Once again, the resilience of the Philippine public sector was celebrated as Quality Management System (QMS) advocates, aspirants, professionals, and practitioners gathered for a sharing activity on their QMS journeys amidst the pandemic.

The event was organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) through its Government Quality Management Program (GQMP) last July 2, 2021 via zoom platform. With 46 participants across 14 agencies, it aimed to provide an opportunity for the GQMP beneficiary agencies to share their QMS journey in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DAP Vice President Arnel D. Abanto delivered the welcome remarks and stressed the importance of quality and productivity tools at this time of the pandemic especially now that we are venturing into the new normal.  VP Abanto continued that government agencies were forced to think of how public services can continually be provided to the citizens.  Through the adoption of QMS, agencies were able to effectively adjust and come up with alternative, innovative ways to bring services closer to the people. This, he said, exemplifies the true meaning of “malasakit”, showing that the government truly cares for the people.

The former QMS leader and the Director of the Extension Directorate of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Director Aris Reynold Cajigal, PhD, shared the MMSU’s quality-driven journey to ACHIEVE. Director Cajigal recounted MMSU’s efforts in installing and implementing its QMS from the time they sent their expression of interest to participate in the program up to the time that they are fully implementing their QMS.  He talked about the challenges that they faced and how they were able to surpass them. He said that the key to their successful QMS implementation were: inculcating a sense of ownership of QMS to all employees, being consistent in implementation, and communicating effectively.

Atty. Tecson Lim, the QMR of the Department of National Defense – Office of Civil Defense (DND-OCD), narrated how the OCD implemented and successfully attained their QMS certification at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.Atty. Lim shared that they were hit by the crisis head on in the onset of their implementation.  He talked about turning every disaster into opportunity and how they organized teams as they transitioned their system to satisfy the demands of the new normal. OCD owes its QMS success to having: a committed top management; a supportive QMR; dedicated core team heads and members; employees aware of the importance of QMS; a defined implementation plan; and a proactive secretariat that supports the core team.

After the two presentations, break-out sessions for participants were done to talk about the status of their agency’s QMS journey, what challenges they are currently facing and what kind of assistance they would be needing from the DAP.  Through this activity, key action points to further enhance the DAP’s assistance for the GQMP beneficiaries were identified.

The event was closed by the Advocacy and Institutional Development Office Director Evangeline M. Macariola.  Director Macariola said that the session just confirmed that our resiliency helped us to remain committed to satisfying the needs of the people that we serve despite the challenges that we face. She highlighted that the DAP will be doing this more often and, as program partners, the DAP will be with the agencies to guide and help them improve their service delivery.

The activity closed with participants having a renewed passion and determination to continue with their QMS journey.