Why I Accept the Nomination for the Deanship of NCPAG:

Some Notes

Alex Brillantes Jr

June 10, 2004

I

Sometime ago, some of our colleagues in the faculty and staff asked me to consider the Deanship of the College. I was of course honored, yet humbled, considering that I never thought of the Deanship at this point of my life in the NCPAG. 

However, after much prayer, and after consulting with my family,  colleagues and friends in and out of the College,  I am indeed honored to accept the nomination for the Deanship. After all, I have been part of the CPA – now NCPAG – family for over 26 years. Among my first mentors are two giants of CPA: Dr Ledivina V. Cariño and Dr. Raul P. de Guzman. My first job was in 1976 at the DAP where I worked as a case-study writer for Dr Cariño, herself our former Dean. I will always be grateful to her for giving me my first break. It was also during this time that I met Dean Raul de Guzman of CPA who was then a resource person of the CESDP Program handled by DAP. RPG recruited me into the College as a Research Assistant.  I will forever indebted to RPG for steering and influencing my professional and academic interests into development administration in general, and local governance in particular. 

To be nominated to the Deanship in the footsteps of these giants – and those that followed them -  is both a very daunting and humbling challenge.

Throughout my 26 year career in the College, including the times when I studied abroad for my PhD at the University of Hawaii (1980-86) and when I was seconded on government service to the Local Government Academy of the DILG as its Director (1993-1997), and until recently when I was a Visiting Professor at Kobe University in Japan, I have tried my best to uphold the standards of excellence and loyalty set by our mentors in our academic and professional lives.

I see in the Deanship a privilege – and perhaps even an obligation - to serve the College that has given so many opportunities for my professional and academic growth. I also see it as an opportunity to contribute to sustaining the College’s leading role in the continuing discourse of public administration and governance concerns not only in the country but in the region as well.

My good Japanese friend and colleague who very recently was appointed Dean of his College in Kobe University described his appointment  as noblesse oblige  in one’s academic career. Without meaning to be presumptuous, I feel that the challenge for me to fulfill this noblesse oblige has perhaps come.

It is therefore within this context that I am offering  these notes not only to explain to all concerned  why I  accepted the nomination to be Dean, but also to identify some areas of action that we may collectively consider towards the attainment of the noble mission and objective of NCPAG. These proposed areas of action  may serve as a springboard for discussion and debate and finally fleshed out and logically framed by the concerned sectors in NCPAG.

II

  1. We shall build upon the hard earned gains of our founders, mentors and predecessors. NCPAG is where it is today – the leading institution in the country in the discourse of public administration and governance - because of the vision and trail blazing efforts of our founding fathers, mothers and mentors. We are where we are because of the hard work and teamwork of the entire NCPAG family, faculty and staff, academic and non-academic personnel.
  2. The environment of the praxis of public administration and governance is rapidly changing. Thus, the  College has to be in the forefront in confronting the changes brought about by information technology,  globalization, the market, increased competition, etc. Strategies have to be devised to confront these challenges. These include aggressive networking at the local and international levels, resource mobilization, tapping the energy of the alumni and students, among other things.
  3. Hence, the basic themes that shall characterize my Deanship are the following:
    • “Build upon the hard earned gains”
    • “Further rationalize and strengthen the academic curriculum.”
    • “Strengthen the research agenda.”
    • “Strengthen partnerships with students and alumni”
    • “Network with local and international partners”
    • “Mobilize and generate and resources”
    • “Strengthen the publications program”
    • “Institutionalize ARCD”
    • “Unity Solidarity and Teamwork”
  4. Consistent with the abovementioned themes, we propose the following:
    1. Consider setting up an Advisory Board for Governance and invite the following to compose it, depending of course on who may be available, and willing to serve:  CSC Chairperson;  DBM Secretary; NEDA Secretary;  DILG Secretary; Senate and House Chairs on Committees on Civil Service; Senate and House Chairs on Committees on Local Government;  Former Deans of the College;  Former UP President JVA; President Nemenzo; Chancellor Roman; QC Mayor; Alumni Association Represntative; Civil society representative; Student Council Representative
    2. Strengthen our network with international partners. Among the International partners are the following: UNDP; AusAid; CID; USAID; JICA; IPAC; IOG Canada; ADB; WB; Kobe U; GRIPS;  SEARCA; EWC; ITC; Eropa; Logotri; EC; others.
    3. Strengthen our network with local partners. Among them are the following: CSC; CESB;  DAP ; Senate and House Committees on Local Government; Senate and House Committees on Civil Service; Ateneo School of Government; La Salle Institute of Governance; Kalayaan College; LGA and ILGA; MSU; ASPAP; others
  5. We shall strengthen the Academic Program and further rationalize our curriculum. Among the areas of action that may be considered are the following: a targeted Mid-Career program;  a customized demand-driven MPA;  SIM that is strengthened and nurtured; a regular policy forum (started by LVC) to target our students. Among those we can consider to deliver special lectures by governance practitioners and experts, include FVR, CCA, Bayani Fernando,  former Governors (e.g., Barbo), Mayors (e.g., Robredo, Binay), and international experts and academics who can support their own travel to Philippines.
  6. Support to Faculty – especially junior faculty - shall be continued. One area that can be further strengthened will be the existing faculty affiliate strategy, where each faculty member shall be supported by an RA designated from the Centers.
  7. Our publications program shall be strengthened and reinvigorated. Among other things, the PJPA needs to be updated. We may also build upon the earlier efforts to set up the International Board of Advisers;  look into the publication of Occasional and Working Papers of the Centers including proceedings of Policy For a; and NCPAG newsletter; a regular column in the CESB digest. Among those we can immediately publish are the following: the  Governance Assessment of the Philippines; the Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Decentralization that focused on the theme  Good Urban Governance and Decentralization in Asia and the Pacific; and LGLA Leadership Studies: Leadership Matters. Considering the strategic location of NCPAG, we should look into the possibility of coming up with a Source Book on the Philippine Bureaucracy – together with the Civil Service and CESB; a Source Book on Local Governments – with DILG.
  8. Another area that can be looked into to meet the demand for training and capacity building in the market is the conduct of short term customized training programs for our clients on a demand-driven basis. This is where the Centers will play a major role. For instance, the CLRG can offer customized programs (as it has in the past) in the areas of  local legislation, environment, mini-LADP, e-governance.   CPED can continue to offer short term customized programs  for national government agencies and the civil service. Among others, the CLCD can pursue its offerings for  young leaders.
  9. Over the past years, we have seen significant improvements in the facilities of NCPAG. It is in contributing towards this effort that perhaps, it may now be time to look into the possibility of constructing a case room that could meet not only the demand of our in-house training programs but for use of the students as well.
  10. The following is an indicative Calendar of Activities identifying indicative dates that may be considered for major activities of NCPAG. These include – beginning in 2005 - the conduct of international conferences that will project the aggressive and dynamic nature of NCPAG in the continuing discourse of public administration and governance issues and concerns.

    Year

    Activity

    2004

     

    • Re-launch Policy Forum to include topics such as Electoral Reform, the proposed Civil Service Code, Amendments to the Local Government Code, Best Practices in Local Governance (feature Galing Pook Awardees), Best Practices in the Civil Service (Feature Dangal ng Bayan Awardees), Best Practices in Local Leadership (Feature LGLA awardees, selected Magsaysay awardees who are available, Metrobank Foundation awardees): Outputs to be published as Occasional / Working Paper series (a la SPAR in the 70s)
    • Roundtable of Former SILGs on Local Government Reform
    • Chairs on Civil Service Reform

    2005

     

    • Fourth International Conference on Decentralization  (with LGA, IPAC, UNDP, etc.)
    • International Conference on Public Administration and Good Governance (with ASPAP, IPAC, Eropa, etc.)

    2006

     

    • International Conference on Leadership and Good Governance (with Ateneo, La Salle to coincide with 3rd LGLA
  11. I certainly recognize that the Deanship entails much, much more that those indicated above. These were just some initial “talk-points.” Based on my interactions and discussions with our former deans, the deanship is indeed a gratifying yet lonely job. It is a noble obligation. It has its victories and triumphs, yet its share of defeats and frustrations. I have counted the cost and studied the gains.  As my modest experience at LGA has taught me, a leader does not only deal with policies, institutions and processes. At the end of the day, it is our human resources – our people, our team, that will really matter. FVR used to exhort us before: Unity, Solidarity and Teamwork (UST).  It will be therefore be the spirit of UST that will undergird my Deanship. If given the honor, and if called upon, I am ready to serve with the NCPAG team.
  12. The above are some notes I prepared for whatever they may be worth. Your comments and suggestions are certainly most welcome. Email (abrillantes2001@yahoo.com) or call or text 09177162539, or call 9312816 (res).
  13. Thank you for taking time to read this.