The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through its Center for Governance (CFG) Policy Research Office, officially commenced the 2023 Capability Building on Innovative Leadership for Legislative Staff (CBILLS) program on April 20 at the Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City.

DAP President and CEO, Atty. Engelbert Caronan, Jr., welcomed the 80 learners from various offices under the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines. These participants are categorized under three specialized tracks with 35 learners being in the Emerging Leaders track, 25 in the Middle Managers track, and 20 Senior Leaders. Atty. Caronan thanked the Senate and the House of Representatives for continuously working with the DAP and emphasized the role of the Congress in adopting innovative, relevant, and responsive legislation that is aligned with the government’s development objectives in order to steer the country’s economy toward a high-growth path.

Participants under the Senior Leaders track of the 2023 CBILLS program, together with the invited special guests (from L – R) DAP SVP Magdalena Mendoza, House Deputy Secretary General Dr. Ramon Ricardo Roque, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, DAP President Atty. Engelbert Caronan, Jr. and Senate Deputy Secretary Atty. Arnel Jose Bañas

Meanwhile, DAP Senior Vice President for Programs Magdalena Mendoza gave an overview of what to expect from the CBILLS program, highlighting the three core components of CBILLS, namely, Module Learning, Thursday Talks Lecture Series, and International Learning Course (ILC). She also shared that the CBILLS has trained 715 legislative staff and officers from both houses of Congress since it started in 2018. SVP Mendoza then highlighted the value of the CBILLS program in bolstering the confidence and competencies of legislative staff, enabling them to better support legislators.

Senate Committee Secretary on Health and Sports Horace Cruda shared his impressions of the 2022 CBILLS program under the Middle Managers track. He expressed his appreciation for the continued execution of the CBILLS program despite the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruda shared that he is grateful for the CBILLS program as he was able to make use of his learnings in crafting better evidence-based policies. He encouraged the participants of this year’s CBILLS program to keep an open mind, and to listen and learn from the resource speakers who will impart lessons and insights to them in order to use these for the greater good of the nation.

As one of the main highlights of the ceremony, this year’s CBILLS learners from both houses of Congress were introduced and recognized by their respective institutions. The introductions and send-off messages were delivered by both house secretariat leaders, represented by Senate Deputy Secretary for Administrative and Financial Services, Atty. Arnel Jose Bañas, and HRep Deputy Secretary General for Finance Dante Roberto Maling, and Deputy Secretary General for Administration Ramon Ricardo Roque.

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito delivered his Inspirational Message for the participants of the 2023 Capability Building on Innovative Leadership for Legislative Staff Program

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, who served as the Mission Leader of the participants in the International Learning Course component in 2018, expressed his appreciation towards the DAP for launching the CBILLS Program which allowed them to reach their full potential and recognize their duties as public servants. He also encouraged the 80 legislative officers and staff who will participate in this year’s program to make the most of this opportunity to further develop their skills and abilities. He concluded his statement by convincing the participants that this opportunity is a privilege, and that “such privilege comes with a great responsibility, a duty to serve the people and the country.”

The CBILLS Program seeks to improve the leadership, management, and technical abilities of legislative officers, secretariat, and support staff, allowing them to execute their roles in the legislative process with greater efficiency. The 2023 CBILLS Program will continue to highlight the involvement of the Congress in enacting legislative measures that are creative, relevant, and responsive in rethinking the solutions to emerging and recurring public policy issues and challenges.