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433 MSMEs boosted to be globally competitive



Government agencies have been assisting Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSME) in the Cordillera to help improve their products and comply with local and international market standards in the wake of globalization and ASEAN integration.

Director Richard Burgos, head of the Department of Science and Technology- Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) said the agency had invested PHP205,493,199 as of September 22, 2017 for the productivity of the 433 MSMEs across the Cordillera region to enable them to be more competitive.

The amount reflects the funding support of the DOST to the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) approved projects, he said.

SETUP is the DOST’s support to the national government’s aid to the MSME sector to further strengthen the focus on developing the industries recognized to have a critical role in attaining and sustaining inclusive growth.

It encourages MSMEs to adopt technological innovations to improve their products, services and operations that will improve their productivity and competitiveness, develop new products and establish or sustain market riches.

Also on the sidelines of the Regional Science and Technology week here, DOST-Cordillera Regional Director Victor Mariano said the DOST assists the sector not just on mechanization using technologies they developed but a holistic support system like complying with the mandatory labeling including the marketing.

This, he said, would allow the local products to be sold nationally and globally competitive both in price and quality.

The agency also aids producers through its ISO-accredited testing laboratories which would enable them to acquire a permit from the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) that issues licenses to operate.

“Without the permit, food processors will not be allowed to export and will have a difficulty in selling their product nationally. Food selling is sensitive and there are many requirements, and we want them to be compliant on those aspects. DOST assists producers in their compliances aside from a higher chance of exporting,” Mariano said.

With DOST maintaining an internationally accredited testing laboratory, it assures a high standard of the products it tests. The agency assisted export producers are also aided in terms of making it sure that supplies are of high quality, able to meet the quantity as well as the timeliness of the delivery of goods.

It also has the “Onestore”, an online store which has enrolled and uploaded about 200 high quality products for the local and international market.

Through the DOST, an entrepreneur is able to meet internationally accepted standards in terms of quality and marketability aside from aiding to start a business for budding entrepreneurs.

Based on the recent report of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC), MSME’s contribute a large chunk in the region’s Gross Domestic Products, especially with many of them opening in 2016, after the national government announced various support including financial in terms of loans and grants.

Liza Agoot /PNA  

Pinoy Gazette Digital Edition