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News Feature: Philippines, Japanese unions making ‘PROGRESS’ in pioneering productivity initiative

MANILA – In a unique partnership which spans some 17 years, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP-ITUC) and Japanese unions through the Japan International Labor Foundation (JILAF) are again leading preparations for another round of national capacity programs aimed at scaling up productivity efforts at the workplace.

This program, which was piloted and formally introduced in the Philippines in 2011, dubbed PROGRESS or Program on the Role of Trade Unions in Empowerment and Strategic Steps to Decent Work, is an action-oriented model initiative which integrates industrial relations, corporate social responsibility and productivity-enhancing methods through 5S, Kaizen and collective bargaining into one package.

A high level delegation of five officials and experts of Japan Productivity Center (JPC) and JILAF headed by its Executive Director, Mr. Hisashige Danno, will lead the conduct of the five-day program which will run from December 9 to 13, 2012.

“We are very excited about this program. Implementing this new initiative in the country, now in its second year, shows that considerable progress has been made towards improving working conditions and productivity at the workplace,” said TUCP President Ernesto Herrera.

Mr. Herrera expresses pride at hearing the positive reviews of all joint TUCP and JILAF programs. He shares that TUCP members and partners always look forward to attending JILAF programs which are known to be always dynamic and participatory-oriented with practical applications to any type of workplace.

“We are very proud to be part of and the key implementing partner of JILAF in so many pioneering efforts. This year, the TUCP is proud to be jointly implementing yet another equally relevant and timely program on productivity’, he added.  

Mr. Herrera notes that this program could not have come at a better time. “Filipino workers and their families are faced with many challenges and opportunities which make it even more important to get our productivity performance up to speed. But rather than waiting for the government to do something, unions and workers are taking productivity matters into their own hands”, he added.

“I am certain that unions, workers and their families have the capability and commitment to take up this productivity challenge and succeed’, concludes Herrera.

This year’s module which has been expanded to five days, will further emphasize strategies and actions by which workers and their unions, and jointly with government and employers, can participate and make meaningful contributions to improving productivity at the workplace. Around 40 trade union leaders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao coming from sectors identified as key employment generators such as BPOs, services (e.g., hotels and restaurants) and transportation and other major industries will attend the program.  (TUCP/PIA)

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