BAGUIO CITY – Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo revealed the agency already released more than P106.4 million as financial assistance to 294 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the 2 cities and 55 municipalities of the Cordillera to enhance the promotion of science, technology and innovation that will improve the quality of products of their identified community-based projects.
Speaking before science and technology stakeholders during the conferment of Science and Technology Ambassadors Wednesday night at the CAP Convention Center, Secretary Montejo said the agency aims to continuously provide financial assistance to science, technology and innovation interventions to community-based projects that will cover the 75 municipalities of the region so that there will be substantial promotion of science and technology activities in the countryside.
“The government continues to be mindful of the promotion of science and technology in the countryside in order to effectively and efficiently contribute in the socio-economic growth in far flung villages. We will continue to support the improvement of micro, small and medium enterprises for them to be able to move on to greater heights,” Secretary Montejo stressed.
Aside from the 294 MSMEs that were provided with financial assistance by the agency regionwide, the DOST official revealed there were also 202 community-based projects that were given assistance through the support of concerned local governments that bank on science and technology for economic growth in the countryside.
According to him, the grant of assistance to community-based projects was based on five criteria, livelihood and economic enterprise development, basic education and literacy, disaster risk reduction and mitigating measures, health education and water sanitation.
He said the agency has to be aggressive in empowering people in the rural areas to be able to embrace technological transfer and the commercialization of their quality products that would contribute in improving production standards beneficial to improving and increasing economic activities of people that would contribute in the improvement of the living condition of people in the remote villages of the archipelago.
Secretary Montejo cited MSMEs must learn to continue innovating in order to sustain the development of their products in order for them to gain the proper share of the growing market for science and technology-based products, especially coming from local inventions from the countryside.
Montejo asserted the presence of Science and Technology Ambassadors in the different regions would significantly contribute in ensuring the continuous promotion of science, technology and innovation among entrepreneurs amidst the serious challenge of sustaining the quality of their products that would be marketed in the different parts of the global village.
He urged today’s youth to take up science and technology courses so that the region will be able to reach out to the education needs of poor but deserving students, especially from the remotest municipalities, considering that the DOST has scholars from almost all the municipalities of the region except for Lacub, Abra which has not yet produced any DOST scholar.
By Dexter A. See