The First National Summit on Public Administration and Youth for Good Governance held on October 8 to 10 at the Philippine Social Science Center in Diliman, Quezon City. The event’s theme was, ‘Engaging the Youth in Grounded Public Administration and Governance’. It was conducted in connection with the 19th anniversary celebration of the Local Government Code of 1991 and the 100th day of the President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Summit organizers included the Philippine Society for Public Administration (PSPA) and the Association of Schools of Public Administration in the Philippine (ASPAP), in cooperation with the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC).
Participants were students of public administration and young leaders from all over the country, who, according to the organizers, need to be mobilized towards decentralization, democratization, and development. A focus was to engage them in the promotion of good governance that requires accountability, transparency and participation especially at the level of local government. Mr. Hariade Dammang and Ms, Madelyn Shinn, graduate students of public administration were WMSU’s representatives to the summit.
Mr. Tony Meloto of Gawad Kalinga gave the keynote address on the first day of the event, while Mr. Reynaud Meyer, UNDP Philippines Director keynoted the second day. Dr. Ederlinda Fernandez, Dean of the WMSU College of Public Administration and Development Studies spoke on the status and challenges of public administration in Western Mindanao. Dr. Ferdinand Lamarca, Professor, University of the Northern Philippines, and Dr. Danilo Reyes of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), on the other hand, dealt with the discipline’s status and challenges in other parts of the country.
Dr. Fernandez, in benchmarking public administration, underscored the nagging question on why the sorry state of governance in our country in spite of decades of capacity building through public administration schools scattered nationwide. She also highlighted the challenge on public administration education to help government come up with better policy and administrative capacity of government officials, as well as increased participation of other stakeholders.
To address this challenge, Dr. Fernandez proposed the following: critical review of course offerings in PA schools; integration of ethics/values in PA courses; utilization of information technology; accreditation of PA schools to set standards and monitor the quality of PA education; technical panel in PA at the Commission on Higher Education to serve as advisory and consultative body to the commission; and increase the participation of PA schools in the Network of Asia and Pacific Schools and Institutes in Public Administration and Governance (NAPSIPAG) for improved PA teaching.
The participants made a pledge titled ‘Panata’, to help strengthen the foundations in order to build a better nation. It was responded to by Commissioner May Fernandez-Mendoza of the Civil Service Commission.
Summit outputs included the following: a road map for youth engagement in governance; strategies and plans for the PSPA-ASPAP to strengthen public administration and youth engagement; memorandum of understanding between PSPA, ASPAP and the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) – Legislative Academy (LA). (Evelyn C. Luceño, PAO-WMSU)