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PIA Press Release

DOST makes successful entrepreneurs

By Carlo P. Canares

Vigan City (19 September) -- Small and medium entrepreneurs continue to make it big with the aid of various finance and technology programs of the Arroyo administration.

Two more success stories were presented in the recently concluded 2nd consultative meeting conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Region 1 at the Ilocos Sur Science and Technology Center in Vigan City.

Mr. Rex Benzon, owner/manager of the Four Stars' Tinubong and Native Delicacies, formerly known as Magsingal Delicacies, located at Sto Domingo, Ilocos Sur related his success story on how he was assisted by the DOST.

According to him, the laborious production of tinubong (a native rice delicacy of the province) became convenient and easier with the assistance of the DOST in 2001, under the Grants-in-Aid (GIA) program.

Under the project entitled Enhancement of Production Process for Ilocos Ethnic Products (such as the tinubong), Mr Benzon was able to acquire fabricated mechanized production facilities like the stainless washing vat, mixer and squeezer, oven and coconut grater. Despite the upgrading of the making process of the native delicacy, the distinct and ethnic presentation was retained to preserve local culture and tradition.

In 2004, Mr Benzon availed of the DOST Small Enterprise Upgrading Program (SET-UP) under the Upgrading of Facilities for Native Delicacies Manufacturing wherein additional production equipment were acquired, such as flourmill, cassava grinder, heavy duty multiple ring, gas burner, cast iron cooking vat, and iron mixer/blender.

The Department further assisted him in the Packaging Development and Shelf Life Testing of bibingka; production lay-out; securing BFAD permit and bar code; and nutritional analysis of the food.

Mr Benzon has greatly acknowledged DOST's intervention in the growth and success of his business. His delicacy business has not only uplifted his family's living condition but also of others by providing employment.

Another SET-UP beneficiary is Mr Danilo Sevilla, owner and manager of Sevilla Woodcraft from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.

Prior to DOST's assistance, Mr Sevilla's firm was confronted with several problems in the production of wood housewares and handicrafts. But with the help of DOST in 2005, he was able to acquire a 3,000 board feet capacity furnace-type lumber dryer. This greatly helped in upgrading the quality and market competitiveness of the various existing products. Warping, cracks and deformation brought about by inappropriate drying were prevented.

With the help of the DOST, Mr. Sevilla posted increased sales, generated employment in the community and led him to market his products in Manila. (PIA-Ilocos Sur) [top]

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