By Michael G. Umaming
Baguio City: Stephanie Faculo Christiansen of NEDA-CAR here topped the Development Academy of the Philippines’ (DAP) Public Management and Development Program (PMDP), a 4-month intensive training course equivalent to a master’s degree that aims to produce public managers who embody competence, integrity and commitment.
The pioneer batch which graduated in January 31, 2013 at the DAP compound in Tagaytay City was comprised of two classes – the Tanglaw Class of 40 middle managers (assistant chief to division chief positions) and the Molave Class of 38 senior executive managers (assistant director to director positions) from all over the country.
The Bontoc native Christiansen, a Supervising Economic and Development Specialist (SEDS) of the Plan and Policy Formulation Division was with the Tanglaw Class but was adjudged valedictorian of both classes.
Her re-entry project, “Proposed Process on Participatory Planning for Eco-Tourism Development in Integrated Areas: The BLISTT Initiative,” was also adjudged most “citizencentric,” or the project that articulated bests the interest and roles of ordinary citizens. The project is to be implemented by a project team that was organized as part of the academic output and comprised of representative from the regional DOT, the tourism officers of the BLISTT (Baguio City, La Trinindad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay), and Christiansen as representative of NEDA.
Citizencentric was a highly emphasized concept in the course – in everything that a public servant does, ramdam dapat ni Juan at Juana,” Christiansen explained.
In her valedictory address she helped her batch remember how “we thought we were all high-performing individuals only to be awakened to the truth that the standards of excellence have been raised to higher heights.”
One of the most memorable experiences that Christiansen recalled was a 2-week home stay with 4Ps beneficiaries in a farming town in Laguna where the participants had a personal opportunity to relate what they were doing as managers of government agencies to the poverty experiences of communities.
Christiansen admits the real challenge is when one gets back to work and put the principles learned in the mandates of one’s office.
I just hope, the batch continues to communicate with each other and share how the principles were put into action in the real world of government work,” she said.
Together with Christiansen in the PDMP from CAR were fellow NEDA employee Apollo Pagano, SEDS of the Planning and Monitoring Division; Julius Cawilan, head of the Forest Resources Development Division of DENR and Julius Caesar Sicat, the newly appointed Regional Director of DOST.