3 August 2020 – PMDP welcomes the pilot batch of Senior Executives Class (SEC) to undergo its new modality. In an online ceremony held via Google Meet, the 29 public servants representing 19 agencies across the country of SEC 9 were inducted into the Program’s pool of “high-performing, high-potential” scholars.

SEC 8-Awanggan alumni kicked-off the event with their online Salubong, a tradition done before the ceremony where the previous batch of scholars welcomes those incoming. Alumni of SEC 7-Tambayayong also extended their warm wishes through a serenade, a composition of their own.

In his address, DAP President and CEO Atty. Engelbert C. Caronan honored the scholars and called the opening of new batches a special moment for public service as it signifies the scholars’ willingness to deepen their commitment as public officials. He also congratulated them for being uniquely chosen among the many that applied and reiterated what is expected of them. He reminded the incoming batch of the importance of possessing the ability to accept and introduce change. Similarly, Pres. Caronan ended by expressing his hope that SEC 9 find the Program to be “encouraging and re-invigorating”, “para sa Diyos, para sa bayan, para sa mamamayan”.

As practiced during opening ceremonies, SEC 8 class president Atty. Rodolfo Del Rosario Jr. extended the challenge of excellence to the incoming batch in order to pass the torch of responsibility. In his speech, he expressed his regrets about the limitations brought by the new normal and how the incoming scholars will not be able to experience what the previous batches had during their PMDP journey in DAPCC.  He stressed, however, that each individual’s health and safety is what is essential in today’s circumstances. Regardless, he pointed that undergoing the Program through flexible learning is just as difficult. He challenged the scholars to open their minds during their journey. Atty. Del Rosario told the scholars to set aside their previous learning and pride as senior executives to realize that there is still a lot to learn. He also reminded them to uphold and strengthen their integrity, love for the country, love for public service and to always value the contributions of each and every individual. He stressed that they, as public servants, should be relentless and be the agents of change that the Program needs them to be. Lastly, he challenged them to start and end their journey with the same number of scholars and advised them to help each other throughout.

Engr. Arnel V. De Mesa represented the batch in accepting the challenge extended by Atty. Del Rosario. While the pandemic poses many challenges for the incoming scholars, he said that it also opens opportunities to learn new things, develop innovations, create ideas and help find solution for this problem. Engr. De Mesa also accepted the previous batch’s challenge of using the training to raise the integrity of public officials, bring back the people’s trust for government, fight corruption and find ways to improve the lives of Filipinos. He also gave word that, through the guidance of the mentors and staff of the institution, the whole batch will remain complete and receive their diplomas together. Engr. De Mesa then mentioned that while their first time learning through the flexible modality will be challenging, he remains thankful for the opportunity that the Program and institution has given them.

Former DBP Executive Vice-President and CESDP Session 21-Batch Agila alumus Mr. Benel D. Lagua delivered encouraging words to the incoming scholars through sharing his 42-year journey as a public servant. His story, like many of the scholars, started from humble beginnings until he was presented a government scholarship for his MBA. He then told the scholars how his hard word and perseverance paid off when he became the Managing Director and CEO of the then Guaranteed Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises. Mr. Lagua stressed that life is a continuing learning experience and that he believes education is an important factor in improving the self and one’s service for people. He further elaborated his academic opportunities and how he prepared for his retirement by becoming a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors which enriched his capacity to serve the nation better. He affirmed the decision made by the scholars to enrich themselves with new knowledge that will allow them to perform their best for the country. 

Mr. Lagua used the saying “A public officer is a public trust” to remind them that a competent government employee puts the country above self reflected by the rendering of service to the people at all costs. He added that while competency is essential for good service delivery, he considers character and integrity  of the same value. He further explained that integrity is defined as the honesty and truthfulness of one’s actions and that the value system of an individual creates a framework for himself to act within. He simplified this idea by using the saying “speak with honesty, think with sincerity, act with integrity”. He told the incoming batch that their integrity will be challenged throughout their career and that he prays for them to face these situations squarely and well as, in his mind, the ultimate test of a good public servant is to be able to serve with utmost intergrity. He also left the scholars with a quote he used in one of his newspaper columns on what integrity means – “Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing always in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be. Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it only takes a second to lose”. To conclude his speech, Lagua reminded SEC 9 of the oath they took to serve the people of the country for all its worth, no matter how demanding government service has become in today’s situation, and that it is their duty to “show that the civil service bureaucracy is strong enough to make a difference in the lives of our people, especially the small, the weak and the disadvantaged” regardless of their stand.