The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) has inked a memorandum of agreement with the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) to offer a free, off-campus Master of Public Administration (MPA) program to its qualified employees.
OPS Officer-in-Charge Atty. Cheloy E. Velicaria-Garafil, MNSA and Undersecretary Marlon B. Purificacion, signed the agreement with PLM President Emmanuel A. Leyco, MA (Columbia University), MPA (Harvard University) and School of Government Dean Noemi C. Gocuyo on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 24, at the New Executive Building in Malacañang.
The ceremony was attended by OPS Undersecretaries Maria Pamela A. Pedroche (Administration, Finance, and Procurement), Rowena M. Reformina (Broadcast Media Services and related agencies and GOCCs), Greggy N. Eugenio (Media Accreditation and Relations), and Atty. Eugene Henry C. Rodriguez (Operations, Plans, and Policies).
Director-Designate for Special Concerns Benjamin R. Rosario also witnessed the signing of the agreement.
Fourteen OPS employees have so far applied to the program for Academic Year 2022 to 2023. Four personnel from the Bureau of Communications Services have also expressed their intent to join the graduate program.
Aspiring scholars should pass the requirements set by the OPS Human Resource Development Committee and the PLM.
Garafil said the signing of the memorandum of agreement was a “testament to the commitment” of the OPS to equip its personnel with education, skills, and values to provide better information and communication services to the public.
“It is my hope that this program will further improve the way we deliver our services. Education and training are not luxuries; these are necessities in enhancing the best qualities of our employees,” she said during the ceremony.
Garafil also conveyed her gratitude to the PLM for working with the OPS to carry out the graduate program, stressing that the agency would continue to explore “more options” for its personnel to grow professionally.
Meanwhile, Leyco vowed to provide quality education to OPS scholars.
“Sisikapin namin ang aming buong makakaya para magbigay ng tama, malawak na pag-aaral at bigyan kayo ng pagkakataon na gamitin ang sarili po ninyong pagsusuri upang tanggapin o gamitin ang mga tamang paraan ng pananaliksik upang tayo mismo ay magkaroon ng sarili nating paninindigan,” he said.
Under the memorandum of agreement, the OPS will be billed by the PLM based on the assessed amount per trimester at the start of every term, which includes the tuition, admission test fees, miscellaneous fees, comprehensive exam fees, and development fund.
Classes will be held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting December.
Should face-to-face classes become mandatory, the OPS will provide the venue for classes as well as the necessary facilities including a
whiteboard and an LCD projector.
The agreement will take effect until the completion of the program by 2023, unless earlier terminated by any party, with at least a month prior written notice.