Local Furniture Maker wins DOST3 SETUP AwardThursday, August 09, 2012 02:14 AM Views : 1549DOST-REGION III
A hardworking husband and wife team from Concepcion, Lubao, Pampanga that makes good quality baby furniture from cast-away wooden crates and pallets was recently awarded as the Best Regional SETUP beneficiary by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region III during the recently concluded National Science and Technology Week celebration at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Mallari's Nursery Furniture (MNF) won the honors and bested two other contenders for the regional award which included Amanda's Marine Products from Bataan and MSC Food Corp. from Nueva Ecija. The firm was founded by Ariel and Catherine Mallari in 1989 as a backyard enterprise with only two workers. As a SETUP beneficiary they were able to acquire technologies that dramatically increased their productivity which translated into higher income.
SETUP or the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program is a flagship undertaking of the DOST for the transfer of technologies to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) improve their productivity and enhance their competitiveness. There are seven priority sectors under this program, namely, aquatic/marine resources; food; furniture; horticulture; gifts, toys and decors; metals and engineering; and information communication and technology.
Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, DOST undersecretary for regional operations said that as the local and international markets become increasingly competitive, so does the role of science, technology and innovation in business become more crucial. "The challenge to adopt a more systematic and scientific approach to doing business is even greater for SMEs, some of which started out as backyard family enterprises," she added. SETUP addresses this need by providing the means of access to technology acquisition which would otherwise not be available for small and start up entrepreneurs.
With the new equipment acquired thru SETUP assistance, MNF was able to diversify its product designs and expand its existing market base. Workers' productivity also increased by 30% as their working environment significantly improved.
Ariel avers that "dati nung wala pa yung tulong ng DOST sa amin, nakakayari lang kami ng mga 50 baby cribs sa isang linggo, pero ngayon kahit 300 basta may materyales, pwede na. Puwera pa dun sa mga dining tables, cabinets at divan. Marami kaming natatapos dahil sa inyo."
DOST Region 3 Director Victor B. Mariano says that the agency is continuing its commitment to support the development of SMEs in recognition of their invaluable contribution to the economic wellbeing of local communities. For the first two quarters of 2012, DOST-3 approved 21 SETUP projects with a total budget cost of PhP13,150,196.00 correspondingly.
These projects include installation of biogas digester systems, process and product improvement of processed food manufacturers, machine shop operators and handicrafts producers. A total of PhP8.6M is still set to be released for the 3rd quarter of 2012 for projects aimed at improving the finishing process of furniture makers, among others.