Niels and Amyjay Riconalla, founder leaders of the Fellowship of Christians in Government (FOCIG), hosted a day-long Leadership Series in June 2019 for the Civil Service Institute of the Philippines, where 250 managers and executives from the public sector attended. As a consistent Learning Service Provider for the Civil Service Institute, FOCIG holds a strategic position to invest in strengthening the moral fabric of public servants. By God’s grace, they connected with Mark Lovatt, CEO of Trident Integrity Solutions and fellow FPIN member, to provide the key-note content of the day. Trident Integrity Solutions is a leading-edge consultancy firm expert at implementing ISO 37001:2016 for anti-bribery management systems and other integrity infrastructure, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region.

(L-R) Amyjay Riconalla, ED Art F, Dr Mark Lovatt, Niels Riconalla, and Gary G.
Photo by Amyjay Riconalla.

Mark is a thought-leader in the area of business integrity. He is the chief architect of the corporate integrity systems his company implements, which have succeeded in significantly strengthening corporate governance, and in some cases, stopped major leakages for companies grappling with the issue of corruption. It was very clear how the principles of values-driven leadership in a corporate setting could relate to the public sector as well.

It was a first for FOCIG as a Learning Service Provider not only to provide an international speaker but assist the Civil Service Institute to achieve their goals to create awareness and generate interest among government leaders toward understanding what values-driven leadership can do in their individual lives and in their organizations.

The engagement with Mark did not stop there. He and FOCIG had the opportunity to brainstorm how to address corruption in the Philippines with key leaders in government, business, and the church: National Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo; his Chief of Staff Mr. Bob Lapuz; Mayor Fernando and Vangie Mesa; Atty. Carlos Baniqued; Mr. Kenneth Go; Bishop Reuben Abante; and Pastor Ricardo “King” Flores.

(L-R) NICA-COS Lapuz, Bp Reuben, Atty Carlo B, Kenneth, Dr Mark Lovatt, Ptr King, Amyjay Riconalla, Niels Riconalla, Director General Alex, Vangie & Mayor Mesa.
Photo from Amyjay Riconalla.

The meeting concerned how to address corruption at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). Director General Monteagudo suggested for the BOC and BIR to tap FOCIG in its values program. The month following the session, Kenneth Go, Atty Carlo Baniqued, Bishop Reuben Abante, Ding Castillo, Amyjay, and Niels met with BIR Commissioner Dulay and Deputy Commissioner Guballa. In principle, Commissioner Dulay agreed to implement FOCIG’s 2-pronged approach and requested another meeting to determine the implementation details for: 1) Intentional and Balanced Leadership Program for its officials and employees; and 2) Tax Compliance Advocacy for businesses. Please join in praying for FOCIG’s values-driven leadership may reach both the BIR and BOC, to the glory of God!

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