DAGUPAN CITY – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) conducted a project visit on Wednesday to four firms in Pangasinan that benefitted from the agency’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
Regional Director Armando Ganal of DOST in the Ilocos said these SETUP recipients, which belong to the food processing as well as metals and engineering sectors, were offered funding assistance and technical help by DOST to improve their business.
“SETUP is a nationwide strategy to encourage and assist small and medium enterprises to adopt technological innovations to improve their operations and thus boost their productivity and competitiveness,” he said.
Metals and engineering firms that were visited are Barangay Machine Works in Barangay Caranglaan, Dagupan City and Philgerma Manufacturing, Inc. in Barangay Bued, Calasiao.
Barangay Machine Works was established in 2009 by Manny Ventura and presently fabricates and installs various types of metal parts for power plants, factories and other allied industries. Currently, the company employs 11 workers and five non-production staff.
On the other hand, Philgerma Manufacturing, Inc. is a family-owned metals and engineering company that was founded in 1980. The firm manufactures 22, 802 pieces of plow shears, plow points and assorted machine parts annually.
The team from DOST led by Assistant Secretary and Program Manager for Countryside Development Dr. Urdujah Tejada also visited firms in the food processing sector under the SETUP.
One of these is Bella’s Calasiao Puto and Pasalubong Center in Dinalaoan village, Calasiao town.
Bella’s Calasiao Puto and Pasalubong Center is a well-known producer of puto (in different flavors), kutsinta, tikoy, suman, cheese bibingka, bitso-bitso, ube halaya and papaya pickles (atchara). It was chosen as 2012 SETUP Best Adoptor in Region I.
Another beneficiary of SETUP is the Long Live Pharma in Barangay Malanay in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.
Provincial Director Felicidad Gan of DOST-Pangasinan said that Long Live Pharma is the sole producer of hyposol, a simple water treatment technology accredited by the Department of Health (DOH), for disinfecting raw or contaminated water to make it safe for human consumption.
“The firm has close collaboration with DOH, World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for the distribution and marketing of the products throughout the Philippines,” she said.
It also offers other food products that promote proper nutrition especially among children such as the RIMO (rice-mongo) curls, RIMO baby food blend, Go and Grow micronutrients growth mix, Momsie (rice, nutty, chocolate-flavored complementary food), Brown Rice Nutty-Fruity Bar and Nutri-Bite.
Last year, Gan said the company requested for another technology assistance from SETUP for the commercialization of Food Nutrition and Research Institute-developed technologies on iron rice premix and iron fortified rice.
With the growing demand for its products, the firm empowers itself by increasing its workforce. During peak seasons, 30 more workers are hired.
During the visit, Tejada was pleased to note the huge difference the SETUP has done for the firms. She commended these four companies for availing the opportunities offered by the DOST for their own advancement.
Prior to the project visit, the assistant secretary also inspected the implementation of her agency’s certification program for the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) who will serve during the May 9 polls.
The inspection was held at the Pangasinan Regency Hotel in Calasiao town and at the Dagupan Village Hotel in Dagupan City where the training of BEIs are being conducted. (PIA-1, Pangasinan)