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DOST Region 02 Awards P42M iFund to Empower Over 38 MSMEs in the Region

iFund to Empower MSMEs

Acknowledging the vital role of MSMEs in the Philippine economy, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 2, under the leadership of Dir. Virginia G. Bilgera, awarded a total of P42 million in innovation fund (iFund) assistance to 38 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the region with the batch name PRIMERO, which stands for Primary Entrepreneurs Offering Business Opportunities. The ceremony was held at Pulsar Hotel Cagayan today, May 24, 2024.

DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrade Program (SETUP), serves as one of the initiatives of the government to support the business sector by providing them with assistance such as financial aid, regulatory reforms, skills development, and market access.

The program began with Engr. Rocela Angelica Gorospe, Provincial Director of PSTC Quirino, who delivered the welcome message on behalf of Dir. Bilgera, emphasized the importance of DOST’s SETUP in strengthening MSMEs to continue to serve as one of the backbones of the Philippine economy.

“I believe that through the collaborative efforts of DOST Region 02, and other government agencies, we can extend more help to micro, small, and medium enterprises, enabling them to thrive in a global competitive market,” PD Gorospe added in her message.

The highlight of the event was the awarding ceremony, where Engr. Sylvia Lacambra, Assistant Regional Director for Field Operations Services (FOS) and PSTO Quirino PD Engr. Rocela Angelica Gorospe handed over the iFund assistance to the deserving 38 SETUP beneficiaries.

iFund to Empower MSMEs

Moreover, to hear valuable insights into the impacts of the program on their firms, 6 SETUP beneficiaries led by Mr. Arthur Tabbu, manager of Lighthouse Cooperative, took the stage to share their inspiring experiences with the audience.

Additionally, Engr. Jude Michael Magora, Project Assistant II, provided a comprehensive orientation on SETUP guidelines and the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to ensure a proper understanding of the roles and obligations of both parties.

For the afternoon session, Ms. Desiree S. Angolluan, OIC-Division Chief of DTI Region 2, briefly presented the MSME Development Plan 2017-2022 framework and valuable information on Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) programs and services available to MSMEs. She highlighted the resources for trade promotion, product development, and market access, empowering businesses to reach new heights.

Meanwhile, to provide valuable knowledge to help businesses improve their operations and achieve higher standards, Engr. Rocela Angelica Gorospe, PD of PSTO-Quirino, delivered a presentation on the concept of the Philippine Quality Award (PQA) process. This process improves MSMEs’ performance and competitiveness based on Total Quality Management (TQM) principles. Her insights provided valuable knowledge to help businesses improve their operations and achieve higher standards.

Lastly, ARD Engr. Sylvia Lacambra, reiterated in her closing remarks the importance of the program in making firms competitive in their respective industries and raising the caliber of their goods and services.

“Let’s address problems and challenges together… Nawa’y ipagpatuloy natin ang inobasyon sa ating mga negosyo,” ARD Lacambra further added in her closing message.

Along with the awardees, DOST R02 staffs and PSTO representatives were also present at the event.


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