Ormoc City, Leyte- Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Chief Mario G. Montejo made rounds on three successful DOST assisted firms in Ormoc City at the recent opening of the Visayas Cluster Science and Technology Fair hosted by DOST Regional Office 8 at the Ormoc City Superdome.
In his visit, Sec. Montejo was elated to see how Eastern Visayas has recovered from the debilitating effects of Super Typhoon Yolanda two years past. “I am glad that we are seeing firms that were affected by the calamity and are now getting back on their feet,” said Montejo during one of the stops at Mayong’s Bakeshop and Snackhouse.
Montejo who hails from Leyte, attended the launching of Mayong’s two new veggie bread products, the squash and malunggay breads, which are the firm’s contribution in fighting malnutrition in the region. According to Peter Rodriguez, chief executive officer of Rodriguez Burger and Bread Co., “Mayong’s strives to provide healthy and quality food products over the years, that is why we sought DOST’s help in achieving that business model.”
Mayong’s is one of the leading fast food and bakeshop firms in Ormoc and Leyte province. Part of DOST’s assistance under the Small and Medium Enterprise Technology Upgrading (SETUP) in the province is to transfer of technology in veggie breads to form a new line of food products that address the prevailing malnutrition in the province. Aside from this, DOST assisted in guiding the company on its packaging development, consultancy on efficient sanitation standard operations, and upgrading of processing equipment.
In a report given by Dr. Ma. Lourdes Lampong, City Nutrition Action Officer, the province has “malnutrition rate of 12 percent which exceeds the 10 percent allowable rate.” “We are approaching the 13 percent mark, and the government should make the necessary actions to counter this trend,” added Lampong.
As part of the government’s initiative in countering malnutrition in Leyte, Department of Education superintendent Carmela Tamayo said that the education department will include the veggie breads, which are developed by DOST, into its department’s feeding program.
Aside from Mayong’s, Montejo also visited Armea Enterprises, a firm that specializes in fabricating food processing equipment.
DOST helped the firm in acquiring the much needed metal working equipment such as bending and cutting machines. Juanita Armea intimated to Montejo that she used to outsource bending and cutting of metal sheets outside Ormoc City. “We bring them to Cebu just to bend the sheets which cost us P50 per bend,” says Armea.
The firm now produces various lines of baking and kitchen equipment, and steel-based architectural. It also accepts contract services on metal works.
Aside from Mayong’s and Armea Enterprises, Montejo made a short trip to Brgy. Bantique also in Ormoc to see the development of another SETUP Program beneficiary. Victor Kangleon of VSK Vehicle and Equipment Rentals received a boost in his metal fabrication business when he applied for assistance in acquiring industry grade metal bending equipment. VSK is producing chassis for light vehicles and trucks, steam wheel gears, oil mill shaftings, and sprocket U-belt for the geothermal plant in Leyte.
After the DOST assistance, VSK has a production capacity of 80 chassis for trucks and light vehicles while 20 steam wheel gears, 12 oil mill shaftings and four sprocket u-belt. (Joy M. Lazcano, S&T Media Service)
Healthy launch of veggie bread. DOST Sec. Mario G. Montejo (2nd from left) enjoys a mouthful of squash bread, a new and healthy food product offered by Peter Rodriguez (3rd from left), owner of Mayong’s Snackhouse in Ormoc City. Mayong’s Snackhouse is among the DOST-8 SETUP beneficiaries that received technology assistance from the Science Department. Also in photo are DOST Region 8 director Edgardo Esperancilla (extreme left) and Leyte provincial director John Glen Ocaña. (Photo by Henry A. De Leon and text by Joy M. Lazcano, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)