Department of Science and Technology 11 Regional Director Anthony Sales ( file photo by Paulo C. Rizal)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The government is eyeing on improving the disaster resiliency of small technology-based businesses which were provided with start-up funds.

With over P4 billion worth of investments since the first Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) was introduced by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the agency is now shifting to a brand new and better version of the project that would focus on making enterprises smarter.

The SETUP 2.0 will now feature services and methods that would make Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Socially-responsive, Market-oriented, Agile, Resource-efficient, Technology-intensive, Environment-friendly, and Resilient to calamities (SMARTER).

According to DOST XI Regional Director Dr. Anthony Sales, this year, with a budget of P50 million or about 6% of the total P800 million budget, the DOST XI – SETUP 2.0 will particularly promote resiliency of its partners in terms of disaster risk reduction.

To do so, in addition to its existing interventions, the department will also have to examine whether these establishments’ locations are disaster prone and if their equipment and buildings are prone to hazards as well.

“About 96% of the businesses in the country come from MSMEs while these small-scale commercial establishments cover 60% of the total workforce,” Sales noted when asked about the primary thrust of the said program.

DOST’s SETUP has benefited about 20,000 MSMEs in the country since its institutionalization and has been proven to improve the production volume and profit of these businesses by up to 30%.

Sales also shared that in 2012-2013, their office conducted innovation services in industries related to food production, electronics and ICT, and the results concluded that Davao’s entrepreneurs had very low innovative capacity.

In response to this, DOST XI strengthened its coordination with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and extended its services of providing innovation funds, testing surveys, IT systems for documentation and trainings to as many MSMEs in the region.

Since then, DOST XI’s SETUP partners have had a refund rate of 90% which attests to the maturity of the economic status of these MSMEs.

To site a few examples of SETUP beneficiaries, Sales named Porky Best and Larry Miculob’s D’ Famer’s Market, one of the biggest producers of durian, as partners.

As part of the 2018 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration, DOST XI will showcase the region’s top SETUP partners and will also open the SETUP 2.0 to potential stakeholders.

“We’re looking for technology-based companies to partner with,” Sales added. (

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