Sec. Laguesma: Continue Contributing Toward the Improvement of Both Labor and Enterprise Productivity

DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma served as keynote speaker during the 2022 National Productivity Conference, with the theme “Inclusive Rebound: Leveraging Worker Engagement Towards Productivity Growth and Rewards”, on November 10, 2022 in Malate, Manila.


Noting that the economy had re-opened and is on the path to recovery and rebound, Secretary Laguesma in his keynote speech said that the conference theme focuses on “a human-centered recovery and growth, which should give workers their just rewards by uplifting their social and economic well-being.”


“We seek to ensure that the worker is capable of continuously remaining at work, to find meaning, reward, and fulfillment and thereby continue contributing toward improving both labor and enterprise productivity,” Secretary Laguesma said.


Meanwhile, NWPC Executive Director Maria Criselda R. Sy in her opening remarks said that “worker engagement is an important core strategy that would benefit both workers and employers to ensure that no one is left in the (economic) rebound.”


The conference featured the following topics: 1) Boosting Productivity and Worker Engagement in the Thriving Gig Economy; 2) Steering Worker Engagement in Accelerating Digital Transformation; 3) Optimizing Worker Engagement Practices Using a Productivity Rewards System, and 4) Transforming Labor Relations by Encouraging Higher Worker Engagement.


Boosting Productivity and Worker Engagement in the Thriving Gig Economy


Mr. George Royeca, CEO and Co-Founder of Angkas, and Dr. Virgel Binghay, Professor from the University of the Philippines-School of Labor and Industrial Relations, discussed worker engagement as a strategy to sustain employment for full-time employees and freelancers and its role in encouraging long-term productivity. The session highlighted the effect of the pandemic on the gig economy and how it paved the way for the availability of flexible work arrangements in different industries.


Mr. Royeca said that the economy can change its course by choosing to recognize, support and empower what is often thought as informal work (e.g. the case of Angkas). Meanwhile, Dr. Binghay pointed out the importance of having policies in place at the national, regional, and provincial level to ensure that workers are protected and to ensure a win-win relation between worker and management


Steering Worker Engagement in Accelerating Digital Transformation


Ms. Liezl Dunuan, Workforce Development Manager of Connected Women AI, and Mr. Robert Conrad Gonzales, Chief People Officer of G-Cash, discussed how to look for viable solutions and leverage strategies that ensure productivity regardless of adversities and the rise of digital transformation. Ms. Dunuan said that fostering a good worker engagement is crucial for productivity, which can be achieved by constant communication, use of social learning groups, upskilling/reskilling and regular team-building activities. In G-Cash, Mr. Gonzales said that employees are engaged by involving them in identifying solutions to improve services and training them on technology and digital skills.


Optimizing Worker Engagement Practices Using a Productivity Rewards System


Mr. Alvanson So, People Lead of Canva Philippines, and Atty. Riza E. Mendoza, Senior HRM Manager and Corporate Secretary of AMPLEON Philippines, Inc., discussed how workplace productivity is sustained through establishment of rewards and recognition systems. In AMPLEON Philippines, employees are encouraged to continuously support the company’s commitments to customers through productivity incentive challenge. Employees who meet or exceed certain criteria are granted incentives. In Canva Philippines, employee engagement is sustained by listening to employees in determining best incentives, which should not always be monetary.


Transforming Labor Relations by Encouraging Higher Worker Engagement


Atty. Benedicto Ernesto R. Bitonio, Jr., DOLE Undersecretary, and Mr. Darius Guerrero, Vice President of Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization, discussed the active roles that management and labor play in creating harmonious workplace and work culture that influence productivity and performance. Undersecretary Bitonio highlighted that worker engagement is a way to cultivate better working relationship between workers and employers. Mr. Guerrero highlighted the principle of co-determination which refers to the cooperation between management and workers in decision-making, and the principle of co-management which is a process in which government shares power with resource users, with each given specific rights and responsibilities relating to information and decision-making.


The National Productivity Conference, a biennial activity organized by the National Wages and Productivity Commission and Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards, serves as a platform for discussion among productivity experts and practitioners in the government, private sector, and academe on emerging trends in the labor market that impact productivity and wages.


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