LEGAZPI CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) remains to be an outstanding provider of an empowered link for a better Bicol industry with competitive marketing and expanded production in a digitized future.
The Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, being one of its flagship programs, continues to strengthen micro, small and medium businesses in the region by upgrading its processes and equipment to yield better quality and packaging.
True to what Regional Director Rommel R. Serrano views it, the intention of the government is to make advantage of the technology to establish sustainable businesses and generate more jobs for Bicolanos.
DOST - SETUP through the decades
Started in 2002, this program has been intensified to support over 500 Bicol MSMEs enterprises. About P264-M has been used to level up business opportunities and develop technical capacities and capabilities for every enterprise beneficiary.
It has since encouraged and assisted MSMEs to implement technological innovations through various trainings and seminars on technology adoption, energy utilization and good manufacturing practices.
In 2020, DOST V provided P41-M to about 52 MSMEs.
As of June this year, 24 SETUP proposals were approved with an allocation of P20-M.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the region still eyes to assist 28 more businesses this year.
Recently, DOST also launched SETUP 4.0 that would help innovate MSMEs with the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing. Through this enhanced program, enterprises could receive an enabling fund of P5 M that could be repaid in three to five years.
Succesful STEUP implementations
After acquiring a fund of over P774,840 in 2016, Pan de Masbate was able to purchase electric dough mixer, electric dough roller, electric dough rounder, bread proofer, two-deck gas oven and three-deck gas oven.
These interventions provided by DOST has helped this food processing business increase its production capacity by 133% and its gross sales by 134%. Additional 10 employees also joined their labor force.
As a way to give back to the community, this single proprietorship business owned by Divina N. Salvacion of Masbate City also provided immersion programs of various senior high schools and initiated selling of affordable bakery tools and supplies to other local producers.
Widely known in the Bicol region are the cuisines produced from a family-owned restaurants, Pares King and Pares Queen. Even at the height of their fame, HML Foods Corporation attempted to produce bottlenecks in its manual production where pasalubong items and other meals were packed.
By availing DOST’s innovation system worth P1,992,560, they were able to semi-mechanize various processes and meet expanded markets. Production multiplied to up to 5,950 bottles per week and acquired them P18 M gross sales.
Since then, HMLFC has been an active partner of the government that provides help during natural calamities. They also support local farms and feeding programs, and establish nine other local markets in the region.
Since 2015, SETUP has served a success-marker in upgrading bending equipment of MAS Steel Fabricator, the leader and the pioneer enterprise in the Bicol steel industry.
Its manual bending machine took longer processing time and was prone to human danger. By utilizing a unit of Hydraulic Press Brake of P1,630,000, the business increased its efficiency by enjoying a shorter duration of processes with added 43 workers in 2017.
Now, the company is one of the most trusted leaders in making the highest-grade kitchen equipment, hand railings, and other stainless-steel products in the region.
For interested entrepreneurs who would like to avail of these services, you may write your intent at DOST V or visit their provicinal offices. RD Serrano said that even though the agency has priority sectors, they can still provide help and assistance to MSMEs using the department's available resources. (KAVB/PIA5)