The Public Management Development Program formally opened the 19th batch of Middle Managers Class comprising 31 scholars from various government agencies last September 17 at the Development Academy of the Philippines Conference Center in Tagaytay City, with DAP Corporate Concerns Center Vice President Trygve A. Bolante keynoting the program on behalf of DAP President and CEO Engelbert C. Caronan Jr.

Bolante, who stood in for Caronan who had to attend to family concerns in Tuguegarao City at the height of Typhoon Ompong, told the participants and the members of MMC Batch 18 who are still undergoing training that the plans of the DAP’s founding fathers, former DAP and UP President Onofre D. Corpuz and then-DBP Chairman Leonides S. Virata, as well as the original team of Horacio R. Morales was to have a “development-oriented academy for the civilian bureaucracy,“ something that the Academy continues to do to this day through such programs as those of the PMDP.

Core values advocate

“The DAP continues to advocate the core values of good governance: integrity, competence and commitment.  With the intention of creating these small ripples within the bureaucracy, we hope we continue to grow (these ripples) until the time comes that our government agencies can finally provide the quality public service that will satisfy the needs of the majority of our countrymen. After all, we as public servants exist for achieving this purpose.”

Bolante also said that as scholars of the government, the class members could make good use of what this program will provide for them soon.  “The experience will not always be pleasant nor glamorous. This is not to scare you, but often it will be difficult, taxing, demanding, exhausting, tough and challenging,” Bolante cautioned.  “However, it can also excite, inspire, motivate, exhilarate and stimulate. I strongly encourage you to treat the upcoming challenges along your PMDP journey as something that can rebuild your strength and character not only as a person, but, more importantly, as a public official.”

Resilience needed

Meanwhile, Maria Cecilia Socorro M. Abogado, supervising budget and management specialist of the Department of Budget and Management and an MMC Batch 13 alumna, shared her experiences during her inspirational speech, saying the participants should be resilient.  “Resilience should be among the traits of a public servant especially among career professionals and executives, because we are actually the ones who are continuously keeping the wheels of the government turning through various administrations,” Abogado said. “Given our experience in institutional knowledge, we are expected to be very good policy-makers, reform advocates and change agents.”

On the other hand, Atty. Hirou Glenn A. Asuncion, the MMC Batch 18 Sibol class president and an Attorney V at the Assistant Commissioner’s Office of the Local Government Sector of the Commission on Audit Central Office, posed this challenge to the members of MMC Batch 19: “Why are you here?”

‘A common goal’

In response, Jennifer Joyce R. Pira, Medical Officer IV of the Department of Health, said, “Batch 19, I shall say on your behalf, we are here because we are chosen, and we have a common goal.  We have acknowledged with utmost humility the need for more sharpening, and polishing for us to shine.  And, we have worked in unison in order to achieve optimum growth as we prepare to reach that goal.”

Since the implementation of the Public Management Development Program in 2012, some 712 career service personnel have graduated from the Middle Managers Class, with 526 having completed their Master in Development Management.

The Middle Managers Class is designed for “high-performing and high-potential” incumbents in government occupying salary grade-20 to 24 positions and aged 50 years and below.  Participants go through a five-month residential training with work breaks in between, including a 10-day sensing journey and the completion of a reentry project to be conceptualized and implemented in six months.  Those who complete the 11-month program receive their Master in Development Management while those who complete just the residential training receive certificates of completion. – Paolo V. Serraon