Sulu, WMSU Sign MOA To Improve Services to Public
March 21, 2005

LOCAL governments in Sulu Province are expected to improve their services to their constituents as a result of a series of trainings that their officials and employees will receive from the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU).

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the conduct of “Public Service Excellence, Ethics and Accountability Program” (PSEEAP) was signed between WMSU president Dr. Eldigario Gonzales and Sulu governor Benjamin Loong during a simple ceremony at the university last Friday afternoon to launch the project.

Poverty alleviation through improvement in the delivery of basic services to the people is the ultimate aim of the project, Dr. Gonzales remarked during the signing. He said WMSU’s effort to enchance public services in Sulu is in line with the school’s vision of “la universidad para la communidad.”

PSEEAP aims to raise the capability of provincial and municipal officials and employees in basic customer services, value formation and ethics, standard behavior in decision making and accountability. It also covers corruption tendencies and the role of culture and values and how corruption can be minimized in the workplace, project director Dr. Ofelio Mendoza said. WMSU’s Center for Local Governance will conduct the training.

PSEEAP was conceptualized and is being sponsored by The Asia Foundation (TAF) through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program has been implemented in various major cities in Mindanao in partnership with local non-government organizations, TAF project coordinator Mario Vito Abastar said. USAID said the trainings have achieved their objectives in these local governments.

Gov. Loong said PSEEAP is but one part of comprehensive effort he has initiated to spur local governments in Sulu to perform in accordance with the ideals of good governance. (Rey-Luis Banagudos – PAO, WMSU)