Rafols Machine Shop and Engineering Services in General Santos City typifies what it’s like to earnestly adopt the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of the Department of Science and Technology. Sheryl Demillo tells us why.

Owned by Allan B. Rafols, the firm offers the following services: fabrication, repairs and maintenance or machining, engine reconditioning and towing services.

From the start of its operation in 1960 up to 2009, the firm persistently encountered problems in terms of quality and production which drastically impeded its potential to grow further.

Fortunately, inspired at long last by a number of successful SETUP adopters in the region, Rafols Machine Shop and Engineering Services finally welcomed DOST XII’s interventions and adopted the DOST-SETUP in 2010.

Through the DOST-SETUP, the firm was able to acquire one 20-foot lathe machine, appropriately designed to address demands for heavy duty works while taking on the smaller jobs as well. With the machine’s size capacity and high precision, the firm has attained top speed and quality performance as manifested both in its services and finished products. At present, it is the only shop in Region XII that can perform heavy duty works involving machining/ repairing/ reconditioning of marine engine parts and of engine for vehicles, such as vehicle differential. It also does machining, repairing, milling, and accessories, among others.

Rafols Machine Shop also availed of DOST’s Manufacturing Productivity Extension Servicesthat assists small and medium-scale manufacturers to attain higher productivity. Because of this, management capability has been extensively enhanced and technical competence of its skilled workers has improved significantly.

Moreover, the firm also acquired DOST’s assistance for technical training of its personnel on equipment operation and maintenance as well as product appearance improvement.

With DOST’s interventions, the firm is now producing world-class products with high technology content, enabling it to be more competitive and thus meet the demands and requirements of the market. Productivity has been bolstered as well while sales figures have increased impressively from PhP100,000 to PhP2.5M monthly. Consequently, the shop’s monthly sales digits have pulled its annual income from PhP8 M to more than PhP55 M.

These positive developments enabled the firm to open additional firm branches and construct another building with an area of 815 sq m production site for expansion with an area three times bigger than that of the old 270-sq m building.

Because of its expansion and additional line of services, Rafols Machine Shop has reached other provinces outside the region like Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. It has generated more jobs as well, increasing its employment from 50 to 110 regular workers.

From a relatively small-scale firm, Rafols Machine Shop and Engineering Services, has made the leap to a medium-scale enterprise.

DOST has indeed made a difference, creating an impact not only on the firm’s market status, but also on the locality by generally strengthening linkages and networks with its backward and forward industries appreciably increasing revenue. With these developments, the living standards of many families have been upgraded and economic development in the region has been significantly promoted.


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DOST Sec. Mario G. Montejo during a project visit to the new building of Rafols Machine Shop in General Santos last year. Also in the photo are (from left) Dr. Zenaida P. Hadji Raof Laidan , DOST XII regional director, and Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, DOST undersecretary for regional operations.

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