“If you want something to change, you must be willing to do the long-term work of transforming your institution,” said ISA Founder Jess Estanislao, setting the tone for the 16th Governance Boot Camp (#BOOTCAMP16). He challenged participants to become better civil servants and to encourage local and national development. “You must be willing to do your part in your sector so that the Philippines can once again be respected throughout Asia—and of course, so that your constituencies can receive the public service they need and deserve.”
ISA trained 90 civil servants at #BOOTCAMP16 who all came from different national government agencies, government-owned or controlled corporations, and local government units. Divided into two classes, it consisted of the Basic Class, which centered on the fundamentals of strategy and the Performance Governance System (PGS); and the Master Class, which focused on capacitating more experienced PGS partners in sustaining their governance programs beyond graduating from ISA’s governance pathway.
Despite the participants’ diversity in ranks and mandates, 2017 Basic Class valedictorian or “Ultimate Governance Warrior” Racquel De Guzman-Buensalida of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), commended the event’s practice of collaboration. “Coming from different organizations, the Boot Camp truly served as a melting pot. I valued the practice of seeking feedback from the participants every step of the way.”
Aside from training participants to establish and execute governance mechanisms in their respective institutions, the Boot Camp classes exposed these next-generation government leaders to ISA’s prime belief: that Philippine progress, through a responsive government, is alive and well.
In his lectures, which demonstrated cases of transformation in various levels of Philippine government, ISA Executive Director Chris Zaens shared this observation from ISA’s work in the field: “There is hope because there have been efforts to address dysfunctions that have been present for the longest time.”
Mandaue City Vice-Mayor Carlo Fortuna, this year’s Master Class “Ultimate Governance Warrior”, also expressed his sentiments on how the event encourages collaboration among individuals united by the governance advocacy. “It is inspiring to know that among the thousands of civil servants in the country, there are people who continue to push to be better and to transform our government and our country to be better.”
The Governance Boot Camp is one of ISA’s main programs that promote continuous learning about democracy, governance, and strategic thinking. Its next big event is the Dream Philippines Fair in November – a showcase of nation-building through governance.