DTI, DOST team up for MSME “Filipinovation”

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez sign the MOA in the presence of (from L to R): DTI Assistant Secretary Demphna Du-Naga, DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya, and DOST Undersecretary Brenda Nazareth-Manzano.

TAGUIG—Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña signed an MOU to promote Filipino innovation, or “Filipinovation,” for entrepreneurs.

“Innovation is when you fix something, even if it’s not broken. In entrepreneurship, continuous innovation in products, processes, business model, is the only way to survive,” said Secretary Lopez.

“Through the MOU, DTI and DOST will merge One Town One Product (OTOP) and Go Lokal entrepreneurs with DOST’s oneSTore.PH hubs. ‘OTOPrepreneurs’ may now also use DOST’s online store, oneSTore.PH, to sell their products”, Sec. de la Peña said.

Meanwhile, DOST will also provide selected Negosyo Centers with S&T Nooks for those who want to access DOST’s resources but don’t have internet connection.

MSMEs comprise 99.6% of enterprises and 70% of employment in the country, but only account for 35% – 40% of Gross Value Added contribution to the economy. Sec. Lopez said innovation can bridge this gap because when MSMEs transform raw materials into quality products, they can sell at premium prices and reach international markets.

“President Duterte wants to make the MSMEs smarter and bigger, not just in number, but also in terms of contribution to the economy. It’s easy to become an entrepreneur—but to have high quality, differentiated products is the real challenge, but it is their ticket to greater success and better quality life,” added Sec. Lopez.

DTI and DOST previously signed an MOU in 2017 to formulate and implement the Inclusive Filipinovation & Entrepreneurship Roadmap. To implement this, DTI has the following programs to help entrepreneurs, among others:

  •  Shared Service Facilities (SSF), a machine-lending service to cooperatives;
  •  Pondo para sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), a low-interest collateral-free loan program to MSMEs;
  •  Kapatid Mentor Me and SME Roving Academy training programs; and,
  •  Go Lokal!, a project that discovers and improves MSME products and helps them reach mainstream markets.

DTI also developed the Inclusive, Innovation-led, Industrial strategy (i3s)—wherein the academe, industry, and government sectors collaborate to solve business innovation challenges.

DOST on the other hand, provides the following services to MSMEs:

  •  Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET UP), that provides machines and technology training to individuals or companies;
  •  Science and Technology Expert Volunteers’ Program (STEVPP), where S&T experts provide free consultations and assistance to communities and cooperatives;
  •  Testing and Calibration services to ensure that products reach health and quality standards; and
  •  Packaging and Labeling assistance.

Congress Committee brings Scitech public hearings here

DAUIS, Bohol, May 4 (PIA)—The Congressional Committee on Science and Technology successfully held here the public hearing by the technical working group on the proposed laws strengthening the Provincial Technology Centers as well as attuning the Philippine standards to the world measurements.
During the public hearing held at the Bohol Bee Farm in Dauis Bohol, committee chair and Bohol Congressman Aristotle Aumentado said the public hearing is a mandatory process before both proposed measures can be calendared in the house for deliberation.
Foremost among the proposed measures is the packaged strengthening of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) by putting a better manned Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTC).
The premier science and technology agency in the country mandated to provide the central direction, leadership and coordination of all science and technology activities by formulating policies, programs and projects in support to national development, the DOST is composed of two advisory bodies, 4 sectoral planning councils, 7 research and development institutes and 8 science and technology research institutes.
The DOST’s most visible science and technology service institutes include the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGF-ASA), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVoLCS), Technology Application Promotion Institute, Science and technology Information Institute, Science Education Institute, Philippine Science High School System, Technology Transfer Center and the Information and Communications Technology Office.
Interestingly however, in a presentation, the DOST’s frontline service providers in the provinces; its PSTCs are not only ill manned, it is also dumped with the tasks of implementing flagship projects especially on the assistance to small and medium enterprises.
No less than Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, who stressed the role of science and technology in a developing society, pointed out the huge disparity between the government trade agency staffing as against the DOST.
During the public hearing, reacting to the presentation by DOST Bohol chief Engr Marcial Tanggaan, Sec dela Peña cited the three Bohol staff tasked with the DOST mandates as clearly wanting manpower.
The measure then presented by the TWG proposed for the upgrading of the PSTC positions and appropriating funds thereof.
On the other hand, other proposed bills presented included strengthening the National Measurement Infrastructure System (NMIS) which amends the National Metrology Act of 2003.
The move assures the integrity of measurements in the country that it meets in the regional and international standards while promoting the harmonization of the national requirements, technical regulations and standards and conformity assessment procedures.
This is also especially with the broadened markets as envisioned in the ASEAN Economic Community, World Trade Organization and other international agreements that redound to the freer flow of goods and services as well as better trading environment, DOST sources said.
When made into a law, the NMIS puts up the National Measurement Institute of the Philippines as the country’s national metrology institute which would be a DOST-attached agency tasked to keep and maintain national measurement standards for the Philippines, facilitate international harmonization and measurement compatibility.
At the public hearing, both measures found strong support from the public and private sectors including the business and the medium enterprises who would tend to benefit from these measures. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

Congressman Abaya, Congressman Mangaoang, Congressman Aumentado, Secretary Dela Peña and Congressman Sambar found time to pose for the media during the completion of the recent Congressional Committee TWG Public Hearing on the Metrology and the strengthening of the PTCS in the country. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)\