Issue of December 9, 2018

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City Hall’s ‘resident handyman’ gets recognition

Fernan Ballada, the City Hall employee who earned the moniker “resident handyman” found himself in the spotlight last Monday when he received a certificate of recognition for donating skills, time, and effort anew to the city government.

Ballada, now Administrative Aide IV at the City Assessor’s Office singlehandedly fashioned furniture for his office using his own time and resources without charging any fee at all.

The stylish writing tables and benches are now being used by the clients of their office.

The 47-year-old Ballada, also a rescue volunteer, had done a number of odd jobs for the city government in his 29 years of working for the city government – all for free.

This time around, City Assessor Maria Almaya Addawe did not let his generosity pass without being acknowledged and together with Mayor Mauricio Domogan and City Human Resource Development Officer Augustin Laban penned the recognition.

“(This is) in grateful recognition of his service and unselfish support to the beautification and physical improvement of the (CAO),” the certificate states.

“He singlehandedly crafted (the furniture) for clients resulting in savings of government funds. His generous and unsolicited commitment in making these furniture in his own time are worthy of recognition.”

Back when he was still assigned at the Office for Administration, Ballada was the go-to man for handyman and rescue jobs only a man of his diminutive size can pull off.

Ramon Dacawi, former head of the Public Information Office of the city mayor recalled how Ballada’s slim form and jack-of-all-trades abilities made him a hero during rescue jobs.

“Ballada’s thin frame allowed him to extricate the first three landslide survivors at Cresencia Village at the height of Typhoon Pepeng in 2009. His carpentry background enabled him to design plywood coffins for victims who did not make it,” Dacawi noted.

His design was also used as a pattern for the spine boards produced by the barangay disaster management teams during trainings which were later used in calamities also back in 2009 when the city’s disaster fund was meager and the City Disaster Coordinating Council could not afford modern equipment, according to Dacawi.

Made out of inch-thick plywood, the gadget was recommended for transporting trauma victims with spine or bone injuries.

Apart from woodworks, Ballada also did electrical jobs and for some time did the electrical repairs at the Baguio Convention Center again owing to his being a lightweight and his technical know-how. And yet again, he did not ask for a fee.

While showing his latest handiwork last Tuesday, he shared the news that he has finally finished college with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Ballada was forced to withhold his studies for two decades to raise his family and was all too happy to announce that he will be joining the graduation march come Dec. 15 at the University of Baguio.

FINALLY RECOGNIZED -- Fernan Ballada popularly known at city hall as "Fearless and Jack of all trades" receives a commendation from city officials headed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Rep. Marquez Go for his unselfish contribution in making repairs, improvement, and beautification of the Assessor’s Office headed by Almaya Addawe. Ballada is respected by colleagues at the CDRRMC for his fearless feats in rescue and retrieval operations during disasters, construction of calamity victims’ coffins, rehabilitation, and electrical wire repairs during the GSIS turnover at the Baguio Convention Center. -- Bong Cayabyab

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