By Henrylito D. Tacio
Photos courtesy of Tek Ocampo
When my friend Tek Ocampo asked me if he should join politics, I told him affirmatively. “Now is the time for you to serve your fellow man,” I told him. “I am sure you can make a difference to people who mattered to you most, including your family.”
In the beginning, there were some stumbling blocks. He was hesitant to run, but after clearing everything and weighing all the pluses and minuses of being a politician, he finally decided to go with it.
And so last September 30, Tek was one of the newest members of the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod – commonly referred to as Hugpong – welcomed by Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio in an online convention.
Tek is running for councilor for the First District of Davao City.
For those who do not know him, he went to Davao Christian High School, where he graduated in 1989. From there, he studied at the Ateneo de Davao University, where he had taken AB Mass Communication. He graduated in 1993.
In 2006, Tek – who will turn 50 on February 2 next year – had the opportunity of going to Australia, where he took Peace Journalism at the University of Sydney.
Perhaps not too many know that he started his journalism career with ABS-CBN as a trainee reporter in 1993. In that same year, he worked as a reporter for ABC TV 5. He lasted for six years in the said television station.
When Tek joined GMA, he became the TV News Anchor of “Testigo: GMA Super Balita.” This was on October 4, 1999. He made a name of himself as a national reporter for GMA News when he left the show in 2002.
After his stint with GMA Manila (from 2004 to 2005), he came back to Davao to anchor the “Testigo” program once more. He was also the TV News Anchor of “One Mindanao,” where people could have their daily dose of local news and events around Davao, General Santos City, and the Cagayan de Oro region.
The website, IMDb.com, describes Tek “as an actor.” He appeared in the music video, “Kapuso Stars: Buong pusong maGMAhalan” (2017) and “Isang puso ngayong Pasko” (2020), also a music video. He appeared as himself in the television series “Balita Pilipinas” (2011).
In 2017, Tek was among the Davao City-based journalists invited during the Globe Media Summit and Davao Media Freedom Day co-hosted by the Mass Communication Department of Ateneo de Davao University.
He talked about his experience as a broadcast journalist. Unlike what most people think, journalism is not always glamorous, he pointed out. Most often, the news is unpredictable, and some events can affect journalists not only physically but also psychologically and emotionally. He cited the case of the war on Marawi.
But journalists have a job to do and must do the reporting – no matter what so people may be informed. “I’ve been in the industry for 22 years but I still get nervous when I go on air,” he admitted. “Every day is a learning experience.”
Tek held many offices when it came to journalism groups. He was former vice president for TV of the AFP-PNP Press Corps. He was likewise former vice president for TV of Davao Press Club. In addition, he was the former chairman of the Regional Public Safety Battalion Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Davao City Sports Writers Association.
Now, if he will be selected as one of the councilors this coming May election, he wants to increase the benefits and services for the senior citizens – or people who are sixty years old or over.
Tek is also thinking of socializing housing for people with no informal settlements. For those who don’t know, informal settlements are areas where groups of housing units have been constructed on land that the occupants have no legal claim to or occupy illegally. It also refers to unplanned settlements and areas where housing is not in compliance with current planning and building regulations (unauthorized housing).
He also has programs for the laborers so they can be alleviated from poverty and will have a sustainable source of income. In addition, he wants to strengthen and improve the medical services for poor people.
In order to help the young people, he will be supporting some sports development programs for the youth. People with disabilities are included; he wants to enforce the programs for this sector.
Tek also wants to expand the modernization of the transaction for the local government so that it will be easier for the people who want to go into business in Davao City.
Likewise, he supports the continuation of free education and adds more benefits for deserving students who are under this program.
Tek also wants to give attention to the needs and recognize the rights and benefits of those belonging to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community.
Tek also has programs for the women’s sector, transport sector, fisherfolks, and media. He is also thinking of making laws that will address some situations while the city is still under the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.