Partners launch Bukidnon MSME research, innovation program

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VALENCIA CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/04 August 2022) The Department of Trade and Industry and its key partners, the Department of Science and Technology, Bukidnon State University, and Central Mindanao University officially launched the Bukidnon Program for Research and Innovation towards MSME Excellence dubbed Bukidnon PRIME on August 2, 2022 at Uno Hotel, this city.

The key movers of the initiative signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) of the project that will undertake productive collaborations between and among industries, universities, government agencies, LGUs, startups, micro small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), among many other parties in the hope to help develop the innovation ecosystem.

One of the cornerstones of the DTI - DOST Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap is the establishment of Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (or RIICs), which will serve as a key driver for the Philippines’ economic transformation.

Bukidnon PRIME is a realization of the vision of the RIIC for the Province of Bukidnon and neighboring provinces in Region 10 as an entrepreneurial ecosystem that strengthens the linkages among government, industry, and the academe.

The Valencia City Chamber of Commerce Industry Association, Inc. led by Ms. Carmen C. Yap, is the private sector partner for the project. Yap herself started as a micro business owner and is now in Macro Business through embracing innovations and positive change.

“We welcome the new entrepreneurs to learn together with us … and we are happy to accept this (program) challenge,” Yap said in gratitude for the approval of the project.

Mr. Ermedio J. Abang, DTI-10 Regional Director, recognized Bukidnon’s abundance of raw materials for businesses in terms of agriculture. He added that the development of agribusiness industries would empower local farmers and entrepreneurs to generate more rural-based employment opportunities.

Bukidnon PRIME positions itself, Abang said, to bridge the gaps in the agriculture sector through science and technology and innovation.

Bukidnon Governor Rogelio Neil P. Roque graced the event and in his remarks recognized the efforts and partnership of the involved entities.

“To the MSMEs, work hard, work smart, failure is not an option,” he added.

In 2019, Valencia City had a total revenue collection of P270 million attributed to the contribution of MSMEs, said Roque Rios Jr, the Executive Assistant of Valencia City Mayor Azucena Huervas.

Huervas, who attended the event, has vowed to pursue a strong and inclusive economic growth in the city during her inaugural speech on June 28, 2022 at the Valencia City Gymnasium.

Mayor Huervas said it is the obligation of city officials to restore the strength of the economy while continuing to monitor the health situation and adhere to health standard. 

The partners committed to make Valencia City a peaceful community for entrepreneurs and investors.

Dr. Oscar B. Cabañelez, the president of Bukidnon State University, expressed his gratitude for the partnership with other agencies. He said they have always been adept with their role as providers and initiators of various research, innovations, and endeavors geared towards the generation of new knowledge for the community.

Dr. Jose A. Escarlos Jr. from Central Mindanao University, thanked the team for the opportunity of being part of such a significant event.

“I think Bukidnon PRIME will be growing so fast. Let us work together, let us move forward, and we will make it,” Escarlos said.   

Mr. Virgilio M. Fuertes, Supervising Science Research Specialist of DOST 10, cited that innovation is equal to invention multiplied by commercialization highlighting the importance of the three factors to each other, especially for MSMEs.

He cited a similar program called ILIGANiCE or Innovation through Leveraging, Industry, Government, Academe Networks and inclusive Community Engagements as the first offspring of the Cagayan de Oro Business Enterprises, Services, and Trade Expo (ORO BEST). Bukidnon PRIME then, he added, is another of these efforts to implement activities that serve as a catalyst for local innovation collaborations.

Representatives from the project partners (IN PHOTO) took part in an open forum to respond to questions from the media and other stakeholders.

Ms. Ritchie Mae L. Guno, Provincial Director of DOST Bukidnon, in her closing remarks, encouraged the MSMEs to seek help from the government and be inspired by other innovation champions.

She thanked the whole team of Bukidnon PRIME for pursuing the project, which is expected to help MSMEs.  (Contributed by Rashia Mae Deva E. Paano for BukidnonNews.Net)

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