DOST ROADSHOW BANNERS PROGRAMS FOR MSMEs IN REGION VII
THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE and Technology (DOST) bannered the many inroads it has created in science, technology and innovations on the occasion of its recent Science Nation Tour for Region VII in Cebu City. Now on its fifth leg, the Science Nation Tour is a nationwide roadshow highlighting the many DOST-backed Filipino inventions, state-of-the-art technologies and innovations geared towards improving global competitiveness, attaining inclusive growth, and cultivating a culture of science and technology (S&T) in the Philippines.
DOST aims to provide innovative, cost-effective, and appropriate technologies for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to aid them in developing world-class products, said DOST Assistant Secretary Raymund E. Liboro in his keynote address at the Technology and Innovation Exposition, one of the many activities in the roadshow.
One of its programs, the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP, allows entrepreneurs to adopt local technologies to minimize their cost of production such as machineries that they would otherwise import, and maximize innovative manufacturing procedures that will save time and resources.
Under the SETUP program, eight key business categories are included, namely: food processing; horticulture and agriculture; marine and aquatic resources; gifts, decors and housewares; furniture; metals and engineering; pharmaceuticals and information and communications technology. It is clear that the NGP is not enough to reintroduce trees into deforested land. A comprehensive reforestation program is what the NGP hopes to achieve.
To improve and enhance the NGP’s performance, the authors of the study emphasize addressing the challenges that slow its progress.
Firstly, substantive data must be gathered and provided to fully come up with a substantive picture of the program’s progress.
The available data—exceeding planting sites and actual target per hectare by 14 percent by the end of 2013, and yet missing the yearly seedling target per year—is not enough to determine whether or not the NGP is on the way to achieve its objectives.
Secondly, monitoring and inspection of trees have to be enforced to monitor, ensure, and increase the rate of survival, which currently sits at 61 percent. The goal is 85 percent. Liboro also presented another DOST development initiative: the Regional Food Innovation Centers which serve as nerve centers for food production and processing that meet international standards.
For Central Visayas, the center will be hosted at the Cebu Institute of Technology University and was formally launched last month.
The regional centers will provide MSMEs with technical support for product and process development, food testing, shelf life and sensory evaluation, consultancy, packaging and labeling, short-run production, incubator facilities, and an information resource center.
“It is the ‘after’ that matters most and this would mean that such efforts of the DOST should lead to something beneficial to both the Filipinos and the Philippines and hope that our programs become the catalyst to transform the Filipinos and our country as we all walk toward change; living in a country described as a Science Nation,” Liboro concluded as he called on all sectors to join the Department in making the Philippines a Science Nation meeting global challenges.
The Food Innovation Center and SETUP are just two of the many DOST knowledge products and services promoted during the Science Nation Tour. (S&T Media Service) The Commission on Audit (COA) criticized the Department of Environment and Natural Resources report on the NGP for not having an inspection or monitoring system for the survival rate of the seedlings. The program focused its evaluation too much on quantity instead of quality, according to COA report.
That same year, a study, also by Dr. Israel, claimed that participants on the ground viewed the program’s performance positively in terms of increased livelihood opportunities and improved environmental conditions. But delays in the availability of mobilization funds and limited personnel have held back NGP performance, making it only partially effective and efficient.
The framework for the impact assessment of the NGP contains four components—economic, social, environmental, and institutional. All of these will be evaluated as the program continues, hopefully to provide a more in-depth picture for studies to improve implementation mechanisms for the NGP and for future reforestation programs. (Source: Development Research News, January-March 2015 issue)