MSMEs receive P26-M worth of machines to boost productivity

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 Dec) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 12 has distributed around P26 million worth of machineries and equipment to help improve the operations and competitiveness of 54 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region.

The machineries include portable cow milking machines, abaca spindle stripping machines, and meat processing equipment.

Ibrahim Guiamadel, DTI Region 12 director, said Monday that the initiative is part of the continuing implementation in the region of the agency’s flagship Shared Service Facility (SSF) Project.

Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“The grants were aimed to improve their products and enhance their market competitiveness,” Guimadel said in a statement.

The DTI central office had allotted a total of P54.2 million for 83 SSF project grants in the region this year he said.

SSF was launched by the DTI to assist the expansion and address the development needs of MSMEs in the country.

Guiamadel said the initiative aims to help local MSMEs produce more products of better quality and at a lesser production cost.

It addresses the gaps and bottlenecks in the value chain of priority industry clusters, through the provision of processing machines and equipment.

In Region 12, the priority industry clusters that are covered by SSF program are abaca, bamboo, coconut coir, processed fish, processed food, wearables and homestyles, cacao, coffee and rubber.

Under the program, Guiamadel said the agency provides machineries and equipment that are utilized or shared by multiple users like members of cooperatives and trade associations, communities, beneficiaries of recognized foundations and non-government organizations.

The units are provided for free to the beneficiaries but will remain the property of the DTI for six years from their awarding or release, he said.

He said their ownership would be transferred to the beneficiary after the prescribed period by way of donation or sale.

Among the project’s major accomplishments this year was the establishment of a mechanized milking facility in Malungon town in Sarangani in partnership with a local dairy cooperative.

Guiamadel said they released last October two units of portable cow milking machines to the Malalag Cogon Bangkal Dairy Farmers Cooperative to expand and enhance its operations.

He said the automatic milking machines were the first for the cooperative since it started producing fresh cow’s milk about three years ago.

“The machines help lower the risk of contamination of the milk and at the same time reduce the production process per cow to just 25 minutes from the previous two hours,” he said.

Two weeks ago, Guiamadel said they also turned over four units of abaca spindle stripping machines to a group of weavers based in Barangay Lamlahak in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

He said the machines will improve the quality of abaca fibers that are used in making the province’s popular T’nalak fabric.

The shift from manual to mechanized mode hastens the processes involved in the production of T’nalak by 50 percent, he said.

In Barangay Concepcion in Koronadal City, 11 units of meat processing equipment were distributed to the Concepcion Women’s Association (CWA).

CWA’s meat processing center is manned by its 90 women members and is engaged in the processing and marketing of meat processed products such as chorizo, embutido, tocino and corned beef. It also produces frozen beef, poultry and pork.

Guimadel said they are currently working on the release of funds for the procurement of machines and equipment that were earlier proposed by 29 beneficiaries. (MindaNews)