We deeply mourn the passing of Carmencita T. Abella, former President of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), on 23 March 2020 due to cardiac arrest.
An exceptionally intelligent woman, Carn was among DAP’s pioneers. She first joined the Training Department of the Academy and took on a central role in designing the prestigious Career Executive Service Development Program (CESDP) and in implementing it from 1974 to 1985. The CESDP produced about 1,100 senior and middle level officers, many of whom occupied key leadership positions in the Philippine government. Carn was also the brains behind the Program for Decentralized Educational Development – Educational Reorientation Program (PRODED-ERP), a program implemented by the DAP from 1983 to 1985 for the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, that enhanced the country’s elementary education curriculum by improving the teaching of science, technology, math, reading, and writing in schools.
A natural leader with overflowing charm, Carn took the reins as DAP President from 1991 until her retirement in 1998. She steered DAP with her distinct leadership approach. It was through Carn’s dedication that the following programs were established: the formulation of the Multi-sectoral National Action Agenda for Productivity (NAAP), one of DAP’s biggest contribution to the productivity and quality movement in the country; the First World Conference on Green Productivity that led to the signing of the Manila Declaration on Green Productivity; the program on Managing the Bureaucracy for Results, among others.
Carn steered the creation of DAP’s first academic degree program, the Master in Public Management Program, which was sponsored by no less than former President Corazon C. Aquino; and, the creation of the Ladderized Program on Human Resource Development. It was during Carn’s time that “Tatak DAP” became a feature in various interventions that DAP provided to government agencies. She was the ultimate Organizational Development guru and Change Management Expert who practiced what she preached and generously shared and mentored others in her stead.
Carn started it all. She set the stage by making productivity a priority advocacy of the entire Academy and by spearheading the adoption of the Philippine Quality Award to bolster the national quality movement during the administration of former President Fidel V. Ramos. Carn effectively forged partnerships with local and foreign institutions that provided DAP with reliable allies and a steady stream of impactful projects. Even with all her numerous engagements, Carn still had the time to take an active role in the Asian Productivity Organization.
During her term as DAP President, Carn reinforced the Academy’s development orientation and tradition of innovation that continuously provide us remarkable results even up to now. She promoted innovative approaches to improve public management, rural and community development, participatory democracy, policy research, and environmental management.
She also led efforts in the areas of change management, productivity measurement, policy analysis training, and advanced training management.
Carn was a shamrock, tough and beautiful, who sprung and blossomed despite the trying times. Carn, a DAPper in the truest sense of the word, never ceased to amaze her colleagues and staff with her impeccable fashion sense coupled with her warm personality that exudes her uniqueness and genuineness as a person. She has a big heart for every DAPper. She lived out what she considered as the virtue of a true leader – “greatness of spirit” that encompasses courage, vision, compassion, and creativity in finding solutions to problems.
For the DAPpers who worked with her, Carn was a model, a nurturer, a good mentor, and an eloquent speaker and writer. She was irresistibly and infectiously full of elegance and grace.
Carn will always be remembered by her DAP family will be greatly missed.
Carn, now that you are in a better place, where shamrocks and daffodils grow forever, you know that every DAPper from your generation, the current and the future, will always be grateful for the legacy you left us with. Your name, as sweet as it sounds when said, will be deeply engraved in the lives of the people she touched.
Thank you, Carn. May you rest in peace with Your Creator.
From the Management, Staff, Colleagues, former DAPpers, and the entire community of the Development Academy of the Philippines.