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) held a webinar on Public Sector Productivity Concepts and Tools last 22-24 March 2022 as the first installment of this year’s of Public Sector Productivity (PSP) Webisodes, a year-long initiative to raise awareness on productivity and innovation topics in the public sector through the virtual space. Speakers for the three-day webinar were Director Samuel Rosal of DAP’s Technology Management Office, Director Mary Ann Vilchez of the Internal Audit Service of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Niña Marie Estudillo, an Asian Productivity Organization (APO) productivity practitioner, technical expert, and trainer.

Director Rosal opening the webinar series with his presentation.

Understanding the concept of productivity in the public sector

The webinar started with an overview of productivity, as Dir. Rosal aimed to provide the participants with a foundation of the concept. He defined productivity as a “formula between the quantity of output versus the quantity of input in the production process,” and it is seen as “a ratio between the goods and services produced versus the resources such as labor, materials, machinery, and energy.”

He then expanded the discussion from productivity to effectiveness, which looks at the ratio of outcomes to inputs, instead of looking at just the ratio of outputs and inputs (i.e., productivity). Crucially, he notes that outcomes are different from outputs in the sense that the dimension of outcomes is more significant.

Dir. Rosal also framed productivity in the public sector as the capacity of an organization to fulfill the desired societal outcomes as mandated in the most efficient, effective, and economical management of public goods and services provided. He pointed out that public servants work hard to achieve goals and desired outcomes to purposefully benefit their clients—the citizens—especially since the resources that make the public sector run actually come from them.

Productivity Improvement Project (PIP) as a tool for improving public sector productivity

On the second day of the webinar, Dir. Vilchez focused on the importance of a productivity improvement project (PIP) as a tool for improving public sector productivity. She introduced the PIP as the final output of trainees from the Developing Public Sector Productivity Specialist (DPSPS) course by the APO which focuses on drawing out from the trainees “practical and effective ways of utilizing the knowledge gained from the course.” She further explained that “a Productivity Improvement Project is an organized, comprehensive, and long term intervention that involves the use of innovation to enhance and sustain high productivity levels and performance of organizations or target systems.” The PIP can even be considered an innovative tool because it is something that has not yet been done, or at the very least, an improvement of what is already being done.

Dir. Vilchez discussing an actual project implementation document.

Competencies of a productivity specialist

To conclude the webinar series, Ms. Estudillo shared the competencies of a productivity specialist, which she defines as a highly skilled individual whose work concentrates primarily on applications of productivity-related solutions and activities in consultancy, training, promotion, and research assignments. Given this definition, a productivity specialist’s roles in productivity improvement initiatives are as a promoter, a consultant, a trainer, and a researcher.

Ms. Estudillo explaining the different roles of a productivity specialist.

A participant asked, “How is a PSP specialist placed in an organization—is it under HR, internal audit, or a separate team? What specifically is his or her role in an organization?” The speaker did not specify any level in the relative hierarchy or structure of an organization, but she did mention that while there is no widely accepted job description for one yet, a PSP specialist’s role is to encourage change to achieve a more effective and efficient system.

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