The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region VI client firms on December 2, partake in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Forum dubbed as “Surviving and Bouncing-Back”, talking about their experiences and knowledge-sharing amidst the pandemic. This event is part of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) Celebration in Region VI held last December 2-3.

In his message, DOST VI Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga shares his thoughts about this year’s S&T Week theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan”. The S&T Week convenes that as we help address the impact of this pandemic, we will never put in to hold our efforts to strengthen the livelihood of our people and ensure our economy moves forward.” He also said that the insights of the guest speakers will give us an idea not only to just bounce back but to bounce back better.

The delivery of technology services of the Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) continues amid the COVID-19 health crisis. The implementation of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) is maintained being a nationwide strategy to address the needs and requirements of the MSMEs. RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation is Regional Winner for the SETUP PRAISE Award for MSME in Region VI. Mr. Ramon C. Uy, Sr., founder and owner of RU Machine Shop Corporation in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental shared his experiences during the 1997 Asian crisis and how his company copes with the CoViD-19 pandemic.

These made him more resilient, standing still amidst the crisis. He pointed out the importance of being diversified, resilient, and more importantly, giving much importance to research and development.

DOST VI also tapped one of its successful assisted Start-Up company, the HYBrain Development Corporation to talk about their company and how they provided their share in the fight against CoViD-19, CEO Mr. John Dave P. Dueñas said that the best way to survive against this pandemic is not actually to go against it or try to pin it down but rather the perfect way to survive it is to embrace it. “When we talk about resilience, and when we talk about survival, you do not just think of what we should do next? But you have to understand the situation, how you could help, and how you would be able to look at things from a different perspective”, he added. HYBrain Development Corporation was commissioned by San Miguel Foundation to develop a Laboratory Information System (LIS) for the San Miguel Molecular Laboratory to run COVID-19 Testing. The MEDtrix Labs is the LIS that automates laboratory processes and reduces the interaction of laboratory technicians and laboratory clients to an average of six (6) minutes from the moment they step inside the swabbing area up until the specimen is collected. HYBrain digitized the Case Investigation Forms by allowing it to be filled out online, PhilHealth Forms to be completed electronically, and appointment confirmation for swabbing of specimen schedule to be done through email and text messaging through the information system. The system generates the test results for the Department of Health and submits it electronically allowing for faster processing of individuals compared to paper processing. These digitized processes made the testing laboratory the first automated COVID-19 Testing Laboratory in the country. The San Miguel Foundation CoVID-19 Testing Laboratory was inaugurated last July 3, 2020.

The pandemic posed challenges as well in the weaving industry given the low demand for products in the market. In Aklan, the La Herminia Piña Weaving Industry started their business in 1996 and until now has remained positive despite their current business threats. The firm’s Product Manager, Mr. Allan M. Tumbokon shared that the pandemic has taught him to be always financially prepared and stable. “We need to avoid unnecessary expenses and setting aside a certain amount for the business and calamities,” he added. Amidst the challenging times, the firm has ventured on producing other products like face masks and other essentials.

The open forum likewise gave the participants the opportunity for a further discussion with the DOST client MSMEs. The event was aired via Zoom, Facebook Live, and Youtube. The forum was also aired live at the Bakal Lokal Market Fair Festive Mall’s Garden Atrium.

For more information on DOST’s programs, projects and activities, please log on to DOST’s website (DOSTVI-KMU)

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