Glenn Baricuatro’s first job in government was as a private secretary in 1986 at the mayor’s office of the Municipality of Pinamungajan. Twenty-seven years later, he made history by winning the mayoral race.
Now sitting as the town mayor, Baricuatro strives hard to be able to change what he believes is the cause of the cycle of poverty among his people: the lack of opportunity for college education.
Within seven months after assuming office, Mayor Glenn led the groundbreaking for the first college facility in Pinamungajan last March 13.
The school, a branch of the Cebu Technological University (CTU), will start accommodating students in June.
“That is my first campaign promise, and I have realized it before one year,” he said.
Mayor Glenn sought the state university’s help and they immediately signed a memorandum of agreement for the project. The CTU will provide teachers and take care of the administrative aspect in running the school, while the municipal government taps private donors to help in building the classrooms.
The mayor is upbeat, with a lot of people in and out of the country who are willing to donate. The CTU-Pinamungajan campus will rise on a six-hectare lot in barangay Pandacan.
CTU will be offering vocational courses, education, information technology, hotel and restaurant management among others. The mayor sees the need for courses in agriculture, which he said is an economic backbone that even the most progressive nations have not taken it for granted.
With a college facility in the town, Mayor Glenn is certain that this will change not only the future economic status of families and the destinies of each family member. A “knowledgable” local population, he stresses, is crucial in determining how their leaders will act and behave. With higher education resulting in a community’s “critical thinking,” the people will not just easily accept their lot, and the government officials will be on their toes to produce well-planned programs for the majority.
This, he said, is the springboard on which Pinamungajan will move forward. Aside from education, Mayor Glenn is also focusing on attracting investors to build their businesses in his town.
Baricuatro was a born leader, having excelled from his Boy Scouts’ days in the Pinamungajan Elementary School, to being the corps commander of the Citizens Army Training at the Sta. Monica Academy high school, and his days taking up business administration at the University of San Carlos where he was a member of the USC Supreme Student Government. He founded an association of students, the BATCH or the Businessmen Always Treat their Customers with Honesty.
He was born on January 18, 1965 to Rosario Paras Fuentes, a teacher, and Jose Nemenzo Baricuatro, a poultry farmer. His great grandfather, Francisco Pono Nemenzo, was Pinamungajan mayor during the Japanese period. Two other great grandfathers of his --- Carlos Pono Nemenzo and Rafael Labang Fuentes -- were also mayors.
Mayor Glenn knows of, and has lived through, hardwork.
After working as a senior clerk at the Pinamungajan Municipal Treasurer’s Office, he served as municipal secretary from 1988 to 1994. He was then appointed as head of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, a post he held for 12 years or until 2007.
After that, he helped in addressing the needs not only of Pinamungajan but also the rest of the third district as he was appointed chief of staff of Rep. Pablo John Garcia until 2013.
Growing up entirely in Pinamungajan, Mayor Glenn is not a stranger to rural life. He had scoured the beaches for seashells, played with tirador (slingshot), cut logs for firewood, and spent nights star-gazing or playing tubig-tubig when power was out. He was the pitcher in the public elementary school’s baseball team, a varsity in volleyball and basketball and had played in the little league.
Despite his hectic schedule as Pinamungajan mayor, Mayor Glenn takes the time out to keep a healthy lifestyle by jogging and playing tennis or basketball. He sets out for the office early in the morning, attending to work even before the clock strikes 8 a.m.
Holding close to his heart the principle, "to serve, not to rule," it is his vision to strengthen unity among the townfolks amidst diversity in livelihood, political beliefs, and religion.