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DOST Ilocos Sur urges small businesses to upgrade products via SETUP

By Imelda C. Rivero, PIA, Ilocos Sur

VIGAN CITY – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Ilocos Sur office is urging owners of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the province to upgrade their products through the enhanced Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

Dr Ramon Sumabat, DOST provincial director, said SETUP is one of the government interventions in preparing the country for the 2015 ASEAN integration , in support to the MSMEs.

Implemented in the province in 2002, SETUP wants to boost the competitiveness and productivity of MSMEs by giving collateral and interest-free loan for technology innovations, as well as manpower training, Sumabat added.

The priority sectors eligible for SETUP aid are food processing, furniture, gifts, house wares and decors, marine and aquatic resources, horticulture and agriculture, metals and engineering, information and communications technology, and pharmaceuticals.

SETUP has been a viable program, helping its Filipino MSME clients develop, resulting to job creation, opening of new markets, booming of sales and profits, as well as improvement of the personal lives of the business owners, and their employees.

In the province, the target of the office is to help at least seven MSMEs every year. In 2013 and 2014 this target was met, and this year there are five beneficiaries as of this day, he added.

Sumabat said that once these MSMEs are aided by SETUP, they will all harvest the gains brought by government intervention.#