BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Three micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Negros Occidental received financial assistance from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently to improve the quality of their products by adopting technological innovations.
These are the S&E Agri-Aqua Ventures Corporation, Suarez Enterprise, and Mardal Corp.
The technological assistance availed of from DOST aims to improve the production efficiency of the shrimp farm of Seacorp, improve the production technology, introduce a new product line, and enhance the food safety compliance of Suarez Enterprise, and to further increase the production efficiency and enhance the carrying capacity of the shrimp farm of Mardal Corp.
The assistance was under DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program Innovation-Enabling Fund that aims to assist MSMEs to produce quality products, increase productivity, and sustain marketability through technology and equipment upgrading and strengthening of innovation capability.
Rowen Gelonga, DOST Region 6 director, said the program is provided to selected and qualified enterprises so they can upgrade their production facilities, upgrade their products, and even go into simple research and development for additional product variance.
“This came about because most of the deliverables of the department are mostly anchored on research and development. One of the reasons the program was implemented is mainly because of the lack of funds for the MSMEs to upgrade their facilities, to acquire new equipment, and implement technological recommendations of experts and not because they do not want to adopt the technologies,” he said.
He added that the financial assistance is not a grant but given as a technology transfer support mechanism to MSMEs where they will refund back to the government the amount released to them.
Because of the pandemic, the DOST further heightened its support to the MSMEs by adopting the strategies to the conditions of the new normal, he said.*