DOST SETUP boosts Siquijor SMEs
By Rizalie A. Calibo
Siquijor (20 October) -- Siquijor businesses now get a boost as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) began pouring in its package of support for local entrepreneurs here.
"I'm talking about the DOST's SETUP (Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program) that aims to boost their productivity and ultimately create stable employment for our rural folks", Engr. Mario de la Pena, Provincial Science and Technology Officer said in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
As the DOST's response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's call to strengthen the country's entrepreneur that are seen as the engine for job creation and wealth distribution, SETUP provides a package of intervention in the form of technology upgrading and acquisition, packaging and labeling, technical consultancy services, product standards development, and identification, training and networking assistance.
Four manufacturers/producers from this province are up for funding this year totaling some P843,000 and five more are prepared for 2007 funding.
Approved for this year's release are mostly for the food sector namely Jainen's Cakes and Pastries, P251,000, Ever's Special Peanut Processing, P178,000, R&J Homemade Meat Products, P134,000 and the Naning's Furniture, P280T.
For 2007, proposed projects are the establishment of Accelerated Vinegar Making Facility, P150T, Upgrading of Island Fresh Milk Facility, P180T, Technology, Upgrading of Vi's Special Torta Production Facility, P150T and Establishment of Wrought Iron Forming Facility, P180T.
"Our local entrepreneurs from the food; furniture; gift; houseware and decors; marine and metals who are in need of technology upgrading increase productivity are our top priority", Engr. De la Pena said.
In 2005, SETUP has also released some P863,000 in project fund for CJP Furniture, P150T; Duran's Banana Crackers, P207, 500 and Renie's Peanut Processing, P155,500.
"Our support even includes proposal preparation and MOA signing aside from the equipment acquisition, laboratory analysis, shelf-life testing, trainings and consultancy services", de la Pena said.
To cite the local DOST has initiated the development of packaging and labeling design of Siquijor products which were showcased in the Halad Siquijodnon 2006 Trade Fair and Exhibits last month that higlighted the Araw ng Siquijor celebration.
"This assistance of DOST is very helpful to SMEs and I only wish that there will be more SETUP funding in the future", de la Pena said, stressing that the main factors for beneficiaries to succeed are the positive attitude to the assistance and their commitment to the project coupled with good linkages with the government sector.
Meanwhile, the Government is making good progress in the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) as acknowledged by the UNDP country representative Nileema Noble in a recent meeting with President Gloria Arroyo. The Philippines is on track to meet the MDG targets to cut poverty substantially by 2015 on the back of rising incomes, more jobs, better schools and broader social services. (RAC/PIA) [top]