25 July 2017

Thirty–five (35) learners completed their quest of wisdom as the Session XXXIV of the Integrated Salamin-Diwa (SALDIWA) ng Paglilingkod Training Course under the Leadership and Management Proficiency (LAMP) Program which culminated last 17 July 2017 at the Villa Caceres Hotel in Naga City, Camarines Sur. The group is comprised of senior government executives from different parts of the country, with one coming from the private sector.

Naga City, also known as the “Pilgrim City of the Philippines,” served as their home for Modules 1 to 7 of the intensive fifteen-day residential training course. Meanwhile, Barangay Cagsao, one of the forty-eight (48) barangays in the municipality of Calabanga, Camarines Sur, served as the immersion laboratory site for the last module, the Community Engagement Module (CEM). CEM is the learning integration module of the SALDIWA training course.

Learning the fundamental skills of a true leader

The modular sessions laid down the platform for the learners to examine their values within the context of their primary roles as a family member and a government executive; and to articulate and refine their values and leadership style that will guide their actions as a public servant.

CESB Executive Director Maria Anthonette C. Velasco-Allones helped the participants understand the notion of personality and learn about various personality types that influence leadership styles and managerial behaviours in her session on Self-Mastery as a Leadership Foundation. She also utilized self-reflection techniques to allow the participants to rediscover their personal leadership strengths and areas of improvement.

Coach Tomas Alejo S. Batalla, a professional psychologist, focused on the healing of the “past self” in the module on Self-Knowledge and Self-Transformation through Time. As Coach Tom discussed the Cycle of Experience, he explained how the participants’ past experiences influence the way they discern and respond to present situations, and how they may change the way they feel and react to certain challenges and circumstances in order to achieve desired results.

Dr. Parkash T. Mansukhani, a Davao-based internist and pulmonologist introduced the learners to the beauty of Mindfulness, as he shared steps on how to pay attention on purpose in the present moment nonjudgementally in order to be able to respond with open curiosity, kindness, warmth, and compassion.

Ms. Teresita R. Albert, President and Chief Executive Officer of TRAC Training Consultancy, inspired the learners to have a better awareness and clarity of self develop a better understanding of the dynamics and relationship between self and the other members of the organization through the module on Harnessing EQ for Positive Organizational Behavior.

Mr. Ernie O. Cecilia, Chairman of the Human Capital Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Philippines, Inc., enhanced the leadership performance and effectiveness of learners by helping them understand Values-Based Leadership and imbibing them with correct values that a good leader should possess, beyond the usual and conventional leadership styles, competencies, and strategies.

Ms. Josefina J. Quintana, an esteemed HRD Consultant, capacitated the learners with the leadership knowledge, skills, acumen and experiences in creating, institutionalizing and sustaining productive personal and institutional relationships through the module on Managing and Aligning Teams for Organizational Development.

Professor Emervencia L. Ligutom of the Department of Social Work of Silliman University touched the learners’ hearts and minds and guided them in their self-awareness and leadership journey in the module on Ethical Leadership and Accountable Governance.

The module on Perspectives on Development was divided into two parts. The first part, handled by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Deputy Director-General Rolando G. Tungpalan focused on understanding the concept of Managing Development by using the framework of a results-oriented public sector management cycle. He also made the learners reflect on how they can contribute to enhancing the achievement of our development objectives. The second part, which made the learners appreciate the global and Philippine development framework and the pillars of poverty reduction through the module on Social Development and the Challenge of Eliminating Poverty, was handled by former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Celia C. Yangco.

The Community Engagement Module: Scrutinizing Barangay Cagsao

The SALDIWA Training Course Session XXXIV culminated with the Community Engagement Module (CEM), the learning integration module. It is a structured engagement/ immersion-attachment in a chosen laboratory community in which the learners will harness field evaluation research competencies and technologies to define and examine the governance and development challenges in the community, their influencing factors, and their effects on and implications to the environment and various elements/sectors of a community.

Barangay Cagsao in Calabanga, Camarines Sur served as home to the learners during the five-day immersion. They were grouped into sectoral study teams; namely: Enterprise Development, Agricultural Productivity, and Economic Promotion; Education; Governance; and Infrastructure, Public Utility, Land Use and Environmental Management. The learners used focus-group discussions, participant-observation sessions, structured interviews and a variety of primary and secondary research methods to be able to draw comprehensive and factual perspectives of the major issues and challenges impacting the community. Out of these data, they generated field evaluation research reports containing not only fact-based assessments of the state of governance of the community, but also strategies and interventions to harness and mobilize the optimal and inclusive participation of the community to achieve an improved quality of life.

The learners’ “kamag-anaks” hosted a simple send-off program for them at the end of the immersion. On behalf of the class, Mr. Rabindranath P. Quilala, the Session 34 Class President, conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the families for their overwhelming support, generosity, and hospitality despite modest accommodations they shared.

During the closing ceremonies of the training course, the learners presented their reports before a panel of reactors, consisting of officials from the Calabanga Municipal Office - Municipal Health Officer Norradel P. Bolaños, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer Marion I. Versoza, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Daniel S. Abalayan, Municipal Local Government Operations Officer Rogelio G. Hiloma, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Filipina E. Celso, Municipal Agriculturist Officer Gil Gabriel H. Bordado, Municipal Engineer Ramon C. Pabico, and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Provincial Director Melody E. Relucio. They were joined by Barangay Cagsao officials and personalities, namely: Brgy. Captain Pascual T. Sta. Ana, Brgy. Secretary Adolfo P. Mendoza, Brgy. Kagawad Purisima D. Lima, Brgy. Kagawad Isabel B. Milla, Brgy. Kagawad Romeo B. Cantorne, Brgy. Kagawad Eduardo A. Ricafort, and Cagsao Elementary School Principal Julio L. Magpantay.

The panelists expressed their appreciation for the recommendations of the learners and vowed to use them as springboards for the continuing development programs they have planned for Barangay Cagsao.

“My overall SALDIWA experience is a game-changer. I am very lucky to have shared this training course with my co-learners who, despite their positions and personal achievements, exuded humility. The modules presented were very enriching, career-wise, and they will definitely help me develop my managerial and people skills,” remarked Provincial Director Julius Rodel L. Cal-Ortiz of the DILG-Sorsogon.

Mr. Ronald R. Libunao, Senior Aquaculturist from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Region 2 (BFAR-2), added: “I never thought that SALDIWA was as satisfying as it was as demanding. The lectures made me realize that I still have a lot to do to master myself and at the same time gave me high hopes that I can be a good leader if I try to live by the principles taught. The CEM inspired me to start the transformation within myself and focus my future endeavours into making a difference to the lives of the people I serve. It was truly a wonderful learning experience. Thank you, CESB!”