Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday announced the commencement of Phase 2 of the training on productivity for Philippine industry players, labor organization officials, and key government representatives at the Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, as she expressed great hope and confidence for the productivity gains and other benefits that participants in the first round of the training will bring to their respective organizations and to the country.

In a press release before her departure for Singapore where she will attend the opening program of the second round of the training--which will focus on innovation and enterprise development--Baldoz said:

"More than a year ago, we have clinched a historic partnership agreement with Temasek Foundation and Nanyang Polytechnic International for the training of 120 Filipinos to learn from Singapore's phenomenal productivity journey, and to immerse themselves in productivity concepts, measurements, technologies, and best productivity practices that can be replicated by our micro, small, and medium enterprises. Today, we embark on the second phase of the training to provide a seamless and holistic approach in what we currently do at the DOLE to enable our MSMEs to thrive and develop," said Baldoz.

The labor and employment chief recalled that Phase 1 of the productivity training, completed just this March, saw 120 participants visiting the Nanyang Polytechnic and training at varied lengths of time on the different modules of the program.

The participants were composed of chief executive officers, chief operating officers, managers and supervisors from the private sector, and senior officials, program managers, and junior officers from DOLE and its agencies, specifically, the National Wages and Productivity Commission--the training program's executing agency, and its Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards.

She bared that after the first round of the training, all the participants have spearheaded productivity advocacy in their respective organizations, cascaded their learning to their workforce and clients, and utilized the various productivity tools and technologies as input in their own productivity journeys.

She also explained that to sustain the country's economic growth and make it inclusive, it must be propelled by significant growth in productivity of MSMEs which comprise 99 percent of total business enterprises and generate 60 percent of total employment.

"MSMEs serve as the backbone of the Philippine economy. This being so, we need to nurture their development by advancing their productivity and competitiveness," she said.

Baldoz emphasized, however, that the DOLE is not only after the "bottomline" when it comes to productivity improvement, but more importantly, on sharing the gains of productivity with the workers to ensure sustainability of enterprise growth and overall performance.

"At the DOLE, our productivity intervention is unique because we essentially focus on human resource and human resource-driven strategies," Baldoz said.

"We have adopted a developmental approach premised on the critical role of the workforce in fuelling enterprise growth. We strongly believe that if our workers are equipped with knowledge, skills, and positive work values, are adequately compensated, are provided with safe and healthy working conditions, and are amply rewarded for excellent performance, there is no way for productivity to go down but move up, and thus, consequently drive the enterprise's overall productivity performance," she added.

Baldoz, who took the initiative for Phase 2 of the training following the positive outcome of Phase 1, said the second round will tighten the link between productivity and innovation and enterprise development, so that "our package of assistance to MSMEs will be complete, more efficient, and effective."

Phase 2 will run from 31 March this year to December next year, with three types of training, the one-week Senior Officials' Visit Program, an  appreciation course on productivity, innovation and enterprise development to be attended by high level officials of concerned government agencies and social partners; a two-week I & E Management Program for Managers, a course on concepts, measurements, tools and technologies, best practices/benchmarking, to be participated by officials/officers (Director level) of concerned gov’t agencies; and a four-week I&E Specialist Program, a capacity building program on productivity, innovation & enterprise development, to be participated by technical persons involved in the operation or implementation of programs/projects.

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