Written by Cyd Francis D. Recidoro
Tuesday, 07 October 2014

2014 best technopreneur awards 1

The Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA Region (DOST-MIMAROPA) honored its best technopreneurs across the region in awarding ceremonies held in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro on August 29, 2014.

The awards were divided into two categories: “SETUP Core”, which are given to firm-based clients assisted through the DOST Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program; and “SETUP Non-Core”, for community-based clients assisted through the Regional Grants-in-Aid (GIA) funds and other DOST assistance programs. Three exceptional entrepreneurs in each category were awarded based on their contribution to the overall regional economy through the improvement of their businesses’ productivity, profitability, and employment through Science, Technology, and innovation.

Grabbing top distinctions in the Core category is Merl’s Native Delicacies from Oriental Mindoro in first place, followed by Y2JB Haberdashery from Romblon in second place, while JALD Industries Corporation from Occidental Mindoro came in at third place.

Merl’s Native Delicacies has received various assistance from DOST-MIMAROPA such as provision of innovative packaging and labeling for their scrumptious suman-sa-lihiya, as well as food safety management trainings, enhancement of rice cake steaming process, improvement of coco jam dispensing operation, nutritional analysis, shelf-life testing, and productivity consultancy. Undoubtedly one of the heavyweights among MSMEs in the MIMAROPA region, Merl’s achieved a remarkable 325% increase in productivity, a 291.7% increase in sales, and a 381.8% increase in directly employed workers since 2010. Furthermore, Merl’s has also opened two new outlets in Calapan and penetrated 22 new markets in the National Capital Region and Southern Luzon area.

Y2JB Haberdashery, on the other hand, was assisted by DOST-MIMAROPA for the enhancement of their embroidered logo patched processing through innovative computer-aided embroidery technology, as well as productivity consultancy. The interventions increased the firm’s productivity by 86.56%, which led to a 180% increase in its annual gross income that enabled the firm to increase its employment to 16 directly employed workers. The firm’s markets now include Romblon State University campuses, Local Government Units in the provinces, local sport leagues, as well as contract customers.

JALD Industries Corporation, an enterprise dealing with salt production, received assistance from DOST-MIMAROPA in the form of the screw-type iodizing machine for the improvement of salt quality, training on Food Safety and Salt Farm Management, and provision of packaging and labeling services. Through DOST-MIMAROPA’s interventions, the firm now produces 100,000 sacks of iodized salt yearly since 2011. They have also increased their annual sales by 50%, which enabled the firm to employ 20 direct workers for the iodization process. Moreover, JALD Industries Corporation has now penetrated markets in Capiz, Aklan, Iloilo, Antique, Negros Occidental and Oriental, Samar, Leyte, Palawan, Batangas, Dipolog, and Ozamis.

In the Non-Core category, Tanikala ng Pag-asa Multi-Purpose Cooperative from Marinduque won first place, followed by Romblon State University at second place, and the Barangay Nutrition Scholars Association (BNSA) in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro at third place.

Tanikala ng Pag-asa Multi-Purpose Cooperative is involved in the production of bags and slippers from abaca fibers. DOST-MIMAROPA’s assistance to the cooperative included the provision of innovative and appropriate abaca fiber production process technology, advanced training on bleaching and dyeing, green technology through the use of natural dyes, and the use of biomass fired furnace to reduce input cost as compared to the use of LPG. Through the aforementioned interventions, the cooperative achieved a 28% increase in productivity, which led to a 48.7% increase in sales. Furthermore, the cooperative now has 20 members working for stripping and twining abaca fibers, with five (5) female workers in slippers and bags production.

Romblon State University (RSU) was assisted by DOST-MIMAROPA in the utilization of tiger grass for the production of brooms. The technology innovations adopted by RSU included production process improvement through equipment innovation into a multi-use unit design for removing flowers and turning broom handles, as well as green technology through the use of lathe machine attachment to produce broom handles from square stock, which eliminated the need to cut down saplings. DOST-MIMAROPA’s intervention brought forth a 100% increase in productivity, which led to an increase in sales, and an addition of two (2) workers in its employ.

The Barangay Nutrition Scholars in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro was assisted by DOST-MIMAROPA in the production of complementary baby foods. The interventions included production process improvement through the provision of cGMP-compliant production equipment, as well as Food Safety Training. Through DOST-MIMAROPA’s assistance, BNSA achieved a 70% increase in production, a 50% increase in sales, and an increase in employment to five (5) full-time workers and 33 on-call workers for when there is an increase in volume of orders. Furthermore, they have also developed new products such as polvoron and stikoron with squash and malunggay.

All awardees for both Core and Non-Core categories received a trophy and cash prizes amounting to PhP 30,000 for the first placer, PhP 20,000 for the second placer, and PhP 10,000 for the third placer.