Initiatives of a state university in sustaining public services in the new normal
Main Article Content
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented changes to everyone around the world. It affected all sectors of society, including higher education institutions in the Philippines such as Sorsogon State University. This study employed qualitative research methods through document analysis and interviews in order to identify the initiatives of the university in sustaining the delivery of public services, particularly in administration, instruction, research, and extension during the time of the pandemic. Electronic copies of documents, reports, memoranda, and other information posted on the official website of the university and on the official Facebook page of the Office of Research, Development and Extension Services were reviewed and analyzed by the researchers. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Director for Research, Development, and Extension Services, and the Head of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Office were involved as key informants in the study. The findings revealed that the university embarked on significant initiatives involving administration, instruction, research, and extension through the collaborative efforts of the officials, faculty members, non-teaching staff, students, and various stakeholders from the Commission on Higher Education, local government units in the Province of Sorsogon, and other partners in the community. Policies and guidelines on preventive measures for COVID-19 and on alternative work arrangements were formulated and implemented. Further, faculty capacity building for online learning was conducted. Policies on online procedures in the submission, evaluation, implementation, and dissemination of research projects and capacity building for faculty researchers were also implemented. Community outreach activities in response to the pandemic were also conducted. The threats and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect everyone in the community. Hence, Sorsogon State University must continue to employ more innovative actions in order to further improve the delivery of public services in the new normal.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
All rights reserved. Apart from citations for the purposes of research, private study, or criticism and review,no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any other form without prior written permission by the publisher.
Ansell, C., Sørensen, E. and Torfing, J. (2021). The COVID-19 pandemic as a game changer for public administration and leadership? The need for robust governance responses to turbulent problems. Public Management Review 23(7): 949–960. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2020.1820272] accessed on July 6, 2022.
Asian Productivity Organization. (2021). Ensuring Public Services in The New Normal in APO Member Countries. [Online URL: https:/www.apo-tokyo.org/aponews/ensuring-public-services-in-the-new-normal-in-apo-member-countries/] accessed on July 6, 2022.
Bajpai, N., Biberman J. and Ye, Y. (2020). ICTs and Public Health in the Context of COVID-19 (ICT India Working Paper No. 30). New York, USA: Led Growth and Development. [Online URL: https://csd.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/docs/ICT%20India/Papers/ICT_India_Working_Paper_30_0.pdf] accessed on August 6, 2022.
Bukidnon State University. (2020). AACCUP Holds Online Accreditation Visit for 2 BukSU Programs. [Online URL: https://buksu.edu.ph/2020/10/12/aaccup-holds-online-accreditation-visit-2-buksu-programs-2/] accessed on September 20, 2021.
Chatterjee, R., Bajwa, S., Dwivedi, D., Kanji, R., Ahammed, M. and Shaw, R. (2020). COVID-19 risk assessment tool: Dual application of risk communication and risk governance. Progress in Disaster Science 7: 100109. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pdisas.2020.100109] accessed on November 4, 2021.
Civil Service Commission, Republic of Philippines. (2020). Revised Interim Guidelines for Alternative Work Arrangements and Support Mechanisms for Workers in the Government During the Period of State of National Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic (Memorandum Circular No. 10 Series of 2020). [Online URL: https://www.csguide.org/items/show/1416] accessed on October 6, 2021.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (2008). Guidelines for the CHED Outstanding Extension Program Award (Memorandum Order No. 8 Series of 2008). [Online URL: http://22.214.171.124/nlpdl/CH01/MO/2008/CH0MO0008s2008.pdf] accessed on September 28, 2021.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (2020a). CHED COVID-19 Advisory No. 2. [Online URL: https://ched.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/CHED-COVID-2019-Advisory-No.-2.pdf] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (2020b). Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Learning (Memorandum Order No. 4 Series of 2020). [Online URL: https://ched.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/CMO-No.-4-s.-2020-Guidelines-on-the-Implementation-of-Flexible-Learning.pdf] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (2020c). CHED COVID-19 Advisory No. 5. [Online URL: https://ched.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/CHED-HEI-COVID-19-Advisory_No.5_15Mar2020.pdf] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (2020d). Sorsogon Creates First Provincial Quarantine Area in Bicol Region. [Online URL: https://ched.gov.ph/sorsogon-creates-first-provincial-quarantine-area-in-bicol-region/] accessed on September 28, 2021.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED). (2020e). CHED COVID-19 Advisory No. 6. [Online URL: https://ched.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/CHED-COVID-19-Advisory-No.-6.pdf] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Congress of the Philippines, Republic of the Philippines. (2018a). An Act Converting the Sorsogon State College in the Province of Sorsogon into a State University to Be Known as Sorsogon State University and Appropriating Funds Therefor (Republic Act No. 11088). [Online URL: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2018/10oct/20181011-RA-11088-RRD.pdf] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Congress of the Philippines, Republic of the Philippines. (2018b). An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector I (Republic Act No. 11165). [Online URL: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2018/12dec/20181220-RA-11165-RRD.pdf] accessed on August 7, 2022.
del Arco, I., Flores, Ò. and Ramos-Pla, A. (2021). Structural model to determine the factors that affect the quality of emergency teaching, according to the perception of the student of the first university courses. Sustainability 13(5): 2945. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052945] accessed on July 6, 2022.
Department of Health, Republic of the Philippines (2020). Interim Guidelines on the Preparedness and Response to Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from Wuhan, China (as of Jan 21, 2020) (Memorandum No. 2020–0034). [Online URL: https://doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/health-update/DM-2020-0034-Interim-Guidelines-on-the-Preparedness-and-Response-to-2019-nCoV_0.pdf] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Dhawan, S. (2020). Online learning: A panacea in the time of COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Educational Technology Systems 49(1): 5–22. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047239520934018] accessed on September 25, 2021.
Duddu, P. (2020, March 31). Coronavirus in Philippines: The COVID-19 Risk, Impact and Measures. Pharmaceutical Technology. [Online URL: https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/features/coronavirus-affected-countries-philippines-measures-impact-tourism-economy/] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Kauzya, J.-M. and Niland, E. (2020, June 11). UN/DESA Policy Brief #79: The Role of Public Service and Public Servants During the COVID-19 Pandemic. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Economic Analysis. [Online URL: https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/un-desa-policy-brief-79-the-role-of-public-service-and-public-servants-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/] accessed on September 17, 2021.
Kniffin, K. M., Narayanan, J., Anseel, F., Antonakis, J., Ashford, S. P., Bakker, A. B., Bamberger, P., Bapuji, H., Bhave, D. P., Choi, V. K., Creary, S. J., Demerouti, E., Flynn, F. J., Gelfand, M. J., Greer, L. L., Johns, G., Kesebir, S., Klein, P. G., Lee, S. Y., Ozcelik, H., Petriglieri, J. L., Rothbard, N. P., Rudolp, C. W., Shaw, J. D., Sirola, N., Wanberg, C. R., Whillians, A., Wilmot, M. P. and van Vugt, M. (2021). COVID-19 and the workplace: Implications, issues, and insights for future research and action. American Psychologist 76(1): 63–77. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000716] accessed on July 4, 2022.
Obana, J. (2021, June 2). Learning Management System. The Manila Times. [Online URL: https://www.manilatimes.net/2021/06/02/business/top-business/learning-management-system/1801594] accessed on September 25, 2021.
Office of the President, Republic of the Philippines. (2020). Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency Throughout the Philippines (Proclamation No. 922). [Online URL: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/02feb/20200308-PROC-922-RRD-1.pdf] accessed on October 13, 2021.
Office of the President, Sorsogon State College. (2020). Office Memorandum Number 020, Series of 2020: Suspension of Classes and Social Distancing Measures. Sorsogon State College.
Olowo-Okere, E. (2020). Ensuring State Continuity During the Coronavirus Pandemic. World Bank Blogs. [Online URL: https://blogs.worldbank.org/governance/ensuring-state-continuity-during-coronavirus-pandemic] accessed on July 3, 2022.
Philippine Government. (1987). The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. [Online URL: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/constitutions/1987-constitution/] accessed on July 4, 2022.
Pizaña, A., Pizaña, R. E. C., Pogoy, A. M. and Pentang, J. T. (2021). Lived experiences of extension project implementers amidst Covid-19 pandemic: the unspoken frontliners. European Scholar Journal 2(4): 431–436. [Online URL: https://scholarzest.com/index.php/esj/article/view/648] accessed on September 28, 2021.
Public Information Office, Sorsogon State College. (2020). Sorsogon State College Annual Report 2020. Sorsogon State College.
Raghavan, A., Demircioglu, M. A. and Orazgaliyev, S. (2021). COVID-19 and the new normal of organizations and employees: An overview. Sustainability 13(21): 11942. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111942] accessed on July 4, 2022.
Ramos-Pla, A., del Arco, I. and Alarcia, Ò. F. (2021). University professor training in times of COVID-19: Analysis of training programs and perception of impact on teaching practices. Education Sciences 11(11): 684. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11110684] accessed on July 5, 2022.
Rangel-Pérez, C., Gato-Bermúdez, M. J., Musicco-Nombela, D. and Ruiz-Alberdi, C. (2021). The massive implementation of ICT in universities and its implications for ensuring SDG 4: Challenges and difficulties for professors. Sustainability 13(22): 12871. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212871] accessed on August 12, 2022.
Rossetti, M. and da Cruz, N. F. (2022). Local Public Services in Crisis Mode: Adapting Governance Models to Exceptional Times. Emergency Governance for Cities and Regions. [Online URL: https://www.uclg.org/sites/default/files/egi_policy_brief_5.pdf] accessed on July 6, 2022.
Schuster, C., Weitzman, L., Mikkelsen, K. S., Meyer-Sahling, J., Bersch, K., Fukuyama, F., Paskov, P., Rogger, D., Mistree, D. and Kay, K. (2020). Responding to COVID-19 through surveys of public servants. Public Administration Review 80(5): 792–796. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13246] accessed on July 4, 2022.
Superfine, A. C. (2020). Conducting research in the time of pandemic: A pause or an opportunity? Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education 23: 429–431. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10857-020-09478-w] accessed on September 28, 2021.
Tarrayo, V. N., Paz, R. M. O. and Gepila, E. C. (2021). The shift to flexible learning amidst the pandemic: The case of English language teachers in a Philippine state university. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching. [Online URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2021.1944163] accessed on September 25, 2021.
Torrentira, M. C. (2020). Online data collection as adaptation in conducting quantitative and qualitative research during the COVID-19 Pandemic. European Journal of Education Studies 7(11): 78–87. [Online URL: https://oapub.org/edu/index.php/ejes/article/view/3336/5972] accessed on September 28, 2021.
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. (2020). Mental Health and COVID-19. [Online URL: https://www.who.int/europe/emergencies/situations/covid-19/mental-health-and-covid-19] accessed on September 20, 2021.
World Health Organization. (2020). Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Mass Gatherings. [Online URL: https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-mass-gatherings] accessed on September 20, 2021.