LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY – To improve quality and safety as well as boost productivity and morale of proponent groups engaged in food-related enterprise development (I-REAP) subprojects, the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) in Bicol sponsored a training on 5S of Good Housekeeping and Kaizen on January 22-24, 2019, this city.

Around 25 representatives from six proponent groups namely the Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LPMPC), Barcelona Development Cooperative (BADECO), Sorsogon Pili Producers’ Cooperative (SPPC), Federation of Baao Women (FBW) Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC), and Camote Creations Farmers and Entrepreneurs Producers Cooperative participated in the training. Members of the Provincial Project Management and Implementation Units (PPMIUs) from the Provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte also attended the activity.

According to Ibn Xavier Malilay, business development officer from the PRDP Project Support Office South Luzon, 5S which stands for Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set in Order), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Standardize), and Shitsuke (Sustain), is a management tool from Japan that fosters the spirit of continuous improvement by establishing a quality environment in the organization, and ensuring compliance to standards.

He highlighted the steps for 5S preparation including the formation of 5S Council, setting-up of 5S zones, conduct of 5S training and 5S launch.  He also shared the guidelines as well as some tips in practicing the 5S.

“In order for the 5S system to be successful, the most important factor is the commitment, participation and involvement of everyone and strong visible support from top management,” Malilay said.

He also oriented the participants on kaizen, a philosophy or practice which means improvement with low cost, less, manpower and reduced risk and guided them on how to apply the kaizen stages.

“Does the idea reduce waste, improve quality and increase safety? Does it address the root cause? Is it standardized? ’Kaizen eyes’ see opportunities to improve. These eyes are skills that can be developed through technique and practice,” Malilay added.

Nolan Belaro, chairman of the Camote Creations Farmers and Entrepreneurs Producers Cooperative, said that the training has been beneficial to his association particularly in identifying the real problems and in finding appropriate and cost-effective solutions using available resources.

“As of now, nag-o-operate na kami. This training really helps sa process na hindi pa masyadong maayos. Pagdating ng PRDP, mas reading-ready na kami, ngayon pa lang maa-apply na namin, para kapag dumating na yung malaking production volume at production area, mas alam na namin kung paano sya ima-manage ng mahusay,” Belaro said. He related that the pre-construction conference for the P3.60 million-worth Sweet Potato-Based Products Processing Enterprise Processing Center was conducted on January 22, 2019. He also lauded the I-REAP team for using very practical and applicable training methods.

Meanwhile, Jonalyn Candelaria and Emilyn Moloc, food handlers from LPMPC, said that the training on 5S of Good Housekeeping and Kaizen, particularly the idea of having a “red tag” area or storage area for unidentified items and items that are not required but have value, will help increase their productivity. They also plan to practice lean production or the relentless pursuit of eliminating wastes.

Moreover, Malilay integrated 5S + 1 or safety in the discussion to underscore the importance of creating a safe place to work as well as respecting workplace and employee. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V)