Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña hopes that the next administration will continue the assistance programs for enterprises as these generate employment and contribute to the economy.
“We should really help our industry to become competitive. One aspect there, most of them need R&D (research and development) to develop innovative products, technologies that can compete, and so the problems on wastes, problems on energy (will be addressed),” he said in mixed English and Filipino during the 2022 TeknoKwentuhan.
Among the DOST assistance programs for entrepreneurs include the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), a nationwide strategy to encourage and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt technological innovations to improve their operations and thus boost their productivity and competitiveness.
The government has upgraded services provided under the SETUP program based on the firms’ level of development given the rapid emergence of Industry 4.0 and the debilitating effects of the pandemic.
Other assistance programs for entrepreneurs include technology training; and technical advisory and consultancy services in food safety, energy efficiency and conservation assessment; cleaner production; and Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program.
OneSTore.ph, an e-commerce web application that operates nationwide and caters primarily to Philippine consumers, helps the DOST’s assisted MSMEs widen the scope of their target market.
De la Peña also cited the innovative startup development assistance program.
“Because here, we need to create new companies especially those that are technology-based that can compete and we have so many Filipinos who are very innovative, they should just be assisted,” he said in Filipino.
“Our programs are working towards inclusivity, productivity and sustainability,” he added, also underscoring programs for disaster risk reduction.
Meanwhile, DOST National Capital Region (NCR) director Jose Patalinghug III highlighted the “Science for the People” program of the department, noting that R&D outputs should be utilized to improve living conditions of people.
“One example ng inclusiveness here in the NCR, we created a project inside the Manila City Jail. We gave the bakery small equipment for persons deprived of liberty (PDL) so they can help their families,”he said, adding they have similar projects in San Juan City Jail and Pasig City Jail.
Patalinghug said they are also working with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in line with its Simula sa Isang Bagong Oportunidad sa Lipunan (SIBOL) program.
The DOST-NCR signed last year a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine National Police NCRPO to work together in providing support to communities in Metro Manila through NCRPO’s SIBOL and DOST-NCR’s Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology programs.
“If our resources are not enough, their resources are not enough, we put these together towards one program in NCR. So it’s really inclusive –not only for the community in the barangay, (but) also those not in the marginalized sector who are PDLs, we also included them,” he added in Filipino.