October 22, 2006
THE ILOCOS TIMES - OPINION

KA IKING LIBRE
Ike Señeres

Complete employment and business services

The Supply Chain Management (SCM) approach has long been practiced in business and industry but we are still a long way from applying this know how in the field of public service. In the area of employment, the complete supply chain should include planning, training, financing, marketing and counseling (PTFMC). In actual usage, “marketing” is one and the same as “placement”, and the choice of which terminology is a matter of perspective. Since we are talking about “public service”, I believe that the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) and the Local Government Units (LGUs) through their Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) should take on a “marketing approach”, in which case the “placement” function should just be considered as one aspect of “marketing”.

Of course, individual job hunters are presumed to be capable of “planning” their own employment searches, but since we are again talking about public service, it is incumbent upon the DOLE and the PESOs to professionalize and systematize their planning functions, which by itself should be open to public review and scrutiny. If and when the formal planning function is applied, it goes without saying that the government (both local and national) should allocate specific budgets not only for the placement (or marketing) component, but also for the complete supply chain of the employment process. Yes, employment is a process, and that is why the SCM approach is fully applicable to it.

Based on my own experience in the public service of providing business development assistance, I have observed that the complete supply chain of PTFMC is also applicable. Just like in the case of employment, the planning function is also applicable to small business development, and it goes without saying that the government (again both local and national) should allocate specific budgets for this purpose. In the case of small business development however, the key national player is the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and not the DOLE. I have also observed that in most cases, LGUs do not have their own DTI counterparts, so much so that the local small business development function is more often than not performed by the local counterparts of the Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD). I do not see anything wrong with this practice, for as long as the DTI would always be an active participant of the local process.

In employment and business development, it seems that the government (both local and national) does a poor job in integrating the PTFMC components, so much so that free for all “balkanized” situations would often exist. More often than not, the government units that are assigned to perform these individual functions do not talk to each other, and are unable to form the complete supply chain that they should build among themselves. In most cases, this problem would exist because of the absence of a key player who could lead the process. In some cases, the supply chain is broken because of turf wars among the players, but this other problem could actually be avoided if there is a strong player or leader among them.

Based on the principle that public service should not only be the exclusive domain of government officials, I am using my radio program as a platform to build the complete PTFMC supply chains for both the employment side and the business side, and I am happy to report that except for the planning components, our supply chains are almost completed. For the training component, we are partnering with the Technical Education & Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Technology & Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC). For the financing component, we are partnering with the Quedan Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation (QUEDANCOR) and Tulay sa Pag-Unlad, Inc. (TSPI). For the marketing component, we are partnering with the Producer-Consumer Organization of the Philippines (PCOP) and the Public Employment Service Association of Metro Manila (PESAM). For the counseling component, we are partnering with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the University of Makati (UMAK). PBSP is also providing financing assistance, and TSPI also provides counseling services. In cooperation with TESDA and PCOP, we are going to open a marketing center at the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) location in Taguig City. It will also be the site of a joint Halal and Madrasah training center which will also open soon, in cooperation with these two partners. For a start, Philippine Airlines (PAL) has expressed interest in hiring our Halal quality certification experts.

-o0o-

Tune in to “Gulong ng Kabuhayan” on DZXL (558 KHZ) Mon to Fri 6 to 6:30 PM. Join Samahan Para sa Kabuhayan (SAMAKA). All entrepreneurs and employees are welcome. Avail of free assistance for small business owners and job applicants. Email ike@kaiking.net or text 09196466323.

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Copyright 2006 Ilocos Times. All rights reserved.
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