Baldoz urges MSMEs to avail of the DOLE’s ladderized productivity toolbox; says 6,441 MSMEs have already availed as of first semester 2014

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday urged the country’s micro, small, and medium enterprises to avail of the DOLE’s productivity toolbox to further boost their productivity and competitiveness.

A day after she approved the National Wages and Productivity Commission-formulated Productivity Toolbox for MSMEs and the Manual on Productivity Enhancement Program for DOLE Livelihood Program Beneficiaries, Baldoz also issued a directive to all Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to accelerate the provision of technical assistance through the conduct of productivity orientation/training programs contained in the Toolbox and using the Manual.

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

According to Baldoz, the NWPC Productivity Toolbox for MSMEs is a ladderized, needs-based approach to productivity improvement that provides MSMEs with a menu of productivity tools and technologies which they can adopt depending on their capacity-building needs.

The Toolbox also forms part of the DOLE’s package of development assistance to MSMEs in support of the productivity-based pay scheme, or the second tier, of the Two-Tiered Wage System, a reform which Baldoz has initiated and which the DOLE has been pursuing since 2011.

Touted as the backbone of the Philippine economy, the country’s MSMEs 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 Productivity Toolbox consists of five basic training courses–(1) Labor Relations, Human Relations, and Productivity; (2) Enhanced Training and Advisory Visits, a cluster/plant-level training; (3) ISTIV Program Awareness: (4) 5S of Good Housekeeping; and (5) ISTIV Bayanihan Productivity Enhancement Training Program for Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) and Micro Enterprises.

For intermediate training, the Toolbox offers six courses: (1) ISTIV Plus (Succeeding in Business); (2) Green Productivity (Green My Enterprise Program); (3) Service Quality for Key Employment Generators-Hotel and Restaurant Industry; (4) Training on Work Improvement and Measurement Study; (5) Consulting/Supplemental Training on Advance Productivity Technologies; and (6) Production and Operation Management.

For advanced training, the Toolbox has three courses: (1) Service Quality for the Supply Chain; (2) Gainsharing Schemes; and (3) Training Scholarship in Leadership, Management, and Enterprise Development.

The Toolbox also provides recognition and incentives through the Productivity Olympics and the DOLE Incentivizing Compliance Program.

The labor and employment chief said enterprises that meet the following criteria may avail of any of these programs, for free, through the RTWPBs which has 16 regional offices in the Philippines: (1) must be a Filipino-owned MSME; (2) owners are willing to go through the pre-, during, and post-training process and committed to implement Productivity Improvement Programs (PIPs); and with basic work systems in place, a requirement for MSMEs that will avail of the intermediate and advanced training courses.

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 and workers need to realize that simply cutting costs to propel business growth 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. Enterprises need to embark on  productivity journey,” she explained.

As indicated in the DOLE Planning Tool approved by President Benigno S. Aquino III, Baldoz said the Department has aimed to provide this year productivity orientation and training to workers of 11,000 MSMEs with the use of the Productivity Toolbox. This means each of the 16 RTWPBs must provide the orientation to 400 MSMEs and the training to 488 MSMEs.

“As of the first semester, we are on track, having already provided productivity orientation and training to 6,441 MSMEs, or about 58 percent of our target,” Baldoz said.

She 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.
For a preview of the Productivity Toolbox and its content, visit the NWPC website 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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