Continuing the Good Life at NCPAG in the Service of Others
(2019 New Year’s Message)

Dean Maria Fe Villamejor-Mendoza

Magandang buhay!

Salamat sa inyonglahat, sa inyong pagmamahal sa ating Kolehiyo at sa inyong pagsisigasig namaiayos ang galling at lugar natin sa pangkalahatan. Sa taong ito ako ayumaasang ipagpapatuloy pa natin ang ganitong pagsisikap hindi lang para saating sarili, sa ating Kolehiyo at Unibersidad. Higit sa lahat para sa bayan.

A. NCPAG in the Recent Past

Over the years, our College has been the premier center of excellence in Public Administration education, research and extension. We have ‘lull’ years in the past, but we have recovered and reclaimed our rightful place under the sun: as the first among the rest in the country and among the best in the region.

NCPAG has been the College of choice- for resources on capacity building, technical assistance, policy and other types of researches, public service requests from here and abroad. The Association of Schools of Public Administration in the Philippines always looks up to NCPAG as the beacon of light-wisdom, trailblazing ideas, publication and other services. The Commission on Higher Education has also relied on our College for quality assurance and for regulating the schools of public administration with standards of excellence above bar.

Our curricula are the models. And we are happy we have contributed in upgrading the policies, standards and guidelines for BPA, MPA and DPA. We have also revised our own BPA and in due time, we will be revising our DPA, MPA and DipPM and enhance them to be at par with the International Standards of Excellence for PA Education in the World.

Our research and publication productivity has improved. Most of our faculty and staff have embraced the culture of excellence in instruction, research and public service.

As evidenced by recent awards for International Publication (IPA), we have received around 20 IPA from 2014. Most of our faculty received the One UP Professorial Chair and Faculty research Grant Awards from 2016-2018. Most of our faculty have also been granted PC and FRG awards at the CU level (UP Centennial Awards) and many of our faculty and staff, and students have been participating in international conferences as plenary and parallel session speakers; in international student and faculty exchanges in the region and beyond.

We have also hosted and organized three international conferences lately- Future Perfect, NCPAG 65th, and 2019 AGPA. We have also co-organized international conferences of EROPA, AAPA, PSPA and ASPAP, to name a few.

Also, we have a new building called ICPA and hopefully, a four to eight-story ICGG may rise in our midst in due time.

All these  accomplishments are summed up by a PBB award of better in 2017 and good in 2016. Hopefully in 2018, we will retain the better classification. Also these are captured in an API score of 74.97 in 2015 and 86.69 in 2018, our academic productivity has significantly improved from number 3 to number 2 in UPD; from number 9 to number 3 in the UP System.

These only mean that we at the College have engendered a culture of change, creativity and innovation; we have embraced exemplary public administration in the service of the nation and the world and made it a way of life. And for these, we have to congratulate everyone!

B. Sustaining Gains and Breaking New Grounds

But we live in the era of VUCA-volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and with global disruptions such as new globalization, climate change and industrial revolution 4.0, we should not rest on our laurels. We should continue to strive harder to sustain our gains and break new grounds.

Internally, we are faced with an aging faculty population with seven senior faculty members, most of them with PhD and a wealth of experience behind them, retiring in the next 5 years. We also have REPS whose research, training and extension assignments are up their necks. Hindi napo humihinga that they may have forgotten to complete advance degrees and be integrated into the faculty. We also have administrative staff whose salary has been too low; they are below the poverty line in most cases. More so now that the 2019 GAA may be finalized in the 1st quarter yet.

Also, we have the oldest journal of PA in the region but which up to now has not yet been at least Scopus-indexed.

So what should we do together?

1.Quality Assurance in Everything We Do. We need not be ISO-certified but we have to aspire to be accredited as a regional center of excellence. We should improve our data management system, complete our annual reports, revise our graduate programs, and offer innovative and trailblazing programs in research and extension. We should also be a green College, mindful of the Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, rescue, respond, rehabilitate, etc.) in climate change and disaster risk management. We should use energy and resources wisely. Be clean and green.

We should be revising our DPA, MPA and DipPM and we have started with the committees of Erwin Alampay, Mina Cabo, Faina Diola and Marivic Raquiza.

We should also be expanding our research and extension services, especially this year being an election year. We should be analyzing not only political dynasties but also matters related to institutions of governance. We should also inform the electorate because if they are mature and wise, our future will be assured.

We should also be preparing our elected by May 13, so that they would know the rudiments of good public service, better lawmaking and more effective fiscalizing as co-equal branch of government. We should contribute to making our institutions work for the people by being strong, rather than weak vis-à-vis the Executive.

Maybe we should be reviving our research on the bureaucracy under challenged democracy, corruption and the elites, institutions of governance and their strengths and weaknesses, regulation, competition and poverty alleviation, social equity and the rule of law, leadership and development. Maybe we should also be thinking of offering programs on human rights and governance (with the CHR), sustainable development goals (with UN) and good governance (with PSA, UNDP and ASPAP).

Maybe it is also about time that we restart our (text) book writing project on Philippine public administration, fiscal administration, policymaking and analysis, local governance, public enterprise and voluntary sector management, spatial information and knowledge management.

2. Continue to Engender the Culture of Excellence in Instruction, Research, Publications and Extension. We should commit: One research; one paper presentation at international conference; one publication a year for faculty; for staff, one publication every two years. With or without incentives, I know, you will all deliver.

We should also be engaged in important development discourses happening in the country: federalism and charter change, elections and democracy, corruption and the pork barrel, regulatory and public sector reforms, competitiveness and public service, equity and poverty alleviation.

There is also a Call for the One UP PC and FRG for 2018-2020, and I hope our faculty will apply.

We could also venture into textbook writing and aspire to have the PJPA at least Scopus-indexed by 2020.

3. Sustain the Professional Momentum at Hosting and Organizing International Conferences and other Activities at Internationalization. In May, we will have the AAPA and in September, we will have the EROPA international conferences in the country. Our two esteemed members of the faculty are part of a UN Task Force to develop a curriculum for public servants in Asia and the Pacific on sustainable development. A handful of our students are going out as exchange students in universities in Korea and Japan.

We hope to attract visiting fellows, researchers and faculty to infuse fresh perspectives at things. For as they say, what used to work before, will not work now. So let us find new ways at solving things, with the help of external experts.

4. Continue to be Abreast with Current Trends and Events and Say Your Piece. Do research and prepare well-informed stands and policy options. NCPAG needs to play a more central role in governance on behalf of the voiceless and marginalized, especially with the context of post-traditional network governance. For this reason, we have an obligation to take a wider view that reveals what is taken for granted and to facilitate participation in the governance process. It needs to inspire people to demand change. It also needs to instill hope and help facilitate real change from the ground up.

C. Concluding Note

We have done it before. We can do better this year and the next years. I know with everyone’s support, participation and commitment, we can do all these and more. I know we will enjoy a good life not only for us, but for the country because we are agents of change, reformers, transformers and servant leaders.

Salamat muli at Manigong Bagong Taon sa Lahat!