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Ruth Vargas-Tenerife from Catanduanes Returns Lost P50k Cash
« on: October 12, 2010, 04:12:44 PM »
By Danny O. Calleja

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Oct. 12 (PNA)-– She is among the lowly daily wagers at the provincial Capitol here receiving compensation meager enough to live a wholesome lifestyle but 35-year old Ruth Vargas-Tenerife is special for showing to the whole world last week the genetic honesty of islanders called Catandunganons.

Tenerife, a mother of three and wife to a construction firm driver works as a contractual employee under the office of Vice-Gov. Jose Teves Jr.

Except for the daily salary within the minimum wage level she earns, she receives no other remuneration from her work that has no security of tenure.

The vice-governor however, upon learning of her act of honesty when she returned to its owner a purse containing P50,000 cash, some US dollar bills and other valuables she found at the Capitol ground here, however, assured her of continuous employment “as long Teves is at the Capitol”.

Her appointment could be elevated to permanent status for a bigger salary and secure employment according to Teves but Tenerife won’t qualify as she is not a civil service eligible.

Anyway, the vice-governor said, Tenerife would no longer be bothered queuing in competition with hundreds other job seekers to renew her appointment as contractual or “job order” employee every three months from this time on and she is assured of employment continuity at least until June 2013, co-terminus with him.

Tenerife’s tale of honesty unfolded one morning last week, when she stumbled upon an elegant-looking purse on the ground at the parking lot of the provincial Capitol as she was reporting to work, a report of the Catanduanes Tribune said.

She picked up the purse, opened it and discovered the money and other valuables inside. She also found a piece of paper bearing a mobile phone number which she presumed to belong to the owner of her find.

In an interview with the Tribune, Tenerife narrated that the first thing she had in mind on discovering the huge amount of money inside the purse was to find its owner and return it.

“Anything lost and found should be returned to its owner. That is the belief I had with me since I was a child,” Tenerife was quoted by the Tribune as saying.

She dialed the number listed on the piece of paper found inside the purse and it was answered by a woman who turned out to be Annie Lopez, a California, USA-based balikbayan who was just around the corner looking for the purse when she received Tenerife’s call.

In a little while, the two met and the purse was back to its owner. Lopez, the Tribune said offered Tenerife cash as reward for her honesty but it was turned down.

On the same day, Lopez tried to find ways to reciprocate to Tenerife’s honesty until she ended at the vice-governor’s office in front of Teves expressing her gratitude for the return of her lost purse.

"You are a blessed man, Mr. vice-governor. You are a very good leader because you have honest staff," Lopez said, adding that she and her family would visit him and Tenerife when they come back from the US.

She told the vice-governor that the P50,000 inside the purse was intended for her nephew’s college schooling in the coming opening of the second semester.

“The return to me of my purse courtesy of Mrs Tenerife saved me a lot of troubles. My passport, money and all other important personal documents were there and surely, my return to the US scheduled two days before my inspiring experience here will be affected,” Lopez said.

“I shall herald this good news about my province mates in Catanduanes that in this far away island at the middle of the Philippine Sea lives a herd of an honest race,” she declared. (PNA)
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