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DOST sets P30M for technology upgrading of MSMEs in W. Visayas

ILOILO CITY, Feb. 1 – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here has allotted P30 million for the technology upgrading of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Western Visayas this 2012.

Engr. Rowen Gelonga, DOST regional director, said they expect to serve some 40 to 50 MSMEs with the allocation, far higher compared with the 14 MSMEs that benefited last year out of their P7-million fund.

He said the fund is purely for the upgrading of their technology and cannot be used as working capital. This may cover technologies for their packaging, processing and similar activities.

Although not in a form of loan, recipients are obliged to repay the fund support with no added interest.

Gelonga said the program could aid in fast tracking the MSMEs adaption of technologies thereby allowing them to become more competitive in the market.

The upgrading, he added, could result to efficiency in their operation and productivity thus less expense is incurred. This also makes them compliant to product standard.

The provision of fund support is one of the components of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) dubbed as Innovation System Support Fund (ISSF).

Since its inception in 2003, the DOST has already provided assistance to more than 100 MSMEs in Western Visaysa.

Gelonga said the P30 million earmarked for this region could go higher depending on the number of applicants. Their qualification for the project would be based on the evaluation of their project proposal.

The national government has allotted some P400 million to P500 million for the program to be implemented nationwide, he added.

Currently, some 40 MSMEs from this region have already signified their interest to avail of the support.

Meanwhile, under the SETUP, the DOST also continues to provide support to MSMEs such as training and consultancy services. (PNA)

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