Alexander the Great

Dr. Alex Rosete bridges theory and practice in his new role as the main go-to-guy at Malabon City Hall

BY LEAH C. SALTERIO City Administrator City Government of Malabon



The Manila Times

Boardroom Watch

QUICK QUESTIONS WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? Not being able to be a good father, son and brother to my loved ones because of my work WHAT REALLY MAKES YOU ANGRY? Being treated unfairly WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH THE MOST? JR de Guzman, a Filipino American stand-up comedian WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WON THE LOTTO? Put up a school and help the underprivileged who want to study. I support a World Vision scholar WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? 365 Days With the Lord WHAT CELEBRITY WOULD YOU LIKE TO MEET FOR A CUP OF COFFEE? Simon Sinek WHAT IS THE MOST DARING THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE? Ride a zip line in Tagaytay last year WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WILL NEVER DO AGAIN? I believe everything happens for a reason. I don’t regret anything or blame anyone for what happened to my life ALEXANDER Rosete always finds it fulfilling that he can help make people’s lives better. “The positions I have held have been toward serving others,” said Rosete, who is set to complete his first year as city administrator of the city government of Malabon in a month’s time. “I did not realize it was preparing me for this. But those experiences led me to this position. Rosete was chief administrative officer of the Manila Urban Settlements Office, and an independent consultant and academic lecturer on communications, human resources, organizational development and public administration when he was offered an opportunity to move over to the city government of Malabon City last year. Working for Malabon City is a “tremendous honor and privilege” for Rosete, who couldn’t turn down Mayor Jeannie Sandoval’s offer for him to run the day-to-day operations at city hall. “It signifies a deep confidence and belief in my abilities,” he said. “It is a constant reminder of my high expectations to serve our city’s and its resident’s best interests. This opportunity humbles me, and I am committed to proving worthy of the trust bestowed upon me.” As city administrator, Rosete informally serves as the “little mayor” of Malabon City, a highly urbanized city in northern Metro Manila with a population of over 380,000 people. Rosete leads the city’s executive department as Mayor Sandoval nearly completes her first year as Malabon’s first female chief executive. “This new leadership comes with the challenge of bridging the gap between established practices and the evolving needs of our dynamic city,” he explained. “There is a delicate balance between preserving traditions while embracing change and progress. It requires careful navigation, open dialogue and collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of essential services for the benefit of the residents. “The task of introducing new leadership after such a long period also means that expectations are high. The community looks to us with hope, eager for positive change and improvements in various aspects of their lives. “It is both a privilege, and a challenge to meet these expectations as we work diligently to address pressing issues, promote inclusive growth and enhance Malabon’s overall quality of life.” Rosete didn’t think twice about accepting the offer to move from Manila to Malabon. “Government work, without a doubt, comes with its own unique set of demands and complexities,” Rosete admitted. “It requires a deep understanding of bureaucratic processes, adherence to regulations, and policies and navigating through intricate administrative frameworks. “The responsibilities entrusted to government officials carry a great deal of weight, as they directly impact the lives of citizens and shape the trajectory of communities.” Moreover, government work often involves working with limited resources and tight budgets. It necessitates careful allocation and utilization of funds to maximize their impact, and deliver efficient and effective public services. “That requires foresight, strategic planning and a proactive approach to identify alternative funding sources and collaborations with external stakeholders.” Not surprisingly, government work complements Rosete’s other endeavors. “My role as a city administrator, and my other endeavors as an educator and life coach complement each other in many ways,” he explained. “While they may seem distinct, they share common elements contributing to my overall growth and effectiveness in both roles. “Being an educator and life coach have equipped me with valuable communication, problem-solving and leadership skills, which directly apply to my work as a city administrator. “Meanwhile, my role as a city administrator enriches my work as an educator and life coach. It provides me with real-world experiences and insights that I can share with my students or clients, bringing practical examples and relevance to the concepts I teach or coach. “It also allows me to stay updated on the latest trends, issues and policies impacting our community, ensuring my educational and coaching efforts remain current and relevant. Undoubtedly, juggling multiple roles can be challenging.” Balancing the demands of being a city administrator, educator and life coach requires effective time management, prioritization and adaptability, according to Rosete. “However, I thrive on these challenges as they fuel my personal and professional growth,” he said. After completing college in 1997, Rosete joined a multilevel marketing company as an exclusive distributor of Barclay products in the Malabon-Navotas area. “I learned public relations there,” he said. “I started my purified water refilling station business in 2004 when I was 29 years old. From scratch when there were very few players in that business in Malabon-Navotas. I also ventured into the restaurant and catering business, which taught me good customer service skills and attention to detail.” Rosete completed his bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship from San Beda University. That provided him with a strong foundation in various business disciplines. “My degree equipped me with essential marketing, finance, operations and entrepreneurship knowledge,” he beamed. “After my undergraduate studies, I obtained a Juris Doctor degree. That legal education provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the Philippine legal system and equipped me with critical thinking and analytical skills.” He pursued further education to expand his expertise and passion for learning. He obtained a Master of Arts in Communication degree from the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication. “That deepened my understanding of effective communication strategies and techniques. That degree enhanced my media relations, public speaking and strategic communication planning skills. He recently finished his Doctor of Philosophy in Management degree at De La Salle Araneta University. “The doctoral program provided me with advanced knowledge and research skills in management, allowing me to explore complex organizational issues and contribute to the field through academic research. “I am also pursuing a Doctor of Communication degree from the University of the Philippines Open University. That ongoing program allows me to delve deeper into the field of communication and expand my expertise in areas such as mass communication theories, media studies and digital communication. “By combining my diverse educational background from business management to communication and law, I have developed a unique and comprehensive skill set that enables me to approach challenges from various perspectives.” The pandemic broke out during Rosete’s tenure at the City Government of Manila. “When the outbreak occurred, it disrupted the normal functioning of the city, and demanded immediate and decisive action to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents,” he disclosed. “Throughout this challenging period, adaptability and resilience were key. We had to quickly adapt our strategies and operations to address the emerging needs and changing circumstances.” Wearing many hats as city administrator, professor and family man at the same time undeniably come with challenges. “It is also gratifying,” Rosete acknowledged. “It requires careful time management, prioritization and a robust support system. “To maintain my image in these different roles, I strive to uphold the values of professionalism, dedication and integrity in all aspects of my life. Consistency is key, regardless of whether I perform my duties as city administrator, teach my students as a professor, or fulfill my responsibilities as a family man. “In my role as city administrator, I ensure that I lead by example and make decisions that prioritize the well-being, and progress of the city and its residents. I am committed to transparency, accountability and effective governance, which are crucial in maintaining a positive image and building trust with the community. “As a professor, I aim to inspire and empower my students by providing quality education and guidance. I strive to be a role model in terms of subject matter expertise and professionalism. I can positively impact my students’ lives by being approachable and supportive, and fostering a positive learning environment. “Lastly, as a family man, I recognize the importance of being present and involved in the lives of my loved ones. I consciously balance my professional commitments with quality time spent with my family. I aim to maintain a positive image as a dedicated family man by being present and fostering solid relationships.” They say public service is a jealous profession, but I believe in the power of setting boundaries and maintaining healthy work-life integration. “I believe in the importance of being fully present, whether at work or home. When I am engaged in professional responsibilities, I focus my energy and attention on the tasks at hand, striving for productivity and efficiency. “Similarly, when I am with my family, I consciously try disconnecting from work-related matters and being fully present with my loved ones.” Rosete’s role models are his parents. “My father was a seafarer for more than two decades. We lost him in 2011 after his retirement. He sacrificed a lot to give us a better life. That’s what fathers do for the love of their family. My mom did a great job, too. She is a strong but loving mother who raised us well when my father was an OFW (overseas foreign worker).” Before the pandemic, Rosete flew to the United Kingdom. After, he went to the Netherlands. Both trips were workrelated. Unwinding for Rosete means hitting the beach, traveling and going on out-of-town trips. His kids love swimming. “That’s why I plan our trip, so it will be fun-filled and enjoyable,” Rosete said. He and his wife are sure to be in the audience whenever Lea Salonga mounts a concert. “My wife is truly my rock and the foundation of my support system,” Rosete admitted. “She has been by my side throughout my journey, providing unwavering support and understanding in my work. “I wholeheartedly agree that choosing a wife is one of the most important decisions a person can make. For me, my wife is my life partner, my closest confidant and companion. She is the person with whom I share the most meals, vacations and idle time.”