Innovative thinking was the theme for the month’s Public Sector Productivity Webisodes organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). The free webinar series entitled, Innovative Thinking for Enhancing Public Sector Productivity, was held on 15-17 September 2021. It featured innovation champions, Adrian Ramirez, Leanne Lozanes, Anita S. Gubalane, and Paul Vincent Avecilla.

Co-Creation Innovation Process in DAP practice

Day 1 was an introductory course on innovative thinking. Adrian Ramirez, project manager of the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity Innovation Laboratory Program, together with Leanne Lozanes, associate project officer with the Productivity and Development Center in DAP, facilitated the interactive talk attended by over two thousand participants from various government and private agencies.

The speakers discussed fundamental concepts on innovation and ideation tools and techniques such as Revolution, Opposite thinking, Crazy 4s, and Crazy 8s, SCAMPER Technique, and Related World. They also presented the co-creation innovation process that the DAP advocates in implementing innovative projects for the public sector.

Ramirez noted the central role of empathy in the co-creation innovation process. He shared, “we try to involve the stakeholder or the end-user every step of the way. Empathy is our tool to make sure that we include them every step of the way, and I think that is the heart and soul of the co-creation innovation process.”

Constant change calls for continuous intentional efforts to innovate and to improve present standards and practices in the government. As Ramirez explained, the needs of today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world are indeed becoming more and more complex each day, and innovation is key to addressing them. 

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To conclude the episode, Lozanes shared a short quote from Steve Jobs, one of the most successful innovators of all time: “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” She added, “just like what we’ve experienced in the past months with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even [though] we experienced a lot of changes because of the pandemic, our government did not stop in delivering the services. We saw it as an opportunity to really improve the delivery of our services, change our approaches in the way we do things in the government, and, basically, revolutionize the way we approach things.”

DepEd Antique Innovation Project

On Day 2 of the webinar, the education program supervisor in Science in the Division of Antique and the Division Focal Person for Special Education, Anita S. Gubalane presented about Count on US, ANITA (United Stakeholders, Activate the Nurturing Intensive Teaching amidst Adversity), a project implemented by DepEd Antique in cooperation with the DAP Center for Governance.

According to Gubalane, the project was implemented to address problems in literacy and numeracy among Grade 3 learners in Antique. It aims to maximize learning support systems for non-readers and non-numerates in the new normal. She explained, “Project COUNT on US, ANITA depicts the true bayanihan spirit wherein our stakeholders collaborate and work together for our beneficiaries.”

In the test conducted by the Schools Division of Antique, it was found that many of the Grade 3 learners enrolled in the school year 2020 to 2021, especially from the vulnerable sectors, struggle with understanding self-learning modules due to factors such as the absence of face-to-face instruction, the inability of parents to provide learning support, and lack of access to technology. These identified factors served as the basis for the measures they carried out in the intervention, which include intensive remote teaching, the organization of a mentoring hub for parents, learners, and teachers, capacity building for teachers, a conference for the parents on their role in their children’s education, and the development of learning packages.

Gubalane proudly shared that through Count on US, ANITA, about 45 percent of the third-grade non-readers increased their reading level from non-reading to instructional level, while 56 percent increased in numeracy level. Another feat that she brought up was the replication of the literacy and numeracy project in other districts in Antique such as San Jose and Hamtic North.


Digitization of government services is now becoming the new normal. Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) was one of the many government offices that recently started to offer online services to make transactions easier, safer, and contactless.

The Day 3 webinar topic, entitled Digitalization of Government Services in the New Normal: Overseas Filipinos CFO Online Registration (OF-CORS), was facilitated by Paul Vincent Avecilla, senior emigrant services officer at the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).

Avecilla shared how this innovation in CFO has revolutionized their service quality for their clients. With online systems and quality management systems in place now, transactions have become way more efficient compared to before wherein they entail tedious, time-consuming steps and many documentary requirements.

Salient features of OF-CORS include online registration, online verification, online payment, online PDOS, online feedback, and a digital certificate system.

Click here to read more about OF-CORS.

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Public sector productivity is a crucial component in increasing national competitiveness. It is the responsibility of the governments to improve its own productivity, and at the same time, enable both public and private sector organizations to improve theirs. As the country’s national productivity organization, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) is at the forefront of the public sector productivity movement. Since the 1970s, it has been undertaking initiatives aimed to improve the productivity of government departments and agencies, as well as of government-owned and controlled corporations. These are targeted toward service quality, performance management, e-government, and innovation leadership.   Service Quality Service quality focuses on achieving service excellence by continuous and incremental improvement in the quality of public services. Upon the recommendation of DAP, the government has Institutionalized the Government Quality Management Systems based on ISO 9000 standards to improve public sector governance. Together with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Budget and Management and Office of the President, DAP developed the Guidance Document on Government Quality Management Systems Standards (GQMSS) based on ISO standards. The GQMSS has been officially adopted as Philippine National Standards.

The 5th GQMC Recognition Ceremony for Government Organizations with ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certifications.
With the Anti-Red Tape Act in place, the government has established Citizen’s Charters to improve the delivery of frontline services and reduce the bureaucratic red tape. DAP is mandated to assist the government departments and agencies in establishing their Citizen’s Charters. Complementing the Citizen’s Charters are periodic report card surveys among transacting public to evaluate the quality of service they received. DAP also proposed the establishment of the Philippine Quality Award for Performance Excellence recognizing the exemplary organizational performance of both private and public organizations in the country. DAP administers the PQA for the public sector.   Performance Management Performance management is a mechanism through which agencies can systematically improve their performance by aligning individual, team and agency objectives. DAP assists departments and agencies in strategic management and undertakes objective assessment of performance of agencies. In 2011, upon the recommendation of the Academy, a Results-Based Performance Management System, a unified system for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the performance of national government agencies, was established. The RBPMS serves as the basis for determining entitlement for incentives of agencies and employees.
The AO25 Secretariat assists public sector agencies in complying with the requirements of the Philippine Results-Based Performance Management System.
DAP has also developed a methodology to assess integrity systems in public sector organizations which was implemented in national government agencies. The results are utilized by departments and agencies to craft integrity programs to strengthen the accountability and transparency. Through the APO Research Project, the DAP participated in pilot-testing of the Atkinson’s methodology in measuring public sector productivity specifically in tax collection service.   E-Government E-government involves the effective use of information and communication technologies in the operations of public-sector organizations to improve overall productivity.  Various agencies have aggressively pursued digitization of many government functions, complementing efforts to maximize ICT application in the delivery of government-to-business (G2B) and government-to-citizens (G2C) services. In line with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative, the Philippine government has aggressively pursued digitization of many government functions, complementing efforts to maximize ICT application in the delivery of government-to-business (G2B) and government-to-citizens (G2C) services. A number of e-government systems were developed using public-private partnership.   Innovation Leadership Innovation leadership focuses on the creation of more efficient and effective policies and services by influencing others in the accomplishment of public task. The DAP has launched the Public Management Development Program which provides comprehensive and multi-modal learning opportunities for high-level public servants.  PMDP offers courses tailored for senior executives and middle managers.
Public sector middle managers during the Public Management Development Program graduation ceremony.
At the local level, local government units’ innovations and excellence in service delivery are being recognized by Galing Pook Award (outstanding localities award).   Because of its rich experience in raising public sector productivity, DAP could share how it develops and implements these programs to interested APO member countries. To date, it has hosted the Thailand Productivity Institute, Mongolian Productivity Organization, and Bangladesh Cabinet Division, Fiji National Training and Productivity Centre through the Bilateral Cooperation Between NPOs. It has also conducted Performance Based-Monitoring and Incentive System for Bhutan, Training Program on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Financial modeling for Bangladesh, and Technical Expert Services on Regulatory Reform and Regulatory Impact Assessment from Korea.
DAP hosting delegates from the Fiji National Training and Productivity Centre during a bilateral cooperation program.