ODIONGAN, Romblon, Dec 26 (PIA) — The Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (Setup) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has funds worth P6.414 million to 21 Romblon micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in 2012. The funds are aimed to provide innovation system support to the MSMEs.
Among the beneficiaries were Libertad Women’s MPC (P75,000), Marquez Marble Craft (P250,000), S&Y Herbal Products (P235,000), Gabute’s Musical Instruments (P215,000), Popoy’s Miki Manufacturing (P180,000), Sammy Woodpecker Furniture Shop (P300,000), Rose Delicacy (P250,000), and Y2JB Haberdashery (P400,000). These amounts came from part of the 2011 Setup budget for Romblon.
In 2012, the program underwent several changes. The program director, Usec Carol M. Yorobe, authorized the regional directors to approve Setup projects amounting to P2 million. With this development, Director Ma. Josefina P. Abilay of DOST Mimaropa fast-tracked the review and approval of regional proposals, thus project proposals from Romblon and other provinces were acted upon promptly. In July, the checks for the following were released: MD Homeworks (P488,000), St. Cletus Casketry (P300,000), Sibuyan Ferro Woodcraft (P482,000), Lilec Native Delicacies (P160,000), and Kaven Shoes (P400,000).
The next batch of releases came in October for the following: Bread and Baker’s Haven (P600,000), Aquel Iron Works (P255,000), Lanibee Food Haus (P300,000), and JM Romblon Siopao (P100,000). Finally the last batch of releases came in December with the handover of checks to Sta. Maria Arts and Crafts (P359,000), Gacu’s Rewinding and Injection Pump Calibration (P95,000), Steve and Jade Junkshop (P370,000), and Mama’s Yami Deli Foods (P600,000).
The Setup innovation system support was provided for productivity improvement through process mechanization for the different firms mentioned. Equipment needed by the different firms for speeding up work or improving the quality of output were purchased under the program. Product quality enhancement through the provision of packages and labels were also included under the program. Moreover, institutional support like the provision of training and consultancies were also provided to firms that needed them. The program proponents hope that with increased productivity of the MSMEs, more folks in Romblon would be employed by the assisted firms. On a national scale, this would translate to more Filipinos getting jobs.
Romblon now has 47 Setup-assisted firms, second in number only to Occidental Mindoro in the Mimaropa region. The Mimaropa Region is one of the leading regions in terms of number of Setup projects. For 2013, the Romblon Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) targets another 11 Setup beneficiaries with an allotted fund of P5.2 million. To avail of the program, firms must be operating for at least three years and are duly registered as legitimate business enterprises. The PSTC hopes to have at least two Setup-assisted projects per municipality by 2015. The assistance is payable in three years without interest. The Romblon PSTC records the highest repayment rate in the region, which proved what Secretary Mario G. Montejo of DOST says “Investment in technology pays”. (Contributed by Dr. Bilshan F. Servañez/DM/LBR/PIA-IVB/Romblon)