The Performance Governance System

“Governance is as necessary as anti-corruption. It is what builds up rather than tears down,
restores rather than removes,
empowers rather than overthrows.”

— Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao, Founder, Institute for Solidarity in Asia

Our tool in achieving our Dream Philippines is the Performance Governance System (PGS), a framework for transformation designed to help public institutions create, execute, monitor, and sustain roadmaps to long-term reform. Distributed across a four-stage governance pathway, the PGS adopts global best practices in managing strategy to help public institutions deliver, achieve, and sustain breakthrough goals that can continue and survive beyond change and disruptions.

PGS vs. The Balanced Scorecard

The PGS is a framework patterned after the Balanced Scorecard of the Harvard Business School, where government agencies and local government units are rated based on their development goals and sustainable governance mechanisms.

While Balanced Scorecards are used mainly by private and profit-driven organizations, the PGS, tailored for the Philippine setting, is used by public and mission-driven institutions.

Harmonization of the PGS with Other Frameworks

Unlike other management frameworks that primarily focus on improving operations alone, the PGS is a tool that can be used to harmonize the day-to-day operations of an organization with the transformative actions introduced by the strategy. These processes include performance assessments, linkage to incentives, and even budgeting processes and other existing systems like the ISO to the identified long-term goals of the organization.

Allowing the PGS strategy to develop as a complementary management system with mandated functions helps organizations progress in one solid direction. Beyond operational effectiveness and complementing process improvements, PGS puts a premium on the strategic impact that an organization can make, given its mandate.

Partner Testimonials

Currently used by over 100 national government agencies, hospitals, local government units, and learning institutions, among others, the PGS has helped bring transformation in many organizations and raise the bar on what modern public sector institutions can achieve together with their stakeholders.


Philippine Veterans Affairs Office

In November 2019, only five years after embarking on its transformation journey, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) successfully passed the Institutionalization stage of the Performance Governance System (PGS) and bagged the Gold Trailblazer Award for its accomplishments and excellent execution of its strategy through good governance.

The agency was also recognized as an Island of Good Governance (IGG), the official recognition program for milestone achievements in the use of PGS, and considered an exemplar in governance and reform, setting high standards in public governance in the country.


Philippine Heart Center

The Philippine Heart Center, one of the country's hospitals to uphold the highest standards for cardiovascular care, completed the fourth and last stage of the PGS in 2015, inspiring other health institutions in their journey of transformation.
Through the PGS, the PHC was internationally recognized for its best practices in hospital management by the Asian Management Hospital Awards, which recognizes hospitals in Asia that develop exceptional programs.


City Government of Mandaue, Cebu

Mandaue City, a first-class, highly urbanized city in the Central Visayas, attained the full-fledged PGS seal back in 2015. It was also recognized as an Island of Good Governance for its success in bringing local businesses together to showcase high-value products under the #iammandaue brand.

"With PGS, you empower people in the organization to contribute their ideas,” Mandaue Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna said in an interview with ISA. “We got everybody on board, which resulted to these breakthroughs we have seen in Mandaue."

Primary Interventions


Strategy Formulation

In Strategy Formulation, the organization works with ISA to integrate existing plans into a cohesive long-term strategy that seeks to level up the delivery of the organization’s mandate. This session is dedicated to crafting the Strategy Map and Governance Scorecard – the guiding frameworks which define and detail the overall strategic direction of the organization.

The online intervention will be divided into two sessions – (1) Strategic Positioning and (2) Strategy Formulation, and will cover the validation of the organization’s multi-year deliverables and the articulation of its strategic objectives.



The Clean-up Session is dedicated to polishing the initial Strategy Map, Enterprise Scorecard, and Strategic Deliverables to ensure the readiness of the strategy for execution.



In this intervention, ISA seeks to capacitate the organization’s department heads through a series of Cascading Sessions to ensure their unit’s progression towards the fulfillment of their deliverables and targets outlined in their scorecards.


OSM Capacity Building & MSGC Management

In this session, ISA trains the members of the organization’s Office for Strategy Management (OSM) and orients them on how to properly execute, monitor, and sustain their organization’s strategy, as well as manage their Multi-Sector Governance Council (MSGC).

This intervention covers an online discussion of the roles and responsibilities of the OSM in the implementation of each PGS element. It discusses the mechanisms for conducting strategy reviews and process coaching for units, and the approaches to successfully managing the MSGC.



The Pre-Revalida prepares an organization for their upcoming Public Revalida, where they will present the progress and milestones of their strategy. In this session, the organization delivers their revalida presentation in order to obtain feedback and recommendations from a mock panel which includes members of ISA’s management committee and selected associates. The discussion is then documented for the organization to use in refining the narrative and the delivery of their final revalida presentation.


Public Revalida

The Public Revalida is a platform where organizations present their stories of transformation and progression in the PGS pathway before a specially convened panel of good governance and field experts. Presenting partners will be given honor in an awarding ceremony where they will be commended for their achievements.


Organizational Assessment

For Initiation
The Organizational Assessment, evaluates the maturity of the organization’s strategic readiness and governance mechanisms based on the parameters of the PGS. This will be conducted through an online survey and series of focus group discussions and interviews. This assessment aims to provide baseline data for the organization to consider as it progresses to the next stages of the PGS Pathway.


Spot Audit

For Compliance
The Spot Audit checks the progress of the organization’s strategy vis-à-vis the strategic contributions of selected key departments and units. It aims to validate the presence and maturity of the essential elements of the PGS critical to the execution and sustainability of the organization’s strategy at a particular PGS Stage. For this intervention, online group discussions and interviews are conducted to assess how the organization has facilitated strategy and operations reviews.


Strategic Readiness Test

For Proficiency and Institutionalization
The Strategic Readiness Test (SRT) evaluates the maturity of the organization’s strategic readiness and governance mechanisms using the parameters of the PGS. It seeks to provide data for the organization to consider as it progresses to the Proficiency or Institutionalized Stage of the PGS Pathway.

This intervention covers the conduct of the strategic readiness test, which is assessed in 5 components: (1) an online survey, (2) focus group discussions, (3) interviews, (4) spot audit, and (5) documents review. This step determines if the organization will move on to undergo the Governance Mechanisms Assessment or Third-Party Audit.


Third Party Audit

For Proficiency & Institutionalization

The Governance Mechanisms Assessment is conducted by a third-party auditor to evaluate the maturity of the identified governance elements and the integrity of the breakthrough results.

The program design covers the conduct of the Third-Party Audit comprising two phases: (1) Quantitative Assessment and (2) Qualitative Assessment. A comprehensive report resulting from the audit gives an overview of the progress of the organization, and with support from the ISA Board of Trustees, determines the advancement of the organization to the Public Revalida.

Islands of Good Governance (IGG) is the official recognition program for milestone achievements in the use of PGS. It honors public sector institutions as exemplars of reform and beacons of hope, lighting the way for many others to follow. In line with the long-term goal of setting higher standards for public governance in the country, the Islands of Good Governance (IGG) recognizes public sector institutions based on the following criteria:
Referring to the institution-wide use of effective governance mechanisms to consistently achieve breakthroughs
Showing how institution-wide reforms have led to the improvement of lives through better public service delivery or new economic growth initiatives
These are independently verified by global experts through audit and public revalida.
The Performance Governance System (PGS) is a holistic and collaborative framework for designing and executing roadmaps to long-term reform.
PGS culls global best practices in managing strategy to meet the rising needs of Philippine public sector institutions. It builds governance reform capacities across a four-stage pathway, and addresses a wide array of challenges while also yielding niche impact. At the national level this means world-class public service; at the local level, a robust economy.
This framework is now used by over 100 national government agencies and local government units in the Philippines, of which 14 have been independently verified by global experts as Islands of Good Governance (IGG), and 5 have been awarded membership in the exclusive Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy.
These national agencies and local governments continue to raise the bar on what the modern public sector institution can achieve together with its stakeholders. Each one is a true partner in governance reform, playing a significant role in building our Dream Philippines.
We look forward to helping you make great strides for your institution and the country. Take the first step to achieving our Dream Philippines by becoming a PGS partner.

For non-partners, you may send an email to the Program Management Unit at [email protected] to learn more. Meanwhile, existing partners are encouraged to reach out directly to their respective program coordinators.

Supplemental Interventions

Apart from an all-inclusive set of intervention programs, ISA also offers supplementary interventions that help enhance specified technical skills needed for a more coherent and improved organizational strategy.

Supplementary Interventions

  • Risk Management
  • Organizational Development
  • Operations Planning
More supplementary interventions are underway. Stay tuned for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explore this section and find answers to the most frequently asked questions when it comes to the PGS.


The Performance Governance System (PGS) is a holistic and collaborative framework for designing, executing, monitoring, and sustaining roadmaps for reform. PGS culls global best practices in managing strategy to meet the rising needs of Philippine public sector institutions. It builds governance reform capacities across a four-stage pathway and addresses a wide array of challenges while also yielding a niched impact.
While the PGS does have certifications for each stage in the PGS pathway, it is primarily a governance system that touches on various aspects of how a public institution manages its strategy. The work of the ISA primarily focuses not just on checking the accomplishments of the organization but also on handholding these institutions in putting in place identified governance elements under the PGS program.


The PGS pathway is composed of the following four stages: (1) Initiation, which focuses on strategy design; (2) Compliance, which focuses on strategy execution; (3) Proficiency, which focuses on monitoring and evaluation of the strategy; and (4) Institutionalization, which focuses on the attainment of breakthrough results.

Specific hallmarks of each stage have also been identified to reflect the ideal maturity of the PGS elements in the organization.

Ideally, organizations enrolled in the PGS complete the four-stage pathway in a span of three to four years, depending on the size of the organization as well as the processes already present in the organization. It must be noted, however, that strategy implementation and organizational transformation do not end after a PGS Partner graduates from the program. It is encouraged that organizations continue their reform initiative all the way up to their identified Vision year.

All PGS partners have to undergo a public revalida, an exercise in reporting before a chosen panel of governance experts, before being conferred into a PGS stage.

Furthermore, PGS organizations vying for the Proficiency Stage and Institutionalization Stage must pass an external audit before they can be recommended to undergo the public revalida.

The term limits of elected and appointed officials pose a challenge to continuity and progress in many governance situations. To promote strategies that can be sustained in the long term, PGS involves stakeholders from the private sector, as well as career civil servants. They play an oversight role in the implementation of the strategy. By building capacity among the stakeholders, changes in leadership are less likely to disrupt the progress in the implementation of long-term plans.


While there is no selection process to qualify as a partner, public sector organizations undergoing the PGS clearly understand that enrolling in the governance pathway signals a commitment to transparent and accountable leadership, responsible citizenship, and holistic development. Furthermore, ISA’s partnerships all stem from voluntary interest.
For national government agencies, enrolment fees for PGS range from PHP200,000 to PHP800,000 for each PGS stage (exclusive of all taxes). The investment cost varies, depending on the size of the organization and the scope of work that will be conducted. An organization can also choose to undergo the open platform program, only choosing the interventions that it would need for organizational transformation. For an Open Platform partnership, the costs will depend on the intervention needed by the partner.
The intervention costs go to the operational costs that go with preparing and ensuring that ISA is able to deliver its services well.

All PGS partners have to undergo a public revalida, an exercise in reporting before a chosen panel of governance experts, before being conferred into a PGS stage.

Furthermore, PGS organizations vying for the Proficiency Stage and Institutionalization Stage must pass an external audit before they can be recommended to undergo the public revalida.


There are nine (9) PGS Elements: (a) Basic Governance Documents composed of the strategy map, governance scorecard, and the list of strategic deliverables that are all anchored on a strategic position; (b) a PGS Core Team who are the champions of the strategy; (c) Cascading Framework to align everyone to the strategy; (d) Office for Strategy Management who oversees the implementation of the strategy; (e) Strategic Performance Assessments for monitoring and evaluation at the level of the enterprise and the units; (f) a Multi-sector Governance Council to formalize the external partnership; (g) Governance Culture to harmonize systems, processes, and values with that of the strategy; (h) Governance Sharing of the advocacy internally and externally; and (i) Breakthrough Results that represent the strategic targets that have made an impact to the stakeholders.

Understanding the unique structure of each organization, ISA does not impose a one-size-fits-all program but recognizes and builds on governance mechanisms that capture the intent of each PGS element.
The ultimate aim of PGS is to “make governance a shared responsibility”. What this pertains to is the need to allow everyone in the organization to participate and contribute to the strategy. For this to happen, the basic governance documents (charter statement, strategy map, governance scorecard, portfolio of initiatives) must be communicated to the whole organization and cascaded to the lower-level units so that they will be able to identify their role in the strategy.
Generally speaking, the strategy can be cascaded using several tools. Some of these include (a) execution plans to cascade the initiatives to identified strategic units; (b) lower-level scorecards for those units or offices that can contribute directly to the measures identified in the enterprise-level scorecard; and (c) scoreboards to engage smaller units. While the framework may vary, it must meet the general requirement of the unit or individual contributions to be linked to a performance evaluation or incentives system and for the cascading initiatives to be complemented by a clear communication plan.
An MSGC is a group of 8 to 12 key external stakeholders who can assist the PGS partner in pursuing its reform agenda. Apart from providing strategic counsel, it is ideal for MSGC members to become the external champions of the strategy and contribute directly or indirectly to the attainment of the goals.
In PGS, governance culture refers to embedding good governance practices in the organization. This includes harmonizing the systems and processes to the strategy for better budgeting, linking performance to incentives, and inculcating the values of performance excellence, integrity, transparency, and accountability at all levels of the organization.

Governance sharing pertains to promoting good governance advocacy internally and externally. Internally, PGS partners are expected to come up with a robust performance evaluation system that allows the organization to assess and document the best practices in units and/or individuals. It is ideal that these best practices are replicated across the institution to foster an environment that is ripe for transformation. Externally, the PGS partner can capitalize on the network of its MSGC or engage with other private or public sector institutions to share its best practices.

Different platforms such as governance forums, simple roundtable discussions, features in newsletters, or videos can be used to promote the advocacy.

The breakthrough result of the strategy pertains to achieving the strategic position of the strategy map. Apart from attaining the target the organization has set, the intended strategic impact on its key stakeholders must also be achieved.


A PGS Core Team is needed because the strategy will only be sustained if it has champions in key operational positions. As members of the Core Team, these individuals are involved either as the architects of the strategy, as the measure or initiative owners, or as the support group of the Office for Strategy Management.

As previously mentioned, organizations undergoing the PGS do not have to formally create a separate PGS Core Team if it already has a similar group that can function as such. In most PGS partners, the management committee, which represents the unit heads, is convened as the Core Team, together with other key individuals identified as the members who can rally the units and individuals towards transformation.

The Office for Strategy Management (OSM) is a unit within the organization that will orchestrate all operations related to the advancement of the identified strategy. This includes (but not limited to) cascading the strategy to lower-level units, monitoring and evaluating units or offices vis-à-vis their strategic contribution, managing the expectations of the leadership team and the members of the multi-sector governance council, and liaising with internal and external stakeholders.
While a planning office is concerned with operational (or day-to-day/tactical) plans and programs of the organization, the OSM is concerned with the achievement of the medium or long-term goal set for organizational transformation. As such, the two units are complementary and not a duplicate of roles.


Apart from PGS interventions, ISA also has two institutional events: (a) the Public Governance Forum, where institutions showcase their progress and milestones in the governance pathway, and (b) Governance Boot Camp, where delegates are trained and capacitated to install the PGS in their respective organizations.

ISA also launched the Islands of Good Governance, which is the official recognition program for milestone achievements in the use of PGS. It honors public sector institutions as exemplars of reform and beacons of hope, lighting the way for many others to follow.

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