Message of Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda Capability Building on Innovative Leadership for Legislative Staff Closing Ceremony (December 17, 2020)

December 22, 2020

Message of Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda

Capability Building on Innovative Leadership for Legislative Staff (CBILLS) Closing Ceremony

(December 17, 2020) 


Good morning. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives officials; Senate Deputy Secretary for Administration and Financial Services Atty. Arnel Jose Bañas; House of Representatives Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza; House Deputy Secretary General Ramon Ricardo Roque; to the officials and staff from the Development Academy of the Philippines, President and CEO Atty. Engelbert Caronan Jr.; Senior Vice-President Magdalena Mendoza; Managing Directory for Center for Governance, Ms. Imelda Caluen; Director of the Policy Research Office, Mr. Gilbert Lumantao; resource persons, faculty, and guests, a pleasant morning to all. 

Let me first extend my warmest congratulations to the legislative staff from both Houses of Congress who have successfully participated in and completed the Capability Building on Innovative Leadership for Legislative Staff (CBILLS) Program of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate DAP for a job well done. True to its mandate, I have personally seen how DAP has been continuously working to provide capacity building programs such as this to our officials and staff. 

Since its inception in 2018, the CBILLS program has endeavored to strengthen leaders as ourselves, to encourage the expansion of what is innate in us and to reinvigorate a positive outlook among us public servants and leaders. 

As you went through the past months of lectures, training, and study mission, you have looked, not only within but also outside, the socio-political, economic and cultural spheres of our nation. The main aim is to home in on a holistic perspective and appreciation of your role, your challenges, and your strengths as leaders. 

This has been a challenging year for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought massive changes in our homes, communities, and evidently in our workplaces. We had to quickly adjust to this unprecedented shift and, in these trying times, we are forced to learn the value and essence of innovation, adaptability and flexibility. 

In Congress, we have established systems, traditions and procedures over the years to conform with the requirements of the legislative process.  There had been occasions where these systems have been challenged and we have had to introduce innovations to our respective rules and procedures. A prime example is how this pandemic has brought changes to our workplaces, both in the Senate and House of Representatives. Now, for the first time, we conduct hybrid Plenary sessions and committee hearings. We had to adjust to doing everything online. I even sponsored and defended HB 6864 or the Better Normal Bill virtually. This is indeed an important reminder that systems are there to guide us but these are not set in stone. 

I hope that your participation in the CBILLS Program of DAP has planted seeds of innovation in all of you. I have always believed that we are all perennial students.  Even as this remarkable program has come to an end for all of you, I do hope that you shall continue seeking other opportunities for learning; continue asking; continue rethinking. 

A leader is a learner. You will see a vast amount of literature that exalt the connection between being a leader and being a learner. But the main elements of learning for good leaders are maintaining an understanding of the world within which they operate, cultivating an understanding of the environment and the factors that surround them, and conducting a frequent audit of both their successes and their failures, and valuing the lessons learned in both. 

As public servants, it is our duty to provide the best for the Filipino people. The world around us is constantly changing. We must think ahead of how we can better address and serve the needs of our countrymen.  Find ways to be more efficient and effective; remember that you all have the capacity to bring about change.

Our hope with CBILLS is to empower you with deepened confidence as you fulfill your individual tasks and responsibilities. The hope is also to challenge you to achieve your mandates, not only with effectiveness but also, with a relevant, cutting-edge and forward-looking approach. Most of all, the hope is to encourage and equip you to bring into your roles an enthusiasm for true learning by effecting, or helping to effect, and even uplift, high standards of quality in our public service. After all, we see true and genuine learning when we see change.

I will end with a quote by Peter Drucker, leading Austrian-American lecturer and writer, who said:   “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” 

Thank you and have a good day.