Bridging the Gap
Chairman Daniel Bocobo on balancing the
goals and needs of Barangay Fort Bonifacio
BY FREDERICK N. CASTILLO
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAR CONCENGCO
Mention Fort Bonifacio to anyone and it becomes immediately synonymous with Bonifacio Global City (BGC), a highly urbanized and rapidly growing business and commercial district within the barangay. Despite grabbing headlines due to its high profile, BGC is not the entire Barangay Fort Bonifacio as Chairman Jorge Daniel Bocobo is quick to point out. His barangay is composed of several lesser
known areas and sitios, and he is on a mission to ensure that the needs and welfare of constituents from these areas are not left behind.
A HEART FOR PUBLIC SERVICE
Despite being raised in a relatively affluent community in Alabang, Chairman Bocobo knew early on that serving his countrymen is the path he wanted to pursue. He initially contemplated studying law after taking up history in UP Diliman, but eventually found his way to government service where he has
worked in various capacities since 1997, beginning as a congressional staff member of Rep. Herminio Teves of Negros Oriental.
It was in 2001, when he was the chief of staff of then Muntinlupa City Councilor Ren-Ren Cayetano, that Chairman Bocobo was first exposed to the harsh realities of community life, particularly in providing
for the needs of the poorest of the poor. His experience drove home the importance and necessity of serving the grassroots through effective programs spearheaded by the government. He followed this up with a stint as a staff member in the Senate, where legislation and support to government policies were the tools of public service. He, however, felt that he needed to do more.
“I was aware that I was already helping and serving the people, although indirectly through policies and administrative functions. Pero hinahanap ko pa rin yung direktang pagbibigay ng tulong sa mga nangangailangan. (But I still longed for the chance to have a direct impact on those in need).”
His opportunity came when former TV director Lino Cayetano was elected chairman of Barangay Fort Bonifacio. He appointed Chairman Bocobo as his administrator, a position he held for two years before Direk Lino became a congressman of the City of Taguig. Working at the grassroots level once more, it became clear to him that this was where his heart lay. He was later appointed as head of the Taguig City Economic Investment Promotions Office for six years, but by this time he was already resolute in what he
believed was his true purpose.