Interview with Honesto B. Doctolero, Former President of TSOK: Empowering Filipino Teachers in Kuwait

tsok honesto doctolero

In this interview, we delve into the impactful work of Honesto B. Doctolero, the former president of TSOK (Teacher Specialist Organization in Kuwait). TSOK is a vital organization dedicated to empowering Filipino teachers in Kuwait, ensuring their professional growth, and advocating for their rights. Under Mr. Doctolero’s leadership, TSOK embarked on a journey to uplift the Filipino teacher community in Kuwait by undertaking a range of initiatives aimed at enhancing their skills, addressing critical issues, and fostering a sense of community. Through this interview, we gain insights into the organization’s mission, its initiatives, and the profound impact it has had on the lives of teachers and the Filipino community in Kuwait.

What is the mission and purpose of TSOK and of you as a president?  

From the beginning, the purpose of TSOK (Teachers’ Society of Kuwait) has been to establish a network of teachers within Kuwait. This network serves as an organization aimed at addressing the needs of teachers.

The primary objective is to keep teachers updated on their education so that they can compete effectively on a global scale in the field of teaching. Initially, our goal was to organize workshops and seminars to enhance their teaching skills.

The second objective is to assist those teachers who do not possess the necessary licenses or credentials for professional teaching. To achieve this, we collaborated with other professional organizations.

What are the courses or degrees in PPO?  Who are they?

The Philippine Professional Organization (PPO) had around seven or six members. The professional organizations include PICE (Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers), PSME (Society of Mechanical Engineers), UAEP (United Architect of the Philippines), and others. TSOK (Teacher Specialist Organization) is considered a non-PPO organization because they choose not to seek recognition in the Philippines.

Are you also the co-founder of the Philippine Professional Organization in Kuwait?

I’m not sure if the term “co-founder” is applicable in our case, as there were no co-founders in the traditional sense. Our organization came into existence through the signing of the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement). To the best of my knowledge, there wasn’t a formal creation of a CBL (Constitution and By-Laws) by individuals; rather, we were representatives of various professional organizations. It was these professional organizations that played a significant role in shaping our organization.

As the initial president and officers at that time, our role was to facilitate collaboration between our organization, PPO (Philippine Professional Organization), and the professional organizations we represented. Our organization’s strength and structure were primarily a result of the MOA we entered into and the collective efforts of the represented professional organizations.

How many years have you been president of TSOK?

I served two terms. I believe it was from 2014 to 2017.

 

Can you provide an overview of TSOK?  And the role and responsibility of officers within the organization.

I believe I need to provide an overview, not just specifically related to the officers but regarding the organization as a whole and what I’ve observed about its current status. At that time, when I was the president, I had my own personal purpose for the organization. I had a co-founder, but I wasn’t aware of their individual purposes or roles within the organization. We each had our own responsibilities.

My overview of the organization today is that I am genuinely thankful for what has transpired after my presidency. The succeeding presidents and officers have done an excellent job, as they have effectively served the organization’s purpose. They have been actively engaged in assisting the community, both internally and by participating in activities with other organizations.

How do officers of TSOK collaborate and work together to achieve organizational goals?

It’s clear that TSOK operates with a strong foundation mandated by its Constitution and bylaws. When it comes to evaluating the performance of officers, they are bound by these guiding documents, which outline their roles, responsibilities, and mandates. Their duties are clearly defined within the organization’s structure.

By adhering to the Constitution and bylaws, officers ensure that they stay within the boundaries of their positions and responsibilities. This approach helps maintain a sense of fairness and prevents the abuse of power. Essentially, officers should focus on fulfilling the duties and responsibilities as outlined in their position descriptions, as provided by the Constitution and bylaws.

If an officer has suggestions or new ideas, it’s important to follow the organization’s established procedures for proposing changes or improvements. This ensures that any modifications to the organization’s operations are made through a structured and approved process.

Furthermore, having standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place is essential. These procedures outline how specific tasks or processes should be carried out within the organization. SOPs help maintain consistency, efficiency, and accountability in the execution of various functions.

In summary, TSOK’s officers operate within the framework established by the organization’s Constitution and bylaws. They adhere to their defined roles and responsibilities, seek approval for new ideas or changes, and follow standard operating procedures to maintain the organization’s integrity and effectiveness.

 

What is the qualifications and experiences that is typically required to become an officer of TSOK?

It’s mentioned in our Constitution and bylaws, although I don’t have the specific details. However, if you’re asking for my personal opinion on the qualities or qualifications of an officer, it’s quite similar to what you’d expect from politicians or leaders. They should be selfless, hardworking, and willing to dedicate their time.

A successful organization often thrives when its members and officers are selfless, meaning they don’t expect personal gain from their service. They join the organization to contribute and render service, not to seek benefits. While they may have certain privileges, these are not considered benefits but rather privileges.

Organizations do experience ups and downs, and effective time management is crucial. When you serve in an organization, you’re not paid or compensated, so you must give your best without neglecting your work and family responsibilities. This may seem contradictory to the idea of selflessness, but selfless individuals are willing to invest their time, effort, ideas, and honesty for the greater good.

Honesty is essential because it raises the question of how one will serve without personal gain. In organizations like SPLE, you don’t earn money personally. Instead, all funds are used for the organization’s needs and purposes. From the beginning, we’ve collected money for the exams to facilitate accommodating visitors and meeting the organization’s needs.

After a president’s term, any surplus funds are usually not refunded because we understand the effort required to earn money, especially for the organization and one’s family. The focus is on collective growth and service rather than individual gain.

 

What are some of the major initiatives or projects that officers of TSOK are currently working on or are working on during your term?  What are those?

I don’t know. During my time, there were many projects. As they say, we serve the organization’s purpose because of the organization’s purpose. This includes community service, activities like the SPLE (Special Professional Licensure Examination), and other community-related initiatives. So, typically, TSOK operates within the framework of our Constitution and bylaws (CBL). It’s not about doing what you personally desire as if you were the President at the moment. You can’t simply do whatever you want. We are guided by our CBL, which is why we established it.

 

Overall, TSOK, under the leadership of Honesto B. Doctolero, worked tirelessly to empower Filipino teachers in Kuwait by providing educational support, community service, and advocacy for their rights. Their dedication to the betterment of the Filipino teacher community reflects the organization’s commitment to excellence in teaching and professional development.

 

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Peace and love to you.


Gracia Amor
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