The Development Academy of the Philippines’ (DAP) Productivity and Development Center, through the Government Quality Management Program (GQMP), virtually held the 4th GQMP Symposium: Service Quality Standards – Towards Quality Service for All Citizens on 11 May 2023.

This year’s symposium’s theme “Towards Quality Service for All Citizens” is aligned with the goal of the new Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 in developing broader national government assessments using the whole- of-government approach and business satisfaction surveys.

The virtual event addressed the mandate of government agencies and core principles of public sector actors: that is citizen-centered assistance and service. The event also underscored the need to serve the Filipino people with evidence-based strategies.

In his opening remarks, DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr. talked about the importance of providing quality service to citizens and the role of client satisfaction surveys.

DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr. delivering his opening remarks.

Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Chair of the Government Quality Management Committee (GQMC) Sec. Amenah F. Pangandaman delivered a keynote speech, where she discussed the significance of service quality standards and their role in improving bureaucratic efficiency and good governance.

DBM Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman delivering her keynote speech.

Ms. IreMae Labucay of DAP’s Productivity and Development Center (PDC) and Director Monica D. Saliendres of the PDC Productivity Development Research Office (PDRO) presented their study on The Practice Good Governance and Improvement of Bureaucratic Processes with metrics on key services currently being provided by agencies. The takeaway in their study which attendees took interest in is the expedition of services and the simplicity of availing said services. Their recommendation for a citizen-centered approach is to increase employees in each office, satellite hub, or agency to ensure that the efficiency in response time and knowledge on how to address a citizen’s issue will build trust and achieve the standards and mandates of the institutions, making them more productive in their day-to-day operations. Their study was strategically made in highly urbanized cities (e.g., Quezon City, Angeles City, Cebu City, and Davao City) where the offices are and where they conducted the survey.

Director Monica D. Saliendres of the PDC Productivity Development Research Office (PDRO) explains why there is a need to institutionalize evidence-based Service Quality Standards (SQS) in Frontline Government Services.

“The IT enables most transactions, like queuing, submissions, and payment, if implemented properly. But we should not forget the digitally disconnected: the elderly, those with lower education, and those in rural areas that transact with the government, and those who do not have internet,” according to Ms. Labucay.

Eng. Leonor Cleofas of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems and Atty. Joe Cristine Celera of Manila Water Company, meanwhile, presented their respective institutions’ practices in good governance and their intersectional approach to customer-support, services, employee training, and their local to international quality standards.

“In Manila Water, we believe sustainability starts from within. By developing our employees, great service and company growth follow,” said Atty. Joe Cristine Celera.

Some of the key takeaways from the event include the following:

● Good governance especially for government agencies created with mandates to serve the people should be citizen-centric.
● The efficiency problem can be caused by the lack of knowledge of the government employee and the citizen applying or seeking assistance.
● More than serving the customers, it is also important to boost the capacity of employees for them to be empowered to make decisions and be more productive in the work that they do. This in turn also improves client satisfaction.

DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Magdalena L. Mendoza delivered the Closing Remarks, where she mentioned that serving customers right is just one part of the task. To be inclusive, a good customer experience should be felt everywhere–it should be felt at most, if not all, points of contacts of government.

DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Magdalena L. Mendoza delivering her Closing Remarks.

Did you miss the event? Watch the recording here.