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  • Writer's pictureKristel Cawas-Baruzo

Story of Engr. Batalao: 3-Decade-Long DPWH-District Engr. runs for councilor in Pasil

Updated: Apr 24, 2022


It is true that as you come to an age, even if you are retired, you’d always have the heart to go back to and serve your roots. This was the sentiment of Engineer Eugene Batalao, Sr., which made him decide to run for councilor in his hometown Pasil to dedicate his time and expertise to his birthplace.


Before returning home, he took a path of learning and discovery honing his skills as a professional, an individual, and a true public servant to the government he served.


“Two years ko laeng ngamin a nagsirbi kas public servant ditoy Kalinga, ket tattan kayat ko met nga i-extend ti serbisyo publiko ditoy Pasil,” he expressed in a statement, relating his work being a government servant at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for more than 36 years.

The 6th of seven children, Eugene recalled his primary years as a pupil of Dangtalan Elementary School, saying back then they had to hike without slippers just to attend their classes.


Having grown in the area, hard life became normal to kids his age during those days. It was a different world back then he said, “walking in village trails was no big deal.”

“Narigat iti sitwasyon idi, especially for us during our younger years a talaga a magmagna kami. These challenges made me understand the importance of education,” he said.


As a child at that time, Engr. Batalao has only one goal, that is to finish his studies. And he did it with his parents continuously inspiring and encouraging him to do his best in school so that someday he shall become successful.


After finishing his university, with a bachelor degree of Science in Civil Engineering at Baguio Colleges Foundation, the goal became larger. Following completion of his education, he got himself a decent job to feed a family and served the Department of Public Works and Highways in various provinces. Nevertheless, he said it was always on his mind to be an elected public servant.

Eugene, when he was in his early thirties, married Corazon Gayawet, a maiden from Galdang, Pasil. They have five children. Before his first born, Dexter was born in 1985, he entered DPWH-Apayao 1st District Engineering Office (DEO) in 1984 as Civil Engineer - the entry budgetary position during that time, and was assigned at the Maintenance Section as Area Engineer.


With hardwork and perseverance, he was promoted to Senior Civil Engineer equivalent to Engineer II (Cory Administration) and was assigned at the Planning and Design Section of the same District Office in 1993.

According to testaments of his colleagues and superior, his love, passion and dedication for his job eventually made him the Chief of the Construction Section (Engineer III) of the same District Office in 1995.


In the long run, Batalao worked as an Acting Assistant Head to OIC-Assistant DE to Assistant DE at the DPWH Apayao 2nd DEO from 1998 to 2002. Then he went on to become the head of various District Engineering Offices in the Cordillera Region (Ifugao, Apayao, Region CAR, Kalinga) including Batangas in 20 straight years.

‘It’s time to give back and make a change’


Engr. Batalao in an interview said that he worked in Kalinga for two years as a public servant. For him, the duration to serve his roots was not enough. He expressed that if he had more years, he would continue serving the yKalingas. Batalao retired as DE from DPWH-Upper Kalinga DEO at the age of 65, the mandatory retirement age for government employees.


The engineer did not forget how he can help with the development of the province particularly his hometown, Pasil especially regarding the road condition there.

“With perseverance, hard work, discipline and the dream of having a better future, I was able to finish my studies. All these sacrifices, like all the other students did during my time, have paid off inggana idi naging engineer nak; ket kunak with this blessing, it’s time I have to give back and make a change,” Batalao said.


Running for Councilor


To give back, Batalao made up his mind to run for Councilor in Pasil to push for the development of the municipality, especially on road connectivity. He added that he shall support and assist the Local Chief Executive to lobby for funds for the opening and improvement of more roads to access the villages of Pasil.

His experience in building road networks for 36 long years, he said, made him understand the importance of roads to connect villages and barangays to the center as well as to the main motorways to speed up transport and mobility which shall open up more businesses.


“Without road networks, basic services would be difficult to be availed or delivered,” he explained.


He further said that when road connectivity is improved or accomplished, this will have a ripple-effect on the progress of Pasil.


“My vision and dream for Pasil is for our barangays there to progress and develop through improvement of infrastructures. We need reliable road connectivity stir up economic activity. These shall likewise open up easy access to education, health services and other important social benefits."

He hopes that the yPasil will discover his competence, give him support and chance to pursue what he dreams for Pasil.


"Iti pangtrabaho tayo ti gobyerno kas maysa nga inhenyero, ado met ti naaramidan tayo. I headed the most improved District Engineering Office in my stint at the DPWH Ifugao 1st DEO. That award was given by the Department of Public Works and Highways - Central Office in December 17, 2009 for our performance. I hope that I can also do the same things for Pasil,” he said.



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