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When the wave of global economic slump hit home, some 21,867 workers at the Laguna Export Processing Zone south of Metro Manila bit the dust just like many overseas counterparts. But starting in May, the Laguna ecozone’s displaced workers can start anew as entrepreneurs.
This development came out following an innovative multi-agency livelihood training program for retrenched workers.
A joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, its line agency Technology Resource Center, and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, the program introduces technologies and mechanisms in starting a business. It will also provide business kits with basic tools to guide displaced workers to start doing business immediately.
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Department of Science and Technology Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro recently visited micro, small and medium enterprises in CAMANAVA area that received technology assistance under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program.
The MSMEs make up 99% of the country’s industry sector which, according to Alabastro, form the Philippine economy’s backbone. SETUP is a DOST flagship program that supports the sector’s growth.
A small DOST convoy waded through early morning traffic and proceeded first to Marisa’s Foods in Valenzuela City, maker of the 3A atchara, a popular Filipino pickled appetizer made from shredded papaya. Marisa’s Foods raised its monthly average production and gross sales by 134% and 36% following SETUP intervention. It gained two more institutional distribution accounts such as Super Ferry and Traders Hotel.
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Many indigenous products in Antique province need improvement, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro has learned from Antique Vice Governor Rhodora Cadiao in a recent meeting.
Antique’s resurgent muscovado industry for example needs to improve in terms of quality to meet international requirements. Many local muscovado processors find it difficult to penetrate foreign markets because of quality issues, Cadiao explained during Alabastro’s courtesy call at the University of Antique May 14.
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Senator Manuel Lapid has filed a resolution seeking a Senate commendation for the Philippine Robotics Team that clinched two awards in the FIRST Robotics Competition Hawaii Regional.
Lapid said in his resolution that Filipino students could be at par with foreign counterparts in fields like robotics if given the appropriate training.
“The major awards garnered by our Filipino students in the Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii last March 2009 show that with proper training, Filipino students can excel in the field of robotics and can ably compete with their foreign counterparts,” the resolution read.