Baldoz unveils ladderized productivity toolbox to boost MSMEs productivity

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday unveiled the DOLE’s productivity toolbox for micro, small, and medium enterprises that could further boost their productivity and competitiveness.

“This toolbox contains a package of developmental assistance to MSMEs to ensure that they transition to a more viable and competitive enterprises and eventually comply with labor laws, including safety and health standards,” Baldoz said after the National Wages and Productivity Commission presented to her the ladderized toolbox.

According to Baldoz, the NWPC Productivity Toolbox for MSMEs is a needs-based approach to productivity improvement and contains various training courses that MSMEs can avail of.

These training courses range from foundational courses, such as work values, housekeeping, and work systems, to the more advanced training courses (green productivity, service quality).

“An MSME can avail of any one of these courses–for free–depending on its capacity-building requirement,” Baldoz said.

Touted as the backbone of the Philippine economy, the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises account for 99 percent of total establishments and 61 percent of total employment.

Baldoz said that the country’s mass of MSMEs need to grow and expand to create more productive and decent employment and to optimize their contribution to the economy.

“This is the only way we can realize the overriding goal of inclusive growth: our MSMEs need to grow and expand,” she said.

The labor and employment chief said MSMEs that avail of the free productivity orientation and training programs in the Toolbox should go “all the way”.

“This means allowing their workforce to undergo the training and to innovate by developing a workforce-led productivity improvement program/project (PIP). Most importantly, the MSME must be committed to implement the PIP and document its outcomes,” she said.

According to Baldoz, because of the tough challenges MSMEs face, both owners/managers should need to realize by embarking on a productivity journey that that simply cutting costs would not suffice.

“In this era of economic integration, in order to help drive sales, increase customer satisfaction, promote market diversity and develop market niches, innovation is imperative,” she explained.

She further said that the productivity technologies contained in the Toolbox are instrumental in enabling enterprises to be efficient by cutting on unnecessary costs, conserving resources, encouraging workers to innovate, embarking on a continuous process improvement, and designing and implementing recognition and reward systems.

“In this manner, enterprises become efficient by producing more using less inputs,” she said.

Baldoz bared that last year, workers in 10,532 MSMEs have availed of the Productivity Toolbox resulting to reduced costs, reduced waste/defects, organized and safer workplaces, better delivery of services, and improved workers’ morale arising from their ownership of their PIPs and recognition of their contribution.

“This year, as reflected in the DOLE Planning Tool approved by the President, we are committed to provide technical assistance to workers in 11,000 MSMEs to improve workforce and enterprise productivity,” she also said.

She further said that the encouraging results of the 2014-15 Global Competitiveness Report provides the impetus to further intensify DOLE’s advocacy to promote productivity improvement programs among MSMEs.

The country’s global competitiveness ranking went up to 52nd in 2014  from 59th I in 2013, up by 7 notches. One of the notable improvements is in the country’s labor market efficiency ranking, which  improved by 9 notches, from 100th to 91st.

In the areas of wages and productivity, a significant improvement in ranking can be observed in flexibility of wage determination (109th to 86th)  and pay and productivity  (44th to 27th). Baldoz attributes this to the Two-Tiered Wage System, a new wage fixing approach introduced in 2012.

The new approach consists of two tiers: the first tier pertains to setting of mandatory minimum wage above the poverty threshold, but below average or market wage to allow bipartite negotiations to take place, while the second tier strengthens the link betwee pay and productivity through provision of productivity based pay schemes.

For a preview of the Productivity Toolbox and its content, visit the NWPC website www.nwpc.dole.gov.ph and click on the Productivity Toolbox icon, or inquire from the NWPC and its network of Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards.

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