Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol May 1, 2014 (PIA) True to his administrative agenda for inclusive growth that opens technology access to the poor, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III graces the launching of a shared service facility (SSF) which will mark a new dramatic direction in the government’s aid to earthquake shaken Bohol.
Here on his fifth official visit May 2, President Aquino marks this event with a bold statement to Boholanos: that the days of rescue, relief and rehab are past and a full recovery would mean jobs and business opportunities for the province.
The president arrives to attend the launching of the country’s first fabrication laboratory, an SSF facility equipped with state of the art equipment support for products design.
Funded by the government and the government of Japan pooling significant resources to establish a production center which could cater to inventors and designers who could not afford to get the technology for rapid production, the fablab also opens up job opportunities for Bohol’s quake-affected micro, small and medium enterprises.
With Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and with Bohol Island State University (BISU), the government brings in a technology which scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) extension program, in setting up production centers by opening up computer program supported product development laboratories commonly called fablabs, sources from DTI said.
Accordingly, access to better technology and more sophisticated equipment to level-up competitiveness and help entrepreneurs go up the ladder of globally mainstreamed products, allows them better and wider markets which could position them in the global supply chain.
According to the DTI, Bohol FabLab will definitely enhance the local MSME development ecosystem as it supports product development and prototyping needs of existing MSMEs. This will also enable them to widen or expand their access to markets, improve business viability thus enabling them to sustain existing jobs and increase its manpower requirements.
On the other hand, DTI-Bohol with its partners will design a program to support the growth of Start-Ups with the fablab at its core. The idea here is to spur the growth of new MSMEs by encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial activities in local universities, DTI regional Director Asteria Caberte said.
The fablab here will allow local manufacturers to make prototypes and products such as equipment, machinery and electronic gadgets; create scale models, illustrate graphic designs and mass-produce products, with advanced technology equipment including 2D and 3D laser cutters, Computer Operated (CO) Big Milling Machine, CO Small Milling Machine, Paper and Vinyl Cutter, Test Equipment Depot, 3D Printer, CO Sewing Machine and Video Conferencing equipment for technical support form a network of fablab operators.