THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE and Technology’s Regional Office IV based in Los Baños established leadership in introducing solutions to complex development issues facing the small and medium enterprises sector in the region, Undersecretary Maripaz L. Perez recently said.
It has established and maintained 27 projects under the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP). In CALABARZON region, it provided P7.8M for 12 projects related to food, P3.34M for five projects in metals and engineering, and P 0.72M for five other projects in gifts, decors, toys, and furniture enterprises.
In MIMAROPA region, DOST IV is implementing six projects valued at P 1.55M in marine food products, gifts and toys, and metals and engineering.
Five of the projects showed significant impact including Lety’s Special Buko Pie and Guaranfood Manufacturing in Laguna; Dealo Koffee Klatch’s frozen Quezon budin in Quezon; Morada’s Handicraft in Batangas, and; NS Alba Handcrafts in Cavite that posted 81 percent increase in total assets (from P11.21M to P20.37M).
Employment in these SMEs also increased 40 percent (from 182 to 256), along with 68 percent rise in annual production value (from P1.19M to P1.72M). Production volume also went up by 50 percent (data used varying units). DOST IV is currently reviewing five new project proposals and has endorsed another 11 for funding.
DOST IV has drawn on the packaging development approach using its service laboratories and links with relevant institutions to provide productivity solutions to SMEs. The Regional Service and Testing Laboratory in Los Baños offers test and analytical services for water, wastewater, foods, and feeds including by-products; contract R&D services for product improvement; and lease of processing facilities for test of new products and processes leading to commercialization.
Meanwhile, the Cavite Wastewater Testing Center in Trece Martires City supports the wastewater testing services of the laboratory unit in Los Baños. Both units generated P2M in 2006 and responded to more than 500 testing requests from 242 firms. In addition, it received more than 1,600 samples and conducted 1,330 microbiological and 3,530 physico-chemical tests.
RSTL has accreditation from the Department of Health, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources since 2003.
The scope of recognition for RSTL covers seven parameters such as biological oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, total coliforms, fecal coliforms, pH, temperature, and total dissolved solids. It awaits approval for the inclusion of six other parameters such as chemical oxygen demand, total soluble solids, oil and grease, chloride, chromium, and nitrate.
The Bureau of Product Standards-Laboratory Accreditation Scheme assessed the RSTL for ISO 17025 in October 2004. It is currently working to meet additional requirements and settle non-conformances and deficiencies.
Meanwhile, CWWTC’s scope of recognition covers 10 parameters such as biological oxygen demand 5, dissolved oxygen, chloride, fecal coliforms, total coliforms, pH, temperature, settelable solids, total suspended solids, and total dissolved solids. CWWTL is one of only eight DENR-recognized environment laboratories awarded this year and the 37th DENR-accredited laboratory. It received its certificate of accreditation on June 2, 2005.
On the other hand, the Regional Volumetric Calibration Center in Kumintang, Ilaya, Batangas City, and the Regional Metrology Center in Mayondon-Maminta, Los Ban os provided services to 219 individuals and firms, earning P0.59 M.
RVCC also provided 700 calibration and verification services for petroleum and delivery trucks while the RMC provides calibration services for mass, pressure, small volume, electric current, length, and temperature.
Other DOST IV services in 2006 include coordination of the DOST-Science Education Institute’s Undergraduate Scholarship Programs where 670 scholars received assistance.
In 2005, its Mobile IT Classroom toured 82 schools in 74 municipalities in Rizal, Batangas, Laguna, Marinduque, and Region III benefiting more than 4,200 elementary and 2,800 high school students along with about 300 teachers. DOST IV currently maintains linkages with 685 local institutes, 195 colleges and universities, and 55 research agencies.
DOST Regions IV-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon) and IV-B (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) surpassed targets set by the Regional Operations Office. DOST IV sourced P42M in additional funds to augment its meager budget, which enabled it to sustain the two regions’ operations. STP