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USEC Yorobe inaugurates Metro Lab
Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Dr. Carol M. Yorobe had graced the opening of the newly constructed Regional Metrology Laboratory (RML) of DOST Region 02 at the Regional Government Center in Carig, Tuguegarao City.
The Undersecretary, together with DOST Regional Director Dr. Urdujah A. Tejada, City Mayor Hon. Delfin T. Ting, Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Engr. Eugenio R. Pipo, Jr. and Philippine Information Agency Regional Director Purita S. Licas has unveiled the marker of the laboratory.
The inauguration was followed by a conference meeting held at the DOST library.
Dr. Yorobe proudly announced during the conference meeting that the effort is in line with the DOST programs and projects in preparation to the “One Asian Nation” bid of the government.
She also said that the testing laboratory of DOST is envisioned to empower entrepreneurs to work for advancement of rural industrialization guided by principles of sustained development through an effective supply-chain management system which is focused to attain higher productivity and globally competitiveness.
Meanwhile, Director Tejada informed the visitors that the laboratory offers services for volume and mass calibration. Including vehicle trailer trucks and proving tanks.
She added that the laboratory give services in calibrating weighing scales utilized in public markets and the will also provide technical assistance to Local Government Units.
“Technical assistance through trainings to Local Government Units on calibration will be provided to ensure accurate weighing scales for the benefit of the public”, she said.
To date, the RML which opened October 12, 2010 has serviced 21 vehicle/trailer trucks of gasoline stations from the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan in Region 02 and the province of Kalinga in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
The RML ensures that the mass and volume equipment have accurate readings and therefore the public is assured that goods and services have correct measurement either in mass or volume. Weighing scales used in markets can avail of the calibration service as many Local Government Units go to the DOST for this service, thus protecting consumers from unfair trade practices.
For calibration schedules, please call 078 304 8654/846-7241or at CP No.09261155249.
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As part of its continued effort to extend public outreach nationwide and to promote the importance of intellectual property such as patent, trademarks, copyright, industrial design and utility model, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Department of Science and Technology Regional Director Urdujah A. Tejada and Intellectual Property Office Philippines (IPOPHL) Director General Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor.
The Memorandum strengthened the partnership of the IPOPHL and DOST to effectively implement and enforce Intellectual Property laws and to encourage IP stakeholders, inventors, academe, research and development institutions in protecting the intellectual property in the region.
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To see the people in her community lifted from the crutches of poverty is just one of the many reasons why Urdujah A. Tejada walks ‘the extra mile’ in pursuing her responsibilities as a public manager and as a civil servant. Through the years, Director Tejada has seen the fruits of her labor as acknowledged through the many awards and recognitions that have been conferred to her and her agency. But to this indefatigable Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology in Region II, accomplishing her mission is always a work in progress.
Helping the community
Director Tejada is recognized for the success of her three (3) community – based projects, on the development of the aquaculture industry: on the revival of the peanut industry and, the establishment of a coco – based industry. These she has accomplished while ensuring gender equality via providing assistance to women in the community through skills training, community consultancy services and, micro financing among others.
Director Tejada’s community – based aquaculture projects addressed the need to improve on the production capacity in the entire region and has resulted to the establishment of 10 hatcheries, 65 grow out ponds, and 2 fish feed mills and training centers for fish – based products. This was responsible for employment generation and an increase in the income of small fisher folks and has generated an average annual income of P60-70 million for farmers in the region.
Her intervention in the peanut industry has likewise revived and expanded the production area particularly in Jones, Isabela where 42 barangays are now into planting peanuts. The improved practices as a result of the intervention yielded higher harvests for the farmers and the revival of the peanut industry in the region as evidenced by the noticeable expansion on production area and establishment of other policies and support system for the emerging industry for processed peanuts.
The success of the coco - based industry projects not only improved the coconut based products but also converted coco wastes into useful products. The intervention also gave focus to the needed revival of one robust coconut plantation in the region. This eventually brought about the influencing of the LGU to pass an ordinance on the protection of coconut trees. It also encouraged the academe to establish a nursery for coconut trees and monthly tree planting activity in the 2nd District of Cagayan.
Further, Director Tejada initiated the HATAW (Harnessing Appropriate Technologies to Assist Woman) which helped produce at least 25 successful woman entrepreneurs in the area and has addressed the need of organize women to make them more productive members of the community and uplift their standard of living.
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The Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) Program of DOST Region 02 assists small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector to attain higher productivity through the improvement of the overall operation of the firm.
At present, DOST 02 has 10 firm- beneficiaries for both food and furniture sectors. There were five (5) under the food sector and five (5) from the furniture. From the food sector, AABassig Meatshop and BBIF Meatshop both from Ugac, Tuguegarao City; Yummy’s bakeshop and MGSK Health Food Products both from Nueva Vizcaya, and Minerva’s Farm- Sinsayon in Santiago City. In furniture sector they were the Trader’s Design Furniture Shop and Irish Furniture Shop in Isabela; RJS Furniture Shop and JARS Furniture and Sash Factory in Quirino and ERP Furniture Shop in Nueva Vizcaya.
The consultant for the food sector, Ms. Divina D. Alcasabas and her assistant Ms. Rosalinda Lorilla conducted various trainings like 5S, Food Safety and Good Manufacturing Practices training. They also conducted re- layouting of equipment for a better flow of production.
On the other hand, Mr. Romualdo L. Sta. Ana and his son Romualdo Sta. Ana Jr. respectively, consultant for furniture sector conducted also various trainings on jig making, safety equipment handling, good manufacturing practices, kiln drying and machining, firing test on kiln dried lumber.
An exit conference with the beneficiaries and consultant together with the representative from DOST-TAPI and Regional staff will be conducted this March 2011. Among the 10 firms beneficiaries, two will be selected as best adaptor of MPEX on food and furniture sector respectively.
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The banner program of the Department of Science and Technology is the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP). This program is a nationwide strategy to motivate, encourage and assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in improving their productivity and competitiveness through the technology interventions like provision of the cost of equipment through Innovative System Support (ISS), technology trainings, product development, plant lay-out, equipment design with training for its utilization, laboratory tests of products, packaging and labeling, trainings on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), 5S, Hazard, Analytical, Critical and Control Point (HACCP), Energy Audit, Cleaner Production Technology (CPT), consultancy services through Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX), Consultancy on Agricultural Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) and product promotion thru S&T Fairs, product flyers and website development. This program differs from the other programs of other agencies since it does not only focus on technology assistance but also provides financial assistance to the qualified SMEs.
Since Region 02 is basically an agricultural region, the food sector has the highest number of assisted projects with a total of 30 SMEs assisted out of 92. The SMEs engaged in food processing increase volume of production at an average of 25% with the assistance of DOST thru SET-UP S&T interventions. These SMEs were able to increase number of new products developed, improved packaging & labeling, increased sales by 30% , generated employment /or increase employment from just 2 family members as workers to 20 or more and created new markets for domestic and export.
One SME in the sector of food processing is the Integrated San Lorenzo Entrepreneur (ISLE) involved in producing local wine. This makes use of an indigenous fruit called “lubeg”. This “lubeg wine” is now the OTOP product of Lallo, Cagayan.
In the province of Isabela, DOST 02 also assisted HERBAKH Industries which manufactures personal health care products with brand name “Wagas” utilizing lemongrass, ilang-ilang and patchouli essential oils as active ingredients. Herbakh Industries has been exporting the Wagas herbal soaps and feminine wash with guava oil as active ingredient to Canada in 2005.
In Quirino, RJS Furniture Shop was assisted by SET-UP through the provision of a kiln dryer which improved the quality of the raw materials used in furniture making. This intervention has increased income by 500% from the gross sales of P800,000 annually to P4M/year and increased number of workers from 4 to 10. This increase in gross sales and employment was realized because of the improvement in the quality of the furniture since the raw materials used are kiln-dried.
A successful SET-UP assisted SME in Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya is the Jaydex Farm engaged in tilapia hatchery and production. The farm has been producing tilapia fingerlings. With SET-UP interventions through Consultancy on Agriculture Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) program on aquaculture technology, the farm has increased its volume of production of fingerlings. Jaydex Farm is now known in the province as a source of quality tilapia fingerlings.
This SET-UP program of DOST has created socio-economic, environmental and cultural impact in the development of our country and in Region 02 in particular. There has been an increase in the volume of production brought by the provision of new manufacturing equipment and better packaging of the products
SET-UP assisted SMEs accounted for a labor force of more than 900 for the year including the employment of un-employed housewives and Out of School Youth (OSY). On the family level, this ensures financial security enabling the families to meet their needs. From the SMEs income, the revenues of the municipalities also increased payment of business taxes and the workers’ income tax.
Through the SET-UP assisted SMEs, public health is protected with the provision of quality, safe and nutri- food products. Likewise the environment is protected through the provision of green and clean technologies. The SMEs developed an awareness and importance of a cleaner environmental work area with their attendance to DOST training such as 5S, GMP, HACCP and requiring them to implement the basics of these trainings in their operations.
The SET-UP assistance scheme has eradicated a dole-out mentality since the grantees are required to pay back from the returns of investment. In region 02, out of the 92 SMEs assisted, 85% of them have religiously made repayments. The 14 SMEs failed to pay their repayments caused by the decrease in sales due to unforeseen events experienced in region 02 like the drought and La Niña which affected the production of their raw materials.
Public trust and perception on the services of the government agencies particularly DOST in assisting SMEs, LGUs, Cooperatives have changed positively. Buyers of the SET-UP products associate the DOST Logo in the product label with “quality” since the products have undergone laboratory tests, passing product standards and manufactured in a safe and clean working environment.
The seeming success of SET-UP in region 02 has posed a challenge to DOST. As Dr. Urdujah A. Tejada, DOST 02 Regional Director said during one of the Mancom meetings, “We are now receiving increasing number of requests from SMEs seeking assistance from DOST thru SET-UP but the number of staff in the region most particularly in the provinces has not increased at all, leaving the DOST staff to work on 24/7 style and do multi-task assignments”.
This challenge is clearly expressed by one entrepreneur who has said that, “SET-UP has indeed improved the productivity of my company such that I have requested a second round of assistance from DOST”. Engr. Isabelita P. Tan of Robelly’s Food Products cited that “SET-UP has improved the packaging of our products, increased productivity by decreasing the production processing time because of the semi-automated packaging equipment provided – pouch machine and sachet refilling machine for the soy- sauce and vinegar products”. Her statement during a project visit was “SET-UP makes a BIG difference: it has erased my negative impression on how a government agency, like DOST delivers relevant and quality services to private business companies like ours”.