliches, Assistant Regional Director of Quezon City. He also served as Chief-of Staff of the Assistant Commissioner for the Large Taxpayers Service (2008-2010) and Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares, for legal matters (2010-2012).  

A lawyer and an accountant by profession, he is currently the OIC-Regional Director for Revenue Region No. 4 of the Bureau -the youngest in its 111 year history.




That was a very good spech that came from the heart. It's always pleasure to listen to someting like that.
Thank you for it and lots of luck to you and all your students!

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