DOST SETUP assists 3,000 small enterprises annually, created 115,000 new jobs in 5 years
- Written by S&T Media Service
Increased business productivity and job creation are but two of the many benefits of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP, a longstanding enterprise development and technology transfer initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“SETUP, a development program to empower the micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs, creates a conducive business environment for MSMEs to improve their productivity and increase efficiency through the infusion of appropriate technologies”, said DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo.
On the average, the DOST-SETUP program assists some 3,000 MSMEs all over the country every year. For the first semester alone, from January to June 2015, a total of 1,236 firms have been given assistance.
The ripple effect of the DOST-SETUP program resonates to job creation with 20,985 new jobs generated just for the period January to June 2015. From 2010, when the Aquino Administartion began, up to end of the second quarter of this year, a total of 115,445 new jobs were already created.
The program uses a holistic approach to enterprise development by covering all aspects of operating and managing a business in order to improve their products, services and/or operations.
The DOST intervention, through SETUP, includes human resource training; technical assistance and consultancy services; design of functional packages and labels; and assistance in the establishment of product standards, including testing, database management system and technology acquisition.
“Firms assisted with technologies are capacitated and become more productive, competitive (locally and globally) and bankable, thus, empowering more our MSMEs as they participate into the mainstream of business activity,” stated Montejo.
“This is the only government program assisting MSMEs that gives back refunds to the Bureau of Treasury”, Montejo added.
To ensure a high rate of refund by beneficiaries and to uphold transparency and professionalism, SETUP proposals are strictly evaluated by the Regional Technical Evaluation Committee (RTEC) composed of a battery of experts/practitioners from industry, universities and professional organizations. They asses the managerial, technical and financial capability and viability of the beneficiaries/proponents to take on S&T interventions for sustainability.
According to DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Carol M. Yorobe, the DOST Regional Offices ensure that funds released to proponents are used for the purpose for which the project was approved and conducts regular due diligence to secure the viability of the project.
DOST Regional Offices release the fund directly to the supplier when equipment have been procured. In other instances, the release of funds is done through the bank who in turn releases it only to the proponent when the required equipment to be procured is already available for delivery. There are also measures in place to address the risk in such transaction.
“The program’s monitoring system follows strict guidelines to ensure compliance by proponents and allow the enforcement of the provisions stated in the memorandum of agreement (MOA)they sign before assistance is given,” Yorobe stressed.
DOST’s regional and/or provincial officers and staff regularly visit the projects and monitor its progress as to the proper utilization of S&T interventions, and correspondingly make the necessary improvements, when needed, in systems or in the use of the equipment or the technology to obtain the desired productivity.
Just like other banking and development assistance institutions in the country, the DOST-SETUP has its share of delinquent accounts for there is no perfect system that could guarantee 100% refund rate from its borrowers.
“I believe that there is no other program in the country that focuses on improving productivity of MSMEs through technology intervention. Overall, our refund rate runs about 85%; but we don’t give up on MSMEs that encounter difficulties to ensure higher compliance”, Montejo Stressed.
In few cases of proponents falling short of expectation, the DOST-SETUP implements a restructuring program, just like ordinary banks, of their refund schedules within the allowable time period.
Further, Montejo assured, “For opponents who fail to abide by the MOA provisions, the appropriate legal actions are pursued in accordance to existing rules and regulations.”
From 2010 to June 2015, the DOST-SETUP has already recorded a total funding assistance of P2.2 billion with 29,401 technology interventions provided to MSMEs mostly in the regions. These interventions include consultancy services, human resource training, packaging assistance, design and labeling, among others. (S&T Media Service)
NOW SERVING: IRON-FORTIFIED RICE
- Written by Henrylito D. Tacio
“Access is crucial in reducing micronutrient deficiency because it has no visible signs, making the sufferer unaware of his condition. Since rice is a main component of the diet, more people, especially in the rural areas, will have an immediate and cheaper source of micronutrients," Dr. Antonio A. Alfonso, a recipient of the Outstanding Young Scientist Award in 2008.
Every night, an average Filipino joins at least 3.7 billion other people who go to sleep hungry. Their hunger, however, is not the growling, aching kind. Rather, it is silent, insidiously stunting their bodies and brains, weakening their immune systems, and sapping their energy -- and prospects for living productive lives.
Their hidden hunger is called malnutrition, which reportedly contributes to killing an estimated 40,000 people each day.
DOST XI extends S&T Services to the IPs of Talaingod, Davao del Norte
- Written by Maria Victoria I. Dado
Together with the members of the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies (ARENA) XI and private partners, the Department of Science and Technology XI (DOST XI) extends its services to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of Talaingod, Davao del Norte on June 18-19, 2015 during the 16th AREANA XI Serbisyo Caravan and Whole of Nation Initiative activity.
Read more: DOST XI extends S&T Services to the IPs of Talaingod, Davao del Norte
RESTORING DAVAO RIVER BACK TO LIFE
- Written by Henrylito D. Tacio
“A healthy river is a niche of biodiversity. Depending on temperature, salinity, level of pollution, and especially the speed of water flow, different aquatic species will thrive in a river, its banks, or surrounding environment.”-- Ricardo M. Umali, former undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
“You cannot protect that which you do not value. You cannot value that which you do not understand,” said Dr. J.R. Nereus O. Acosta, the presidential adviser for environment protection during the workshop on “Strengthening the Adoption of Integrated Water Resources Management and Other S&T Approaches Towards Sustainable River Basin Management.”
Digos City Bakery is DOST Assisted
- Written by Maria Victoria I. Dado
When in Digos City, never leave without dropping by their famous bakeshoppe, the Prangel’s Snack Inn. It is owned by Engr. Perry Nelson and Mrs. Norma Sur. They started their business in 1986 with only three kilos of flour until they grow bigger in time. From its humble beginnings, it has evolved into a successful producer of homemade food products in the city such as breads, cakes, and cookies. Today, they are considered as one of the pioneer food business establishments in Davao del Sur. With the increasing demand of their products, the owners sought the assistance of Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) to increase production efficiency and improve product quality.