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January 12, 2015 marks an important milestone in the history of Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) implementation in the Province of Biliran. It is the time when DOST VIII celebrated and honored the success of seven beneficiaries of the SETUP, the biggest number yet, who completed their obligations of the SETUP for the prescribed period of implementation. These micro entrepreneurs all came from different areas of Biliran Province.

The graduates include: AR La Naval Motor Parts and General Marketing from Naval, Biliran who also was named as DOST VIII's Best SETUP Adoptor of 2013 who was honored during the National Science and Technology Week in July 2014 held at SM Mall of Asia. DOST provided P985,000 in equipment acquisition support fund for improvement of its small motor parts fabrication facility. The firm completed the refund of DOST assistance last April 2014.

Also in the list is Caril's Furniture owned by Ms. Adelfa Caril who received assistance for improvement of its wood cutting and finishing processes amounting to P70,000. Refund was completed in May 2014. Caril's Furniture has become one of the best furniture makers in Biliran today. They cater to customers from other parts of Leyte and Samar as well.

The Almeria Seafarers Multi-purpose Cooperative (ASEMCO) received assistance from DOST for the acquisition of charcoal briquetting machine in the amount of P105,500. The project was intended to support the solid waste management program of LGU Almeria by converting agro-waste into charcoal briquettes. They started refund in June 2011 and completed in May 2014.

Elshirglow Processed Food Products is from Bariis, Caibiran, Biliran. Owned by Ms. Josefina Buban in partnership with a group of women from the same Barangay, the enterprise produces nata-de-coco in various forms - cubes or strips, and different flavors. The group received support from SETUP for acquisition of equipment, Food Safety Improvement, Productivity Enhancement through MPEX, and packaging improvement of its product. Its SETUP financial support for equipment acquisition amounted to P81,000 was completely refunded last September 2014. Presently, they are the only producer of nata-de-coco atsara in the Province.

White Rose Bakeshop, Naval, Biliran was assisted by DOST-SETUP for the acquisition of technology and related equipment in the production of vegetable based noodles and bread. Presently, the firm is the only producer of squash breads and squash and malunggay noodles in Naval. Their financial assistance amounting to P413,200 was completely refunded from July 2010 to April 2013.

Roselyn Espina Marketing took over the responsibility of the Biliran Integrated Coconut Industries (BICI) who suffered financial setbacks in 2009. BICI received P740,000 in 2007 for the acquisition of equipment for coco coir production. Ms. Roselyn Espina Paras who was BICI's manager then continued the refund despite the project becoming non-operational due to market problems. The obligation was finally completed on July 2014.

DADINIRT Food Products is another firm who assumed another project. It assumed the responsibility of Carding Meat Store after it suffered financial problems in 2008. DADINIRT accepted the equipment worth P202,240 for meat processing from Carding Meat Store. It completed the refund from January 2012 to August 2013. (By Romeo Dignos, DOST-PSTC Biliran).




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