Legislative staffer is island’s longest-serving government employee

LEGISLATIVE staffer Alicia Leon Guerrero was honored on Wednesday for being the longest-serving government employee on Saipan.

She has been on the Legislative Bureau staff for 46 years. But the 67-year-old delegation clerk said she has no plans to retire, adding that she still enjoys her job.

Leon Guerrero started working for the district legislature of the then-Trust Territory government, and has served all the 20 CNMI legislatures and all the governors from Dr. Carlos S. Camacho to the incumbent, Ralph D.L.G. Torres

In an interview, Leon Guerrero gave the following advice to other employees: “Focus and believe in yourself and you can do it. Never give up, and always face the challenges. Love your job no matter how hard it is sometimes, and no matter what kind of job it is. Loving what you do rain or shine will keep you going.”

Aside from Leon Guerrero, the long-time staffers of the Legislative Bureau include sergeants-at-arms John Santos and Pete Towai, House clerk Linda Muna, legal counsels Antonette Villagomez, Joe Bermudes, John Cool and Joe Taijeron, Senate clerk Dolores Bermudes, fiscal analysts David Demapan and Perry Tenorio, librarian Simion Lisua, senior legislative assistant Clarissa Sablan, copier Peoris Besong, journal clerks Venetia Rosario and Frances Kaipat, administrative assistant Christine Castro, administrative officer Carla San Nicolas, procurement specialist Jose Sablan, legislative assistant Jolyn Duenas-Tagabuel and LB Director Antonio Sablan.

A former House member and senator, Gov. Ralph Torres thanked the LB staff, saying  they are the backbone of the Legislature.

 “Without this hard-working staff, there would be no policies or laws to guide the administration in delivering services to the general public,” he added.

Senate President Arnold Palacios, for his part, thanked the governor for initiating Public Service Recognition Week, saying employees deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Executive branch employees were also recognized. Receiving the Leadership Award were Press Secretary Kevin Bautista, Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority Director Diego Songsong, Joaquin Deleon Guerrero of  Homeland Security, Leticia Palacios of the Office of the Lt. Governor and Taylor Ada of the substance-abuse office.

Twenty employees from various divisions were named Division Employees of the Year.

Governor Torres said every hard working government employee deserves to be recognized, “for without these individuals public service could not be delivered effectively.”

He added, “This government has gone through a lot and we would not be here without all of you. In every occupation, every person plays a great role in the success that we achieve. So thank you for all the sacrifices that you make. This recognition is a simple token of our appreciation for all the hard work you do. Please continue the hard work for the people of the CNMI.”

Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog, for his part, encouraged division heads to continue to provide equal opportunities to all deserving employees.

The Attorney General’s Office recognized four individuals as Division Employees of the Year: Assistant Attorney General Barbara Cepeda of the Civil Division, Urbano Babauta of the Investigative Division, Dixie Camacho of the Criminal Division, and Carla Torres, public information officer and branch management specialist.

Office of Personnel Management Director Sid Seman said government employees are critical to the delivery of government services.

He commended employees who never get tired of assisting the public. He said an employee of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Mary Grace, assisted him when he was having trouble paying for his utilities. He said she did not leave until his concern was addressed.

Public Service Recognition Week chairman Joseph Pangelinan thanked the governor for his support and for providing some $18,000 for this year’s monetary awards for each employee who will be named overall winners on Saipan, Tinian and Rota on Sept. 1, during the Labor Day celebration.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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