Vice President Robredo graces the 2018 CES Leadership Conclave

Vice President Robredo graces the 2018 CES Leadership Conclave

Wednesday | February 28, 2018

“Public servants are critical to our growth as a nation. Day in and day out, you toil to make sure that the bureaucracy provides services that are essential to our people’s daily lives,” says Republic of the Philippines Vice President Atty. Maria Leonor G. Robredo.

Republic of the Philippines Vice President Atty. Maria Leonor G. Robredo keynoted the opening rites of the Inaugural Session of the 2018 CES Leadership Conclave held at the Isla Ballroom, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Manila, on February 22, 2018. The session drew two hundred twenty-five (225) Career Executive Service (CES) officials from all over the country.

She saluted all the men and women of the CES community saying “You and those who work for you in government are important to all of us. I know of your struggles and difficulties, but I also know of the great opportunities that await those who are committed to giving excellent service. Now more than ever, we need people like you that nurture public servants who embody excellence and an unshakable commitment to nation building.”

She proceeded to share the Office of the Vice President’s flagship anti-poverty program “Angat Buhay,” which focuses on six key advocacy areas, namely, hunger and food security; universal health care; public education; rural development; women empowerment; and housing.

“As you face more hurdles and reach for greater heights, may you never lose heart. During these extraordinary times, we need public servants who stand for truth, honesty, and integrity, and we are counting on you. Go forth and be beacons of light and hope for our country,” said Vice President Robredo, which drew a rapturous applause from the crowd.

The Spirit of Resilience takes spotlight on the 2018 CES Conclave

The 2018 Conclave themed “Resilience: Steering through Adversity, Bouncing Back Bravely” focuses on the CES community’s need to summon individuals from both the private and public sector to restructure and reorganize our good governance systems, and enhance the resilience of our communities in the face of increasingly severe natural and man-made calamities and stresses.

The ground becomes more solid after going through a heavy rainfall.”

In her opening remarks, CES Governing Board and Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, CESO I, shared this Oriental proverb, which describes the wisdom we gain from being immersed in trials while working in the government.

According to her, the year-round theme speaks of an essential attribute, which must define the character of officials in the first, second, and third levels as they heed the call to rise up and serve as champions who will inspire and teach resilience while navigating through the tides of disruptive change. “Be resilient so we can build a stable and resilient Philippines,” remarked Chair Bala.

Afterwards, National Union of CESOs, Inc. (NUCESO) Executive Vice President and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Director Maximo C. Aljibe, CESO III, shared a message of solidarity on behalf of NUCESO President and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary Rosalina L. Bistoyong, CESO I. Director Aljibeexpressed his delight saying “today, we will all be able to learn things that will make us more apt and well equipped in facing adversities as government leaders.”

Luminaries share stories of resiliency

“How resilient are you?” The participants answer the RQ test prepared by CESB ED Maria Anthonette C. Velasco-Allones, CESO I.

“The distinguishing use of resilience is that it helps hone our ability to reach out to others, especially those who go through the same obstacles that we successfully overcame.”

These were the words of CESB Executive Director Atty. Maria Anthonette C. Velasco-Allones, CESO I, who took off the plenary learning sessions with an eye-opening discussion on the Resilience FrameworkShe shared and summarized the elements of resilience, which are;

  1. Perseverance - the ability to overcome and steer through challenges;
  2. Flexibility - the ability to adapt when things do not go your way; and
  3. Bouncing back - the capacity to stand up again in the face of failure.

ED Allones’ discussion on the Resilient Leadership Framework also included the three core elements of resilience, such as culture; character; and choice, as well as its four dimensions, namely, Physical Health; Self Mastery; Mental Fitness; and Spiritual Fortitude, among many other fundamentals.

With a song entitled “This is Me,” ED Allones ended her learning session encouraging the participants to drown out the sharpest words that seem to cut them down and to continuously march on to the beat they drum.

“ED Tonette’s wisdom truly resonates to all CESOs and CESEs,” remarked Council for the Welfare of Children Deputy Executive Director Ms. Marijoy D. Segui, CESO III.

Leading Bravely: Turning Crisis into Leadership

 The afternoon plenary learning sessions commenced with an inspiring lesson on “Leading Bravely: Turning Crisis into Inspiration” shared by Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano. 

Get up in the morning despite the unfavourable situation you are in; Become a bold

Risk Taker; Accept

Accountability for your actions; Stay

True to your word; Serve as a good

Example and inspire greatness;  Seek

Feedback especially from colleagues and subordinates;

Use those feedbacks to continuously improve on your skills and abilities; and

Listen to people.

A cancer survivor, Undersecretary Manzano related how being GRATEFUL helped her gracefully lead, while enduring the daily aches of going through chemotherapy. Grateful is an acrostic that summarizes the attitude of a brave and inspiring leader. 

“It was just horrible to get my day started, but what pushed me out of the bed is the gratefulness in my heart that I survived the night – looking forward to the positive changes that I can affect in our office,” she remarked. She also shared how adverse situation helps one understand the true meaning of risk and strengthens one’s spirit to take one.

Quoting from Sam Crawthorn, she said, “When crisis comes knocking at our door, F.O.C.U.S so you can begin a positive turnaround.” FOCUS stands for: Faith in the Future; Optimistic; Communication; Unity; and Strategic.

In closing, she shared a quote from a book from an American Pastor Andy Stanley, which says “As a leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out, you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching.”

CHED Director Ms. Luisa S. Valencia, CESO III, lauded Undersecretary Manzano’s life story saying that “she bravely faced her crisis and turned it into an inspiration to give more meaning to her work. She is an inspiration to me.”

Leading with a HeART: Creative Ways to Communicating a Mission

Dr. Enrique A. Tayag, CESO III, dances with CES Officials to keep everyone energized.

Dr. Enrique A. Tayag, CESO III, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Assistant Secretary for Policy and Health Systems focused on the importance of aligning and communicating organizational purpose in his session entitled “Leading with a HeART: Creative Ways of Communicating a Mission”. 

In his presentation, Dr. Tayag explained that a strong and compelling purpose is achieved by ensuring that one’s mission, vision, values, and strategies are aligned with each other. He emphasized that in order to achieve clarity, the purpose must be free from technical jargon, so that there will be no room for confusion. He added that the purpose must be shared with like-minded individuals, whose passion would drive shared leadership.

Dr. Tayag also mentioned that the purpose can be creatively communicated through strong relationship among the members of the organization which allows communication to occur even without spoken words. 

Finally, he encouraged the participants to “search for your red umbrella, that which makes you different from others, in order to communicate your purpose creatively.” 

“The idea of finding my own red umbrella was very inspiring and motivational,” says DepEd Makati Principal Marvin H. Suarez.

Championing Innovations for Inclusive Growth

Department of Education (DepEd), Division of Catbalogan City Superintendent Mr. Cristito A. Eco, CESO VI, shared to everyone his city’s journey to establishing strong relationships with their stakeholders.

Through data analysis, he studied and identified issues, such as high dropout rates; low participation and low academic performances amongst students; and lack of resources. To overcome these adversities, SDS Eco and his team conceptualized project LEAD, which gave way for local school boards to be expanded. It also paved the way for the institutionalization of a regular consultation between the division office and the district teachers.

He likewise addressed the pressing concerns of teachers by initiating the information system needs of DepEd-Catbalogan dubbed as the “Enhanced Computerized Office System (eCo System). It consists of separate but integrated application modules that address the unique set of functionality and date security requirements, which include the Basic Classroom Information System (BCIS), Human Resource Information System (HRIS), Document Management System and DepEd-Catbalogan City website.

Finally, SDS Eco showcased his passion project called the “Swimming Pool in the Sea,” a convergence program between the DepEd-Catbalogan and the City Government. He convinced the City Government to fund the swimming pool in the sea, which now serves as a training ground for young swimmers and future athletes of Catbalogan City.

“Mr. Eco’s innovation is very commendable. To be able to produce more young swimming champions, there’s also a need to find people who can guide the athletes during trainings,” suggested DepEd Makati Principal Marvin H. Suarez.

Leveraging Inter-agency Synergy

LTO Region V, Regional Director Atty. Noreen Bernadette San Luis-Lutey (left) and DepEd, Division of Camarines Sur, Assistant Superintendent Ms. Susan S. Collano share the stage for the final plenary learning session of the day.

In the final plenary learning session entitled “Leveraging Inter-agency Synergy,” Transportation Office Region V, Regional Director Atty. Noreen Bernadette San Luis-Lutey and DepEd Division of Camarines Sur, Assistant Superintendent Ms. Susan S. Collano showcased the “Students Today, Road Users Tomorrow (STRUT),” a convergence project between LTO and DepEd. The two ladies who both graduated from SALDIWA Batch XXXI put their efforts to concretize eleven (11) modules of contextualized lessons in six subject areas for elementary, junior, and senior high school students.

Having lost her father in a car crash, Directory Lutey says that STRUT is really close to her heart. The same goes with ASDS Collano, who almost lost her son in a motorcycle crash. Both road safety advocates share the same passion for the program.

Director Lutey shared the history and development of STRUT, its dynamics, and its future. She also emphasized that educating the youth ensures public safety and the protection of life. Meanwhile, ASDS Collano discussed the modules of STRUT, which include:

  • Teka Muna;
  • Kaligtasan sa Lansangan;
  • Keep Calm and Be Safe;
  • Defensive Driving;
  • Angkas;
  • Helmet and Safety for Life;
  • Don’t Drink and Drive;
  • Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow;
  • License to Drive;
  • Eyes on the Road; and
  • Hotline

In closing, both proponents of the program reminded everyone that “there is no substitute for life. Be champions of STRUT, heaven can wait.”

“Road safety is a must! Thank you Director Lutey and ASDS Collano for championing the cause,” commended Philippine Economic Zone Authority Group Manager Ms. Ma. Veronica F. Magsino,CESO IV.


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