In a NGCESDP Inter-agency Steering Committee special meeting meeting for the year 2020, the Program’s plans were revisited in order to probe less conventional modalities. Live updates on the current programming of PMDP under present conditions were discussed as well as the status of a proposal for a new program offering for local government units. Based on precedence, the meeting was conducted virtually last June 5th via Google Meet.

Status and Accomplishments

PMDP Managing Director Nanette Caparros presented the status of PMPD’s targets for the year. The Program originally planned to open 1 batch for the Phronetic Leadership Class, 1 batch for the Senior Executives Class and 3 batches for the Middle Managers Class. Out of the 5, 2 were opened- PLC Batch 3 which was conducted from February 24th to 28th and is currently awaiting their Foreign Study Mission, and MMC Batch 23 which was opened virtually last June 1st. The Program plans to open SEC Batch 9 and MMC Batch 24 in August and September respectively. PMDP also added SSC Batch 1-Optimus and SEC Batch 8-Awanggan to its pool of alumni after the successful 18th Graduation Ceremony held virtually last June 12th. MD Caparros also discussed the status of the remaining batches of MMC. The Academic Council is currently deliberating the conferment of the appropriate academic equivalencies and awards for MMC Batch 20-T’nalak while the MMC Batch 21-Silhig continues implementing their Capstone Projects. Their panel presentation started last June 19th. PMDP also concluded the Residential Phase of the MMC Batch 22-Uhay through a virtual Closing Ceremony held last May 23rd.

In this meeting, MD Caparros announced the successful shift of the Program’s mode of learning from “residential” to “flexible” which will be adopted for succeeding batches while mass gatherings remain restricted. She presented the platforms used, primarily products from Google Suite, which serves as the main mode for delivery. As most members of the PMDP faculty might not be unfamiliar with these new tools, the Program also held a Faculty Orientation to demonstrate how these platforms should be utilized. PMDP has also migrated online for its admission process. Partner agencies were informed of this change during the HR Managers meeting held last May 12th.

Lastly, in light of the agreements made during the 1st Steering Committee meeting, PMDP sat down with PIDS and CESB to discuss the PMDP outcome evaluation, accreditation of the Program, and PL in the CES process respectively.

The SteerCom members congratulated the Program for its effective response to the current circumstances. NEDA Usec. Jose Miguel dela Rosa suggested engaging the PLC Batch 3 in activities related to Phronetic Leadership with the indefinite postponement of their Foreign Study Mission. He also probed more on the context of “Flexible Learning” which was used by the Program to describe its alternative delivery. MD Caparros responded by saying that, in addition to SVP Magdalena Mendoza’s proposition, an article from CHED describe this type of learning as “flexible” because it is comprised of both synchronous and asynchronous methodologies.

 Proposed training program for the LGU

In the 1st Steering Committee Meeting, it was proposed to develop the Local Government Managers Class, an expansion of PMDP’s coverage which aims to prepare the LGU officials in assuming the additional responsibilities and accountabilities brought forth by the change in the fiscal policy. The establishment of the LGMC will be supervised by DAP’s Center for Governance in partnership with the PMDP. In this meeting, CFG Managing Director Ms. Imeda C. Caluen presented the initial steps taken to plan its design, as well as their proposed structure for the training program.

MD Caluen discussed two major inception activities conducted to gather input for the design of the program. The first was a rapid survey on the LGU capacity development needs for the implementation of the Mandanas Ruling answered by 52 respondents consisting of Provincial Department Heads and Provincial/Municipal Sanggunian officials and staff. The results showed that “planning” is the service most LGU officials think is not being implemented well due to the lack of financial resources while “agricultural extension and onsite research services” will benefit the most from the Mandana’s Ruling. LGU officials also chose “planning” as the skill they think should be honed in order to enhance the delivery of services and that the national agencies can assist the LGUs in the implementation of the Mandanas Ruling and the delivery of services through “capability development”. The second inception activity conducted was a consultation meeting with the Local Government Academy and the Civil Service Commission to differentiate the structure of the LGMC from the training programs which are currently being delivered by the two agencies. MD Caluen noted that the LGA uses no specific Competency Framework for their program. Instead, they use the Capacity Development Agenda and System on Capacity Assessment for Local Governments. On the other hand, the Civil Service Institute uses the Leadership Competency Framework at different proficiency levels. From this, CFG attempted to map out desired competencies at various levels for the LGUs:

MD Caluen proceeded by focusing on the proposed training program for the pilot batch of the LGMC. The aim is to strengthen the capabilities of local government managers to be more adaptive in changing environments and propel good practices and innovations for sustained delivery of public services at the local government level. The targets are high performing department heads holding a permanent position with salary grade 24 and above and are 50 years old or below. She also presented the expected learning outcomes, as well as areas and modules which can be tackled during the course of the training:

Since face-to-face interaction is still deemed unsafe at this time, the LGMC will be conducted through the use of online platforms. Classes will consist of one to three-hour online lecture and discussions on a live stream. Pre-recorded lectures and assessment exercises will also be administered online. Scholars may also submit their requirements virtually or through a courier.

CSC Executive Director Arthur Luis P. Florentin noted that the proposed program reflects is congruent with the data presented earlier in the meeting. However, he expressed that it is also important to ascertain how citizen-focused and tech-savvy the participants are. DBM Usec. Laura B. Pascua also pointed out the differences between provincial, city and municipal LGU officials as their work is fitted to different contexts. MD Caluen responded that while the areas mentioned by ED Florentin were not included in the proposed design, they hope to cover those through examples that will be covered in the different topics under each module. In response to Usec. Pascua’s inquiry, MD Caluen assured that the design was created to cater to each LGU level; however, given the diversity of their work contexts, the pilot batch may consist of participants from only one level or across all levels.