Local manufacturers have expressed support to the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Die and Mold Solution Center (DMSC) during a recent media briefing at DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) in Bicutan, Taguig City.

With the establishment of the DMSC, local manufacturing industries are expected to catch up with neighboring ASEAN countries in terms of capability. The Center offers modern infrastructure support services and capabilities that will connect firms involved in processing of raw materials with firms that convert these into the final product.

According to Chito Madroño, general manager of 13PM Enterprise, the industry needs to have such an infrastructure similar to boost the manufacturing industry.        

13PM Enterprise has been partnering with the government especially with DOST-MIRDC since 1978. Madroño reveals that his game “Brain Twister” was a product of public-private partnership, with the game chip pieces having been developed by DOST-MIRDC a couple of decades ago. Brain Twister is a tile-based board game which requires a player to form given shapes using four oddly-shaped tiles.

“I went to MIRDC and asked them to fabricate the molds that will be used for the tiles,” explains Madroño. “And I am happy because it is cheaper and produced the expected results.”

Madroño, who sought MIRDC’s assistance for his other board game “Word Factory” reveals that majority of local manufacturers subcontract their manufacturing processes to China because of its cheap overhead costs and faster turn-around.

He adds that the country currently cannot catch up with China in terms of production output but with 100 million Filipinos, local manufacturers can rely on the domestic market to boost local production.

Philip Ang, president of the Philippine Die and Mold Association shares Madroño’s sentiment. The local market should support local manufacturers as this would equate to more economic gains, Ang said, and encouraged the media to come up with more positive news to attract more investors into the country.     

In previous years, the Philippines only had 170 tool and die shops serving the local manufacturers compared to Thailand’s 1,110. In 2011, the country imported about $50 million of tool and die compared to less than $9 million of exports for the industry.

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