Solemnity was not lost and the dignity of the office was in no way diminished when the changing of the guard of the Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS) was held virtually on May 18, 2021. Remotely located owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the outgoing and incoming guards and their well-wishers met online to conduct and witness the event.
Director Angelito V. Fontanilla, roughly 17 months into the leadership position, bowed out for the time being to return to his previous post as director of the Financial and Management Service and to give way for Director Wilfredo J. Obien to assume as the new director of FASPS. The special order to effect such change was signed by DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu himself on May 4, 2021.
Director Obien is far from being an outsider relative to the post. In fact, being a “homegrown talent” is more germane attribution to him. Early in his career that spans around 40 years, he served as Chief of Program Accounts Management Division and of FAPs Monitoring and Evaluation Division of what was then known as the Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Office.
As a career official of the department, he was assigned to various managerial or supervisory posts including a stint in Tarlac as the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) through which he was awarded the Environmental Awards for Governance and Leadership Excellence (EAGLE Award).
Director Obien obtained his BS Forestry from the University of the Philippines in Los Baňos in 1983 and did graduate studies at Lincoln College in New Zealand and at the Development Academy of the Philippines.
He hails from Quezon.