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A Dynamic Public Servant

“Persistence makes all the difference,” this anecdote has been proven by a career executive officer as she raised the bar of the Cagayan Valley’s trade, industry and entrepreneurship standards. 

She is not only a leader, not only a career-oriented woman...she is an empowered, passionate and output-oriented public servant.

Director Romleah Juliet Pulido-Ocampo was appointed as the Regional Director of the Department of Trade and Industry Region 2 in 2019. Her early stint was not at all a bed of roses. She was barely seven months in her post when the global pandemic emerged.

For her, the situation was really challenging considering that their clientele, the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), are the most vulnerable in the prolonged COVID-19 protocol restrictions. However, the agency, which she heads, accomplished and managed to balance priorities and unfavorable circumstances. 

Aside from the pandemic, her leadership was also tested by fortuitous events like destructive typhoons and floods  which affected almost 2,000 MSMEs in the region. 

Amidst all of these, Director Leah initiated unique programs and projects that benefitted many small entrepreneurs to get back on track. 

One of her meritorious initiatives was the introduction of the  ‘Buy Local’ program to local government units and regional line agencies. The program enjoins all government instrumentalities to set aside 10% of their procurement budget for the purchase of local MSME products as a way to sustain the business, especially during the height of the pandemic. 

The initiative gained resounding applause from various sectors including the Asian Development Bank and the United Nation (UN) Women. The program also strongly obtained a Regional Development Council (RDC) Resolution that mandated the issuance of Local Ordinances and Memorandum Orders to institutionalize the Advocacy. 

“Seeing this as a trailblazing initiative, the DTI had recently adopted such advocacy as one of the breakthrough goals of the Department for the entire country,” Director Leah said. 

She was also the person behind the reorganization of the Regional Bamboo Industry Development Council that paved the way for the first organized and synchronized bamboo planting programs across the entire region, particularly in the municipalities along the Cagayan River which are annually inundated by floods. 

Director Leah also engaged the support of the LGUs for the issuance of local ordinances to institutionalize the bamboo industry development programs in different municipalities and cities in the region. 

With these initiatives, DTI Head Office recently appointed Director Leah as the National Industry Cluster Coordinator for the Bamboo Industry. 

She also instituted an aggressive and quick response mechanism to market farm produce during bumper harvests, especially during natural calamities and the recent pandemic. Dubbed as the ‘Walang Sayang Project’, the program transcended farm-to-market delivery challenges by partnering with online payment schemes including the and GrabPay. 

The system provides online product ordering, cashless payment system, and door-to-door deliveries. 

“With this program, we were able to onboard farmers to cashless payment apps and drastically reduced the wastage of farm produce,” she added. 

The lady director, with her wide experience and expertise in export promotion, was very much instrumental in making the export market for Region 2 vibrant which led the region to export a number of commodities for the first time.  

With the numerous programs the region had implemented through her leadership, DTI R2 is the only regional office that obtained the highest rating from the Commission on Audit (COA) for the third consecutive time since 2019.  The cost-effective measures employed by the agency ensured that each expenditure and the resources were allocated to activities that yield the greatest return not only to the agency but more so to its clientele. 

In March of 2022 at the height of her advocacies for entrepreneurial development, she was conferred with Career Executive Service Officer (CESO) III rank. 

With these extraordinary accomplishments and exemplary performance as a civil servant, her extraordinary passion and dedication definitely make her a valuable asset to the trade and industry sector, not only for her region but for the country as well. She is now doubt, the matron of a dynamic public service.#(OTB/ALM/JKC/PIA Region 2)

About the Author

Oliver Baccay

Information Officer IV

Region 2

  • Assistant Regional Director, Philippine Information Agency Region 2
  • Graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication 
  • Graduate of Master of Arts in Education, major in English
  • Graduate of Doctor in Public Administration

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