Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have experienced unprecedented government attention under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III in terms of assistance to enhance their productivity and competitiveness.Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this yesterday as she cited a major component of the Two-Tier Wage System (TTWS) reform, the second tier which is the performance- or productivity-based pay component.


“Under the second component of the TTWS reform, which is voluntary, we encourage business enterprises to establish their own productivity improvement programs, in agreement with the workers, which could be used ad basis to grant or award their workers extra or additional pay based on their productivity or work performance,” said Baldoz.


“And to help them set-up their PIPs, the DOLE, through the NWPC implements its Productivity Toolbox, a free package of developmental assistance and interventions, particularly to MSMEs, designed to assist and capacitate workers and enterprises on productivity improvements so that they can expand and grow,” Baldoz added.


Since the NWPC started intensified the implementation of the Productivity Toolbox in 2014 in convergence with the National Conciliation Mediation Board (NCMB), another DOLE-attached agency, it has assisted 52,844 MSMEs.


In the first semester of 2015 alone, a total of 5,665 enterprises have already been provided with the free productivity orientation and training program. In 2014, the NWPC, through its Regional Wages and Tripartite Productivity Boards, provided the free Productivity Toolbox to 11,849 MSMEs; to 20,532 MSMEs in 2013; to 9,569 MSMEs in 2012; to 8,538 MSMEs in 2011; and to 4,859 in 2010.


The integrated, needs-based, and ladderized productivity toolbox consists of five (5) basic training courses, six (6) intermediate training courses, and three (3) advanced training courses—a total of 14 courses, that provides a menu of productivity tools and technology which MSMEs can adopt depending on their capacity-building needs. It is being implemented to instil positive values among the workforce; introduce cost-cutting/saving measures and process improvements; and mainstream a culture of quality and productivity.


“The overall goal is to enable our MSMEs to transition to more viable and competitive enterprises and eventually, comply with labor laws, including safety and health standards,” Baldoz said, who added that the Productivity Toolbox includes a training program on innovation and enterprise development, which is also free.


“Greater productivity and enhanced competitiveness can only be realized if workers and employers are equipped with requisite knowledge, skills, and understanding and appreciation of innovation and enterprise development,” said Baldoz in drumming up public awareness on the productivity toolbox.


Also under the P-Noy administration, the DOLE has multiplied its productivity and innovation advocates, or productivity specialists, through intensive training in partnership with the Temasek Foundation and Nanyang Polytechnic of Singapore.


In 2013, a total of 120 participants joined Phase 1 of the training while 240 participants in five batches joined Phase 2 in 2014, including participants from the Department’s social partners and other government agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Department of Transportation (DOT).


Baldoz said the DOLE continues to encourage enterprises, particularly MSMEs that are just starting, to avail of the basic training courses under the ladderized productivity program to improve their labor and human relations; improve working conditions, including safety and health; enhance their processes; instil positive work values; and apply basic productivity concepts in their workplaces.


Touted as the backbone of the Philippine economy, MSMEs account for 99 percent of total establishments and 61 percent of total employment in the country.





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