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DOST to Help Small Enterprises to “SETUP!”

Products of Betis Crafts Inc., one of the beneficiaries of the Setup Program

Philippine Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (SMSE) provide the bulk of employment for Filipinos. These range from Furniture making to Food Processing. In fact, this has enabled the country to sustain its economy notwithstanding the many economic storms the country has weathered. The employment generated complements the OFW remittances and BPO earnings that make for a “consumption Driven” economy to thrive since the 1990s.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been crucial in support of MSMEs since 2002. It has as one of its flagship programs the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) as a primary means to reach out to Filipino entrepreneurs.

Setup enables Filipino entrepreneurs to have access to technologies that will lead to increased production, more efficient operations and higher revenue generation for these MSMEs. 

Setup provides technical assistance, technology transfer and even machineries and equipment that can be obtained through interest-free loans via the Setup program. 
The priority areas for the Setup program are:

1. Furniture Manufacturing
2. Food Processing
3. Manufacture of Gifts, Decors and Handicrafts
4. Metals and Engineering
5. Agriculture/Marine/Aquaculture
6. Other MSME related industries

Now on its 15th year, the DOST Setup program has accounted for:  

* The total funding assistance for Setup beneficiaries as of 2016 is P3.336 billion;
* The total number of assisted enterprises as of 2016 is 4,363 with a record of 37-percent productivity improvement;
* The total number of jobs generated as of 2016 is 167,939; and
* The number of technology interventions as of 2016 is 50,370, consisting of consultancy services, training, packaging assistance, design, and labeling.

Case examples of accomplishments by Set include:

Agricomponent and Machineries Construction Corporation (AMCC). The Isabela basedcompany has received the support of the DOST’s Cagayan Valley office through Setup. AMCC was able to acquire highly mechanized equipment from the assistance provided by the DOST worth Php2.16 million. This included the purchase of the Hyrdraulic Press Brake and technical training was provided that improved the services of AMCC. Also, AMCC has subcontracted other DOST assisted MSMEs.

Betis Crafts, Inc. (BCI) has been engaged in furniture manufacturing since the 1980s. Initially located in Betis, Pampanga where there was then a thriving furniture manufacturing industry, BCI relocated to Tarlac because of the devastation caused by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption of 1991. BCI has been exporting their furniture worldwide.

BCI experienced a 40% increase in production in 2016 after availing of the Setup program. From 11,236 furniture units produced in 2012, BCI has increased its production to 15,757 furniture units in 2016. Aside from increased revenues as a result of its sales and production, BCI was also able to raise its number of employees from 240 regular workers to 270.  

Bohol Bee Farm was one of the top 5 finalists in the Search for Best Setup Adoptor. This was attained after consultancy services and technical assistance was provided by Setup. Processing technology was upgraded that increased production and benefitted the workers also via skills upgrade.

Setup provided technical assistance for food safety, good manufacturing practice, processing plant layout, training on basic food sanitation, hygiene and good operation practices, packaging, labeling and product development that increased  the product shelf life of the products.

Setup has proven to be a Game Changer for Filipino SMSEs. 

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