GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 12 has distributed around P26 million worth of machinery and equipment this year to help improve the operations and competitiveness of various enterprises in the region.
Ibrahim Guiamadel, DTI Region 12 director, said Monday the initiative is part of the continuing implementation in the region of the agency’s flagship Shared Service Facility (SSF) Project.
He said they released the machineries and equipment in the form of project grants to 54 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) based in parts of the region.
Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
“The grants were aimed to improve their products and enhance their market competitiveness,” Guimadel said in a statement.
The official said the DTI central office had allotted a total of P54.2 million for 83 SSF project grants in the region this year.
SSF was launched by the DTI to assist the expansion and address the development needs of MSMEs in the country.
Guiamadel said the initiative aims to help local MSMEs produce more products of better quality and at a lesser production cost.
In Region 12, the priority industry clusters that are covered by SSF program are abaca, bamboo, coconut coir, processed fish, processed food, wearables and homestyles, cacao, coffee and rubber.
The units are provided for free to the beneficiaries but will remain the property of the DTI for six years upon their awarding or release, he said.
He said their ownership would be transferred to the beneficiary after the prescribed period by way of donation or sale.
Among the project’s major accomplishments in the region this year was the establishment of a mechanized milking facility in Malungon town in Sarangani in partnership with a local dairy cooperative.
Guiamadel said they released last October two units of portable cow milking machines to the Malalag Cogon Bangkal Dairy Farmers Cooperative to expand and enhance its operations.
He said the automatic milking machines were the first for the cooperative since it started producing fresh cow’s milk about three years ago.
Two weeks ago, Guiamadel said they also turned over four units of abaca spindle stripping machines to a group of weavers based in Barangay Lamlahak in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
He said the machines will mainly improve the quality of abaca fibers that are used in making the province’s popular T’nalak fabric.
The shift from manual to mechanized mode hastens the processes involved in the production of T’nalak by 50 percent, he said.(AE)