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DOST-NCR starts off Y2021 clean, big 5S implemented on first week of the year

Nikki Arcinue - Jan. 08, 2021

(L) Pet containers and other reusable items are collected as part of the cleanup campaign.
(R)DOST-NCR staff pause from their work and starts clearing out their respective work posts as RD Patalinjug announces the start of the BIG 5S DAY


The dawn of a new year can't come soon enough given how the past year has gone. The turn of the calendar brings both the opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months that have passed and the chance to begin planning for the next dozen. The coming of the New Year is traditionally the time for resolutions. For the Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR), decluttering is one of the greatest exercises to start each year with a literally "clean" slate. Hence, as part of its continuous effort to increase corporate productivity and orderliness, the agency, spearheaded by Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug III conducted the BIG 5S DAY on the second Friday of 2021, January 8.

How Big it is to be Uncluttered
A quick jerk at the sides of the staples with his staple wire-remover and Mr. Mark Estores's (DOST-NCR Chief Accountant) old record files are ready for either disposal or reuse.

"5S" stands for SORT, SET-IN-ORDER, SHINE, STANDARDIZE, and SUSTAIN. This year, DOST-NCR carried out the said activity kicking off with two of these BIG "S's" which were sort and set-in-order to be able to eliminate wastes in its resources and consciously save reusable items in its division offices and 4 clusters, -Finance and Administrative Division, Office of the Regional Director, Technical Operations Division, Technical Support Services, CAMANAVA, PAMAMARISAN, PAMAMAZON, and MUNTAPARLAS. Thus, through the combined efforts of the 5S committee and the Office of the Regional Director, the activity started at 10:00A.M. with Ms. Roquita Bernaldez, DOST-NCR's Records Officer, giving a brief review on records management and data privacy and RD Jojo Patalinjug calling off everyone's regular duty for the day in order to give way and time for the (office) cleanup drive. This campaign is observed year round since it is a continuing collective effort of the agency. Decluttering, which is often associated with the saying "less is more," does not only help remove unnecessary tangible items from our sight; it is even bigger than that. It helps relieve the stress, anxiety and fear associated with clutters. Its benefits are significant, even if it takes a little extra work to change our mindset and actions in the beginning. For example, if we start by throwing out things that are broken, no matter how much value they have to us, we will be able to free up more space and reduce our feeling of strain. A good rule of thumb is that if we haven't used items for about or only used them once a year, we can set them apart from the ones that we use regularly. Hence, there would be more available space, less obstruction and more efficient work processes and practices.

Cleaning the Decks Separately but Unitedly
Mr. Jansen Hernandez of the MUNTAPARLAS tidying his workspace simultaneously with the DOST-NCR Regional Office and 3 other Cluster Offices (CAMANAVA, PAMAMARISAN and PAMAMAZON).

The DOST-NCR's CAMANAVA Cluster did well in cleaning up their space.

Separated by the pandemic work scheme, DOST-NCR, along with its Cluster Offices had to organize and perform the BIG 5S DAY independently but simultaneously and each of them was able to do it successfully.

Truly, it is one thing to define working together, and it is another to define it in a way that it will work. Although the English language has some excellent definitions of working together or "teamwork," the French have an even better one: "esprit de corps" (camaraderie/common bond). This phrase roughly translates to a sense of unity and enthusiasm for a shared responsibility or interest among a group of people. Hence, the DOST-NCR staff efficiently pulled it off. This is one of the remarkable things that the BIG 5S DAY always brings - it gets everybody involved!

Cleaning the Decks Separately but Unitedly
DOST-NCR's PAMAMARISAN Cluster made a cozier office out of decluttering.

A clean work environment improves employees' sense of well-being and health.(DOST-NCR's PAMAMAZON takes a candid shot of their post-BIG 5S DAY activity.)

Pretty much there are only a few who are aware that there are three workplace classifications, -third, second and first class. In a third-class-workplace, everybody throws things around and nobody volunteers to clean up the whole place. Likewise, a second-class-workplace, though people still throw things around, there are cleaners to tidy up the space already. On the other hand, in a first-class-workplace, nobody throws things around because this time, each member of the organization stands as the cleaner of his or her own post. Which among the three best describes your own workstation?

Less is More
Decluttering office space has always been a challenge for any business. Accumulating miscellaneous things after a period of time is inevitable after all. Documents pile up, new office supplies come in to replace older ones, but the older ones never really leave your space. They end up scattered around the office somehow -either in a drawer or the corner of a desk, and so the cycle continues which is enough to create a sense of tension and urgency. Seeing clutter overloads our brains and develops feelings of anxiousness. The great thing about understanding and undertaking the BIG 5S is that it encourages us to concentrate more energy on our relationships, health and goals because by then, it will be easier to identify abnormalities as a result of a cleaner work area. Moving forward, we begin and are able to continue to change our perspective on things and on life in general because with less on our minds, we are able to ponder things other than our growing to-do lists. If we have whittled down our commitments, we might even find ourselves pursuing them more diligently and thoroughly than ever before.

(L) A Desk of One of the MIS Group's Desks (R)The Same Desk After Cleanup Before Cleanup

As RD Patalinjug has emphasized in his opening remarks, 5S is more than just counting the number of paper clips or monitoring how much papers and other resources were being used or misused; he wants all his staff to be after quality more than quantity. Organization can come quickly to some people, and others struggle with it. However, to maximize space and save time, decluttering and organizing are essential. Adopting, embracing and maintaining the BIG 5S means working with less clutter and being able to have a broader space and paving the way for healthier relationships and more accomplishments. Simply put, this act is just as simple as reducing the possibilities of delayed outputs just because of searching for misplaced items during our working hours.