DOST provides P28-M ‘innovation-enabling’ fund to 28 MSMEs in Bicol

Published August 2, 2021, 12:00 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has granted P28 million worth of Innovation-enabling Fund (iFund) to 28 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Bicol Region

SETUP beneficiaries (Photo from DOST-Mimaropa)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the provision of iFund for the first semester of calendar year (CY) 2021 was made possible through the agency’s under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

“Thirty-six percent belonged to the food processing sector, 32 percent to metals and engineering, 18 percent to agricultural sector, 3 percent to gifts, decors and handicrafts (GDH), and 11 percent to other sectors including garments, and information and communication technology,” he said during his weekly report on Friday, July 30.

He said aside from iFund, the MSMEs “will also be provided with scientific and technological services such as food safety and assistance for compliance with regulatory and market standards, including laboratory testing.”

DOST-V Regional Director Rommel R. Serrano urged the MSMEs to continue providing livelihood to those people in their communities who have been affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

He said more assistance will be extended to MSMEs in Bicol through the agency’s SETUP to improve production efficiency and product quality.

The SETUP program seeks to improve the productivity and competitiveness of local entrepreneurs through the adoption of technology-based interventions.”

The DOST said SETUP enables MSMEs to address their technical problems and improve productivity and efficiency through:

-Infusion of appropriate technologies to improve products, services and/or operations

-Human resource training, technical assistance and consultancy services

-Design of functional packages and labels

-Assistance in the establishment of product standards including testing

-Database management system

-Provision of assistance for technology acquisition

-Priority Sectors.

The priority sectors of the program are Food processing, Furniture, Gifts, Housewares, Decors, Agriculture/Marine/Aquaculture, Metals and engineering, and Others (including information and communications technology (ICT), pharmaceuticals and health products).