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.

The Development Academy of the Philippines, as the focal organization of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity (COE-PSP), successfully implemented this year’s second batch of the Development of Public Sector Productivity Specialists – Foundation Course (DPSPS-FC) from 13 to 17 June 2022.

In his opening speech, Mr. Peter Dan Baon, the COE-PSP Program Manager, welcomed the participants from the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Mines & Geosciences Bureau Regional Office IVA,  House of Representatives – Congressional Policy & Budget Research (HOR-CPBR), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and Professional Regulation Commission – NCR. He explained that the five-day course seeks to provide an avenue for them to gain insights, learn from the experience of other participants, and collaborate with other agencies as they work together towards a more productive public sector.

Capacitating future PSP specialists

Ms. Maria Rosario Ablan, Program Director of the DAP AO25 Secretariat, led the discussion for Session 1: Understanding Public Sector Productivity Concepts and Principles. She discussed basic productivity concepts and issues, the importance of public sector productivity, the productivity management framework, and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle.

Ms. Rosario Ablan discussing the outline for Session 1

For the second session on Measuring Productivity in the Public Sector, Ms. Ablan presented the Productivity Measurement Framework and the key considerations and challenges in measuring public sector productivity. She also explained the index-based PSP measurement and steps in building output and input indices to compute productivity at the organizational level.

Representatives from each participating agency presenting their identified organizational inputs, outputs, and outcomes during the sharing session

Ms. Elena Cruz, former DAP Vice President and Managing Director of the Center for Knowledge Management, facilitated Session 3: Diagnosing and Analyzing Productivity. Ms. Cruz tackled Lean Management principles and concepts, emphasizing the eight wastes of Lean Manufacturing. She also discussed various problem-solving tools and techniques, such as Quick Assessment, Value Stream Mapping, Work Study, Process Chart, Method Study, Work Measurement, and Root Cause Analysis. According to Ms. Cruz, diagnosing and defining productivity issues are important preliminary steps to productivity improvement. 

Ms. Elena Cruz discussing the Session 3 Outline with the participants.

Representatives from each agency presenting their matrix diagrams during the sharing session

For the fourth session, Ms. Niña Estudillo, an Honorary Certified APO Productivity Practitioner and independent trainer and consultant specializing in Productivity and Quality (P&Q) and Organizational Development (OD), discussed how to identify and plan productivity improvements to address productivity problems identified in the previous session. She introduced the tools and techniques for productivity improvement, focusing on Quality Circle and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). During the workshop, the participating agencies were tasked to identify solutions to their identified wastes using the Root Cause Analysis, specifically the Ishikawa Diagram, Potential Problem Analysis and Solutions Formulation Matrix. They were also given time to brainstorm and prepare for the initial outline of their Productivity Improvement Plan (PIP), which will serve as their final output for the course.

Ms. Niña Estudillo outlining the steps in preparing Cause-and-Effect Diagram, which is one of the workshop outputs for Session 4

On the program’s final day, two case presenters discussed and shared exemplary experiences in developing and implementing interventions that have addressed internal and external productivity issues concerning citizen satisfaction, public trust, cost-effectiveness, competitiveness, and quality of life. Mr. Michaelangelo R. Severa, Local Government Operations Officer at the Department of the Interior and Local Government Regional Office No. 5 (DILG Region 5), presented the key components, results, and challenges they faced in the implementation of the “Saloobin ng mga Mamamayan” project, which seeks to establish a citizen feedback mechanism and address issues surrounding feedback mechanism protocols at the barangay-level. The second presenter, Mr. Joel O. Mendoza, Head of the Quality Workplace Committee at the Department of Education (DepEd), shared their quality workplace journey through 5S Good Housekeeping.

Participants posing for their class picture.

Participants posing for their class picture.

For their main course activity, the participating agencies presented their initial Productivity Improvement Plan. Each of the agencies was provided an opportunity to raise questions and give comments on the outputs of one another. The resource persons during the previous sessions, Ms. Niña Estudillo, Ms. Elena Cruz, and Mr. Peter Dan Baon also provided their inputs and suggestions after each presentation.

To formally close the program, Ms. Imelda C. Caluen, Vice President and Managing Director of the DAP Center for Governance, delivered the closing remarks. She congratulated the participants for completing the first step to becoming productivity specialists, adding that any effort to improve government productivity starts with the workforce, improving skills, and reforming administrative cultures.

Ms. Imelda Caluen, Managing Director of the DAP Center for Governance, delivering the closing remarks.

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) played a major role in the recently concluded Seminar-Workshop on Automated Government Service Management System for the Regulatory Agencies under the Department of Agriculture.

The five-day event, which kicked off on 8 November 2021, was held at The Bayleaf Cavite and was simultaneously broadcasted online via Webex. The workshop aimed to help the regulatory offices under the Department of Agriculture (DA) to streamline and harmonize government processes, procedures and requirements through digitalization and automation.

DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr., along with other distinguished officials of the bureaucracy, delivered their respective Welcome Messages during the kick-off event. President Caronan, in his message, expressed his warmest support to this very important undertaking of the DA as it embarks on capacitating DA personnel with new ideas, concepts, studies, and best practices to modernize the current agricultural services. He highlighted the need to be more creative and to think out-of-the-box in order for our lives and livelihoods to survive as we move to the “new normal.”  Moving forward, he encouraged the participants to have the mindset of constantly improving in order to make things more efficient for the organization and become more responsive to the needs of our fellow citizens. He expressed his belief that mainstreaming innovations and regulatory reform initiatives largely depend on the manner by which regulatory bodies steer the direction of their regulated entities to adopt smart approaches in operations and policies that underpin these regulations.

DAP President Caronan delivered a Welcome Message during the Opening Program

As one of the main speakers, DAP Vice-President Arnel D. Abanto  shared the results of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries or PCAF-commissioned study on the “Review of Laws and Regulations to Enhance Policy Environment Towards Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization.” Prior to his presentation, he commended the DA management for gathering the whole agency to review its existing operations and policy issuances. He stressed the need to remove the burdensome regulations and requirements, including the existing flaws, inefficiencies, and “red tape” as the DA embarks on automation.

VP Abanto also highlighted that the results of the study as well as the ongoing study on the Full-blown Assessment on the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) are good reference materials of the DA as it moves towards its goal of being “OneDA” in its quest for streamlining and service process improvement. It is high time that the DA management considers the recommendations of these studies.

The DA acknowledged this as the event host referred to the said studies, along with other DAP publications on “Enhancing Regulatory Management in the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector: A Benchmarking Study” as the “bible” or reference of the DA regulatory agencies in their regulatory streamlining initiatives to improve the delivery of service processes and ultimately promote economic growth for the agriculture sector. 

Vice-President Arnel D. Abanto presents the results of a DAP study before the OneDA family | Development Academy of the Philippines

The five-day DA event is in support of the Republic Act 11032 or an Act Promoting Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services. The workshop was attended by more than 200 participants from OneDA family comprised of DA-Central regulatory offices, regional field offices, bureaus and attached agencies and corporations via in-person and virtual modalities. The workshop was concluded on 12 November 2021 as the DA launched its first-ever Digital Agriculture Command Center.

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The Development Academy of the Philippines’ (DAP) Modernizing Government Regulations (MGR) Program formally launched its 2021 Regulatory Review on 6 October 2021 via Zoom.  The event was attended by 56 members and officers of private organizations/associations and officials from regulatory agencies involved in the prioritized government-to-government/agency-to-agency (G2G/A2A) and government-to-business (G2B) transactions.

This year, the MGR Program is focusing on the following transactions that are supportive of reviving the industries that were heavily affected by the current pandemic: a) G2G/A2A regulations affecting the streamlining of service processes; b) G2B regulations covering the digital economy; and c) G2B regulations covering food logistics.

DAP Study Team and participants during the 2021 MGR Regulatory Review Launch

During the Launch, the study team research fellows presented the sectoral background, initial regulatory issues and research questions of their respective industries through breakout groups. After the presentation, participants shared their comments and experiences on what regulations/processes contribute to the difficulty in compliance and high transaction cost. The activity also brought to fore initial recommendations on how to address said issues. Among the key issues that were validated and gathered during the activity were as follows:

a. G2G/A2A Regulations Affecting the Streamlining of Service Processes Non-submission of Citizen’s Charter compliance report of about 2,000 agencies, despite the existence of streamlining law – ARTA report

  • Regulations on procurement, PBB guidelines, financial and audit regulations, pandemic-related requirements of LGUs, regulations related to Data Privacy Act, and tax payment are perceived to hinder process performance and efficient delivery of services – DAP perception survey initial results
  • Inconsistent enforcement of regulations and unreasonable delays in the release of requested documents.
  • Inadequate personnel to process a transaction, unclear requirements, and difficulty in accessing the concerned agencies.
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b. G2B Regulations Covering Digital Economy

  • Application of traditional policies which do not reflect rapid changes, innovations and technology advancements to digital businesses due to prolonged process of law-making
  • Difficulty to regulate online businesses due to Department of Trade and Industry’s limited manpower and increasing number of unregistered and unscrupulous businesses online
  • Need for coordination and discussion between government agencies to adapt to changes involving government digitization and the shift to online G2B transactions (e.g., recognition and use of electronic signatures)
  • Inadequacies in our current laws on the liability of online buying and selling platforms to protect consumers
  • Possible challenges on implementing regulatory sandbox framework for financial technology innovations

c. G2B Regulations Covering Food Logistics

  • Overregulation of food manufacturing sector and agriculture and LGU restrictions on the delivery of produce during pandemic resulted to wasted produce.
  • Low productivity in provinces that were traditionally centers of productivity or food baskets.
  • Absence of standards/guidelines/regulations on importation non-traditional products (e.g., rabbit) and stringent requirements of Good Animal Husbandry Practices
  • High price of fruits and vegetables due to logistics problem, food safety and other regulatory measures
  • Difficulty in implementing viable recommendations of various researches (e.g., DAP Benchmarking Study on Regulatory Management) to effect regulatory reform in the sector
  • Additional cost and potential operations delay caused by changes in documentary requirements (e.g., Bureau of Animal Industry’s Certificate of Analysis annual submission compared to previous process of every five years)
  • Tedious and unwieldy end-to-end process of online payment, i.e., the need for traditional hard copy of receipts instead of electronic receipt
  • Difficulty in obtaining permits to transport livestock and poultry due to sudden change of area condition that gives inconsistent information and entails additional costs to companies.

Following the launch, the next step will be for the study teams to take a deep dive and prioritize issues gathered from the activity by conducting separate focus group discussions and industry dialogues with the participants from the public and private sectors.

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The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through its Modernizing Government Regulations (MGR) Program, completed the Capability Development Assistance on Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for the Intramuros Administration (IA) which commenced on 15 September with the conduct of a Basic Course on RIA and culminated with the conduct of an Advanced Course on RIA on 7 October 2021.

Basic Course on RIA for the Intramuros Administration conducted on 15-17 & 20-24 September 2021
Advanced Course on RIA for the Intramuros Administration conducted on 28 September – 1&4-7 October 2021

With the primary objective of developing the capability of the IA key officers and technical staff to undertake RIA, the participants were able to perform RIA using various analytical methods and produce their agency’s Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for the following identified regulations:

  • Amendment to an existing regulation: Efficiency of the Processing of Building Permit for Intramuros Constructions through the City of Manila
  • Amendment to an existing regulation: Issuance of the IA Development Clearance (PD No. 1616 as amended and its IRR: Rule III, Section 1.3 and Rule VIII, Sections 2 and 5)
  • Proposed regulation: Pedestrianization of General Luna Street
  • Amendment to an existing regulation: Proposed online application of permit for photography and video in Intramuros (Section 6 of PD No. 1616)

As part of the commitment and advocacy of the DAP MGR Program for wider application of good regulatory practices, the DAP Project Team is offering to provide a sponsored RIA Clinic/follow-up assistance to help the IA enhance further the RIS produced during the training. Upon enhancement of output, the IA is encouraged to present their revised RIS to a panel composed of IA senior official(s) and DAP representatives to solicit further feedback.

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The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through its Modernizing Government Regulations Program, completes the Phase II: Capability Development Assistance on Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for Priority Agencies of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) which ran on 31 May 2021 and culminated with the conduct of ten-panel presentations on the results of the RIA on 19 July 2021.

With the primary objective of developing the capability of selected regulatory agencies’ personnel to undertake RIA, the participants were able to produce their agencies’ Regulatory Impact Statements (RIS) that would help them analyze identified regulations. Twenty-three priority agencies presented their agencies’ RIS results to a panel of experts from the DAP, representatives from the ARTA, and officials from the respective beneficiary agencies.  The panel presentations of the agencies aimed to enable further analysis of the following draft RIA to identify opportunities for improvement: proposed implementation of the electronic tracking system and automated processing of certificates/permits, as well as, amendment of guidelines on online registrations and streamlining application processes.

The next step would be for the agencies to integrate the feedback received during the panel presentations and finalize their respective RIS.

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The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through its Productivity and Development Center, in partnership with the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), an intergovernmental organization in the Asia-Pacific region, is conducting the Workshop on Modern Food Transportation and Regulation on 13 to 15 July 2021 via Zoom.

The workshop will highlight the importance of smart transformation of food transportation in member countries to meet modern consumers’ needs such as timely delivery, high quality, and safe food from secure sources. This goal is anchored on the commitment and key result areas of the APO in reference to its newly launched Vision 2025 striving for an “inclusive, innovation-led productivity growth in Asia and the Pacific.

Moreover, the three-day virtual activity will discuss highly relevant topics which mainly focus on Global Trends, Challenges, Policy/Regulatory Responses, and Opportunities in Food Transportation, Modern Delivery System with the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Cold Chain Logistics in Response to Covid-19, and International Standard on Temperature-Controlled Parcel Delivery Service (ISO23412). The duration of each day’s sessions will be around four hours comprising of presentations, interactive group discussions, and other relevant collaborative learning methods.

Expected to be attended by some 30 foreign and local participants from Bangladesh, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Republic of China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, and Philippines, the workshop will also be graced by experts and presenters on agricultural economy, cold chain management using state- of-the-art technologies, and relevant management systems, particularly ISO 23412:2020.

This initiative is part of the virtual programs conducted under the Digital Multi- Country programs of the APO. This is pursuant to the unified goal of the DAP and APO to promote innovative interventions, approaches and best practices across all sectors of the economy, foster the development forces at work both in national and regional scale, and bolster the institutional infrastructure crucial to sustained productivity improvement. Indeed, the APO and the National Productivity Organizations (NPOs) have continuously lived up to their commitment to contribute to the socioeconomic development of Asia and the Pacific through the enhancement of productivity.

The DAP, as the country’s National Productivity Organization, and the APO,
hope to continuously impact food transportation and logistics at all levels — national, local or even global in the coming years. For more information, visit or email

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