The “best and the brightest” stars in the firmament of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country are honored and recognized today at the 2013 Productivity Olympics of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC).

“The outstanding productivity champions who emerged amongst the 21 national finalists take center stage as the DOLE and NWPC honor them with recognition and awards in their respective categories,” says Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz as she leads the awarding of the national winners at the Century Park Hotel, Malate, Manila today, 24 October 2013.

The Productivity Olympics is a biennial competition and a recognition strategy giving cognizance to MSMEs which are able to adopt best productivity improvement programs and used it as a catalyst to improve their business performance and optimize use of resources.

“Companies which have successfully embarked on a productivity journey are better off in terms of overcoming the challenges posed by globalization and stiff market competition,” Baldoz said while describing the search as an exciting race, making heads turn as the Philippine economy bounces and productivity is starting to become a byword among business enterprises.

“The Olympics provides a venue for our MSMEs to realize that one must incorporate–breath and live–competitiveness and productivity as strategies to achieve a win-win situation for both business survival and resource management, especially their workforce,” she added.

Earlier, the tripartite panel of jurors already selected this year’s 21 national finalists during the national judging panel held at the Bayview Park Hotel, Malate Manila.

The agribusiness and industry national judging panel is composed of DOLE Undersecretary Rebecca C. Chato as the Vice Chairperson; Florencia P. Cabatingan of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-International Trade Union Confederation (TUCP-ITUC); Anton Ll. Sayo of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP); Angelito Sarmiento of the Philippine Quality Awards; and Dr. Agnes T. Banzon of the University of the Philippines-Los Banos (UPLB).

For the services sector, the national judging panel is headed by Secretary Baldoz as chairperson and DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III as the Vice Chairperson. Its members are Gerard R. Seno of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP); Nora L. Lacuna of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI); and Dr. Manuel Villegas of the Manila Doctors Hospital.

Amongst the national finalists, 10 enterprises were chosen as victors in each of the micro, small, and medium enterprise categories under three major sectors namely: agribusiness, services, and industry. The winners in each sector are as follows:

Agribusiness Sector – Honey Bee Producers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in CALABARZON (micro-enterprise); San Rafael Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Western Visayas (small firms); and Elim Agricultural Supply-Poultry Dressing Plant in Northern Mindanao (medium enterprise);

Industry Sector – Daet Food Association in Bicol (micro-enterprise); Goldwin Manufacturing Laboratories Corporation; and Sunlight Foods Corporation, both from the National Capital Region (small firms); and Marcia’s Delicacies in Ilocos Region (medium enterprise); and

Service Sector – Big Norman’s Garden Supplies and Services in Bicol (micro-enterprise); Almora General Hospital in Cordillera Administrative Region (small firms); and Davao Adventist Hospital in Davao Region (medium enterprise).

Aside from the awarding ceremony, the event also showcased the best products from the previous winners of the productivity olympics and other outstanding enterprises in the country through a mini trade exhibit. Participating local enterprises and cooperatives include Kilus Foundation Environmental Multi-Purpose Cooperative; Goldwin Manufacturing Laboratory Corporation; Masville Scrap to Richness; Leather Crafts; Manith Footwear; One Circle Consumers Cooperative; Ginga Agri-foot Manufacturing Enterprise; Chica-Carabao; Honeybee Producers Multi-Purpose Cooperative; John Carlo Creations; Vedasto Leather Goods; Markenburg Intl Foods Corp; Majorian Fashion Design; and Dalisay Sweets.

Meanwhile, the second part of the whole-day program highlights the project launch of the “Let’s Talk Productivity,” the newest advocacy platform on the rewards of embarking on a productivity journey led invited experts from NWPC, Regional Boards, and the management sector.

The program ends with a gathering of minds and expertise of productivity practitioners in a thorough discussion on the implications of the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community towards developing a conscious and collective effort to come up with strategies, and interventions in the conduct of work improvement and measurement studies on production management towards industry productivity and development.

Now on its 4th run since its inception in 2008, the NWPC spearheads the DOLE’s search for the enterprises with the best productivity improvement practices nationwide.

The event has already awarded a total of 26 exemplary MSMEs belonging to the agri-business, industry, and service categories that exuded ‘best practices’ in productivity improvement which made them ‘productivity champions’ in their respective fields.

“For our national winners who emerged as productivity champions this year, I encourage you and the growing tribe of productivity winners, practitioners, and advocates to spread the good news that adopting productivity as a business strategy is a meaningful tool to be competitive. More than recognizing your ingenuity in improving productivity in your own fields, your best practices should be emulated and serve as an inspiration to other enterprises towards increased productivity and global competitiveness of the country’s labor market.” Baldoz said.