A Foreword To Five (5) S

The National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA) is eminently proud to publish Dr. Jorge V. Sibal’s The FIVE S PROGRAM and TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK. It reflects and advances NEPA’s ideals and advocacy in more ways than one.

During the 1950’s, the country was propelled into an industrial and manufacturing boom propelled by the Pres. Carlos P. Garcia’s Filipino First Policy. A state-declared policy of national industrialization coupled with a protective economic and business environment, liberal credit provisions, among others, boosted the nation to heights unprecedented and unequalled to this date.

Under this nationalist economic environment, Filipino inventors and entrepreneurs churned out one new product after another, and factories mushroomed all over the country. In turn, the Filipino consumer heartily bought with pride Filipino products.

NEPA’s advocacy for national industrialization and economic nationalism, first enunciated in the Association’s founding in 1934 had finally come to fruition.

But this is enough. With new products and services being created, unscrupulous or sometimes unprepared entrepreneurs produced sub-standard products and services to the detriment of the Filipino consumers. Thus was born NEPA’s advocacy for product standardization. After all, the Filipino deserves quality Filipino products and services.

Sadly, the gains and momentum created by the wondrous years of the 1950’s unraveled from the 1960’s onwards. Impositions by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and subservient attitude by the government dismantled the protectionist economic regime and wreaked havoc to an economy on the cusp of an industrial revolution.

Today, fifty years removed from Pres. Carlos P. Garcia’s Filipino First policy, the Filipino entrepreneur faces far more difficult challenges. Micro, small, medium-sized enterprises (mSMEs). Credit is tight, consumer preferences and standards have changed, competition from foreign products is relentless and overwhelming.

The solutions to the problems of the Filipino entrepreneur are as complex as the problems are themselves. Be that as it may, NEPA believes that the underlying solution remains the same – economic nationalism.

In this regard, Dr. Jorge V. Sibal’s THE FIVE S PROGRAM and TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK is an important block in building and strengthening the Filipino entrepreneur’s competitiveness. Dr. Sibal brings to the fore his expertise as esteemed professor of UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations (UP SOLAIR). And more importantly, he expands and develops a key advocacy of NEPA – that of enabling and empowering the Filipino entrepreneur.

The FIVE S PROGRAM and TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK is a clear-cut and easy-to-understand guide for all aspiring businessmen and entrepreneurs on how to manage their businesses and improve their productivity and efficiency levels, as well as reduce operational costs.

It provides detailed instructions on how to organize and systematize operation in a typical mSME workplace. The second part of this Guidebook tackles how office operations can become more efficient.

The Filipino micro, small and medium entrepreneurs have a lot of catching up to do in order to be competitive. Admittedly, most micro and small entrepreneur often rely on very rudimentary knowledge and old traditions in running their businesses. Due to lack of preparation, knowledge, capital, workplaces and business systems are, more often than not, chaotic, untidy and worse, unsanitary. Under this set up, the micro and small entrepreneurs face formidable odds against bigger local and foreign competition.

Dr. Sibal inspires us with case studies of Filipino entrepreneurs’ who are able to put up to the challenge. Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC) is one among the few Filipino enterprises that has proven to the world that Filipinos can come up with products and services comparable or even exceed existing international standard. The practice of the Five S program and total quality management are cited as instrumental to its success story.

The stage and pace in the business world is not simply set by technologically-advanced enterprises but is also defined by the continually changing lifestyle of people and depleting resources. Productivity movement is introduced as a collective function of society aimed at increasing efficiency in transforming resources into goods and services.

The introduction of the concept of productivity movement becomes very relevant as globalization reaches new heights. There is not only saturation of mass-produced commodities but also rapid destruction and depletion of the sources of raw materials. The Guidebook has the wisdom in putting forward the need for total quality management along with the practice of the Five S program as essential components of the productivity movement.

While the Five S Program details to us how to organize and run a workplace and an office operation, Total Quality Management (TQM) focuses on how to provide quality products and services to customers.

Ultimately, how we run our business, for whom we produce, and how we consume will define and inform on where we as a nation will go.

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