DAP holds third batch of the Development of Public Sector Productivity Specialists Foundation Course

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) trained 29 participants during the Development of Public Sector Productivity Specialists Foundation Course (DPSPS-FC) held from 27 June to 1 July. Participants came from seven agencies:

  • Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
  • Office of the Provincial Prosecutor – Cebu (OPP Cebu)
  • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
  • Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital
  • Civil Service Commission Regional Office II (CSC Region 2)
  • Department of Transportation (DOTr)
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Resource persons from the DAP discussed the basic concepts and strategies and guided the participants through workshops to draft a productivity improvement plan. Case presenters also shared their experiences in conceptualizing and implementing their own projects.

Basics of Public-Sector Productivity

The participants began with an introduction to public-sector productivity from AO25 Secretariat Director Ms. Maria Rosario A. Ablan. She highlighted how productive organizations could improve citizens’ quality of life, restore public trust, and promote good governance. Ms. Ablan also presented the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle as a framework for productivity improvement.

Ms. Maria Rosario Ablan conducting the session on Understanding Productivity Concepts.

Ms. Ablan also led the discussion in the next session on the steps and key considerations in productivity measurement. After the lecture, the participants identified their inputs, outputs, and outcomes and applied the process of measurement in the context of their agencies. The following session on diagnosing and analyzing productivity problems showed how Lean Management concepts and tools such as Quick Assessment, Value Stream Mapping, and Identifying a Problem Statement may be used to deepen one’s understanding of the potential causes of productivity issues and how best to address them.

Ms. Khasian Romulo from the DOST-STII presenting their workshop output.

Productivity Improvement

Using insights from the third session, Ms. Niña Maria Estudillo introduced a number of productivity improvement tools and techniques, such as Fishbone Analysis, Root Cause Analysis, and Solutions Formulation Matrix, and guided the participants in their use.

The last day of the course was dedicated to tackling practical questions and strategies. DAP Project Officer Ms. Rocio Isabel Paloma shared tips for introducing and sustaining solutions. These were contextualized through presentations of previous innovation projects from Dr. Edward Baña of the Department of Education (DepEd) and Ms. Maria Luisa Khristina Oliveros from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Participants later presented their respective offices’ initial Productivity Improvement Plan.

The course ended with a message from DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan Jr., MNSA, which emphasized how technology can transform internal and external processes to reduce the turnaround time and costs of services and encouraged the participants to continuously strengthen their organizations to improve sectoral and national productivity.

Ms. Rocio Isabel Paloma and a participant from CSC Region 2 discussing how innovation can help increase productivity.


Dr. Edward Baña presenting how he used technology for productivity improvement in Antique.


Ms. Maria Luisa Khristina Oliveros relating how she introduced innovation in doing inspections. 

The participants of the 3rd DPSPS Foundation Workshop.
The participants of the 3rd DPSPS Foundation Workshop.

DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan Jr., MNSA delivering the closing remarks. 

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), in cooperation with the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), through the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity (COE-PSP) Program Management Office, implemented this year’s first run of the APO Development of Public Sector Productivity Specialists (APO DPSPS).

The course was conducted online and ran from 16 to 20 May 2022. It was attended by 50 participants from APO member countries such as Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Republic of China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, and the Philippines. It trained the participants in the relevant concepts, approaches, tools, and techniques to develop their competencies as productivity specialists in the public sector. 

The course predominantly featured Dr. Shin Kim, Senior Research Fellow with the Division of Regulatory Innovation Research, Korea Institute of Public Administration, Republic of Korea, and Dr. D. Brian Marson, President of the Public Service Excellence Institute, Canada, as its two main speakers. They were supported by presentations from DAP officers Mr. Arnel D. Abanto, Vice President and Managing Director of the Productivity and Development Center, and Ms. Maria Rosario A. Ablan, Program Director of the AO 25 Secretariat, as well as case presentations from key Philippine government officials.

Productivity Trends and Concepts

NEDA Undersecretary Jose Miguel de la Rosa, the APO Director for the Philippines, during his opening remarks

The opening day began with a message from National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Jose Miguel de la Rosa, the APO Director for the Philippines, who emphasized the need for more individuals capable of transforming the public sector to become more innovative, agile, and impactful. This was followed by the first session of the course, The Role of the Public Sector and Global Trends in Improving Productivity, in which Dr. Kim discussed the importance of productivity in governance. This was further enriched by the day’s final session on Public Sector Leadership. Dr. Marson used this session to clarify the differences between leadership and management, especially in the context of the public sector, and how each can contribute to productivity.

Dr. Shin Kim discussing key concepts in public sector productivity

Dr. Marson opened the following day’s sessions, beginning with the topic Citizen-Centered Service and Opportunities for Improving Public Service Delivery in the New Normal.  Much of the discussion revolved around the experiences of the Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, and Canada in measuring client satisfaction with government services and addressing the gaps and problems that were highlighted by the public.

Dr. Kim followed with a session on Performance Management, particularly on its relation to productivity, accountability, and, ultimately, results. One of his insights was that, in the past, organizations approached this by first thinking about how to manage their resources. But now, the thinking has shifted to first identifying goals and objectives before determining the required actions and resources.

To close the day’s sessions, Dr. Marson facilitated a group exercise on citizen-centered services. Participants were divided into four groups to brainstorm service improvement plans based on their group’s assigned case study. Afterwards, each group’s representative presented their findings and discussed with the larger group.

Participants presenting their outputs from the exercise on citizen-centered services

Assessing, Measuring, and Improving Productivity

The third day of the course opened with the session on Development of Productivity Improvement Plans, where Dr. Marson discussed the key steps needed to devise an initiative that would increase an organization’s productivity in a systematic way. These include conducting baseline performance assessments, establishing clear objectives, and selecting the appropriate components that would ensure the effectiveness and quality of the resulting action. He highlighted the use of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) as a basis for developing a thorough and well-executed improvement plan.

Dr. Marson discussing how to improve productivity using the Common Assessment Framework (CAF)

The next session, Measuring Public Sector Productivity, was covered by Mr. Abanto, who began by discussing the key considerations in estimating public sector productivity, such as the effective communication of productivity information for policy, decision-making, and improvement action. He then proceeded to demonstrate index-based productivity measurement, highlighting the use of cost-weighing and deflating to ensure the accuracy of the resulting productivity estimates.

Mr. Abanto conducting an exercise on index-based measurement of public sector productivity

Dr. Marson led the fourth day of sessions with his discussion of Change Management in the Public Sector. This particular session included mini-case studies and group discussions on theories of and best practices in change management specific to the public sector. The participants’ questions centered on the change management process, its challenges, and the solutions needed to overcome the said challenges.

The following topic, Approaches for Improving Organizational Productivity, was covered by Ms. Ablan. She discussed a range of practical tools and techniques to improve productivity such as the 5S Methodology or Practical Industrial Engineering (IE). She also highlighted the importance of understanding the underlying principles in choosing the right tools and techniques and employing the appropriate solutions for the problems at hand.

Ms. Ablan sharing her insights on continuous improvement in the public sector

The Application of Technology in Public Sector Productivity

The last day of the course began with two presentations of local projects showcasing how their initiatives and leadership strategies concretized the concepts and tools of productivity, particularly in the use of digital technology.

First to present was Ms. Maria Luisa Khristina C. Oliveros, Supervising Labor and Employment Officer for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) CAMANAVA Field Office. She demonstrated how her project on virtual site inspections proved to be a safe means of conducting labor inspections, especially given the difficulties brought by COVID-19. 

Ms. Oliveros sharing her presentation on adapting on-site inspections to the risks associated with COVID-19

Second was Dr. Edward E. Baña, Education Program Supervisor for the Department of Education Schools Division Office of Antique. He presented how his project on using RFID technology for student monitoring helped prevent children from dropping out and also provided more efficient workflows for the school’s employees.

Dr. Baña presenting on the use of RFID technology to better monitor the attendance and performance of schoolchildren

These presentations flowed directly into the final session of the course, which was on the topic of E-Government. Dr. Kim discussed how best to understand the concept of e-government, and showcased some best practices in the use of ICT across different public sector cases from various countries.

DAP President and CEO Atty. Caronan giving his closing remarks.

To formally close the five-day training, APO Alternate Director for the Philippines and DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr., delivered a message that thanked the APO and DAP teams for their efforts in hosting the course and commended the resource persons for sharing their knowledge and guiding the participants. He added that he is looking forward to the innovations that the participants will implement to help public sector organizations improve their productivity.

The DAP, through the Center of Excellence – Public Sector Productivity, held this year’s first batch of the Development of Public Sector Productivity Specialists Foundation Course (DPSPS FC) from 16 to 20 May 2022. The five-day course was designed to equip staff and officers of public sector organizations’ management divisions with competencies in measurement, analysis, planning, and troubleshooting to increase their respective organizations’ productivity. 

Twenty participants from the Department of the Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG-NCR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – Regional Offices 1 and 5, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) Regional Office – CAR, and  Department of Education (DepEd) – Ignacio Villamor Senior High School completed this training program. 

During the course, the participants listened to lectures and applied their learnings by measuring their organization’s productivity and diagnosing existing problems, and developing productivity improvement projects. A week after the training,  the participants are expected to submit their respective Productivity Improvement Plan.

Improving public sector productivity

In her welcome remarks, Imelda Caluen, Managing Director of the DAP-Center for Governance, acknowledged how the present interlocking challenges put pressure on the Philippine public sector to continuously perform internal and external tasks more efficiently and effectively. To meet the changing demands of stakeholders and the public with limited resources, governments and organizations around the world are pushed to shift to more productive means of doing their job.

Ms. Imelda Caluen delivered the welcome remarks.

Mr. Peter Dan B. Baon, Program Manager of the COE-PSP, served as the speaker for the first session, entitled Understanding Public Sector Productivity Concepts and Principles. He talked about productivity as a technical, social, and management concept and its importance in the context of the public sector.

Mr. Peter Dan Baon talked about the role of the public sector in improving productivity.

The session entitled, “Measuring Productivity in the Public Sector,” tackled the Productivity Measurement Framework and the key considerations and challenges in measuring Public Sector Productivity. The resource persons, Ms. Rose Ann Camille Caliso, Mr. Philip Ryan Junginger, and Ms. Jenifer Camilon expounded on how PSP measurement allows leaders and policymakers to assess productivity trends within the public sector, improve accountability over the use of resources, determine where to allocate resources where they are used most effectively, and provide feedback on policy initiatives. For their session activity, the participating agencies were tasked to compute their productivity using the productivity measurement tool provided to them.

Session 3 resource persons, Philip Junginger, Camille Caliso, and Jenifer Camilon discussed PSP measurement.

The third session, entitled Diagnosing and Analyzing Productivity, was facilitated by Ms. Elena Cruz, Former Vice-President of the Development Academy of the Philippines and Managing Director of the DAP Center for Knowledge Management. Ms. Cruz discussed how to diagnose productivity problems in the public sector using the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) Cycle and the Lean Management principles and concepts based on the Toyota Production System (TPS).

Ms. Cruz shared about diagnosing and analyzing productivity problems.

The session, entitled Identifying Productivity Improvement, discussed how to identify and plan productivity improvements that will address productivity problems identified in the previous session. Ms. Niña Estudillo, international resource person in productivity and quality courses of Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organization (APO) introduced tools and techniques for productivity improvement, zeroing in on Quality Circle and Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR).

Ms. Estudillo facilitated problem-solving activities during breakout sessions.

For the final session, presenters from different public sector organizations shared their PSP best practices and experiences. Kenjave Mark Parlero, Designated Head of HR Academy Human Resource Management and Development Office at the City Government of General Santos, together with his colleagues, Jose Amagan Jr. and Teodoro Barcelona Jr., shared their experience in planning and implementing the project entitled “High-Personal Effectiveness Through Resources Allocation (HI-PERA). Dr. Juliet J. Balderas, Management Service Department Head of Office of Strategy Management at the Philippine Heart Center presented about Sustaining Business Excellence through Unit Scoreboards as Execution Mechanism for Increased Individual Performance and Breakthrough Results. Lastly, Dr. Teresita A. Tabaog, Assistant Regional Director at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Region 2 shared about DOST’s Performance Excellence Team and Initiatives during the Pandemic.

To formally close the program, DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr. left a timely reminder to all the participants. He noted, “in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, you being considered the future public sector productivity specialists are expected to strengthen your organization, while also contributing to the sectoral and the national productivity improvement. This is a reminder for all of us to do much good; bear in mind that policy decisions that are data-driven alongside citizen needs make a government future-ready.”

The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), as the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity designated by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), held a multi-country training program to develop public sector specialists from 6 to 10 December 2021. With the Philippines as the hosting country, 43 representatives from APO member countries learned concepts, issues, challenges, tools, frameworks, and strategies related to public sector productivity (PSP) improvement.

Throughout the course, the participants listened to various presentations from Dr. Brian Marson, Dr. Shin Kim, Ms. Maria Rosario A. Ablan, and Mr. Arnel Abanto on PSP measurement, performance management, leadership, change management, citizen-centered services, and organizational productivity. There were also group discussions on case studies and exercises on the tools provided to practice what they learned throughout the program.

The course is the first step towards certification as public sector productivity specialists. After their training, the participants are tasked with developing action plans to raise the productivity of their respective agencies using the tools and skills they have gained.

Building the foundation for understanding PSP

Dr. Kim of the Korea Institute of Public Administration discussed first the role of the public sector and global trends in improving productivity. He explained that the role of the public sector in economic development is crucial, and thus a careful strategy is required to promote the social and economic well-being of the people through efficient and effective public sector management. He also discussed the evolution of public administration and provided different case examples to support transforming government. 

Dr. Marson of the Institute for Citizen-Centered Service discussed the importance of leadership in achieving key results focused on the 3Ps: purpose, people, and performance. He also showed how the organizing principle around which public service delivery is designed and planned can be conceptualized through identifying and addressing the citizens’ needs. Dr. Marson recommended that responsive government services can be implemented through listening to citizens, meeting their needs, and providing efficient, honest, and integrated service delivery.  “To improve citizen satisfaction scores, we need to actively listen to the people we serve,” he told the trainees.

Regulatory reform is also crucial in improving productivity. Dr. Kim defined regulatory reform as changes that enhance the performance, cost-effectiveness, or legal quality of regulations. He explained that while the public perception around regulatory reform focuses on deregulation, it should also include reregulation, smart regulation, and regulatory management. Comprehensive reform is thus recommended over a piecemeal approach, provided that governments must first identify objectives and weigh its options before any reform is implemented.

Dr. Kim then discussed result-oriented performance management, particularly as it is used in South Korea to improve organizational, sectoral and national productivity. He also showed how e-government can improve the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of governments while bringing forth new concepts of citizenship, both in terms of needs and responsibilities, by engaging, enabling and empowering citizens. Governments can use the UN’s E-Government Survey to assess their performance and develop policies and strategies.

Improving organizational productivity was then classified by Ms. Ablan into four approaches: doing more with less,  doing more with the same, doing much more with more, doing the same with less, and doing less with much less. Government units that face productivity issues can diagnose and solve them through the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle,  but for productivity improvement projects to be successful and long-standing, they have to manage political, technical, and behavioral conditions. Ms. Ablan also recommended striving for continuous improvement and innovation to ensure continued productivity.

Operationalizing productivity improvement

To open the session on the development of productivity improvement plans, Dr. Marson discussed models, frameworks, and thematic approaches that are the focus of the management excellence agenda in APO member countries. He also discussed steps to improve overall organizational performance using the CAF (Common Assessment Framework) Model, which uses self-assessment to generate and prioritize possible improvement plans, and the APO Business Excellence Model. 

Mr. Abanto followed with a presentation on measuring public sector productivity, discussing key considerations in estimating public sector productivity such as the level of analysis, the availability and quality of data, the information needs of the user of productivity information, and the productivity measurement framework being used. He also explained how to calculate public sector productivity indexes to prepare participants for a breakout session that would allow them to try their hands at productivity measurement. 

On the last day of the training, local presenters from the Philippines shared their best practices and experiences to illustrate the concepts and approaches at work. Mr. Joel Mendoza, of the City Government of Ormoc, Leyte shared the city’s improvement and intervention for better service through the in-house development of systems for business and franchising permits that enable small enterprises to easily process their permits. Ms. Marizza Grande, of the Philippine Statistics Authority, also shared the agency’s improvement with the Decentralized Copy Annotation Process (DeCAP) project, which provides seamless processing of documents at regional centers. 

May 11, 2018 marks the end of the 2-week Development of Public Sector Productivity Specialists course. Twenty-six aspiring productivity specialists from different Philippine public sector agencies learned about the different productivity concepts, tools & techniques, and best practices in improving public sector productivity.

The participants of the DPSPS Local Run 2017.
The participants coming from 8 agencies – Food and Drug Administration PhilippinesLand Transportation OfficeDOST Regional Office No. IXDepartment of EducationLand Bank of the PhilippinesLGU Davao City, Business Permits Licensing Office Paranaque City, Department of Social Welfare and Development – are expected to implement their Innovation and Productivity Improvement Projects in their respective organizations in the succeeding months.