One morning during breakfast, Mr. Dexter Batingal looked at his wife and said, “I’m going to marry Asiapro.”
Funny as it may initially sound, it is also heartwarming to hear someone so dedicated to his job to declare such commitment. This was back in 2003, merely two years after Mr. Batingal started working for Asiapro. As early as then, he already felt the success we all want to achieve. For him, it means being able to help others without feeling helpless himself.
Hailing from Davao City, Mr. Batingal has come a long way in the last 15 years he has been with Asiapro. Now, the 43-year old Chief of Operations (COO) of Southern Mindanao can say with certainty that he is indeed successful. “Lahat ng bagay na gusto kong ma-achieve noong student pa ako, hindi nabigay ng aking parents. Ngayon na parent na ako, nabigay ko sa mga anak ko [ang mga ito].”
Like anything else worth having, this accomplishment did not come easy. Starting as the Officer in Charge of the Calinan Satellite Office, the highest position in 2001, he was then assigned as New Accounts Head, then to Cluster Head, and even to various departments including operations, logistics and savings and credit services. Aside from the difficulty of learning and adjusting to varying fields of work, he thought that being transferred often meant the end of his career, that he had lost the chance to move up the career ladder. However, instead of being hopeless or disheartened, Mr. Batingal took it as a challenge and an opportunity for development. Last year, all his hard work paid off when he was finally promoted to Chief of Operations (COO) for Mindanao.
Being the COO entails bigger responsibilities, with eight (8) satellite heads reporting to him, and 90% of his time spent on various areas of operations. Mr. Batingal also set his own personal goals of running the business, providing better service, and to fulfill his commitment to the board and the general membership. “What I want to happen is to leave a legacy, na may nagawa ako for the members… Pag may nagawa akong kabutihan, masaya ako.” He said the best part of being in his position is having the authority to implement policies quicker in order to make this happen.
Becoming a member when Asiapro, a manpower service provider, was only two years old, he considers himself as one of the pioneers in Mindanao. Though an ambitious person who had always aimed to hold a high position, he did not expect at that time that he would be able to reach where he is now. Even so, he worked hard and did his best to show that he is worthy of the position. What drove him was the desire to prove and do something to aid the members which he would not be able to do in a lower position. He wants to help Asiapro succeed because he believes in its business philosophy: to help marginalized workers by providing them with opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
Just like most of us, his main motivation remains to be his family. He wants to give them a better life, to send his kids to prominent schools, and to live comfortably. He had not been able to do this with his previous jobs, but through Asiapro, his son is now about to finish dentistry. After only two years in the cooperative, he also obtained a car loan for the first time. This was a source of excitement since he could only afford motorcycles before. He and his wife no longer had a hard time providing for the needs of their family, and in case of an emergency, they had the savings and loans to fall back on. It is no wonder that he describes his experience of joining Asiapro as “nakakaginhawa”.
Aside from these, what really made Mr. Batingal stay with Asiapro since he was 27 years old was the security of tenure and support from the key stewards. He recalls two incidents that showed how easy it was to approach the key stewards of Asiapro. One was when a member who could not afford medical expenditures needed to be rushed to the hospital. Mr. Gary Quemado, the President and General Manager of Asiapro, had said, “Dalhin mo muna yung member sa ospital, tsaka na natin isipin yung bayad, ang importante ay matulungan.” The other was a more personal experience when a flash flood ravaged Dexter’s barangay. The President and General Manager did not think twice about helping him rebuild his home without asking for anything in return. Despite the distance of being in Mindanao, members in dire need of assistance never felt neglected. With instances like these, Mr. Batingal truly felt the organization’s genuine adherence to its purpose, that “bawa’t isa ay mahalaga”.
In exchange for his loyalty and tireless contributions, Asiapro presented Mr. Batingal with numerous opportunities to grow in his career. He was given a scholarship grant for an MBA at the Ateneo de Davao University, which he completed last 2014. He also gained practice in handling different business units and positions. The theories he learned and experiences he acquired taught him how to run a business strategically. Moreover, the cooperative’s holistic approach arranged for training programs that benefited not only the organization but individual members as well. “It’s not just a business enterprise, it’s a social enterprise.” Asiapro did not simply focus on technical skills but included value and personality formation which allowed them to have a deeper understanding and respect for everyone in the organization.
For all these, Mr. Batingal renews his commitment to Asiapro, “I would like to thank the cooperative for giving me the opportunity to run the business in Southern Mindanao, and [para sa] trust nila sa akin.” As for advice regarding success for his fellow members, he had this to say, “Hindi lang siya [tungkol sa] skills [and] knowledge, but of course, the heart for the cooperative…magandang puso at malasakit [para] sa kooperatiba. If you love your job, I’m sure you will succeed. It will make you happy, di ka mapapagod gawin mga bagay-bagay.”
With Mr. Batingal’s story of success, Asiapro has also succeeded in its purpose: to inspire meaningful and fulfilled lives with our members.
“Habang andito ka, may pag-asa.”