are thrust into political positions on their first try unless
the people see their sincere dedication to serve. Governor
Rogelio J. Espina’s first gubernatorial bid for the
Province of Biliran was during the 2001 elections. Although
he was a novice at that time, he won overwhelmingly against
the incumbent reelectionist. From then on, his political career
surged to prominence and he became the first ever governor
Biliran to be re-elected, and now is now on his unprecedented
Although a public servant by passion, Gov. Espina is a doctor
by profession. In 1980, he graduated with the degree of BS
Zoology at the Far Eastern University in Manila and decided
to pursue his medical course in the same university. He became
a licensed physician after passing the Medical Board Examination
on June 3, 1985.
an intern at the Quirino Memorial General Hospital, Quezon
City he specialized in orthopaedics and later became a Fellow
of the Philippine Orthopaedic Association in 1997. Dr. Espina
held clinics at St. Luke’s Medical Center and Quezon
City Medical Center.
In his desire to find his roots and be able to serve them
in the best possible way that he knows, he decided to go back
to the Province of Biliran, with his wife Dr. Cecil Mendiola-Espina
and their children, and established their own specialist clinic
leaving behind a much more promising medical career in the
city. The clinic that he, together with his wife, put up was
not centered on the income-generating aspect but rather they
provided free consultations and orthopaedic specialty services.
He went on to become president of the Biliran Medical Society
The good political responses that the people bestowed on his
father and his brother, who were then the congressman of the
province and the mayor of the capital town, Naval, respectively,
ignited the flame of fervor in his heart to serve his fellow
Biliranons and run for the gubernatorial race. This would
allow him to do community service on higher grounds and with
a much wider gamut. As a governor, Rogelio J. Espina maintains
a kind of governance that is anchored on the rule of law,
ethics, accountability and transparency and he promotes collaborative
efforts among the national and local agencies to provide the
maximum public service. He instituted breakthrough programs
that benefited all sectors of the society most especially
the marginalized ones and this proved to have long-term upshots
even after his term.
Espina literally placed the Province of Biliran in the map
for it was able to garner prominent awards and received international
funding coming both from the public and private sectors. Gov.
Espina has won the DOH National Sandugo Award for Local Government
Executives for five consecutive years from 2003-2007 and has
recently received for the third time the Hall of Fame Award.
Last 2003, the National Statistical Coordination Board has
recognized the Provincial Government of Biliran as the Top
13 Best Performing Province based on the Provincial Good Governance
Index. Recognizing Gov. Espina’s contribution to the
province, he was chosen as one of the National Finalists of
the Search for Most Outstanding Governors of the Philippines
under the Local Government Leadership Awards for 2006. As
the world enters a new millennium, Gov. Espina sees the Province
of Biliran earning its rightful place among the top provinces
in the country. He sees Biliran not only as a fast-progressing
province but also as a center for agriculture in Eastern Visayas,
a hub for Philippine tourism, and a beacon in exemplary governance.
J. Espina, together with his twin brother Rodolfo, was born
in Manila on June 30, 1960 to Gerardo S. Espina and Asuncion
Jimenez who were both professors at the University of the
Philippines and the Far Eastern University, respectively.
In 1983, he married Dr. Cecil Mendiola and they are gifted
with three children. Roger, as he is fondly called by his
family and friends, was exposed to a world of learning and
fine education, brought up in a family that is centered on
discipline, and raised to become a future leader. Roger now
enjoys being a husband to his wife, a father to his children,
and being a governor to his beloved Province of Biliran.