Last 17 March 2023, the Public Management Development Program (PMDP) mounted its 26th Graduation Ceremony for Middle Managers Class (MMC) Batch 28 – Hiraya and Senior Executives Class Batch 11 – GaBayAni at the DAP Conference Center in Tagaytay City. The event was also streamed live on the PMDP Facebook page.

The ceremony commenced with a procession of the candidates for graduation, Learning Management Teams, Program Managers, and DAP officials. The Program welcomed 53 candidates for graduation: 32 from MMC Batch 28 – Hiraya, 18 from SEC Batch 11 – GaBayAni, 2 from MMC Batch 24 – Kawayan, and one from MMC Batch 27 – Udaya.

In his welcome remarks, DAP President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr. expounded on the importance of adaptability and resilience and how it has been vital in effectively addressing the current and emerging needs of the people they serve, which through the PMDP classes such as the Senior Executives Class and Middle Managers Class, executives and managers keep their knowledge and skills updated in order to serve their purpose and uphold commitment to public service despite the ever-changing world. Caronan is also confident that the graduates will be able to reach and even surpass their vision of becoming a dynamic, inclusive, innovative breed of public leaders imbued with competence and desirable values toward sustainable, resilient communities for a stronger Philippines. As graduates of the Program, they have proven that they indeed have the ability to serve the public by showing their commitment and potential to take on higher positions in the government as proactive leaders with a passion and heart for public service.

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. PMDP Managing Director Nanette C. Caparros presented and brought to light the graduates who worked their way to the top of the academic roster.

Academic awardees came in first. The MMC Batch 28 graduates WITH HONORS were the following: Heidee F. Ferrer (Department of Education – NCR), Glenn D. Estrada (Department of Agriculture – Central Office), Ma. Regaele A. Olarte (Department of Education – NCR), and Jenelyn A. Sanchez (Department of Labor and Employment – Region XI). This batch’s Class Valedictorian is Leonerico E. Barredo from the Department of Education – Region VI. The SEC Batch 11 graduates WITH HONORS were the following: Noreen Bernadette S. San Luis-Lutey (Land Transportation Office – Region IV (CALABARZON), Jaypee O. Abesamis (Governance Commission for GOCCs), Jennifer C. Bretaña (Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development – Region XII), and Joel B. Lopez (Department of Education – Region I). Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño from the National Economic and Development Authority – Region X emerged as the batch’s Class Valedictorian.

The Program also recognized the scholars who have significantly demonstrated distinct leadership characteristics. The Leadership Award for MMC Batch 28 was bestowed upon Glenn D. Estrada from the Department of Agriculture – Central Office, and for SEC Batch 11, on Francis Randy J. Hortelano from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.

The graduates’ arduous Capstone Projects and Papers were also definitely worthy of recognition. Having months of hard work that required much effort to be able to conceptualize, plan, write, report, and implement, such is a feat that deserved acknowledgment. For MMC Batch 28, the overall BEST CAPSTONE PROJECT AWARD was bagged by Glenn D. Estrada from the Department of Agriculture – Central Office. For SEC Batch 11, the OUTSTANDING CAPSTONE PAPER – POLICY PAPER was given to Jaypee O. Abesamis from the Governance Commission for GOCCs, the OUTSTANDING CAPSTONE PAPER – MANAGEMENT CASE was handed to Nancy Ann B. Gonzales from the Ifugao State University, and the two OUTSTANDING CAPSTONE PAPERS – INNOVATION PROJECT were given to Joel B. Lopez from the Department of Education – Region I and Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño from the National Economic and Development Authority – Region X.

Class Valedictorian of MMC Batch 28 Leonerico E. Barredo shared the challenges their batch faced. As one of the few batches of MMC that experienced a full virtual learning engagement, Barredo stated how they faced the technological challenges and how they adapted. In fact, the graduation ceremony was their first time gathering as a class face-to-face. Together as one, they vow to become enthusiastic, persevere or “Masigasig”’ in all their undertakings especially in pursuing their call to render the client-centered services in their offices; 2. Become patriotic or “Makabayan”’ in all their actions, taking into foremost consideration the interest of the public; 3. Become strong and stable or ”Matatag” in their thoughts and decisions; 4. Become great leaders or “Dakilang lider ng bansa”’ that will embody the ideals of phronetic leadership that will pursue innovations in their workplace; And most especially, 5. Become a ray of hope or “Sinag ng Pag-asa” that will shed light and guidance to their respective organizations that will contribute toward the attainment of their goals and objectives.

On the other hand, Class Valedictorian of SEC Batch 11 Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño poured her heart out in her class address, sharing that at first, she was hesitant to apply as a SEC scholar but COVID-19 pandemic brought her in the Program. She realized that she does not have the experience yet nor the tools to lead an agency in charge of rehabilitation and recovery in dealing with the adverse impacts of this novel health crisis. She also shared their journey as a class and paid tribute to her SEC 11 batchmates describing them as intelligent, smart, creative, and deeply committed public servants, who inspire or spur people to give their best. “We are 18 individuals, with 18 different stories but together, as a class, through our interactions and experiences, we managed to weave a colorful tapestry that provided comfort to all of us during the difficult classes”, Cariño said.

Having completed their PMDP journey and now having been tagged as ‘alumni’, the graduates recited the pledge led by the President of the PMDP Alumni Club, Judge Roselyn A. Borja. Shortly after, members of MMC Batch 26 – Barani, MMC Batch 27 – Udaya, and SEC Batch 10 – Maharlika alumni fastened the alumni pins to the newly-hailed graduates signifying the welcoming of the graduates to the Alumni Club. Furthermore, the Class Songs of MMC Batch 28 titled “Hiraya” and SEC Batch 11 “GaBayAni Kami” were performed live.

Department of Health OIC-Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire served as the keynote speaker commending the graduates for succeeding despite the delivery of learning having been affected by the pandemic that was yet to end. Vergeire reminded them that in fulfilling their duties, they must regularly envision the kind of leadership they ought to practice – the kind where those in high positions walk alongside the people, guiding each other towards a brighter Philippines. 

The surprise unveiling of the brass markers of both batches took place with the graduates’ names forever etched in the halls of DAPCC Tagaytay City as a sign of their hard work and dedication. The ceremony ended with outstanding performances from the Philippine Madrigal Singers during the special dinner for the graduates and their families.