Eighty Provincial Employees to Graduate on Public Service Excellence, Ethics and Accountability Program
July 21, 2005

Eighty employees of the Sulu Provincial Government will graduate from Public Service Excellence, Ethics and Accountability Program (PSEEAP) on July 28, 2005. PSEEAP is a five-month program, February to July 2005, implemented by the Provincial Government, in partnership with the Western Mindanao Local Governance Resource Center, the University Center for Local Governance of the Western Mindanao State University.

Under this program, thirteen departments of the provincial government underwent a series of training and workshops on basic customer service skills; improvement of services; values formation and ethics; standard behavior in decision making and public service; accountability in public service; corruption tendencies and perceptions; and the role of culture and values. The workshops were followed by action planning sessions where department representatives crafted action plans focusing on specific systems to address occurences of corrupt practices and inefficiencies. The workshops likewise served as a campaign to improve organizational culture, thus, encouraging the shift from a culture of graft and corruption to that of public service ethics and accountability that promotes good governance.

The thirteen departments include the Office of the Provincial Governor, Provincial Offices of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Assessor, Treasurer, Budget, Accounting; Cooperative, Agriculture, Engineer, Population, General Services Office, Prosecutor, and Planning and Development.

Citizens of Sulu can now expect tremendous improvements in the way the provincial staff conduct themselves, perform their functions, and deliver services to the people.

Among the commitments of the provincial government towards service excellence are: 1) conduct of annual performance evaluation system (PES) for all employees of the Provincial Government for purposes of recognition, promotion and merit system to motivate the employees; b) upgrading of facilities in all departments to ensure quality services; c) enforcement of appropriate disciplinary measures on employees who are habitually tardy; d) conduct of information campaign about necessary official documents to bring speedy processing of eral property assessment; e) developing a database system for fast and easy retrieval of documents; f) timely preparation of the annual budget for ensuing year; g) regularly update the running balance of all obligated expenditures for other department’s usage; h) conduct of quarterly ocular inspection and inventory on the conditions of Provincial Road Networks, bridges, drainage systems, and other relevant structures, in order to have an upgraded and accurate records/data as well as to be able to make recommendations or take actions; i) adoption of “first -come-first-serve” basis in addressing requests from citizens; j) adoption of the good practice of quality time management in implementing priority projects; k) holding of a series of workshops for municipal treasurer’s staff towards improving tax collection and revenue generation; l) doing on-site Pre -membership Education Seminars to interested local groups to form enterprises or multi-purpose cooperatives; m) expansion of area coverage for the campaign on Reproductive Health and Responsible Parenthood and translation of promotional materials into local dialects for easy understanding.

Included in the culminating program is the induction into office of the Provincial Service Audit Team (PSAT) by Sulu Provincial Governor Benjamin T. Loong. The PSAT was organized by the provincial government to insure that the customer-service culture is embedded in every department of the provincial government. The team is composed of representatives from each of the thirteen departments in the provincial government.

Incidentally, PSEEAP is an intervention under the Transparent and Accountable Governance Project of the Asia Foundation (TAF) with funding assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). (Socorro Rebecca B Felonia/CPADS/Public Affiars/WMSU)