DTI-11 to turn over fabric laboratory to foundation

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 February) — The Department of Trade and Industry Region 11 will turn over this semester the first Mini Fabric Laboratory in the city to the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, a move that is seen to benefit small and medium enterprises engaged in the production of gifts, wearables, and homestyles.

In an interview during the Civil Society Organizations and Stakeholders’ Consultation at the Park Inn Hotel here on Tuesday, DTI-11 director Maria Belenda Ambi said the agency shelled out P1.7 million for the procurement of a 3D printer and the small milling facility.

The laboratory will be housed at the MTE office along Quirino Avenue where SMEs may use the equipment at a certain cost. The fees will be used for the maintenance of the facility.

“The objective is to support the needs of the SMEs on designs and coming up with a prototype of the products,” Ambi said.

She added some of the local designers were asking for such facility so they can avail of the technology it provides.

DTI-11 chose MTE as project cooperator because it has around 50 members that are SMEs themselves.

Asked to comment on the potentials of SMEs’ gift, wearable, and homestyle products, Ambi pointed to the uniqueness of the designs of the local designers and the quality raw materials.

“We have a lot of natural materials, which are currently the trend – going green crafts and other products that are made of natural fiber and natural materials,” she said

The Mini Fab Lab was among the last projects enrolled under the DTI’s Shared Service Facility program, implemented from 2013 to 2015,

The SSF projects aimed to enable MSMEs to increase their productivity, and to encourage them to graduate to the next level “where they could tap a better and wider market share, accelerating MSMEs competitiveness by giving them access to better technologies and more sophisticated equipment, and addressing gaps and bottlenecks in the value chain of the primary industry clusters.”

Among the entrepreneurs that benefited from the SSF projects were those that are using heavy duty sewing machines for bayong, coco sugar processing, coco beads production, and banana powder processing. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)