Lopezlink, a monthly publication of the Lopez Group of Companies

Tony Padua: Security is his calling card

Tony PaduaTony PaduaNamed after St. Anthony of Padua, patron of lost and stolen articles, Tony Padua seems to be fulfilling a similar calling as senior security manager of Power Plant Mall in Rockwell Center, Makati.

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), he served for nine years with the Philippine Army before eventually joining the civilian sector. He started as a supervisor for a security agency and later became a security officer for different private companies.

In 2012, he saw a job posting by Rockwell Land Corporation. The company was then looking for an estate security manager for Rockwell Center. He applied and got the job, working with a staff of 60 to 70 guards. The following year, he was reassigned to Power Plant Mall and has seen his responsibility grow as the overseer of a now 150- to 200-strong workforce.

Keeping customers, tenants safe

The main challenge that Padua’s team faces is keeping both mall customers and tenants safe and secure at all times. As criminals become more organized and sophisticated, the security team has to continuously undergo training programs that include case studies, which allow the team to review and analyze incidents that occurred not only in Power Plant Mall, but also in other malls. They keep up to date with recent events in the security industry, review proper procedures to ensure consistency in the practice and look at areas for improvement to make the mall safer. They also provide a crime awareness seminar for mall tenants regularly to educate them, for example, on how gangs like salisi and budol-budol attack.

“The security team cannot do it all. Safety and security is everybody’s responsibility. This is why we help tenants become aware of the latest modus operandi in theft and swindling, so that they can protect themselves as well,” says Padua.

He credits his PMA background for honing his leadership skills. “It’s the same concept in the military. We handle people and lead them toward a goal. In the private sector, we just have a different goal, but nevertheless, we still deal with people.”

Backbone of operations

This is why he finds employee wellness and welfare to be of great importance.

“The backbone of Rockwell operations is the people. We have to give credit to people who work beyond their normal field of responsibility. We have to recognize their accomplishments. It could be as simple as a handshake or a pat on the back. We have a well-established rewards mechanism that is clear and transparent, which we use to orient our people—all our service providers from housekeeping, cashiers, technicians and security.”

He explains: “A guard who has found and surrendered any unattended item of value such as jewelry, for instance, is rewarded for his honesty and the reward may be monetary in nature. Such a system is established to reinforce integrity among our personnel. Consequently, it increases the likelihood of having lost items returned to their rightful owners which then reassures customers that whatever they leave behind will be returned to them.”

Duty officer

Padua enjoys his work at the mall despite having to clock in some hours on certain weekends as part of a regular rotation of managers for the role of duty officer for the weekend. He says Rockwell Land has allowed him to pursue both a successful family life and a career.

“That’s why I have stayed. I wouldn’t have stayed if I was unhappy or dissatisfied.”

His message to “LopezLink” readers: “I am inviting all our Lopez Group kapamilya to visit Power Plant Mall. I assure them that they will have a positive, memorable and, above all, safe experience that is beyond ordinary.”