Bohol Needs Governor Edgar Chatto Much More: A Sensitive, Progressive, Modern and Transforming “Servant Leader.”

A Boholano’s View by Jose “Pepe” Abueva

The Bohol Chronicle

April 14, 2013

Knowing the exemplary Governor. It’s my privilege to know Governor Edgar M. Chatto personally as I pursue my special interest in the study of political leadership (as U.P. Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Administration and a political activist); and in my personal interest in Bohol as a Bol-anon.   

I have personal experience working with Governor Chatto as a member of his U.P. Advisory Council in U.P. Diliman. This multi-disciplinary Advisory Council is composed of U.P professors from Bohol, headed by U.P. Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma.

In our various meetings chaired jointly by Governor Chatto and Chancellor Saloma, I have observed how the Governor clearly articulates his concerns, goals, policies, and problems, and how he graciously interacts with us as his advisers and with other Bohol leaders and officials and national officials who may attend the Advisory Council meetings.

The Governor’s humble, consultative style enables us to participate fully in our meetings with him; it also enhances his understanding of the issues before him and what policies and actions he would like to take.  We all grow in our appreciation of his vision, ideals and goals as a political leader, and our respect for his leadership.

We then know even more why our Governor is so widely respected, admired, and honored. I have heard that the Governor is known to deal with his various constituents in the same respectful consultative and solicitous manner. Local government leaders whom we meet tell us so.

Responding to Governor Chatto’s interest in arts and culture and peace, I have proposed to him the setting up of a Bohol Museum of Arts and Peace. As he has thought of it himself, he is very responsive. But with so many more urgent problems and concerns demanding his prior attention, he is taking his time. First things first. He also wants to consult his many fellow leaders and constituents who are likeminded in regard to aesthetics and peace, and others who may not be.

He is sensitive to his peers and the lowly folk and he has a good sense of timing, both virtues of a good leader. In my estimate, Governor Chatto is very thoughtful “Servant Leader” who goes out of his way, untiringly, to serve his fellow leaders and constituents. By his record of accomplishments he is a transforming leader. 

Bohol is a “first-class A” province subdivided into three congressional districts, 47 municipalities, and the lone city and provincial capital, Tagbilaran.It has 1,109 barangays (1,114 barangays per NEDA) with a total population of 1,255,128 (2010) and an average household size of 5.41 persons. The province is increasingly popular as a tourist destination.

The Bohol Provincial website projects Governor Chatto’s Development Framework Agenda—in effect his Vision and Mission Statement. VISION: “HEAT [Develop] BOHOL: IN HEALTH, EDUCATION, AGRICULTURE, TOURISM.

MISSION: [Acronym]: “LIFE HELPS.” L—Generate sustainable livelihood & enterprise; I—Build/Upgrade Infrastructure; F—Ensure food sufficiency; E—Promote access to quality education as all levels.

H—Improve access to quality integrated health services and facilities; E—Ensure sound environmental management; L—Promote efficient, transparent and responsive bureaucracy; P—Maintain peace and order with citizen participation; S—Integrate sports, youth, vulnerable sectors like the elderly and differently-abled persons in relevant development programs.

Proud of Bohol and being Bol-anon (how the people of Bohol call themselves). Of course, the Philippines’ tourism slogan is: “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” Bohol’s own is “Heart of the Islands. Truly Philippines.” Neighboring Cebu purportedly wants to be known simply as “An Island in the Pacific.” Bol-anons take pride in their identity and reputation for friendliness, hospitality, civic-mindedness, peacefulness, industry, appreciation of their arts and crafts, culture and tradition; as they also welcome modernity.

Bol-anons look forward to the impending construction of their international airport in Panglao to attract even more Filipino and foreign tourists to our popular tourist desination. Bohol’s infrastructure is solid and well-maintained, attesting to the competence and integrity of our political leaders, professionals, and workers.

The Governor’s Background and Education. Edgar Migriño Chatto was born February 21, 1960, the son of Mr. Eladio Chatto and former Mayor of Balilihan, Mrs. Victoria Migriño Chatto. He is married to Maria Pureza Chatto (nee Veloso) with whom he has one daughter, Esther Patrisha Veloso Chatto. The Governor got his Bachelor in Economics at U.P. He started his law studies at Ateneo de Manila University and finished at the Holy Name University, in 1988. He got his Masters in Government Management at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila;  and took the Local Administration and Development Course at U.P. He also attended a seminar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1999.

Political career. Starting as Board Member representing the youth sector, in 1988 he was elected municipal mayor of Balilihan and served until 1995. He was vice governor in 1995-2001. For three terms, 2001-2010, he was a member of the House of Representatives,  representing Bohol’s first district. In 2010 he was elected as the 25th Governor of Bohol. 

House of Representatives Committee Membership. Congressman Chatto was Chairman of the Committee on Tourism and Senior Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He was also a member of the committees on Accounts; Basic Education and Culture; Ethics; Foreign Affairs; Games and Amusement; Higher and Technical Education; Labor and Employment; Legislative Franchises; Local Government; Public Works and Highways; Revision of Laws; Ways and Means; and Justice.[4]

Among Governor Chatto’s numerous leadership awards are the following:

  • National Centennial Lingkod Bayan Awardee for Outstanding Work. Performance(2000) -Civil Service Commission.
  • One of the Ten Exemplary Individuals for the Visayas and Mindanao (2000) – Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Incorporated (RAFI).
  • One of Ten Outstanding Boholanos Around the World (TOBAW) 1998- Confederation of Boholanos in the USA and Canada (CONBUSAC) and the First Consolidated Bank (FCB)
  • Most Outstanding Vice Governor of the Philippines (1997) – League of Vice Governors of the Philippines.
  • Lesage Award for Most Outstanding Alumnus for Local Government Service (1997)- Divine Word College of Tagbilaran.
  • Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon Award for Highly Distinguished Leadership in Promoting Humanitarian Objectives (1997) -Philippine National Red Cross.
  • Most Outstanding Alumnus for Local Government Service (1996) – Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP).
  • Most Outstanding Mayor of the Philippines (1991).
  • Mayor of the Year of the Province of Bohol and Region VII (1990).
  • Most Outstanding Youth Leader of Bohol – Philippine National Red Cross.
  • National Presidential Leadership Award for Outstanding Youth Leaders – (Parangal sa Pamumuno), 1995.

Leadership Awards from various other institutions:

  • Divine Word College of Tagbilaran
  • Gerry Roxas Foundation
  • Science Foundation of the Philippines
  • Kabataang Barangay
  • Local Admin. & Dev’t Program Alumni of the Philippines
  • Office of the President, Malacañang 
  • National And Regional Recognitions by:
    • National Gold HAMIS Award (Health and Management Information System)
    • Galing Pook Award
    • Clean and Green Contest.

Under Governor Chatto’s leadership, Bohol got the national award as “The Best Governed Province” in the Philippines. A real distinction for our 53-year young political leader.



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