Productivity is simply measured by the ratio of outputs over inputs, and the level of productivity is a fundamental determinant of performance. This translates to the everyday standard of living based on the country’s nationwide performance, or the quality of public goods and services delivered grounded on the government’s productive use of tax collected.
Recognizing the significance of productivity, in 1961, the Philippines joined seven other Asian countries in establishing the Asian Productivity Organization which aims to contribute to the sustainable socioeconomic development of Asia and the Pacific through enhancing productivity. Since then various productivity programs were introduced, an annual observation of National Quality and Productivity Month in October was celebrated, and Executive Order No. 395 Approving and Adopting the National Action Agenda for Productivity (NAAP) and Creating the Philippine Council for Productivity was signed in 1997. This was continued by the Medium-Term National Action Agenda for Productivity (MTNAAP) in the early 2000s with the Philippine Quality Award (PQA) institutionalized by Republic Act No. 9013.
While the concepts of productivity were introduced in the Philippines in the 1970s, its Total Factor Productivity (TFP) ran an overall negative growth from the period of 1970 to 1990 and only became positive for the period of 1990 to 2013 with an average growth of 1.1%. While the productivity outlook of the Philippines is incrementally increasing, it is still lagging behind its neighboring countries.
Several productivity challenges deter the country’s growth, and these are categorized as systems, technology, workforce, equipment, and governance. Complicated structures and burdensome regulations require systems reengineering and process improvement. Aligning to international standards and maximizing cross-functional coordination responds to a more customer-centric process and result to a more efficient and more seamless transaction. The anemic use of productivity enhancing technologies also hinders the opportunities of the digital age to harmonize service delivery and innovate for value creation. This era of change demands modernizing job competencies and increased measurement of productivity performance coupled with the development of knowledge productivity and innovative capacity. The surge of technologies and equipment also strain the necessity for an escalated productivity and quality consciousness and a new form of leadership and policies.
As the productivity movement in the Philippines began in 1960s with its official declaration of commitment to productivity improvement, it has then created institutions, built partnerships, introduced program initiatives and developed frameworks and policies in the pursuit for increased national productivity. Up to this day, productivity is treated as priority indicating a Subsector Target Outcome of “Seamless Service Delivery Achieved” under Chapter 5 of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 with the following strategies: (1) adopt a whole-of-government approach in delivery of key services; (2) implement regulator reforms; and (3) improve productivity of the public sector. Together with various national agencies and high impact productivity and innovation programs, the Philippine government aims to be responsive to the needs of its people by efficiently and effectively delivering public goods and services. Good public service results in citizen satisfaction and public trust and confidence thereby ultimately improving competitiveness and nationwide performance.