ILOILO CITY -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Tuesday recognized the best provincial and regional adopters of the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) during the Regional Science and Technology Week on August 29-31.

SETUP is DOST's nationwide program that aims to encourage and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in adopting technological innovations to improve their products and operations.

Through SETUP, the DOST helps improve the MSMEs' productivity and competitiveness by providing them a loan that is payable in three years.

Rosa Foods Inc. from Aklan bagged the Best Regional SETUP Adopter award.

Receiving recognition at the provincial level were Tibiao Bakery Inc. (Antique); Spanggo Foods Cafe and Pasalubong Center (Capiz); Boboy's Delicacies (Guimaras); Cefekur Gourmets (Iloilo); and LLZ Foods Corp. (Negros Occidental).

Meanwhile, the agency also recognized its two Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) partners in the region.

CEST aims to alleviate poverty in the country by empowering the poorest and most depressed communities through science and technology (S&T) interventions in health and nutrition, water and sanitation, disaster-risk reduction, and climate change adaptation.

The program also targets to introduce to communities the S&T interventions on basic education and livelihood development.

The two CEST partners are the local government units of Libacao, Aklan, and Islas de Gigantes, Carles, Iloilo.

"We have piloted CEST in these communities," said DOST Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Galvez, noting that there was no S&T scholar in Libacao before CEST was implemented there.

Under the CEST program in Islas de Gigantes, livelihood programs and water sanitation, among others, were provided. (PNA)