The Department of Science and Technology recently formalized cooperation with several partners to lead a coaching program that will help push the export potential and capability of the country’s metals and engineering sector. Partnering with DOST and its lead agency in metals and engineering (M&E) research, the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), are the Philippine Export Confederation (Philexport) National, Philexport Cebu, and the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).

The cooperation was formalized in the signing of MOU and MOA held 09 Sept at the Diamond Hotel in Manila. Signatories of the the MOU and MOA were Sec. Mario Montejo and Asst. Secretary Roberto Dizon representing DOST, Sergio Ortiz Luis representing Philexport National, Dr. Venus Genson representing Philexport Cebu, and Ambassador Ank Willems, deputy head of mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Philippines, representing CBI.

The two-fold cooperation as spelled out in the Memorandum of Understanding and Memorandum of Agreement among said institutions involved assistance to local M&E sector to be able to tap the European and other regional markets in the context of CBI’s Metalworking Asia – Philippines program. It also involved the implementation of a business support organization development (BSOD) program to strengthen relevant organizations for sustainable export development activities. The BSOD program consists of several institutional support modules tailored to the specific needs of selected organizations, countries, and sectors.

The firms to undergo the coaching program will be geared to join Asian trades first before embarking into European market, according to Ortiz Luis.

The MOA and MOU likewise laid down DOST’s role as the provider of technical assistance and counterpart funds, MIRDC as the program manager and oversight body, and Philexport National as the champion of the program. Meanwhile, Philexport Cebu will lead the conduct of audits, and CBI will provide technical assistance, consultancies, and access to European trade fairs and exhibits. The coaching program will also use CBI modules.

Bullish economy is a welcome sign
“We are taking advantage of (the country’s) bullish environment to push the agenda of the M&E sector,“ explained Ortiz Luis, referring to the positive and raving economic reviews on the Philippines which posted a seven percent growth for the last four quarters.

With a forecast of 7.5 percent expansion that matches China, the Philippines is now recognized as the fastest growing economy in Asia. According to Ortiz Luis, such performance will generate renewed economic interest in the country, fastracking infrastructure and reviving the manufacturing sector.

“We have high hopes for MakiBayan initiated by DOST. Through this program, we hope to have access to technologies vital to the M&E sector,” said Ortiz Luis. MakiBayan refers to DOST’s program called Makina at Teknolohiya para sa Bayan for the metalworks, machinery, and electronics industries, including the academe, to share technologies, expertise, skills, manpower, and facilities among the partners.

Cooperation to prop up metals industry
Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said that this cooperation aims to support the principal stakeholders of the metals industry. “DOST will come up with science-based solutions to improve the competitiveness of the country’s M&E industry,” said Sec. Montejo.

“(The cooperation) is a milestone for the DOST, a bold step that I am optimistic about,” he said. “The M&E industry has a very wide scope that includes DOST’s priority concerns such as disaster management, climate change, traffic, malnutrition, advanced transport systems, advanced manufacturing, and others.”

Sec. Montejo enthuses that this cooperative will result in a much-vibrant M&E sector with improved export potential and capability. “This is a proof that technologies developed by Filipinos are definitely world-class,“ he said.

Ortiz Luis was equally enthusiastic about the DOST’s testing facility called ADMATEL, short for Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory, and the upcoming P300 million establishment for the electronics sector, also to be built in the DOST compound in Bicutan, Taguig City.

Said facilities are designed to meet the manufacturing needs of the M&E, electronics, and microelectronics industries, among others, so that they will no longer send their machines abroad for testing. This saves every company thousands of dollars for testing and shipping costs.

Meanwhile, Netherlands Ambassador Willems looks forward to the end of 2017 when the project is expected “to increase export turnover by four million euros and companies will sustain additional growth of five million euros.”

DOST Sec. Mario Montejo (middle) with Philippine Export Confederation President Sergio Ortiz Luis, Jr (left) and Netherlands Ambassador Ank Willems ink accord to work together in a coaching program that will help push the export potential and capability of the country’s metals and engineering sector. (Photo by Framelia V. Anonas, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)

Pin It