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Formation program on strategic planning and financial management

10/07/2019: Philippines

Twenty Marist Brothers, Sisters and Lay from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas recently underwent a formation program in Philippines on Strategic Planning & Financial Management with the theme, Economy at the Service of the Charism and Mission. This program was tailored for people involved in the economic management of their respective Administrative Units. The learning sessions took place from May 20 to June 8, 2019.

The training was part of the operating plan of the Economato and integrated with the sustainability project of Africa and Asia. In  January 2018 there was a meeting in Curitiba, Brazil to prepare the course for Portuguese and Spanish speaking provinces (took place in October 2018 ) and in August 2018 another formally planned meeting by the team composed of Br. Libardo Garzón,  Econome General, Br. Devasiri Fernando of the South Asia province, Br. Francisco Baeza of the PACE province, Br. Lindley Sionosa of the East Asia province and the Management Team of the Business College lead by Dean Alfie Maria R. Custodio Ph D. 

The program in Philippines started with the Review of the Accounting System & International Accounting Standards which focused on the accounting information system (AIS) and how it functions and is applied in the organization.  Strategic Planning Tools and Methods followed which is designed to cover the fundamentals needed for effective strategic planning and implementation. It also provided strategic analysis tools and techniques, considering the factors which help or hinder effective strategy implementation, control, and evaluation. This part also covered Overcoming the Challenges of Strategy Implementation and Funding Processes and Requirements. 

The session on Governance and Team Leadership involved discussions on how leaders become more adept at developing employees, inspiring and guiding teams, managing change, and effectively influencing stakeholders across an organization while the sessions on Financial Management covered the strategic utilization of financial resources available to the firm for managerial decision making. 

The program included a discussion on how to develop appropriate financial strategies which cover cash flow management techniques, working capital management, and capital budgeting. Audit as part of Governance was also discussed, integrating risk management processes to governance, adoption, and application of standards, techniques, and procedures in internal control and the integration of audit and risk management as an influence on management’s decision making. 

The learning sessions was given by the professors and invited lecturers of the Business College of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University with regular workshops in the Conference Hall of the Oblates of Notre Dame Mission Center, in General Santos City, Philippines. There were technical visits in different organizations to provide the participants with a wide vision of management (both financial and strategic, practical and technology-based) and acting in different contexts. Each of the participants was given the chance to discuss his/her exit paper (Capstone Project) to a panel for comments and present to the plenary via presentation at the end of the course. 

On the last day of formation, the participants, in a formal Completion Ceremony received certificates of attendance and completion from the university.

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