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Mr. Joseph Khio, proponent of Joshephus Boneless Lechon Belly, sharing his words of gratitude to DOST

Seven enterprises in Misamis Oriental received more than P9-M worth of technology innovation fund (iFund) under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) during an online ceremonial turn-over on July 13, 2021.

SETUP is a flagship program of DOST mandated to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to improve their productivity. Through a signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), each firm received the iFund to upgrade their equipment, acquire technologies to address their production gaps, and improve product quality.

Out of the seven, two firms are from the metals and engineering sector, namely, Catian Industrial Sale and Grecanz Trading and Engineering Services. Three are from the food industry sector consisting of J&P Bakery, Josephus Boneless Lechon Belly, and Tyco Inc. The remaining, Marcommax Enterprises and Legacy Sales and Printing Press, are from the manufacturing industries.

Catian Industrial Sale is a micro-enterprise machine shop in Alubijid that fabricates gears and machine parts. Through SETUP, the firm will acquire a Lathe Machine and Vertical Milling Machine. The equipment will help the firm fabricate larger gears and machine parts, as well as, increase its production time. Thus, eliminating job-out or outsourcing to competitors and other fabricators.

Grecanz Trading and Engineering Services, a small enterprise in Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City, received the assistance for the Technology Licensing Fee to avail a DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI)-developed Cacao Processing Equipment.

J&P Bakery is a small enterprise in Alubijid that produces bread and pastry products. The firm will shift from manual processing into semi-automation through the acquisition of a Cooker Mixer, Vibro Sifter, Mechanical Dryer, and Packaging Machine. The set of equipment will increase the firm’s production volume, sales, and productivity. DOST’s assistance also includes the fast-tracking of its application for Food and Drug Administration - License To Operate (FDA-LTO).

Another assisted enterprise is Josephus Lechon in Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro. The iFund assistance they received will help improve the enterprise’s production and cost efficiency through various equipment such as Horizontal Powder Mixer, 3 Deck 9 Tray Oven, Mechanical Dryer, and Gas Rice Cooker. Thus, increasing the productivity and production volume to improve the quality and competitiveness of their Lechon-based products.

Tyco Inc., a small enterprise that produces siomai products in Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro, will soon acquire an Automatic Siomai Making Machine through the iFund. With this, they expect to increase its siomai production to supply the increasing demand in Northern Mindanao and further receive an FDA-LTO certification.

Marcommax Enterprise, or better known as Cardmasters in Capistrano, Cagayan de Oro, is grateful for the fund to acquire a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine. Cardmasters produces a wide range of personalized products through laser cutting/engraving of wood, acrylic stones (granite and marble), cloth, and leather. Through the equipment, they will produce high-quality metal products to be added to their product lines.

Lastly, Legacy Sales and Printing Press, a medium enterprise, has sought assistance in addressing the supply gap in print packaging boxes for food products. With the help of SETUP, the firm will acquire Heidelberg Off-set Printer to improve labor productivity and supply the demand for food packaging in the region.

The seven assisted firms expressed their gratitude for the iFund they have received as they welcome innovative solutions to their production problems, especially during the pandemic. Indeed, DOST continues to be committed to its mandate in enabling MSMEs to increase their productivity and product competitiveness through SETUP. (John Paulo R. Tumala, DOST-Misamis Oriental)