As the country continues to grapple with COVID-19, a new brand of governance is necessary so that the country can survive and thrive under the “new normal”.

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and its partners echo this message in this year’s Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) celebration with the theme “Bouncing Back Together: Innovating Governance for the New Normal”, or in Filipino, “Makabagong Pamamahala para sa Sama-samang Pagbangon sa New Normal”.

The theme highlights the importance of innovating governance across all sectors of society to steer the country toward the path of renewed growth and dynamism. It encourages the Philippine government to transform itself into one that is agile and innovative to be able to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and other similar threats, such as climate change, food insecurity, and economic crisis. Such transformation calls for implementing institutional reforms, upskilling the workforce, embracing smart systems, and strengthening the coordination across all levels of government.

“Through this theme, we hope to rouse our collective consciousness as a nation toward one goal, which is to bounce back from this crisis by improving the way we govern ourselves and our country. We intend to encourage our fellow civil servants and other development actors and stakeholders to be innovative and agile to help our country move forward from this pandemic and prepare for similar risks in the future,” PIDS President Celia Reyes said.
The DPRM is celebrated every September to promote nationwide awareness of the importance of policy research in crafting evidence-based policies, plans, and programs, pursuant to Malacanang Proclamation 247 signed in 2002. The same proclamation appoints the PIDS as lead coordinator of the yearly DPRM celebration.

To formally launch the DPRM, a virtual forum will be held on September 1, where officials from the government are invited to share their insights on local governance innovations, institutional innovations, financial technology, and digital inclusion amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists include National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Assistant Secretary Carlos Abad Santos, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Assistant Secretary Rolando Toledo, Makati City Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay, Valenzuela City Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian, and representatives from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Other activities include the Mindanao Policy Research Forum (MPRF) and the Annual Public Policy Conference (APPC).

The MPRF is an annual forum organized by PIDS and the Mindanao Development Authority, in partnership with a local university in Mindanao. This year’s MPRF theme is “Bouncing Back in the New Normal through Countryside Development and Agricultural Resilience” to highlight the importance of innovating the agriculture sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the APPC, which is the main and culminating activity of the DPRM, a four-part webinar series will be held on September 15, 17, 22, and 24. The series will highlight presentations from foreign and local experts on topics such as institutional innovation, civil service reforms, e-government, and smart solutions, among others.

Government agencies, local government units, and the general public are also urged to participate in the DPRM celebration by displaying the DPRM banner within their office premises, posting and sharing DPRM infographics, videos, and other related announcements in their respective websites and social media accounts, and organizing activities related to the DPRM.

Chaired by PIDS, the DPRM Steering Committee consists of various government agencies, with NEDA, BSP, Civil Service Commission, DBM, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department, Philippine Information Agency, Presidential Management Staff, and the Senate Economic and Planning Office as permanent members. This year’s additional members include the Department of Health, DICT, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Details of this year’s theme and activities are available on the DPRM website at The public may also check PIDS’s social media accounts at and for more information and updates.

Everyone is also encouraged to use the hashtags #DPRM2020BounceBackTogether, #DPRM2020InnovateGovernance, #APPC2020BounceBackTogether, #APPC2020InnovateGovernance to promote the DPRM theme. ###

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