“What you do has far greater impact than what you say,” says Stephen Covey.
Shalaine Marie Sun-Lucero, DSWD Field Office VII assistant regional director for operations, believes that actions speak louder than words. As a public servant she imbues the spirit of public service, exemplifies outstanding accomplishments, exemplary behaviors, and noteworthy initiatives.
Armed with 31 years of rich and extensive experience in the field of social work, she takes on tremendous responsibilities and does it excellently.
Established and functionalized a new regional office in spite of limited resources
Lucero established and functionalized the Negros Island Region (NIR) in spite of limited resources. Confronted with challenges on facilities, manpower, and caseloads, DSWD NIR rose above those challenges. With its limitations, DSWD-NIR, under her leadership, practiced staff multi-tasking, shared leadership, team approach, open-door policy, “Pagpakabana” or vigilance 24/7, reciprocity arrangements with partners, and pro-active engagement with FOs 6, 7, and Central Office.
Successfully managed response and early recovery efforts in the 2018 City of Naga landslide and transferred the technology to the LGU
Having led numerous disaster operations, she is no foreigner in handling the daunting task of leading the City of Naga landslide disaster operations in 2018. As a focal person, she supervised the disaster operations and established a 24-hour Operations Center manned by three (3) QRT teams working an 8-hour shift each (first 2 weeks was at 12-hour shifting). She also mobilized over 300 DSWD staff to support operations, organized 11 teams for camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) serving a total of 1,755 families or 7,303 individuals, installed children and women-friendly spaces in all evacuation centers, mobilized partners (P/C/BLGU, NGOs, Church, Private companies) in jointly managing the evacuation centers, and issued daily/weekly guidance notes for camp managers. She also developed templates and forms to standardize documentation and reporting, facilitated the development of IDP database link, put up for 15 days a 24-hour encoding station with 15 computer units at 12-hour shifting of DSWD IT personnel, staff, and LGU volunteers, established a donation desk, a volunteer desk, management systems, and community kitchens with DSWD/NNC prepared menu. The mentioned technologies were transferred to the LGU.
Reaped several awards and recognition
A regional PRAISE awardee for Best Division Chief in 2010 and 2011 and Best Technical Staff in 2007, a national awardee for Best Technical Staff in 2008, Character Awardee for Attentiveness for January 2011, and for Resourcefulness in July 2011, Lucero has carved an admirable track record in public service and reaped several awards and recognition for outstanding performance of managed programs, then and now.
As a program manager, she led in the achievement of several awards. In 2019, The Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) won First Place and Second Place for Gawad Sibol Sikap and Gawad Usbong-Market awards, respectively and First Place for 100% Disbursement of Funds under Mega Region Category; Supplementary Feeding Program was recognized as the First Region to complete 120 Feeding Days for Cycle 9; Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program received various Citations for its program implementation, and Kalahi-CIDSS got the Best in Fund Utilization for first semester. For the year 2018, the Adoption Resource and Referral Section won the Best Operations Office in the National PRAISE Award; the Municipal Action Team of Moalboal, Cebu won Second Place for Best Convergence Action Team, National PRAISE Award, Kalahii-CIDSS for Best Fund Utilization for first semester, and Kalahi-CIDSS for Best Model LGU Award given to the Municipality of Panglao, Bohol during the National GAPAS Award. In 2017, NIR also reaped the First Runner-Up for Modelong Ama ng Pantawid Pamilya and First Runner-Up for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya and recognized as the Region with Consistent Report for BUB.
Facilitated immediate action to address the longstanding water problem of a KC-assisted community
In her Career Executive Service journey in 2019, Lucero made an impact in a waterless community. While having her immersion in Basiao, Ivisan, Capiz, she and her classmates experienced water scarcity. The water crisis affected 800 families in Barangay Basiao, which resulted in poor community sanitation and a high financial burden for families in purchasing water from the other barangays.
She acted immediately and reached out to DSWD FO6 ARDO for immediate deployment of Kalahi-CIDSS engineering team. With the prompt response of FO 6, the community complied with the procedural gaps. The Barangay also allocated funds for operations and maintenance of the water system. The organization of the Basiao Water System Association was established. Now, all residents do not only enjoy the safe water but also gain savings in household water budgets.
Demonstrated exemplary behaviors
As a public servant, Lucero possesses exemplary behaviors worthy of emulation. She always practices constructive criticism to challenge co-workers to perform better, open-door policy, continuous knowledge sharing, mentoring, coaching, leading by example, advocating for employee work-life balance and personal development, and championing the welfare of field and rank and file workers.
Leading by example, Lucero bespeaks punctuality at work, quality of work outputs, dressing up appropriately, sense of urgency, objectivity and fairness, care for co-workers and clients, and avoiding gossip.
Lucero is a leader who initiates and creates things. She never loses the passion and energy to explore new ideas and realizes them.
In the last three years, she promoted and instilled the culture of “Pagpakabana,” or vigilance 24/7, among DSWD workers.
Managing three core social protection programs, she always reminds the staff that they cannot operate in silos. She emphasizes that the work of all units are inter-related. In demonstrating this, she initiated joint meetings, assessment, and planning sessions for the staff because she believes that knowing each unit’s activities is the beginning of cooperation.
A staunch advocate of PWD’s rights, she catalyzed the transformation of the Field Office and other facilities, as a showcase of compliance with accessibility standards. “As implementers, we should practice what we preach,” Lucero expressed. She advocated for agency compliance with BP 344 particularly the ramp design and adopted the universal design for toilets and the RA 7277 provisions. The agency’s compliance has benefited the various sectors like older persons, pregnant women, and staff with mobility concerns.
Improvement of the systems and processes for more efficient delivery of services is also one of her initiatives. These initiatives included the decentralization of the issuance of MTA clearance at the SWAD level, time and motion study to determine bottlenecks in claims processing and payment, complaint form for violations of RA 9257, use of Vypress to enhance internal communication and information sharing, and development of sectoral regional situationer guide together with the sector focal persons. Her constant thirst for knowledge created the I.T. skills development opportunities for staff as Digital or I.T. skills have become a necessity in performing agency tasks. She feels that opportunities for employees to acquire skills must be constantly created, thus the coaching sessions by the ICTMS staff trained 55 FO and center-based staff.
These outstanding accomplishments, exemplary behaviors, and noteworthy initiatives are a manifestation of how Lucero leads by example. ###