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KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organizational Development

Facility Handover Ceremony

By NEDA Undersecretary Rolando G. Tungpalan

06 July 2017, 2:30 PM

Sofitel Plaza Manila Hotel

 

Her Excellency, Ambassador Amanda Gorely, officials from Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Chair Bala and Chair Gascon, members of the Facility Coordinating Committee, fellow workers in the government, our partners from CSO and private sector, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

 

I am pleased to join you and participate in this important milestone of the handover of the PAHRODF and while the Facility is nearing its formal completion, this is, by no means, a somber affair.  In fact, I see this as a venue to celebrate the successful ongoing partnership between the Philippine and Australian Governments, and our achievements in the past seven years under the Facility.  More importantly, however, I see this as an opportunity to reaffirm our aspirations for, and commitment to, a world-class Philippine civil service.

 

More than seven years ago, as we were in the midst of discussing the concept for the successor-facility for the Philippines-Australia Human Resource Development Facility (PAHRDF), we held the view that by refining our agencies’ processes and systems, and coupled with our efforts to continue enhancing the capabilities of our government workers, we would be able to deliver better performance for our citizens.

 

This belief or aspiration continues to be relevant to this day, with the Philippine Long Term Vision or AmBisyon Natin 2040 reflecting the Filipino people’s desire for a caring society rooted in the high trust in government institutions.  The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, likewise, provides for the strengthening of the civil service, enhancement of labor capacities and improvement of service delivery, with human capital development, specifically, higher education, serving as an accelerator of innovation and inclusive economic prosperity.  The Duterte Administration’s Six-Point Peace and Development agenda, on the other hand, emphasizes the need to strengthen government development institutions and mechanisms to increase their responsiveness to issues faced by the country today.

 

Through the PAHRODF, I believe we have begun the process of building confidence right where it matters: in the government’s most valuable assets - its institutions and the civil servants.

 

Since 2010, the Facility was able to implement over 135 human resource and organizational development interventions in almost 40 government organizations.  These interventions provided over 3,000 individuals (significantly 65% females) the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.  These include close to 800 scholars, a large majority of which are from the public sector, who were able to obtain post-graduate degrees from Australian universities and had a positive impact on their respective organizations upon their return.  These also include almost a hundred professionals based in Mindanao who are committed to work for the development of the Bangsamoro.

 

I understand today’s ceremonies will also involve an official handover of learning materials and knowledge products developed through the Facility’s engagement with the Philippine Government in the past seven years.  These “captured experiences and insights” should serve not just as a testament of PAHRODF’s achievements but rather, as catalysts for real and sustained positive change in organizations assisted through the Facility.

 

PAHRODF’s consultative and responsive approach to capacity building - ensuring that interventions implemented in each agency are determined after a thorough organizational assessment, that human resource plans are developed with the agency officials and management, and that areas of studies for the Australia Awards are prioritized based on the need of the organization - are innovations that contributed greatly to the success of the Facility.  As we turn the page to a new chapter of Philippines-Australia cooperation with a new set of investments, we now face the task, as partners and intervention participants, to preserve the gains and positive momentum of the PAHRODF and possibly, even up the ante as we take on new challenges and explore new frontiers.

 

I am pleased to note that our colleagues from the Civil Service Commission have taken on the reins to continue developing a cadre of future leaders to transform the bureaucracy and regain people’s confidence in government through the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management or PRIME-HRM, and the Public Sector Leadership and Management Certification Program or CPro, and by assisting other agencies in developing their own competency-based human resource systems.

 

On the scholarship front, I am pleased to inform that the NEDA Board has approved the Australia Awards and Alumni Engagement Program (AAAEP).  The NEDA is also currently processing the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Trade and Inclusive Economic Growth Facility (TIEGF) which is envisioned to take on the organizational development component of the PAHRODF.  With these two new investments, I am optimistic that the gains under the Facility will be sustained and the challenges surrounding its implementation addressed. Our hope and my  hope for the future is that more civil servants benefit from our human resources interventions and that they, together with the beneficiaries of past programs, will be enticed to continue serving in government beyond their required service obligation period and be a part of the movement for a world-class bureaucracy.

 

In closing, on behalf of the Philippine Government, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Australian Government, represented here by Ambassador Gorely, for its continued support for the Philippines’ good governance efforts.  Ambassador Gorely, and her predecessors, former Ambassadors Rod Smith and Bill Tweddell, have been instrumental to the Facility’s success, as they shared their insights and lent their invaluable support to the Facility.

 

My congratulations, too, to the members of the HRODF team led by Milalin Javellana, whom I have always admired for her dedication, for their diligent work in coordinating with government agencies on the facility’s interventions.

 

Finally, on behalf of the Facility Board, I wish to express my gratitude to the government agencies partners present here today, for your cooperation throughout the implementation of the various HROD interventions in your respective organizations.  Indeed, it takes courage to admit that we need to make certain changes to the way we do things and hold ourselves against higher standards of service.  The success of the Facility hinged on your openness to embrace the changes introduced through the interventions and we thank you for welcoming us into your respective organizations, for opening your processes and operations to close scrutiny and examination, and finally, for considering and adopting the measures recommended following the HROD exercise.  The challenge now is to sustain the gains we made as a result of these interventions within your agencies and I am hopeful that your engagement in the PAHRODF has adequately prepared you for the long road ahead.

 

Again, to everyone involved in the PAHRODF, thank you and congratulations for a job well done!

 

Thank you and mabuhay!

 

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