By Lyka Manalo
IBAAN, Batangas — Jaymart Perez Manlimid, 23, was on his third day on the job last May 3 as a toll booth teller but couldn’t concentrate on his work because he was preoccupied with his motorcycle’s monthly instalment which was overdue.
His mind snapped back into focus when a truck driver paying toll pointed to something on the ground outside the Manlimid’s booth.
The object was a black body bag. When he opened it, he found a huge amount of cash inside: $10,000 (more or less P500,000) and P16,000.
The bag, it turned out, belonged to Jocel dela Torre Trania, an Overseas Filipino Worker based in South Korea. Trania and his fiancee Manilyn Silva had saved the money for their wedding last June.
The bag fell from Trania’s car when he opened the vehicle’s door while getting his entry ticket at the Malvar South Bound Toll Plaza of Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway.
“Naisip ko ang laki naman nito para panghulog sa motor, pero hindi ko naman po ugali na pakialaman ang hindi sa akin at hindi ko pinaghirapan” (It came to my mind, the money was more than enough for my motorcycle’s monthly due, but it’s not my attitude to use things that I don’t owned and I didn’t hardly earned) Manlimid told Manila Bulletin.
He immediately informed his supervisor, Jane Marie Verzero who made the effort to track down the bag’s owner.
Manlimid continued to work that day still worrying about his motorcycle payment.
But he doesn’t have to worry anymore.
Because of his honesty he was promoted as a regular employee in just two months.
Aside from a salary increase, Manlimid is entitled to the benefits for regular employees such as medical insurance and a rice subsidy.
The provincial government also recognized Manlimid’s honesty. Last July Gov. Hermilando Mandanas presented him with a plaque of recognition after the flag-raising ceremony at the provincial capitol.
Manlimid, a resident of Barangay Palindan, Ibaan, Batangas, had worked for several industrial manufacturing companies as production operator and as sales agent for a mobile phone company but he did not hold those jobs for long.
“Matagal ko na po gusto makapagtrabaho sa STAR Toll natatakot lang ako baka hindi ako matanggap” (I really wanted to work here but I was hesitant, I’m afraid they would not hire me), he said.
Last March he tried for a second time to apply at STAR as booth teller.
“After matapos ang hulog ko sa motor, mag-iipon ako para makatulong sa pagpapagawa ng bahay namin” (After paying my motorcycle, I will save for the improvement of our house), Manlimid said.