10,000 MSMEs and 23,000 workers benefitted from DOLE’s productivity programs in 2013, says Baldoz, but more ‘productivity champions’ needed

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday more than 10,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and 23,000 workers benefitted from the various productivity programs of the DOLE’s National Wages and Productivity Commission, but emphasized a critical mass of highly-aware ‘productivity champions’ is needed to push the country’s productivity levels, particularly among the country’s MSMEs which comprise 99 percent of the country’s business establishments.

Speaking at the media event on Capacity Building on Productivity, Innovation and Enterprise Development at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Diliman, Quezon City the other day, Baldoz said the NWPC’s productivity programs, namely, 5S of Good Housekeeping, Service Quality, Green Productivity, and ISTIV Bayanihan should reach more MSMEs so that these, too, will benefit in terms of productivity improvements.

“We have upgraded these programs in response to rapidly changing industry requirements and have synchronized the provision of technical assistance and productivity training with MSMEs identified under the country’s growth and priority industries,” said Baldoz.

“Under the current wage system, for example, the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards, or RTWPBs, identify growth and priority industries in the regions which will be the subject of the productivity-based pay schemes,” she added.

She said five regions have issued advisories covering manufacturing, hotel and restaurant, agribusiness, plantation, Cavendish banana, and wholesale and retail trade, while the rest of the regions are set to issue their wage advisories by the end of the second quarter of this year.

“Between this year until 2016, a total of 34,500 MSMEs and 78,000 participants will be trained towards improved productivity and competitiveness,” she assured.

The media event was held in partnership with the Temasek Foundation of Singapre, which had funded a two-phase training program on productivity, innovation, and enterprise development, of PIE, for 230 Filipino professionals, with the Nanyang Polytechnic International as training provider.

In her message, Baldoz thanked Benedict Cheong, chief executive officer of Temasek Foundation, and Lin Cheng Ton, chief executive officer of Nanyang Polytechnic International, for partnering with the Department of Labor and Employment and the National Wages and Productivity Commission on the training program.

“This partnership fortifies the Department’s commitment to build the capacities not only of its people and institutions, but of some selected MSMEs, through the conduct of a training program aimed at developing Filipino productivity professionals and specialists,” said Baldoz.

The labor and employment chief said the DOLE is deliberate and focused on the effort to convert productivity from being an “abstract concept” to a “doable and practical course of action”.

“We are now conscious of our roles in the productivity movement. We see the productivity movement as a means to sustain growth and progress we have  achieved so far,” she said, explaining that last year, the Philippine ranking in the Global Competitiveness Index climbed six notches higher, from 65th in 2011-2012 to 59th place in 2012-2013.

The World Economic Forum took note of the Philippines performance having jumped a total of 26 notches higher since 2010. In 2011 and 2012, the Philippines leapfrogged 10 notches higher earning the distinction of being one of the world’s most improved economies.

“But while there are conspicuous improvements in many areas such as innovation, institutions or governance, and financial market development, the Philippines continue to confront challenges,” she said.

“The economy must strive to become even more vibrant, more dynamic and, most importantly, more competitive. We must therefore take advantage of every opportunity to learn from the experiences of countries that are well ahead of us in their productivity journey.  The task is daunting but it is not impossible to attain,” she finally said.

END

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