Manila: The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) marked a significant milestone in Antique with the inauguration of three major facilities totaling PHP13.4 million, aimed at bolstering micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in the province. These facilities, located at the University of Antique’s main campus in Sibalom town, include the PHP5 million University of Antique-Centralized Analytical Testing Laboratory (UA-CATL), the PHP8 million Provincial Science and Technology Office (PSTO), and the PHP400,000 Antique Startup Innovation Hub.
According to Philippines News Agency, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Sancho Mabborang highlighted the role of these facilities in advancing science and technology transfer, enhancing operational efficiency, and aiding MSMEs in developing competitive products. He emphasized the importance of bringing science closer to the people through such initiatives.
Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), noted that the UA-CATL’s laboratory and equipment enable comprehensive testing of food products, thereby facilitating the creation of viable and market-ready food innovations. This advancement is expected to ease the path for MSMEs in marketing palatable and safe food products.
Regional Director Engr. Rowen Gelonga underscored the increased demand for science and technology services in the rapidly developing province of Antique, affirming the DOST’s commitment to delivering more technology transfer training through the new provincial office. The construction of the PSTO was funded by a congressional grant secured by Senator Loren Legarda during her term as the representative of Antique’s Lone District.
A Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration was signed among the Iloilo Science and Technology University, the University of Antique, the PSTO, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Antique chapter, aligning with the Unified Movement in Western Visayas. This collaboration aims to accelerate startup and spinoff development among MSMEs and students of the University of Antique. UA President Pablo Crespo Jr. expressed confidence that their clients would benefit significantly from the enhanced science and technology facilities.