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Empowering MSME Innovation with Tech in the Philippines

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provided production technologies and system innovations to seven MSMEs in Central Luzon. The programme assisted seven MSMEs in food processing, agriculture, and metals and engineering to escalate their productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness in domestic and global markets.

The initiative was brought through Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Programme (SETUP), which continuously supports micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in The Philippines. DOST-3 Regional Director Julius Caesar Sicat said that the seven MSMEs could acquire production technologies and systems innovations as SETUP beneficiaries to upgrade their businesses. He particularly cited the case of Fiona’s Farm, which operates as a farm resort and produces tomatoes and other green leafy vegetables through an aeroponics system with high electricity consumption.

“The assistance they will be getting from SETUP is that the Fiona’s Farm will be able to switch into solar (photovoltaic) technology that will radically cut their energy cost and make their day-to-day operation more efficient,” the DOST official clarified in an interview.

Sicat cited the importance of adopting technologies to address business-related problems and encouraged the owners of the seven firms to avail of other DOST-3 services.

“The DOST would be very much willing to help them. Our engagement with each other does not end in SETUP. We also have technical consultancy training and the regional science technology laboratory (RSTL), which can help further elevate the efficiency of their businesses,” he added.

He noted that the DOST-3 had allotted a total of PHP7.4 million (US$140 thousand) as SETUP iFund for the seven MSMEs. SETUP iFund is open to manufacturing MSMEs needing technology to improve productivity and efficiency and has been operational for a minimum of three years. The assistance includes acquiring machines and equipment financed by the programme and payable in three years with no interest.

The government has streamlined the booking and payment process for Quezon City’s traditional market merchants. They will now use the Market One-Stop Shop (MOSS) portal to register for and lease spaces and booths online. According to City Administrator Michael Alimurung, the platform would pinpoint “legitimate” vendor premises that are free of barriers. It is also part of Mayor Joy Belmonte’s goal of making Quezon City a desirable commercial destination.

With the new system, the city government guarantees a simple application process for renting a stall, including payment and collection of market charges. This will also make life easier for the city treasurer’s office, as they will no longer have to collect rent in person.

The local government installed free Wi-Fi access points in barangay halls and hundreds of other public places to ensure that the new system is widely used. A caravan will be created to assist present and new vendors with registering with the platform.

The method, according to Margarita Santos, director of the Quezon City Business Permits and Licensing Office, will not substitute any roles, such as market masters or market managers, but will make their jobs simpler. She asserted that the MOSS would adopt a “first in, first out” waiting line and award a five-year lease to the first vendor registered for the space or stand. They will, however, be relegated to the bottom of the line if they do not meet the standards within a certain number of days.

Furthermore, in mid-2022, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) MIMAROPA – a district comprising of the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan – gave food-based micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) a digital boost for their businesses. DOST provided a Web-based Inventory Monitoring and Logistics Management System (WIMLMS) to expedite their operations for improving output.

The digitalisation project aims to assist MIMAROPA MSMEs in adopting digital technology capabilities to better business operations and meet customer demands. One of the project’s critical parts is creating an enterprise inventory and logistics management system.


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