SACY is what we called him when he was still with the Department of Agriculture. It stands for Secretary Arthur C. Yap, a man we have known that has high standards since we started working with him. I remember he had some frustrations with ATI as the Institute could hardly cope up with his expectations as the training and extension arm of the Department.
We could hardly invite him in our events we're holding since he was not even excited to the programs the ATI was presenting then. He even asked the entire Institute for an exciting proposal that would gain his support to all extension programs mandated to the organization.
I can even remember not only once he almost embarrassed us in front of our potential partners for our proposed project then. We were not able to get even his attention to listen to what we were proposing then. Understandably, he was looking for that very important aspect that would really be beneficial and accessible to our intended audience.
"Agriculture is a business." That's what he kept telling us all at the Department of Agriculture. He wanted us to promote that agriculture is an enterprise where the farmers and fishers would gain something from it and so, it will help the country economically as a whole.
For every meeting we had with him, he always thinks as an economist. Well he really is an economist. He is a lawyer. He is a family-centered man. That's how we knew him not based on his credentials, but based on how he expressed himself during our events or even small meetings with him.
He wanted us to establish partnership with the private sector. As what he said, being the Secretary then, he may not know how to do it technically, but he believes that it's one best strategy for an effective and efficient implementation of a program, especially one like e-extension.
Only last year up to the last meeting we had with him, we believe we have complied to his requirements. If before, we got embarrassed and we only had his short attention, now we got his full attention and he has expressed his gratefulness to the Institute in almost every meeting he had with his management committee. Our last personal interaction with him, he congratulated us sincerely and even hugged one of our colleagues whom he knew who directly supervised the activities successfully done with him.
True to his words, the man of high standards that we have known supports the Institute from then on. We, who have worked with him for about some time for a very important purpose, have been grateful too.
This the last activity we had with him, where we were able to get the best shot, the best smiles our digital camera could capture. This is the final moment we had with him, after one successful activity which we coordinated on a very short notice, in a very short time.
Kudos to you, SACY.... :)