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Australia and the Philippines are strengthening their partnership to build up the Philippines’ human resource industry as the country gets ready for 2015 ASEAN economic integration. 

Over a thousand Filipino public and private human resource (HR) and organisational development (OD) experts gathered together in Cebu City for the HR Symposium 2014. The event is a joint undertaking of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Australian Government through the Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF). 

The HR Symposium 2014, with its theme “Gearing Towards ASEAN Integration through Strategic HR”, highlighted the vital role of strategic HR in the upcoming economic integration of ASEAN member states including the Philippines. It also served as a venue for HR and OD practitioners from the government and private sector to exchange strategic HR applications, solutions and best practices that will help the Philippines move toward ASEAN integration in 2015.

“Economic advancement relies on human resources. Unless people have equal access to education, training and capacity building, the Philippines may be deprived of a large pool of creative thinkers and entrepreneurs. The Civil Service Commission’s task as the central human resource institution of the Philippine bureaucracy is to ensure that the government’s human resource is set to achieve the development and societal goals of the country,” said Chairman Francisco Duque III, MD, MSc, Chairman, Civil Service Commission. 

Human resource development and capacity building is one of the areas of cooperation identified in the ASEAN integration in 2015, which means investing in human resource development to have the right structures, business processes, systems, people, and competencies to support the ASEAN integration. 

The Australian Government has been a committed partner of the Philippine Government in building human resource management and development. The Australian Government’s flagship program on HR and OD, the Philippines Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF), has been helping Australia’s partner government agencies improve their processes, structures, skills set, and behaviour to enable positive change and continuous improvement. 

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell said, “Australia is a long-time supporter of ASEAN’s efforts to achieve regional economic integration. In fact, Australia became the first Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in 1974.  This partnership has developed over the years and has deepened relations in all fields, including political, economic, and socio-cultural cooperation. Needless to say, a highly skilled and competent workforce is crucial in realising the initiatives for ASEAN connectivity.” 

“The Australian Government is honoured to be a partner of the Philippines, particularly the Civil Service Commission, in promoting a functioning, responsive and capable public service ready to take on the challenges of the ASEAN integration.” 

Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission David Dutton attended the HR Symposium in Cebu City, along with international HR gurus including Mr. Ong Teong Wanof the ManagementWise (International) Pte Ltd in Singapore, Prof. Dr. Endang Wirjatmi Trilestari, M. Si of the National Institute of Public Administration Republic of Indonesia, and Ms. Ann Rolfe of Mentoring Works in Australia. ENDS