BEHIND the scenes to the lead up to the five-day papal visit, Alejandro Teves Escaño quietly and busily assisted the clergy in the endless and meticulous preparations for Pope Francis’ pastoral activities. As a member of the Bishops-Businessmen Conference for Human Development’s executive committee, he was on hand in whatever capacity he could help—be it in raising funds, logistical groundwork, and a variety of other concerns.
Escaño, though very humble and low key, had much to contribute to the big event, what with vast field of expertise and achievement in his public life.
Escañno, who grew up in the cities Dumaguete and Bais in Negros Oriental is known in his province and various sectors of society for his passion and devotion of helping those in need, especially the less privileged.
Born on May 3, 1939, Escaño also manages and actively participates in non-government organizations. He is the founding chairman of the Philippine Chamber Agriculture and Food or PCAFI, and a trustee of the Association of Foundations in the country. A strong advocate and a practitioner of quality and productivity, he was once president and now part of the Advisory Council of the Philippine Quality and Productivity Movement or PQPM.
Escaño is also the vice chairman for External Affairs of MFI Foundation, Inc. where he used to be president. It was during his term when the MFI (formerly the Meralco Foundation Inc.) was chosen as a “Model Center of Excellence in the Philippines” by the ASEAN Economic Ministers (Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Japan Economic and Industrial Corporation Committee or AMEICC). Still, under his term, when the MFI was awarded by the so-called Kabalikat Award and Angat Kabalikat by TESDA for the organization’s unselfish contributions to the development of the country’s human resources.
The hardworking man is also the founding chairman and president of Technical Vocational Schools Association of the Philippines or TevsaPhil. Moreover, he is the founding chairman of the Private Sector Disaster Management Network or PSDMN, which is considered as the counterpart of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Network Council (NDRRMNC). Alex has been involved with this kind of group since the Killer Quake that occurred in the country on July 16, 1990. He has received numerous awards because of the assistance he has brought during disasters in the country.
He has also been helping the Cultural Minorities for several years and have been conferred the title – Datu Dalanpanan – by the Higa-Onon Indigenous Cultural Communities as certified by the National Commission on Indigenous People.
His list of organizations does not end there, but as The Manila Times asked him, where does he find the energy to pursue all of them. For at 75 years of age, he shows no signs of slowing down.
“It is really my advocacy to alleviate poverty in the country,” he quietly answered. “So many people have asked me to run for office in the past but in order to do all this, I very much believe that I can be more efficient in pursuing my projects as a private individual. In this way, I don’t have to deal with the institutions that no one seems to be able to tear down in government agencies.”
With corruption still rampant in the country, does he find himself discouraged at times to go on?
“I believe that if you don’t do anything, it’s as if you’ve accepted the system,” he concluded.
And so Escaño continues to be a man of God and country through his senior years, tirelessly dedicated to serving his faith and his nation in every way he can.
He is indeed a true Filipino champion.