The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Cebu collaborates with Cebu Gifts, Toys and Housewares Foundation, Inc. (Cebu GTH) to prepare and harmonize the GTH Sector’s Strategic Plan for 2018.

Hosted by DOST Cebu and facilitated by Mr. Renato B. Solis of Measure Up Enterprise Consulting, the three-day strategic planning workshop on January 29-31, 2018 identified the specific needs of the sector and matched these to the programs and services of DOST and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Consequently, specific programs and projects are proposed to get substantial support from DOST and DTI.

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DOST Cebu Provincial S&T Director Tristan L. Abando presented its programs and services relevant to the sector such as the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), Technology Training program, Technical Advisory and Consultancy program, laboratory and testing services, OneSTore electronic commerce platform, Regional Grant-in-Aid (GIA) Institutional Support program among others.

On the other hand, DTI also emphasized to the group its program of support such as product development, product marketing, trade fairs and exhibitions assistance and business mentoring. Cebu GTH asked DTI’s assistance in encouraging its assisted micro and small GTH enterprises to be members of the association.

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The GTH is one of the priority sectors of SETUP since its implementation in 2002. A total of 11 firms were assisted by DOST through the SETUP technology upgrading program with assistance valued at P 18.5 million from 2002-2017. On top of these, several member companies of Cebu GTH had been assisted by DOST through productivity consultancy and technology trainings. The sector is also one of the prime movers of the establishment of the Materials Innovation Centre (MATIC). MATIC serves not only as a repository of material swatches and resources; it is also a venue of inspiration for design industries, a link to materials and design experts, and access to technology suppliers. It is a haven for product developers, designers, and students to touch, feel, and play around with materials.

With this harmonized plan, DOST challenges the Cebu GTH to spearhead the sustainable development of innovation ecosystem for the industry.  Among the top priority initiatives identified are technology training program, sectoral technology needs assessment for firm-level technology upgrading through SETUP, adoption of DOST developed electronic commerce technology for Cebu GTH as DOST OneSTore Hub, product development and value chain enhancement through the materials innovation initiative, productivity improvement through DOST technical advisory and consultancy program and DOST-GTH-Academe collaborations. It is hoped that Cebu GTH shall develop a long-term, comprehensive proposal for DOST’s support for the development of innovation center that would provide technological solutions to the needs of the sector.

In response, Cebu GTH president Ritchie Wagas committed to maximize the collaborations among its association, DOST and DTI by actively seeking the assistance of these agencies especially in the enhancement of key policies and programs concerning the sector.

As an umbrella organization of all exporting sectors of Cebu, Philexport Cebu also provided significant inputs to the sector’s strategic plan.

The workshop underscores the significance of conducting follow through sessions to identify specific actions to be taken and to check how the plan is progressing.

written by: DOST Cebu