The ARMM Development Academy (ADA) visited the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) for a short briefing on the latter’s processes and/or practices in administration and operations.  Headed by ADA’s OIC-President Ramil Masukat, the five-member team received briefings on the DAP’s organizational structure and functions including its products and services.

 Masukat said that there is an ongoing transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and this transition phase shall be managed by the ADA.  He added that they want to emulate DAP, that is, “to help agencies in the BARMM do their job better.”  Meanwhile, Dr. Ombra Imam, ADA consultant, disclosed that their top priority is to identify programs that will be offered free to all ministries in the autonomous region. Part of the challenge, however, is the process of building the Academy, particularly the crafting of different programs that are focused on developing middle managers and local politicians. The timeline for the gradual phasing out of agencies and offices under the now-defunct ARMM also posed as a challenge, Imam added.

DAP Vice President  Trygve Bolante gave a comprehensive orientation on the DAP’s history, types of training and academic courses, technical assistance to organizations, GOCC requirements, and its function as a research institution. He said that the key word is “development” and it pertains to how they view development, how they plan to achieve it, and how will the Bangsamoro government define its role to achieve this.

DAP Vice President Monina De Armas, on the other hand, discussed the Academy’s administration and operations, which included guidance on the plantilla requirements.

Meanwhile, Mariel Uy of the DAP sa Mindanao (DSM) provided the visitors with updates on the project they are implementing for the BARMM. Part of this transition project for the BARMM is the re-organization of the Regional Board of Investments, which Managing Director for DSM Jo-Ann Emilene de Belen and Dr. Oliva Domingo, an expert on Organizational Development in the public sector, are working on.

Bolante also advised the visitors to come up with a workable plantilla that will be included in the budget of the BARMM, to seek assistance from experts who have experience working with the government; and to define their internal needs in terms of the required competencies for their staff. He also assured Masukat that DAP is willing to extend its assistance and expertise for the ADA to kick-off its development.

Coinciding with this visit is the team’s consultation with the Asian Institute of Management and United Nations Development Programme to come up with a structure that will work for the BARMM. – Ellinor T. Santos