The National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) is an institution mandated to help in nation building. The college has spent almost 60 years of improving public administration and governance through education.
Established on June 15, 1952 following a recommendation from the Bell Mission, the University of the Philippines entered into a contract with the University of Michigan for technical assistance in establishing the Institute of Public Administration or the IPA.
Since its creation, the college has changed its name four times, from Institute of Public Administration to Graduate School of Public Administration to School of Public Administration to College of Public Administration and now to the National College of Public Administration and Governance. All these reflect the modifications the college made to make itself relevant to the changing times.
The first two directors of the IPA were American - Professor Lederle and Professor Heady, both from the University of Michigan. In-service and academic training were the two main educational programs of the IPA.
Three kinds of courses were conducted from 1952 to 1953, which saw the participation of a total of 2,500 government officers and employees. The academic program offered bachelors and master's degrees. Enrollment in both programs rose from 68 students during the 1st semester of 1953-1954 to "well over 200" per semester by 1955.
By 1954, Filipinos began to take over key posts in the IPA. The Filipino staff gradually took over and assumed full responsibility for the IPA when the University of Michigan contract ended in June 1956. Dean Jose Velmonte of the UP College of Business served as UP IPA Director but was soon replaced by Carlos P. Ramos.
Enrollment in the undergraduate and graduate programs continued to increase. The IPA conducted trainer-training courses and direct training for higher-level officials.
IPA was a center for research, academic and in-service training and consultation services. From the very beginning it was expected to extend its services beyond the walls of the academy and serve as a major resource of government.
Its status as a politically important government institution may be indexed by the laws which recognized its work and conferred on it additional powers as well as funds to carry out its objectives of improving public administration, modernizing the administrative machinery and increasing the capacity of the government to promote social and economic development.
In the 1960s, the IPA was made a graduate school, a school of public administration and elevation to college status. Assistant Dean Dr. Jose V. Abueva was appointed to oversee the academic program.
On its 10th year, Director Ramos affirmed that in-service training, consultation services or "extension work" was of equal importance with academic teaching and research. In line with its intended regional role, the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA) was organized in 1960 with state, institutional and individual members from all over Asia and the Pacific. The IPA was made its secretariat-headquarters.
EROPA also set up a research center in Saigon, a training center in New Delhi and a local government center in Tokyo. Director Ramos was elected as the first EROPA secretary general and was re-elected to this post until 1982. In a sense, EROPA merely capped the regional and international role that the IPA played.
The UP IPA was the 1st postwar institute of its kind in Asia. It was frequently visited by foreign dignitaries and students, and emulated by several countries in the region. In the succeeding years, IPAs were organized in Iran (1954), Vietnam (1955), Pakistan (1955), Thailand, Korea, Nepal and turkey.
The educational program of the college began to be emulated as well. Other institutions started offering courses in public administration with a total of 15 colleges and universities by 1971. The programs of the college enjoyed wide acceptance and support from national and international agencies.
Its services included professional and policy advice and technical assistance to a wide variety of local, national and international institutions. It was a resource not only to the Asian region but also to the regions within the country.
The events from the mid sixties to the advent of martial law provoked crisis in the role of the college vis-à-vis government. At its founding the college was a helpmate and adviser to government. In the late 60s, there was a segment of the faculty, which was more comfortable as critic of government than as its major resource.
During martial law, the college was critical and collaborative. It displeased the dictatorship with its studies of graft and corruption, its analyses of the personalistic and closed decision-making process, the tokenism and elite orientation on several government programs. However, it continued to be a source of ideas for decentralization and other government projects like the ministry of local government, civil service commission and commission on audit and many line departments and government units.
The stature and personality of Raul de Guzman, its dean from 1973 to 1982, helped a lot during this period. His recognized expertise opened many doors for the faculty and staff, and his amiable personality gave him and them room to criticize government programs without alienating their officials.
The 1980s led to many curricular and course changes to address the issue of looking into the roots of indigenous administrative thought and practices in the country. On November 26, 1998 the UP Board of Regents (BOR) approved the transformation of the college to National College of Public Administration and Governance.
This reflects the widening focus from governmental management to a broader concern of governance for public interest. Innovations and changes in the functions and structure of the college were made.
- The Center for Public Administration and Governance Education (CPAGE) manages the academic programs which remain as the core of the college. Its current director is Dr. Minerva S. Baylon, who is also the College Secretary and NCPAG Director of Studies.
- The Center for Policy and Executive Development (CPED) is the research and extension unit for national agencies, public enterprises and international organizations. Its current director is Professor Dan A. Saguil.
- The Center for Local and Regional Governance (CLRG) established in 1965 remains in the forefront of research, consultancy services and facilitation of learning in government for local and regional levels. Its current director is Dr. Remigio Eduardo Ocenar.
- The Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy (CLCD) focuses on issues on civil society and democracy. Its current director is Dr. Faina Diola.
A library that has the widest collection of books on public administration and governance supports these centers.
The college is likewise coping with the demands of information technology. Its website www.up-ncpag.org was recently re-launched.
On its 50th year, the college is conscious of its position as the nation's premier institution of higher learning in public administration and governance. The mission of the college is to strive for excellence and relevance in advancing the study and professional practice of public administration; in building capacities for executive leadership; in breaking new ground in policy and administrative research. It also serves as social critic, even as it provides technical assistance to organizations and institutions in state and local governments and to civil society.
As an institution rooted in the Philippines, it will build and nurture ties with regional and international bodies similarly seeking improvement in governance and public administration. As a learning institution, it continuously and critically strives to meet the challenges and problems of governance. In pursuing all these ends, we uphold the primacy of the public interest and high ethical standards.
The NCPAG values are service to the nation, public interest, and democratic governance. Concomitant to such principles it supports visionary leadership that is progressive and committed, transparent and accountable. As the NCPAG carries out the role of social critic it upholds academic freedom and an advocacy that is founded on social relevance and integrity consistent with the promotion of the public good[[Category:NCPAG]]