Mayor Doña Cresencia Tesoro talks about her
sustainable development plans for San Manuel,
Tarlac and why the world needs millennial leaders.
BY LAKAMBINI BAUTISTA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAR CONCENGCO
"WHEN PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER DEPENDENT ON THE GOVERNMENT, WHEN THEY CAN FINALLY LIVE A QUALITY PEACEFUL LIFE, THAT’S WHEN I SAY THAT I STEERED THEM IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND THAT I HAVE MADE THE BEST DECISIONS FOR MY TOWN.”
The power of youth is the common wealth
for the entire world. The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our
present, and our future. No segment in
the society can match with the power, idealism, enthusiasm and courage of the
Indian social reformer Kailash Satyarthi articulates
it best. We need the youth to lead and mobilize the world for they have the dynamism, creativity, and energy to shape a better world.
The people of San Manuel, Tarlac must have seen all these qualities in the then 28-year-old Doña Cresencia Tesoro, when they elected her as town chief in the May 2019 elections.
Although she’s not exactly a newbie in politics. She had served as councilor and as vice mayor, under the leadership of her father, former mayor (now vice mayor) Benjamin Tesoro.
EMPOWERING THE YOUTH
Tesoro was fresh out of college (she finished Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication in Miriam College) when she started taking on the role as the
private secretary of her father, who was then serving his first term as Mayor of the town
She would assist him in his daily activities and take
charge of certain projects on his behalf. “The first task my dad asked me to do was to form the San Manuel
Youth Organization. There was no Sangguniang Kabataan elections at that time, so the youth was kind
of lost. There were no youth programs,” she recalls.
On her first foray into public service, the then 21-year-old was able to address the real issues concerning the youth. “We provided trainings and scholarships for the out-of-school youths. We went around schools and talked about timely issues like AIDS, mental health, teenage pregnancy, illegal drugs,” she says.
Now 29 years old, Mayor Doña is the youngest and only female executive in the Municipality of San Manuel.
“Whenever I think about it, I am still overwhelmed by the quick transition from councilor to vice mayor and now mayor,” Tesoro muses. “I thought to myself, I must be doing something right for the people to trust me this much, considering my age and how patriarchal the society can be with their choice of leaders.”