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PIA Press Release
2007/04/18

DOST-VI SETUP core fund 1st beneficiary to finish refund

Iloilo City (18 April) -- Far East Bamboo Exports, Inc. is the first to finish refund of the assistance extended by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) Core Fund.

To give a brief background of the SET-UP Core Fund project, approved beneficiaries are given assistance in the acquisition and fabrication of equipment to upgrade their existing production line in order to meet the increasing demand of their respective products. The implementation of the project is with strict compliance of the terms and conditions of the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by all the parties concerned.

Far East Bamboo Exports is one of the project beneficiaries in 2003 which is an export-oriented company engaged in the manufacture of bamboo-based furniture and furnishing located in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and later moved its showroom in Cebu for better accessibility. It was established in 1996 and started with a makeshift factory with some basic tools and equipment. In 1997, it started participating in trade shows and was able to establish its presence both in the domestic and export markets.

It can be recalled that way back in 1997, while the company was still located in its makeshift factory, DOST provided to the company the Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) Program for Export Modernization. The program had identified some critical technological needs of the company like the lack of proper drying facilities and raw material quality problems brought about by pest infestation.

This prompted the company to avail of the DOST SET-UP Core Fund in the fabrication and installation of one (1) unit spray booth and one (1) unit drying tunnel. The spray booth has eliminated the paint fumes that resulted to higher efficiency of the workers. The drying tunnel solved the problems on product quality such as blistering and peeling of finishing materials during rainy season.

Through these interventions, the company was able to effectively meet its growing market demand.

The company has been a recipient of various local and international awards; one of the most prominent was the “Century International Quality Era Award (Gold Category)” which was given in Geneva, Switzerland.

At present, the company is one of the most successful furniture enterprises in Negros Occidental. Ninety percent (90%) of its products are being exported to various countries, while the remaining ten percent (10%) are being sold locally. Initially, the company only sells to the United States and the local market. With its expansion, it now serves Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Singapore, Japan, South America, France, Germany, Spain and Austria, among others. (DOST/PIA) [top]

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