Pasig, Philippines, February 29 – The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) marked a significant milestone in international collaboration as it welcomed a distinguished delegation from Mongolia on February 19, 2024. This historic meeting between the DAP, recognized by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) as the Center of Excellence on Public-Sector Productivity, and Mongolia’s National Productivity Organization (MPO) initiated bilateral cooperation on Public-Sector Excellence and Performance Evaluation, which aims to promote mutual learning and the exchange of best practices among APO members.

Led by DAP President and CEO AND Majah-Leah V. Ravago, APO Alternate Director for the Philippines, the gathering included representatives from Mongolia’s MPO and Authority of Government Supervisory. Notable attendees were: MPO Deputy Director Batbileg Tsagaan; Chief Officer and Head Researcher Anar Bayarsaikhan (Authority of Government Supervisory); Senior Legal Adviser Ariunkhur Choijilsuren (Authority of Government Supervisory); and Chief/Journalist Sukhbaatar Dagvasuren (Mongolian National Broadcaster).

Dr. Ravago highlighted the importance of this cooperation, stating, “This collaboration between NPOs serves as a vital platform for mutual learning, knowledge transfer, and collaboration. Over the next four days, we will engage in the exchange of best practices, successes, and challenges.” She expressed optimism that the partnership between the Philippines and Mongolia would pave the way for advancing public sector productivity across the Asia-Pacific region.

Accompanying Dr. Ravago were DAP officials Magdalena Mendoza, senior vice president for programs, and Armand Tristan Suratos, APO liaison officer for the Philippines. The visit commenced with a comprehensive tour of the DAP Pasig building, providing delegates insights into its history, architecture, and operational functions.

Beyond the DAP, the Mongolian delegation’s itinerary included visits to key Philippine government agencies such as the National Economic and Development Authority, Civil Service Commission, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Department of Labor and Employment from February 20-21. This exposure aimed to facilitate exchanges of high-level officials of Mongolia and the Philippines for mutual learning and sharing of experiences and best practices in public-sector excellence and performance evaluation.

The four-day engagement concluded with a final discussion on long-term collaboration between DAP, MPO, and the Mongolian Authority of Government Supervisory on February 22, 2024, at the DAP Pasig building. Before departing the Philippines, delegates also visited the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City, further enhancing ties and knowledge exchange between the two nations.

This initiative underscores the commitment of both the Philippines and Mongolia to enhancing public-sector productivity and performance evaluation, setting a precedent for collaborative excellence in the region.

Citizen innovation in the public sector is crucial for enhancing productivity and efficiency while promoting trust and transparency in the public sector.

In his online presentation for the Asian Productivity Organization’s Productivity Talk: Public-Sector Productivity through Citizen Innovations on 13 February 2024, Dr. Emre Cinar, Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, emphasized the significance of citizen engagement in driving innovative solutions to social challenges. By harnessing citizens’ collective participation, governments can tap into a wealth of ideas and resources to improve public services.

Case studies from various countries, including the United States, Australia, South Korea, and Singapore, demonstrate the tangible benefits of citizen innovation. Platforms like crowd-granting websites, participative budgeting initiatives, and online forums enable citizens to contribute ideas and feedback, leading to more responsive and inclusive governance.

Citizen innovation enhances public trust in institutions, empowers marginalized groups like women, and promotes transparency in decision-making processes. However, despite its potential, there’s a need to accelerate the adoption of citizen innovation practices across different sectors and regions.

Dr. Cinar presented a framework for innovation transfer and adoption to facilitate the implementation of citizen-driven solutions. This involves understanding the local context, identifying relevant innovations, evaluating their transferability, engaging local stakeholders, and ensuring cultural adaptation and ethical considerations. Collaboration between public sector organizations and policy transfer mechanisms is crucial for scaling up successful initiatives.

With its strong community values and high technology adoption rates, the Asia-Pacific region presents unique opportunities for accelerating citizen innovation in the public sector. Grassroots-level innovations driven by community spirit and supported by advanced technologies can address resource constraints and improve citizen engagement and productivity.

Sharing successful innovations enhances the reputation and credibility of governments and opens opportunities for collaborations, funding, and scaling. By disseminating best practices and promoting a culture of innovation, governments can meet the evolving needs of citizens and drive sustainable development in the digital age.

In conclusion, Dr Cinar said that governments need more innovations, and citizen innovation, which has been gaining popularity in several economies, can help solve resource problems and improve citizens’ trust and satisfaction in the public sector.

Watch the Productivity Talk here.

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through its Center for CES Development (CCD), hosted the Public Management Development Program (PMDP) LeadCon 2024 on February 1 and 2, drawing 389 alumni at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City. The two-day event was bannered by fellowship and knowledge-building activities focused on digitalization and human-centric approaches, driving a unified vision for public service enhancement.

Department of Finance Secretary Ralph Recto, represented by Asec. Niño Raymond Alvina, kickstarted proceedings with a call for streamlined digital efforts across agencies, emphasizing unified policy direction to expedite public service delivery. The event featured the unveiling of digitalized capstone projects and a ceremonial graduation for virtual PMDP batches, who navigated challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noteworthy alumni were recognized for outstanding performance and adherence to public service standards, with recipients of “Tatag” and “Dangal” awards celebrated for impactful contributions. Additionally, numerous alumni achieving third-level positions received the “Galing” award, reflecting the program’s commitment to fostering professional growth.

The second day saw 11 distinguished speakers from local and international government arena delving into pertinent topics under the theme. Director Kiyoung Ko of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) led discussions on human-centric digitalization, followed by panels on Digital Governance Journeys in Asia, and parallel sessions exploring specialized digitalization topics.

Closing remarks by Usec. David Almirol, Jr. of the Department of Information and Communications Technology emphasized the imperative of embracing digitalization for improved public services, echoing President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s vision. Almirol outlined ongoing eGovernment projects, prioritizing Tourism, Health, and Commerce sectors.

This article was originally published on the DAP website.

February 8, 2024, Pasig City – The Development Academy of the Philippines proudly inaugurates Dr. Majah-Leah V. Ravago as its tenth president and chief executive officer.

The oath-taking ceremony, held earlier today, saw the esteemed presence of key figures, including the DAP Board of Trustees Chairperson National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, and members Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary Atty. Luis Meinrado C. Pañgulayan, Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Nino Alvina, and Alternate BoT Representative Atty. Jether K. Corpuz. Alongside them were DAP officers and DAP’s outgoing president, Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr., MNSA.

This article was originally published on the DAP website.

Discussions with agency representatives followed the presentations.

To culminate this year’s Development of Public-Sector Productivity Specialists Foundation Course (DPSPS-FC) and the Designing Citizen-Centered Public Services (DCCPS) program, 111 on-site and online participants gathered for the Knowledge and Experience Sharing Session on 11 December 2023.

The participants presented their Productivity Improvement Plans (PIPs) and Service Innovation Projects (SIPs) designed for their respective government agencies. They also provided updates linked to the implementation and adoption of their projects.

The PIPs ranged from automated trade systems for the agricultural sector to improved financial assistance distribution processes. At the same time, the SIPs were developed to improve services like providing student discounts in rail systems and free legal assistance to help resolve document corrections.

Civil servants watched the video presentations that explained their PIPs and SIPs.

Agency representatives also had the opportunity to discuss the drivers and challenges they faced in pilot-testing their outputs. One of the participating agencies, the National Security Council, cited that the team pursued the idea of a Quality Management System to address the internal inefficiencies that could hamper and limit the service delivery to other stakeholders.

Many teams mentioned that some challenges were finding a common time for meetings with stakeholders and ensuring effective communication and coordination.

The teams also had their advice to potential participants of the two programs. They mentioned that getting the management and stakeholders’ buy-in and planning are crucial for mobilizing productivity for these initiatives.

In his opening remarks, Center for Excellence on Public-Sector Productivity Program Director Peter Dan Baon expressed his gratitude to the attendees and participating agencies for their commitment to their projects.

“It’s essential to note that these programs are more than just training sessions. They represent our shared vision aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. Through them, the Development Academy of the Philippines endeavors to play a pivotal role in refining and redefining the contours of our public sector’s productivity,” said Dir. Baon.

The DPSPS-FC equips agency representatives with specialized training in planning, problem-solving, measurement, and analysis, ultimately aimed at improving organizational productivity.

The DCCPS course aims to assist government agencies in crafting client-centric solutions. It provides coaching and guidance throughout important stages such as information gathering, idea development, and testing.

KESS online and on-site participants gathered with the project team.
Atty. Nathan Marasigan shares his expertise on blockchain technology and how it can revolutionize services in the Philippines.

Annually organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines’ Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity since 2017, the Conference on Public Sector Productivity aims to discuss current and emerging issues and trends in public-sector productivity, present different public-sector organizations’ experiences in designing and implementing their productivity improvement initiatives, and provide a platform for shared learning on public-sector productivity.

The recently concluded Conference on Public-Sector Productivity: Reimagining Public Service Delivery in the Digital Age, held last 5 December 2023, brought together nearly 300 participants, including government officials, senior technical staff, and representatives from various sectors involved in digital government programs, innovation systems, and national development.

DICT Usec. for e-Government David Almirol Jr. with DAP President and CEO Engelbert C. Caronan Jr. and VP of DAP CFG Imelda C. Caluen.

Key discussions at the conference centered on the important role of digital tools such as blockchain, chatbots, and other advancements in ensuring responsible data handling through robust cybersecurity measures.

National agency representatives shared best practices and plans for nationwide initiatives, propelling the Philippines into the digital age. Keynote Speaker Usec. David Almirol Jr. of the Department Of Information And Communications Technology discussed the progress towards e-governance, while Usec. Alexander Ramos of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center shed light on nationwide cybersecurity programs.

Speakers highlighted innovative approaches to digital public service delivery, with Atty. Nathan Marasigan and Engr. Emman Navalan exploring the challenges and advantages of blockchain, demonstrated through cryptocurrency, specific to the context of sensitive-data storage for government institutions. Dr. Myung Jae Moon and Curtis Matlock demonstrated the transformative impact of AI and machine-learning on e-governance.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Director of Supervisory Analytics Noel L. Guinto emphasized responsible data handling for government agencies, underlining the ongoing efforts and explorations of the BSP to upgrade technology for enhanced public service and data security.

The conference concluded with the recognition of winners in the 2023 Productivity Spark: 1,000 Ideas for Productivity.

For more information about CPSP, this year’s speakers, and ongoing updates, connect with us on Facebook and bookmark our page for real-time updates.

Watch the event recap here:

The two-week Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Development of Public-Sector Productivity Specialists course, hosted by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) through the Center of Excellence on Public-Sector Productivity (COE-PSP), concluded last 17 November 2023 in Pasay City.

The event brought together 22 participants from APO-member economies in a program that aimed to equip public-sector specialists with knowledge and skills to enhance productivity.

DAP COE-PSP Dir. Peter Dan B. Baon, APO/DAP Secretariat Armand Tristan R. Suratos, DAP Center for Governance Vice President Imelda C. Caluen, with the resource persons and participants.

Throughout the course, resource persons Dr. D. Brian Marson, President of the Public Service Excellence Institute in Canada, Dr. Myung Jae Moon, Underwood Distinguished Professor at Yonsei University in the Republic of Korea, and Maria Rosario Ablan, DAP Program Director, shared insights on various aspects of public-sector productivity. Dr. Marson discussed change management theory and techniques for enhancing productivity and effective leadership. At the same time, Dr. Moon highlighted best practices in information and communications technology, regulatory reform, and applying foresight in the public sector. Dir. Ablan discussed the meaning and importance of productivity measurement in the public sector.

The participants huddled during one of the workshops.

In the second week, Dr. Jose Elvinia, APO Multicountry Programs Division Head, emphasized the course vision to equip participants with the necessary knowledge for driving productivity.

DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Magdalena L. Mendoza presented the tools and approaches available for public organizations to enhance productivity. Her presentation covered various topics, including performance management and organizational productivity improvement approaches targeting human resources, management, and equipment and technology.

DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Magdalena L. Mendoza shared the tools and approaches to enhance public-sector productivity.

The course also included a site visit to select government agencies, including the Business Permit and Licensing Office of the Quezon City Local Government, the Land Bank of the Philippines, and the Philippine Statistics Authority.

In the culminating activity, the participants presented a group report applying what they learned during the site visit. They also created and presented their Productivity Improvement Plan (PIP) to the resource speakers, who will all be their coaches when implementing their PIP.

One of the participants, Dr. Malaykham Philaphone from Laos PDR, shared her takeaways after attending the course. She said the upskilling made her better understand internal operations as she serves in the public sector.

“Knowing (the) tools to improve organizational productivity will escalate citizen-centered service,” said Dr. Philaphone.

The participants shared what they learned after the site visit with selected government agencies.

The 22 participants represented member economies, including Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Dr. Ilka Massue Kawashita, during one of the sessions, discussed the variables that drive citizens’ trust and confidence in public institutions.

The Public Service Value Chain Workshop, hosted by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) through the Center of Excellence on Public-Sector Productivity in coordination with the Asian Productivity Organization, wrapped up a series of learning sessions and workshops in Pasig City from 23 – 27 October 2023.

The event brought together 35 participants from the DAP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

In her welcome address, DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Magdalena L. Mendoza emphasized the importance of optimizing value chains for efficient and effective public service delivery.

“As public sector entities serve citizens, they contribute significantly to national value. To meet the diverse demands of both private and public stakeholders, refining the public service value chain is thus crucial,” said SVP Mendoza.

The resource persons for the five-day workshop were Dr. Nilton Hideki Takagi, a Professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso’s Institute of Computing in Brazil, and Dr. Ilka Massue Kawashita, an Associate Professor at the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona.

During the training, Dr. Takagi and Dr. Kawashita provided an overview of the concepts and methods of public service value chain development.

Participants discussed the processes in the value chain with Dr. Takagi.

They also shared the bottom-up approach in developing public service value chains, discussed how horizontal governance works, explored how public institutions can increase citizen trust and confidence, and guided the participants in collecting data and defining processes and macro processes within government institutions.

Dr. Kawashita also shared insights on the methods for monitoring and evaluating value chains. She emphasized the critical role of measuring performance in maintaining standards and ensuring quality. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” Dr. Kawashita stressed. Simultaneously, Dr. Takagi delved into the software tools for designing value chains.

Dr. Takagi shared the concepts, approaches, and software tools for designing value chains.

On the last day, participants presented the value chains they had developed using various approaches.

The event culminated with discussions on creating a training manual for value chain development in the public sector, covering topics like planning, implementation, and management of value chain initiatives.

The workshop aimed to enhance public sector efficiency and contribute to national value by refining the public service value chain.

The resource persons and participants with DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Magdalena L. Mendoza, COE-PSP Dir. Peter Dan Baon, and DAP Resident Fellow Maria Rosario Ablan.


Green Transformation would require a new “contract” among stakeholders that is green, sustainable, and inclusive. During the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Virtual Workshop on Green Innovation held in October 2023, Dr. Rene Ofreneo, Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines, shared his thoughts on combining innovation, productivity, and growth.

Pioneering Green Productivity

Since 2002, the APO has advocated for green productivity, hinged upon a heavily agrarian landscape among its member economies. This was a call to the public sector to steer growth, innovation, and productivity toward a green economy.

In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, Green Productivity emerged as a lifeline for economies, offering an opportunity to address the looming climate crisis. By directing efforts towards renewable energy, societies can simultaneously foster job creation and access to cleaner, more affordable energy.

The New Green Deal

The New Green Deal was a proposal for the G20 countries to shift to clean, renewable energy and support the labor force behind green jobs. This meant investing in restructuring the traditional energy-reliant societies and creating new jobs that give way to environmentalists and indigenous and vulnerable communities that stand to protect their homes, consisting of the ecosystems that require high-level environmental protection.

The Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals

In the field of green innovation and combating the climate crisis, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took center stage in 2015. The Paris Agreement stands as a legally binding climate change treaty, aiming to cap global temperature increases to just 1.5°C, a marked improvement from the anticipated 2°C rise in the status quo.

As another instrument of the United Nations, the SDGs obligated member states to adopt the 17 SDGs based on the five interconnected pillars: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership, all to be realized by 2030.

Professor Ofreneo advocates for these instruments despite the prevailing environmental challenges. He implores governments to shift towards greener alternatives and structures.

The Future of Sustainable Development

Harking back to the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development’s report, “Our Common Future,” the principle of sustainable development resounds: it should fulfill the present needs without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to meet their own needs.

To achieve this vision, there must be alignment in the environmental, political, and economic agendas. This synchrony must serve the immediate necessities while ensuring the world’s continued rotation, promising a secure future. This said synchronization must occur under a regional policy framework, with national accountability, but with an impact that can be observed and felt across Asia, as Professor Ofreneo concludes.

Embracing Social Justice in the Green Transition

Professor Ofreneo’s perspective expands to social justice within the framework of the green transition. He acknowledges the “controversial” and “radical” nature of the Climate Justice movement. Nevertheless, he recognizes its value in advocating for a holistic approach: environmental protection equates to safeguarding the most economically vulnerable communities.

He concludes with a battle cry: for all sectors and communities to unite in the pursuit of a Green Transformation.

In his words, “Green innovation requires green investment.”

The future is uncertain, and governments need to be abreast with the emerging trends that can affect the future of work in the public sector. Equipping the public-sector workforce is necessary for government agencies to manage and adapt through ambiguous situations.

In her talk during the Envisioning the Future Civil Servants; Shaping Public-Sector Productivity session of the Human Capital Development as a Driver in Improving Public-Sector Productivity webinar series, Director Emilyn Severo of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) identified six major trends that will shape the public-sector workforce for the future:

  • Digital Transformation: This trend involves embracing digital tools and technologies to modernize government operations. It includes using data-driven decision-making and innovative solutions to improve public service delivery. The goal is to make government agencies more efficient, transparent, and responsive to the needs of the public. For example, the CSC is creating an ICT office to oversee IT programs and has implemented digital platforms like a knowledge management portal and a centralized customer feedback system.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: This trend recognizes the importance of creating diverse and inclusive workplaces within government organizations. It promotes gender and development initiatives, addresses sexual harassment cases, and focuses on gender mainstreaming. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion, government agencies can better adapt to the changing and interconnected world and ensure equal opportunities for all.
  • Remote Work: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift toward remote work. The future of work is expected to be more hybrid, combining office and remote work. Remote work offers several advantages, including the continuity of public service delivery during emergencies, cost savings from reduced office space and commuting expenses, improved work-life balance, and enhanced health and safety protection. With regard to remote work, the CSC has issued policies on flexible work arrangements to support remote work while promoting productivity.
  • Resilience and Dynamism: Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity, such as crises or shocks. Government employees need to be resilient to overcome challenges in their work (e.g., dealing with demanding customers or meeting tight deadlines). Dynamism involves adapting to change, given the constantly evolving world. To foster resilience and dynamism, the CSC organizes events such as the Public Sector Human Resource (HR) Symposium focusing on these qualities.
  • Adaptive Leadership. Adaptive leadership is a key competency required for navigating the complexities of a rapidly changing world. Government leaders must respond to crises, address emerging issues, and lead with resilience and innovation. The CSC offers leadership series and webinars on adaptive leadership to equip government leaders with the necessary skills.
  • Lifelong Learning. In an era of rapid technological advancement, government employees must continually update their skills and knowledge. Lifelong learning is essential to remain effective and responsive to citizens’ needs. The CSC has launched a Learning Management System (LMS) to facilitate continuous learning and offers e-learning courses for government employees. This commitment to lifelong learning ensures that government workers can access training and development resources to stay current and improve their skills.

Collaboration is key

CSC, which serves as the central human resource institution of the Philippine Government, has an important role in preparing the Philippine bureaucracy toward a forward-looking future. While the CSC fulfills its mandate, the institution should not solely implement human capital development programs, as this should also be the mission of every government agency, every government leader, and every government employee in the Philippines. Collaboration is key for the Philippine bureaucracy to prepare its workforce to the fast-changing circumstances.

The identified trends emphasize the need for government agencies and employees to be flexible, responsive, and innovative in a rapidly changing world. By embracing these trends, government organizations can better serve their constituents and adapt to future challenges.

Watch the full webinar here.