With the continuing easing of public health measures around the country, the Public Management Development Program (PMDP) conducted its 25th Graduation Ceremony for Middle Managers Class (MMC) Batch 26 – Barani and Batch 27 – Udaya last 18 October 2022, Tuesday at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City. For the first time since the pandemic, the graduates’ family members were able to attend the ceremony. The event was also streamed live on the PMDP Facebook page.

The ceremony began with a procession of the candidates for graduation, Learning Management Teams, Program Managers, and DAP officials. Upon the presentation of PMDP Managing Director Nanette C. Caparros, the Program welcomed a total of 71 candidates for graduation:  31 from MMC Batch 26 – Barani, 39 from MMC Batch 27 – Udaya, and one from MMC Batch 24 – Kawayan.

In his welcome remarks, DAP President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr. emphasized the success that the graduates achieved notwithstanding the fast-changing hurdles brought about by the pandemic. He also emphasized the importance of how far the PMDP has gone since its inception ten years ago when it welcomed the first batch of high-potential and high-performing government executives into the program in 2012. President Caronan reminded the graduates that, as public servants, they must always remember that they were placed in their positions for a noble reason– to improve the lives of those they serve and that they are held accountable for their actions. The Filipino people are counting on them to start that seed of change and to make sure to let it grow. 

President Caronan conferred and awarded the graduates with their respective academic equivalencies. After all the graduates have made their way to the stage to collect their hard-earned degrees embodied by their diplomas and certificates and back, the most awaited part of the program took place. Graduation ceremonies will not be complete without bringing to light the graduates who climbed their way to the top of the academic roster.

Academic awardees came in first. The MMC Batch 26 graduates WITH HONORS were the following: 1) Janette G. Veloso (Department of Education – Region XI), 2) Maria Lorena L. Santos (Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center – CAR), 3) Geeny Anne I. Austria (Department of Health – CAR), and 4) Jomel Jhele T. Sadsad (Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute – Central Office). This batch’s Class Valedictorian is Maureen Jane B. Oreiro from the National Economic and Development Authority – Central Office. The MMC Batch 27 graduates WITH HONORS were the following: 1) Dinah C. Bonao (Department of Education – Region I), 2) Nolibelyn P. Macabagdal (Department of Social Welfare and Development – Central Office), 3) Judy Mae V. Masangkay (National Economic and Development Authority – Region IV-MIMAROPA), and 4) Tranquilino E. Espejon (Insurance Commission – Central Office). Kenneth Roy H. Co from the Board of Investments – Central Office emerged as the batch’s Class Valedictorian.

The Program also recognized the scholars who have significantly demonstrated distinct leadership characteristics formally and informally throughout the Program as acknowledged by their mentors and peers. The Leadership Award for MMC Batch 26 was given to Sheena Anjeli M. Botiwey from the Intramuros Administration, and for MMC Batch 27, to John Vincent V. Cardenas of the Civil Service Commission – Central Office.

In the PMDP Middle Managers Class, the Capstone Project is an important integrating activity and is the course thesis equivalent. Recognition is given to the successful development and management of projects falling under thematic areas connected to streamlining the delivery of public services to the citizenry. For MMC Batch 26, the following Capstone Project awards given were: Best Citizen-Centered Capstone Project to Jonathan F. Bernabe from the Department of Education Region IV CALABARZON, Best E-Government Capstone Project to Jay-Ar O. Ragub from the National Economic and Development Authority Region VIII, Best Organizational Productivity Capstone Project to Wilma A. Villafuerte from the Philippine Statistics Authority Region IV CALABARZON, and the overall Best Capstone Project to Mary Ann U. Baradi from the Philippine Rice Research Institute – NCR. 

For MMC Batch 27, the following Capstone Project awards given were: Best Citizen-Centered Capstone Project to Peter Lyod P. Sabes from the Philippine Rice Research Institute – Region XII, Best E-Government Capstone Project to Sherida Mae M. Cachero from the National Economic and Development Authority – CAR, Best Organizational Productivity Capstone Project to Elaine Vera M. Belvis from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Region XI, and the overall Best Capstone Project to Peter Lyod P. Sabes from the Philippine Rice Research Institute – Region XII.

Class Valedictorian of MMC Batch 26 Maureen Jane B. Oreiro delivered an inspiring class address, describing their batch as being so extraordinary as they have been commended for their level of creativity in class presentations and for always being active in class. Oreiro shared how they went through the program with so much vigor while ignoring the worries and nervousness. Together during the residential training, they pushed through their limits. Like a team of warriors who saw each other’s role as important for the group’s survival, they worked and took care of each other as if they were physically occupying one space. She urged them to do their best in working toward Barani’s vision of becoming career executives who provide exemplary, efficient, innovative, and responsive public service to Filipinos by 2028.

On the other hand, Class Valedictorian of MMC Batch 27 Kenneth Roy H. Co reminisced about their PMDP journey and how extensive the program is. During these trials, they got to know each other. They slowly recognized everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. From varied backgrounds, a melting pot of ideas and insights emerged. This, coupled with the camaraderie they developed, allowed them to surmount the challenges they faced which he believes is the essence of the PMDP. Accordingly, by bringing together the high performers in government and equipping them with the appropriate skills and knowledge, it is hoped that the collaboration would lead to solutions to many of the country’s prevailing problems. Co encouraged his classmates to continue to persevere, apply their knowledge and talents, and collaborate with each other because he believes that together, with earnest effort, they can help alleviate the problems that the country is facing.

Having done their PMDP journey and tagged as ‘alumni’, the graduates recited the pledge led by the President of the PMDP Alumni Club, Judge Roselyn A. Borja. Shortly after, welcoming 2 batches to the Alumni Club were four members of MMC Batch 24 – Kawayan alumni, personally fastening the alumni pins to the newly-hailed graduates. Furthermore, the well-prepared Class Songs of MMC Batch 26 “Rise” and MMC Batch 27 “Handog” were performed live.

NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan served as the keynote speaker, sharing first how proud he is of the PMDP as it has never wavered from its mission of producing graduates who contribute to the operation of a more responsive and effective government. Secretary Balisacan remarked to the graduates that despite all the challenges the country is facing now, he firmly believes that, with the right priorities and policies, the country can emerge strong. But beyond planning, the effectiveness of such policies largely rests with them, the managers in the public sector, who will translate these into action and make the necessary adjustments along the way. Their expertise, augmented by the knowledge, skills, and perspectives that were gained studying under this program, can help steer the country closer to achieving its growth targets.

The ceremony ended with the unveiling of the brass markers of both batches with the graduates’ names forever etched in the halls of DAPCC Tagaytay City as a sign of their hard work and dedication.