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Biography of City Engineer


     Luis Vicente Despalo y Lobo was born on June 21, 1952. He is the eldest of  five children born to Zosimo B. Despalo and Teresita L. Despalo.  His happy marriage with Erlinda T. How, who is a Registered Nurse by profession, is blessed with a handsome, responsible son, their “unico hijo” named Lyndon Vincent.  His sound management and down to earth personality have endeared him to many people who describe him as an effective leader with a unique and humble character.

     "Luis" as he is fondly called is a civil engineer, a professional title he acquired after he passed the licensure examination on November 7 and 14, 1976 in Manila.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Mindanao in Davao City on the same year.  He pursued his postgraduate studies and later satisfactorily completed his Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University in 1991 in his desire to gain personal growth and professional advancement.  He is also a dignified alumnus of the same university where he finished his elementary and secondary education in 1966 and 1970 respectively. 

     He landed his first job in 1977 as Civil Engineering Aide at the Office of the City Engineer in Zamboanga City.  The following year, he was promoted to Associate Civil Engineer, a permanent position.  His outstanding performance and good team-working attitude led his career to a series of promotion in the succeeding years. In 1980 he was accelerated from Civil Engineer to Senior Civil Engineer in 1980 and eventually to Supervising Civil Engineer II in 1983.  His wide array of professional experience soared him to greater heights and earned him the position of Assistant City Engineer from 1984 to 2001 per appointment by the legendary Mayor Cesar C. Climaco.  His humble beginnings and stalwart aspirations--all coupled with consistent exemplary performance and productivity at work greatly impressed the late Mayor Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat who then appointed him as City Engineer on January 22, 2001. 

     Luis has undergone numerous seminars and special trainings conducted by the Civil Service Commission, the National Government and the US government that further enhanced his leadership, technical and managerial skills as a public servant.  As City Engineer, he dramatically improved the management style in the office especially in implementing office policies.  With his honest, competent and highly trained staff, he exudes his full potential as a department head meeting all the requirements of the Honorable Mayor Celso L. Lobregat in the preparation and implementation of various infrastructure projects of the City Government.  He consistently portrays the epitome of a good public servant, that is, to work overtime in the exigency of service and to finish all pending documents laid before him at the end of the day.

     He is also affiliated with several clubs and civic organizations in Zamboanga City.  He served as the President of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers Zamboanga City Chapter (PICE-ZC) for three terms and once as Chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee of the City Government.  At present, he is one of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Red Cross and the Zamboanga Puericulture Center, Chairman and member of various committees, such as the Bids and Awards Committee of the City Government.  He is also a member of organizations like the Church-based Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Jaycees and Philippine Karate Association (PKA).  Moreover, during his early years as Assistant City Engineer, he served as an Assistant Professor of the College of Engineering and Technology at Western Mindanao State University and as an Instructor at the College of Liberal Arts at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. 

     Being a pro-active department head of the Office of the City Engineer, he firmly maintains his disposition in upholding the office commitment towards quality and customer oriented service, and the value of teamwork to achieve common goals to fully realize the mission and vision of the office.