As year 2020 starts, Cebuanos in the countryside get off to an auspicious start as DOST 7 and its partners break ground to mark the beginning of the first-ever manufacturing village to rise in the country.

The Science for the People (SFTP) Manufacturing Village is an industrial enclave in Barangay Colonia, Tuburan, Cebu, that will soon play host to small manufacturing business locators and local industries impacting the lives of people in Cebu province.

As a center of convergence of countryside industries, it aims to empower townsfolk, especially farmers and their families, in far-flung barangays through science and technology interventions.

Marking the official start of the project was the groundbreaking ceremonies for development of SFTP Manufacturing Village held on January 8, 2020, and graced by officials of DOST 7, Lamac Multi-Purpsose Cooperative (Lamac MPC), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Cebu Technological University (CTU), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and LGU-Tuburan.

DOST 7 component service centers will be set up in the manufacturing village complex to provide appropriate S&T services to locators converging at the site where these townsfolk do business as common manufacturing shop owners or workers.

On the same site will rise the administration and market operation building, the standards and testing center, training and workshop center, as well as innovation lounge and library. Common production facility for the locators will stand at the center of the manufacturing village.

Most of the raw materials will be sourced from an array of small farm units also to be located along the periphery of SFTP manufacturing village and from other areas in Cebu province.

SFTP Manufacturing Village was conceived by DOST 7 Regional Office last year. What at first was thought as a wishful thinking would later morph into an ambitious S&T project for inclusive and sustainable development.

Initial steps were taken to broach the concept to institutions and stakeholders those who might be interested to partner with DOST 7 in implementing the project. Fortunately, it did not take long to find that rightful partner.

Lamac MPC, whose social mission is to alleviate poverty through sustainable development projects, opened its arms to embrace the laudable project and offered a sizeable portion of its five-hectare Tuburan land to help DOST 7 pursue its bold initiatives.

The land has also been established as a Coconut Hub in the area to help coconut farm workers and their families augment their basic earnings by engaging in production and processing works involving coconut by-products.

As partners in the mission, DOST 7 and Lamac MPC commit to ensure the sustainability of the manufacturing village by giving it the full and appropriate support it needs. 

Lamac MPC will fund and undertake the development of its land into SFTP manufacturing village, including the construction of production and S&T service facilities and locator shops, while DOST 7 will provide the needed science, technology, innovation (STI) interventions in the form of equipment and technical and research services.

Other institutional partners such as DTI and CTU will assist in market linkaging and providing human resource in research and technology generation, respectively.

With the establishment of the manufacturing village, DOST 7 expects to develop and strengthen partnerships with private sector, local government units, academe and other project stakeholders.

 It  will also enable DOST 7 identify S & T interventions for productivity and product innovations,  train local folks on productivity and product innovation; and develop the quality of  locally manufactured products.

Although SFTP manufacturing village is a fledgeling project,  no difficulty in the incipient stage of project implementation was encountered  owing to existing institutional collaborations that help Tuburan townsfolk improve many aspects of their agricultural and fish production. (By: Licinio Gingoyon)

Lamac MPC, PCA, DOST 7 and CTU have collaborated in helping coop members acquire the knowledge and capability to produce various products from coco waste materials and by-products. AlsoDOST 7 and CTU have partnered in introducing to these people innovative ways in using coco water  and oil extract to improve the quality of sardines and other products.