DOST-12 releases P4.65M grants to MSMEs

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 2 May) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region 12 has released around P4.65 million worth of financial grants to help improve the operations of various micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.

Dr. Zenaida P. Hadji Raof-Laidan, DOST Region 12 director, said the assistance is part of the agency’s ongoing implementation of the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) within the region’s four provinces and five cities.

She said the program mainly aims to encourage MSMEs in Southwestern Mindanao to adopt new technology innovations to enhance their operations as well as expand their markets.

Laidan said five MSMEs based in this city and two others from Sultan Kudarat province have so far availed of the program this year.

The beneficiaries were Aunt Ludi Bakeshop and Snack Haus, Greentropics Coffee Enterprise, Pan de Pugon ni Ka Chona, Rosechie Food Products, R & R Organic Ventures, RG Candy Factory and Albaran’s Coco Candy.

To facilitate the release of the financial grants, the official said they signed separate memorandum of agreements last month with the owners of the seven MSMEs.

“The amount of grants that we released to these MSMEs varied according to their approved projects proposals,” the official said in a statement.

Laidan said Aunt Ludi Bakeshop and Snack Haus, which operates several mall-based specialty outlets here and nearby Koronadal City, received the biggest grant amounting to P1.98 million.

She said Aunt Ludi had submitted a proposal seeking assistance for the upgrading of its bakery’s mechanization.

Greentropics Coffee Enterprise received P975,000 for the acquisition of a complete line of processing equipment to improve the quality of their coffee products while Pan de Pugon got P420,000 for the purchase of new equipment to upgrade its coco biscocho production, she said.

Laidan said Rosechie Food Products received P245,000 for the upgrading of its tart production while RG Candy Factory got P432,000 for the upgrading of its factory processing facilities.

She said Albaran’s Coco Candy, which is based in President Quirino town in Sultan Kudarat, received P229,000 for its sweetened coconut processing project and R&R Ventures was granted P366,555 for the upgrading of its organic liquid fertilizer processing facilities.

Laidan the agency continues to accept proposals for funding grants under the SETUP initiative, which “intends to empower MSMEs and help them grow into industry icons.”

She said the program’s priority areas are food processing; furniture and home furnishings; gifts, holiday decors and fashion accessories; marine and aquatic resources; horticulture; metals and engineering; information and communication technology; and halal.

Laidan added that it support grants for the adoption of new technologies; manpower training; access to capital and markets; use of product standards and testing facilities; implementation of appropriate packaging and product labeling; increasing supply of raw materials; enhancing access to information; and, improving transport facilities.