DOST says P4.2 billion in innovation funds given to SMEs for tech interventions

By Edu Lopez

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has urged micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to avail of the government’s program that will assist them to adopt technology innovations, improve their business operations, and boost their productivity and competitiveness.

DOST secretary Fortunato De la Peña

DOST secretary Fortunato De la Peña told the Philippine Business Conference that under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), 45,000 MSMEs have been provided with technological assistance with an average productivity improvement of 38 percent that created 227,000 jobs.

De la Peña noted that some P4.2 billion in innovation funds has been distributed through 54,000 technology interventions that were provided to these companies.

Last year, 790 MSMEs benefited from the program’s innovation fund that enabled them to acquire hardware and software that they needed to improve their technology productivity.

De la Peña pointed out that firms have to repay such fund without interest. He expects that by 2019, around 831 of new companies would be assisted at a cost of P848 million.

SETUP provides MSMEs with equipment and technical assistance to enable them to increase sales and production, streamline and improve overall operations, upgrade the quality of products and services, and conform to national and international standards of excellence.

Aside from SETUP, De la Peña said the DOST has other programs in support of innovation.

“To upgrade the technological capabilities and productivity of our MSMEs, we continue to provide technological interventions, process and system improvement, technical consultancy, packaging, labelling, training, testing and calibration, and product development to empower our MSMEs to innovate and move up the technology scale and become more competitive,” he added.

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