This year’s Seminar-Conference on Public Sector Productivity organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), in partnership with the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), underscored the need to combine agility and innovation in enhancing public sector productivity in the new normal.

Held on 18 November 2022, the seminar-conference tackled innovations and technological advances that could help the public sector deliver more and better services while integrating lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The hybrid event gathered 55 participants onsite and thousands virtually. Participants from APO member economies, specifically from India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Republic of China, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Türkiye, also attended the event.

DAP President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Engelbert Caronan, Jr., in his welcome remarks, mentioned the need for the public sector to apply innovation and big picture thinking to help ensure sustainable development.

In this keynote address, Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Atty. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles stressed the need for the public sector to embrace innovation. He added, “The future belongs to the most agile organizations which are willing to accelerate and embrace new possibilities presented by technology and paradigm shifts.”

The first half of the event gave a local perspective on public sector productivity and featured the following speakers: Secretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST); and Director Ma. Christina V. Abalos-Naig of the National Planning, Policy, and Standards Bureau – Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The second half of the event, which was the Conference proper, provided a global perspective on public sector productivity and had the following speakers: Undersecretary Maria Francesca M. Del Rosario of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM); Ms. Julia Bosse, Consultant for the European Institute of Public Administration; Mr. Alexander Heichlinger, Co-founder and CEO of GovInsight; and Dr. Kim Schumacher, Associate Professor in Sustainable Finance and ESG at Kyushu University.

In his closing message, Mr. Armand Tristan Suratos, APO Liaison Officer for the Philippines, explained how the uncertainties can be turned into opportunities to adopt new ways of thinking in the public sector.

Regulatory processes set frameworks and boundaries in which individuals, firms, and organizations can and should act within.

As the national productivity organization of the Philippines, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) believes in the importance of the government playing an active role in the enhancement of productivity and establishment of a regulatory environment that will allow businesses to thrive while consequently ensuring the protection of public interest.

DAP contributes to the smarter public sector initiative of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 through its Center for Governance (CFG) and Productivity and Development Center (PDC). The Academy serves as the policy think-tank and capacity-building arm to regulators in the government sector to uplift and sustain their quality and efficiency standards to be at par with the international regulatory standards.

Making regulations more relevant and coherent

The DAP’s Modernizing Government Regulations (MGR) Program is a regulatory reform initiative that aims to make broad-based improvements in national productivity and competitiveness by examining regulations and identifying possible regulatory governance reforms. Specifically, the MGR Program aims to contribute to the national government’s efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country by developing mechanisms that would make regulations more relevant and coherent, and identifying specific measures to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on specific industries. Once achieved, regulatory quality and coherence will be a stimulating factor in improving the overall business and investment climate in the country.

To help the Philippine government in its regulatory improvement initiatives, the MGR Programs developed tools and systems for the use of regulatory agencies and local governments. The Program developed the draft Regulatory Management System (RMS), which is a standard guideline for developing systems and tools for regulatory improvement.

For its regulatory review studies, in consultation with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the MGR Program focuses on regulations covering government-to-citizen, government-to-business and government-to-government transactions that affect the productivity of sectors/industries with the end-goal of streamlining unnecessary rules and reducing compliance costs borne by the government, from administering and enforcing regulations, as well as the transacting public.

The MGR Program’s capacity-development component focuses on capacitating regulators on the adoption of Good Regulatory Practices such as the conduct of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), on how to utilize RIA as a tool for evaluating the costs and benefits of proposed and existing regulations. With clear information of the benefits of regulation, RIA also encourages compliance by strengthening the legitimacy of regulatory proposals thereby improving the effect of regulation and ease the cost of enforcement for the government and compliance for the businesses.

The MGR Program has also released regulatory reform publications as part of its initiatives to increase awareness and contribute to the adoption of good regulatory practices (GRPs).

DAP Guidebook on Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Public Sector

The Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for the Public Sector 1st Edition was primarily developed for the use of regulation authorities tasked to create, develop, and manage regulations. RIA ensures the quality of regulatory proposals by critically measuring their positive and negative effects through a rigorous, well-defined, and evidence-based analysis.

DAP Guide on Stakeholder Consultation

Effective stakeholder consultation is fundamental in removing obstacles to improving regulation, such as establishing Regulatory Management Systems (RMS) and conducting RIA. Gaining a wider perspective can lead to better solutions and pathways to regulatory reform and development.

In various endeavors towards progress, stakeholder consultation promotes good governance, transparency, citizenship, and accountability. The publication of this guidebook seeks to enhance current government efforts in engaging its stakeholders.

DAP Guidance Note on Regulatory Cost Model on Compliance Costs

The estimation of regulatory compliance costs is a significant component of RIA as it provides key inputs in assessing regulatory options. Thus, as part of its MGR Program, the DAP initiated the development of the Regulatory Cost Model (RCM). The model facilitates a systematic approach in estimating regulatory costs of compliance and helps Philippine regulatory agencies be more informed in their formulation of regulations.

As the Philippine government endeavors towards the streamlining of its processes, the publication of this guidance note seeks to enhance current efforts in formulating simpler, smarter, and better regulations that ultimately benefit the economy.

DAP Benchmarking Study on Regulatory Management in Agri-Fisheries Sector

Food safety is a primary concern of every economy, the Philippines included. Food safety, together with consumer welfare and protection, are the primary bases for the regulatory processes imposed at each stage of the business development cycle for agri-food enterprises. However, no matter how good the intentions may be, how these regulatory processes are implemented and enforced may lead to unintended outcomes, defeating the very purpose of their formulation.

Performance assessment of the Philippines’ food systems regulation through participatory action research and benchmarking with more advanced food systems regulatory regimes yielded valuable recommendations to improve the overall regulatory management system in the agriculture and fisheries sector.

To get a free copy of these regulatory reform publications, visit


Development Academy of the Philippines (2018). Consumer Goods Regulatory Review. Modernizing Government Regulations Program Regulatory Review.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2018). Ensuring the safety of imported food.

Manalili, N. M., Ramos III F. A., Saliendres, M. D., Alvarez, A. D. (2020). Enhancing Regulatory

Management in the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector: A Benchmarking Study (Implications for Food Safety and Quality Regulatory Management System in the Philippines). Development Academy of the Philippines, PRP Printing.

Morales, R. (2013). Philippines. In Banking regulation 2013 (pp. 135-139). Law Business Research.

DAP Modernizing Government Regulations Program releases regulatory reform publications | PDC

The Development Academy of the Philippines, as the country’s focal organization for the Asian Productivity Organization’s Center of Excellence on Public-Sector Productivity (COE PSP), held a three-day webinar on Digital Transformation for Enhancing Public Sector Productivity on 5-7 October 2022. This webinar series aimed to provide the participants with an understanding of digital transformation and the different ways to strengthen government digital services to enhance productivity in the public sector. Two government digital initiatives were presented on the last day of the series.

Understanding digital transformation

Mr. Rey Lugtu of the Hungry Workhorse, explained that digital transformation is an integrated, cohesive, and strategic way of transforming the whole organization. He added that digital transformation is a set of strategic actions to accelerate businesses, practices, processes, competencies, and models by fully leveraging on the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact in a strategic and prioritized way, it is not merely changing one component of an organization but the whole of the organization.

Mr. Rey Lugtu of the Hungry Workhorse explains the concept of digital transformation.

In talking about the organization, a Digital Transformation Framework is observed to define the organization in these major components: the operations and business models, the offering (product performance and systems), the customers, and culture and people. Once these components are understood, capabilities to build will be recognized. Only then digital technologies can be identified and applied to achieve digital transformation.

Responding to one of the questions raised during the webinar, Mr. Lugtu said, “We can’t simplify the process, it is what it is… If we look at digital transformation in a simplistic manner, you will invest in technology without reaping the rewards of that technology. It is something we cannot do haphazardly. It has to be done methodically, deliberately; it has to be well-planned.”

Strengthening government digital services

Dr. Erika Fille Legara, a data scientist and professor at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), emphasized that we are in the fourth industrial revolution where the cyber or digital system marries the physical system. She added that the government needs to invest and digitalize its services. Proper use of technology would help the government create public value through efficient and accessible digital services. The public can be assured of efficient distribution of financial assistance by government institutions given the right data. Greater transparency and inclusivity will also be ensured by going digital.

Dr. Erika Fille Legara discusses how government public services can be more enhanced and transformed with data and digital technology.

Looking into the Philippine Digital Strategy Vision, Dr. Legara highlighted some key points that the government is improving to strengthen digital transformation in the country. As the bedrock of digitalization [and artificial intelligence], the government is building up its digital infrastructure  to be reliable, robust, scalable, and accessible.

In her discussion, Dr. Legara said “every Filipino and every government office must have an internet connection.” She noted that the internet today is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Dr. Legara, however, mentioned that the government must ensure that its citizens are protected and secured in the cyberspace should it decide to open its systems and data to the world wide web.

Another key aspect of the government’s strategy discussed during the session is digital literacy. Dr. Legara emphasized that the government must partner with the industry and the academe to promote digital and data literacy for all. She added that Filipinos should be taught how to behave online to be safe, and how to make advantage of the internet to learn more and identify misinformation. Lastly, she noted that learning and development programs on data and technology must be provided to government employees as well.

Pioneering digital transformation initiatives in the public sector 

For the third day of the series, two successful digital initiatives in the government were presented: Digitize Dulag (Digi-Du) of Dulag, Leyte which won the “Best in eGOV Data-Driven Governance” (D2G) category of the Digital Governance Awards (DGA) in 2019, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Digital Transformation in Financial Services.

Hon. Mildred Que, with her team (bottom photo at the right), explains Dulag’s successfully implemented digitization project called Digitize Dulag.

Hon. Mildred Joy Que, a lawyer and the incumbent mayor of Dulag, Leyte, presented on their municipality’s fully-integrated computerization project. Digitize Dulag by the Municipal Government of Dulag, Leyte was developed to intensify transparency, accountability, and internal control in different aspects of their local government’s functions. Built with an online office software, Digi-Du is a comprehensive system that utilizes information and communication technology and data science. It has helped enhance the local government’s system for collection and payment of taxes, disbursement of payroll, and application for permits such as business permits. 

From the Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department of BSP, Director Melchor Plabasan first expounded the core mandates of BSP that aim for price stability, financial stability, and efficient payment systems. He also discussed BSP’s advocacies, including financial inclusion.  In advocating for financial inclusion, BSP wants every adult Filipino to “have access to safe, convenient, and affordable financial services and own a transaction account that he/she can use on a day-to-day basis.”

BSP is developing its programs to expand to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups by building a sustainable and more vibrant financing ecosystem. There have also been initiatives to establish credit infrastructure and standardize business loan applications to make it easier for the stakeholders.

Director Melchor Plabasan, speaking for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, discusses the agency’s advocacy for financial inclusion.

BSP’s 2021 data revealed that there was an increase in ownership of financial accounts, and a shift in the people’s reference on mode of payment due to the pandemic restrictions. About 60% of the country’s population now uses digital and online channels for payment or money transfers. To further democratize financial accounts, BSP has made possible the creation of basic e-money accounts for financial institutions that would only need a few requirements.

The participants raised concerns on data privacy and security during the webinar. Dir. Plabasan mentioned that the government is in efforts to promote digital literacy to the public and conducts programs to strengthen financial education and consumer protection in the country. He also stressed the necessity for the policy on SIM card registration to be implemented.

This webinar series is available for replay on Facebook and YouTube. Stay tuned for more webinar series in the coming months.

With the fast-paced technological development and changing times and environment, the government has been finding different ways to address the needs and demands of the citizens. From 26 to 30 September 2022, the Development Academy of the Philippines, through the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity, conducted the Designing Citizen-Centered Public Services workshops at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City.

The workshops aimed to equip the agencies with the proper knowledge and skills to increase productivity by providing new ways to improve their systems and processes to serve the citizens better. The participants who attended are from the following agencies and institutions: Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII), Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Book Development Board (NBDB), Rizal Medical Center (RMC), Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Philippine National Railways (PNR), and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).

Learning new ways and tools for innovation

The participants were given materials to study in preparation for the workshops and lectures, which focused on understanding clients’ experiences and how it can be further improved through different concepts and tools, such as the client journey map. The initial sessions have provided them the opportunity to analyze their own data and identify issues and pain points, which can be further improved in the workshops through the process of ideation.

A lecture was also given on the use and the different types of prototyping. The workshop on creating an idea sheet, prototyping, and designing a user test has helped the participating agencies to consolidate their ideas. The user testing was also conducted during the five days, wherein they were able to get insights and perspectives not just from the speaker but from their co-participants to improve their prototypes better.

From ideas to ways forward

To put into action the ideas and plans created through this training workshop, the participants went through identifying the next steps to implement their productivity projects, how to measure productivity gains, and pitch their projects to their respective agencies.

Towards the end of the workshop training, Dr. Edmund Cedric A. Orlina from Rizal Medical Center expressed his gratitude on how they can now introduce innovations in their workplace, which involves several steps or a process that they were able to learn and appreciate through the DCCPS program. Dr. Alma Gay Concepcion T. Amado, also from Rizal Medical Center, mentioned how they came into the training with a specific problem in mind but are now ready to return to their respective offices with different tools and strategies on how to address the problem.

The Development Academy of the Philippines, as the country’s focal organization for the Asian Productivity Organization’s Center of Excellence on Public-Sector Productivity (COE PSP), held a two-day webinar on Productivity Initiatives to Improve Service Delivery in the Local Government on August 31 and September 2, 2022. The webinar aimed to present initiatives by local government units (LGUs) to enhance service delivery and productivity, as well as provide insights on the various challenges from conceptualization to implementation in local government.

Improving barangay interoperability

The first day of the webinar featured the presentation of LGU-Barangay Connect (LB Connect), a productivity initiative of the Municipal Government of Loon, Bohol. Ms. Maricris Maestrado, Project Development Assistant from the Office of the Mayor of Loon, presented the background of the project and its key developments, such as improving resource allocation, interconnectivity, and data sharing between the municipal government and its component barangays. She said it has now become an efficient monitoring tool for tracking the barangays’ fiscal and financial responsibilities. Two key success factors for the project were the enhancement of internal control measures to improve good governance and the introduction of a program that is inclusive and applicable for all personnel.

Ms. Maricris Maestrado from the Loon LGU presents the LB Connect project.
Using data for disaster risk reduction and planning

The second day of the webinar showcased the Guagua Geographic Information System (GGIS) and Magallanes’ Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS). These two systems are currently being utilized in planning, monitoring, and evaluating different programs and projects that their respective municipalities are taking.

EnP. Elsa Perez-Pantino presents the Guagua Geographic Information System.

Ms. Elsa Perez-Pantino, Municipal Planning and Development Officer with the Municipal Government of Guagua, Pampanga, discussed the initial issues and concerns that spurred them to pursue the GGIS. Aside from disaster risk reduction, the project is also being used in land tax management and comprehensive land use planning. Ms. Pantino urged other LGUs to implement their own GIS by engaging the necessary human resources and ensuring the accuracy of data captured as geographical information is helpful in terms of decision-making for project implementations. Despite being a long-term undertaking, a GIS initiative can be possible with the support of their local leaders.

Mr. Roilan Reyes talks about the Community Based Monitoring System (CMBS), a project developed by the Municipal Government of Magallanes, Cavite.

Mr. Roilan Reyes, Municipal Planning and Development Officer from the Municipal Government of Magallanes, Cavite, followed with a discussion about how CBMS was designed to address the lack of data for poverty reduction in the town by collecting, processing, and validating data for the municipality’s planning, implementation, and monitoring, while also engaging and empowering communities. Information from the CBMS is now used to guide the creation of official plans for disaster risk reduction, barangay development, and tourism development, among others. It has also been useful in implementing disaster relief and assistance during the 2020 eruption of the Taal Volcano and the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Reyes motivated the viewers by highlighting that despite Magallanes, Cavite being a 4th class municipality, they were able to set up a CBMS that has already served a wide range of purposes.

This two-day webinar is available for replay on Facebook and YouTube. Stay tuned for more webinar series in the coming months.

Innovation Laboratory Aims for Value Chain Enhancement and Cross-Cutting Innovations

Concluding its 6th year of aiding the nation in spreading the innovation culture, the Public Sector Productivity Innovation Laboratory (PSP-InnoLab) focuses on pursuing partnerships, sectoral innovations, and value chain enhancements. Since the program’s launch in 2016, PSP-InnoLab has capacitated more than 140 agencies and 400 participants with 29 innovation projects implemented. The program now sets sail to the next phase of its roadmap, so PSP-InnoLab focuses on achieving a wider reach and more meaningful outcomes.

In 2022, aside from creating a wider pool of innovation facilitators, new activities and concepts will be executed and integrated into the various program offerings of InnoLab. Cross-pollination of learning and interagency collaborations will be the main ingredients in ensuring that cross-cutting innovations focusing on value chain enhancements will be fostered. Furthermore, the program components will integrate into its course designs, activities that promote identifying and realizing meaningful productivity gains in conceptualizing and implementing innovation activities.

Opening the year with capacitating DAP in-house facilitators, the PSP-InnoLab has also mobilized activities for the Masterclass on Co-Creation Innovation Process and the Boot Camp on Innovating the Public Sector. Aside from these regular offerings, an Innovation Sharing Activity was conducted last June 29, 2022. Furthermore, implementation and scale-up activities will be launched to strengthen existing projects through sustainability efforts.

For more information on the PSP-InnoLab offerings for 2022, inquiries may be emailed to — Adrian A. Ramirez

As the Philippines’ local government units (LGUs) transition to full devolution of services, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) trained eight participants from the Meycauayan City Government and Misamis Oriental Provincial Government during the Designing Citizen-Centered Public Services workshops held from 15 to 19 August 2022.

Ms. Beatrice Francesca A. Orante, Associate Project Officer from the DAP Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity (COE-PSP), instructed the participants in the use of a structured and human-centered process for analyzing service issues and designing solutions. She also guided them through activities where they applied their learnings while developing service improvements.

At the end of the sessions, the LGUs produced proposals and action plans that they will implement after the workshops. They will carry out these tests with additional coaching and project incubation activities from the DAP before presenting their progress in November.

Ms. Sheila Tamayo-Sinson presenting the design challenge the Meycauayan LGU wants to address.
Ms. Evy Elago shares Misamis Oriental’s Idea Sheet.
Putting citizens at the center of innovation

The workshops and activities also introduced a more citizen-centered approach to service delivery and productivity, especially in the local context. They drew from clients’ pain points and emotions to identify issues and opportunities while also designing solutions and implementation strategies that considered desirability and overall alignment with stakeholders’ expectations, interests, and needs. Lastly, they ran tests with their target users to gather feedback to improve their projects.

Lectures provided additional context as to the principles of citizen-centered service design and their role in the innovation process and productivity improvement as a whole. The discussions also featured exemplary services from the Philippine local governments, other countries, and the outputs of past participants.

Mr. Renz Alfred Fernando shares Misamis Oriental’s user test plan.
Mr. Adrian Ramirez introduces the participants to the different interventions for project incubation.

The DAP Center for Governance-Policy Research Office held last August 25 the fourth installment of the Capability Building on Innovative Leadership for Legislative Staff (CBILLS) Program’s Thursday Talks: Webinar Series on Socio-Political and Economic Perspectives, which tackled government restructuring and reform through a webinar titled “Rightsizing the Philippine Bureaucracy.”

The webinar explored the intentions and implications of the proposed National Government Rightsizing Program (NGRP) in enhancing the government’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate and provide better services through speakers from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, the Department of Budget and Management, the University of the Philippines, and IBON Foundation.

Dr. Charlotte Justine Diokno-Sicat of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies presented the Philippine experience in public sector reform and emphasized that rightsizing may result in improved efficiency and delivery of public goods and services if these efforts are grounded on economic principles and are conducted across national government agencies, and considered the changing needs of client citizens.

Atty. Maria Paula B. Domingo of the Department of Budget and Management discussed the salient features of the proposed National Government Rightsizing Program (NGRP) and provided policy recommendations on the challenges encountered in rightsizing efforts introduced in the previous Congress.

Panel discussants Dr. Maria Lourdes G. Rebullida of the University of the Philippines and Jose Enrique A. Africa of IBON Foundation both shared their insights and analyses on the scope and potential impacts of rightsizing efforts in the light of the current Philippine bureaucracy and offered policy recommendations that would ultimately enhance government capacity in fulfilling agencies’ respective mandates and effectively addressing citizens’ needs.

The livestream of this event can be accessed through the Policy Research Office Facebook Page at

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) trained 43 participants during the Designing Citizen-Centered Public Services workshops held from 25 to 29 July 2022. Participants came from the following ten agencies:

  • Department of Education (DepEd) – Quezon Province
  • DepEd – Calamba
  • DepEd – Mandaluyong City
  • Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI),
  • Cooperative Development Authority Region IV-A (CDA IV-A)
  • Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)
  • Lung Center of the Philippines
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center
  • West Visayas State University
  • Cagayan State University.

Ms. Beatrice Francesca A. Orante, Associate Project Officer from the DAP Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity, instructed the participants in the use of a structured and human-centered process for analyzing service issues and designing solutions. She also guided them through a series of workshops where they applied their learnings while developing service improvements.

Ms. Beatrice Francesca A. Orante shares tips on forming design challenges.

At the end of the sessions, the ten agencies produced proposals and action plans that they will implement after the workshops. They will carry out these tests with additional coaching and project incubation activities from the DAP before presenting their progress in November.

Ms. Christine E. Jaspe discusses the ideas their team from the WVSU generated to improve their service.

Ms. Lolita Bondoc of the SBMA shares their concept.

Putting citizens at the center of innovation

The workshops and activities also introduced a more citizen-centered approach to service delivery and productivity. They drew from clients’ pain points and emotions to identify issues and opportunities. They also designed solutions and implementation strategies that considered desirability and overall alignment with stakeholders’ expectations, interests, and needs. Lastly, they ran tests with their target users to gather feedback they could use to improve their projects.

Lectures provided additional context as to the principles of citizen-centered service design and how they factor into the tools and activities and the innovation process as a whole. The discussions also featured exemplary services from the Philippines and other countries and the experiences of past participants.

Ms. Beatrice Orante introduces the components of the idea sheet.

Mr. Adrian Ramirez introduces the participants to the Innovation Laboratory

Participants pose for the class photo
Participants pose for the class photo

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) held a webinar series on Public Workforce Futureproofing: Elevating Productivity in the New Normal on 28-29 June 2022. The series discussed the changing landscape of the public sector’s work environment and the strategies that can be applied to face the challenges.

Former CSI Executive Director, Mr. Arthur Florentin (upper right) and Mr. Edward Santiago of Lifekite (upper left) discussing the trends and challenges around future-proofing the public sector workforce.

The changing landscape of work in the the public sector

The series opened with the former executive director of the Civil Service Institute (CSI), Mr. Arthur Florentin, who provided an overview on the future of work and the new competencies that need to be developed in the public sector. He identified four characteristics that continue to be evident, despite modernization efforts in recent years:

  • Rigid practices
  • Attendance-driven without indicating the type of work
  • Manual processes for service delivery
  • Standardization of past success factors

To better prepare the public sector for future risks and opportunities, Mr. Florentin suggested applying more results-oriented performance measurement, flexible working arrangements, and a strategic and anticipatory mindset. He explained that these changes would help organizations continue their work regardless of the situation and build the digital skills of staff.

Asked by a participant if the work-from-home arrangement has ensured productivity, Mr. Florentin said that, from the recent studies, it has ensured continuity but its effectiveness still depends on how leaders guide their staff. He also told another participant that retooling and upskilling strategies should focus on flexibility, agility, and lifelong learning.

Resiliency and wellness in the new era of work

The second day of the webinar series featured an interactive session on mindfulness and resilience led by Mr. Edward Santiago of Lifekite, a transformational growth company.

At the beginning of his lecture, Mr. Santiago defined mindfulness as a therapeutic technique to achieve a “mental state that is focused and aware of the present moment with acknowledgment of one’s feelings and thoughts.” He explained that mindfulness can help improve social relationships, reduce stress, and enhance one’s resilience through positivity and gratefulness. Organizations also benefit from mindfulness because it helps individuals focus better, thus elevating productivity and performance.

Mr. Santiago outlined four steps in practicing mindfulness:

  1. Pause and look for a breather
  2. Identify things to be thankful for and to improve
  3. Take deep breaths to calm down
  4. Care for one’s self to be healthy

During the Q&A with the participants, Mr. Santiago promoted compassionate leadership, educating staff, facilitating communication among individuals, and creating a psychologically safe environment in offices.

In relation to reaching targets in the public sector, a participant asked, “how can our managers help staff mitigate the mental health risks of overwork?” Mr. Santiago responded by saying, “compassionate leadership is essential in that it thinks how its team can better accomplish the job, but are also being productive and efficient. Education, also, to teach people that there is a new way of doing it, and communication.” The second session ended with a question on what structure an office can observe to maintain psychological safety and productivity in the workplace. The speaker suggested for a team to meet at least one hour in a week where they’ll be able to have a space to discuss their thoughts and express support for each other.

Replay of this webinar series is accessible on Facebook and Youtube. Stay tuned for more upcoming webinar series in the coming months.