MANILA, Philippines - Vim Nadera: What is your five- or 10-year Development/Master Plan?
Fr. Carmelo Caluag: It is simply going back to our founding vision-the mission and identity -and applying it to the present context of our country. The rest will follow since we have solid ground where we are starting the movement for renewal and reform. This is what I have been emphasizing in the recent round of conversations for the planning process: it is renewal first before reform or the changes. I think people get too focused on the change right away and this causes anxiety for some and too many expectations for others.
The development or master plan is about going back to the founding vision and discerning how it is to be fine tuned to the changing context. There is a master plan now crafted less than ten years ago, I think eight or so years back. I looked at it and even this plan needs a lot of contextualizing after almost a decade. Much has happened in the field of education and arts and more so in technology. This last area, technology, has made changes in our context across various fields move at a rapid pace. For this alone we need to revisit a master plan again; maybe plan for the next decade, but have periodic re-visits built into the plan.
The process for planning is also a possible time for "soul searching" for the different stakeholders of PHSA in terms of how much we are living out the values that com e from our founding vision and mission.
VN: Is there a need to review PHSA's vision and mission? Why?
CC: Let me put the statement in a proper context. We are reviewing not so much the vision and mission, but their fit, so to speak, in and with the changing context. For example, ABS-CBN had the founding inspiration to always be "in the service of the Filipino." It is "eternal," but a few years back it needed to be updated with "in the service of the Filipino worldwide." For the Jesuits, the iconic term "men/women-for- others" was updated almost two decades ago with "men/women-with-and-for-others." These examples show how the context in which we live out an organization's vision and mission can change. Thus an updating of or improvement on the fit is necessary.
I will even say that to periodically review the vision and mission of any organization, not just PHSA, is necessary for several reasons. One, on a more long-term period, do they still serve a purpose? Perhaps the mission had been accomplished and the vision attained; or maybe there is an irrelevance issue. Two, context always changes. Three, it is process we can use to for self-evaluation in terms of how we are living out in the day to day the core values of the organization that flow form the vision and mission.
VN: How can PHSA be relevant to the aspirations of the Filipino people and nation?
CC: Arts and culture, as my history teacher in college put it, are the windows to the soul of a people. Part of our challenge as people is to rediscover and nurture our soul as a people. PHSA has a role to play here. I hope we can create a network of arts high schools all over the country.
Let me share a story about my accepting the work in PHSA. In 2005, I had a guest from …