The very important role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in fueling economic development in the country was recently recognized by no less than Secretary Mario G. Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) during its Stakeholders Summit held on December 9, 2015 at the DOST Executive Lounge.
The Stakeholders Summit was part of several activities under DOST’s ongoing Science Nation Tour National Capital Region leg, dubbed “Science Festival,” which will run until December 11, 2015.
“Today I acknowledge the technopreneurs as they are our steadfast partners in development by using the power of science, technology and innovation,” said Montejo, himself a proponent of MSMEs having been an inventor and technopreneur before he joined government service.
DOST has for many years been a staunch advocate of MSMEs and has been supporting thousands of Filipino entrepreneurs through one of its flagship programs - the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP, which extends assistance via funding, technology upgrading, and training. SETUP’s outstanding adoptors for 2015 were also given recognition at the Stakeholders Summit.
“What is important for us at DOST is to harness the creativeness and innovativeness of our entrepreneurs using S&T for the benefit of Mang Juan and Aling Maria,” Montejo added, “and that is why we call our motto ‘Agham na Ramdam’ because it is us Filipinos who chart our course and we must build our own capabilities.”
The Science Secretary also cited the inroads of the DOST in disaster preparedness and mitigation through another flagship program, the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH.
“By using the latest computer software and cutting-edge technologies like the LiDAR or light detection and ranging, we were able to create a 6-hour early flood warning system by generating high-resolution topographic flood hazard maps in all the 18 major river basins in the country, thereby providing vulnerable communities accurate and timely information about weather and hazards,” he said.
Project NOAH spawned success stories like those during typhoon Pablo when zero casualty was reported in Cagayan de Oro, the same city devastated by typhoon Sendong in 2012. The project was also instrumental in having zero casualty in Marikina during the habagat episodes of 2012 and 2013 and during typhoon Ruby in December 2014.
In addition, Montejo bannered the different technologies developed by DOST in only a span of five years like those in genomics for agricultural and healthcare applications, mass transport solutions like the Automated Guideway Transit or AGT and the Hybrid Electric Road Train, Food Innovation Centers which serve as food processing hubs in the regions, and the Electronics Product Development Center, to name a few.
“We have a wealth of S&T information at the DOST at binubuksan namin ang pinto ng DOST para maramdaman ni Aling Maria at Mang Juan ang siyensya at teknolohiya (….and we’re opening our doors so that Aling Maria and Mang Juan will feel the essence of science and technology). We have created a whole ecosystem that empowers your creativity as innovators and technopreneurs to be one community. By developing good products, the whole world becomes your market,” he said.
Science Nation Tour is a shared initiative of the DOST-NCR Office under the leadership of Director Teresita C. Fortuna and the whole DOST system including PHIVOLCS, PAGASA, Science Education Institute, Technology Application and Promotions Institute, and others joining the weeklong celebration with entrepreneurs sharing the limelight as partners in achieving the country’s economic development agenda.