TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, November 15, (PIA) – Since May 2014, Bohol fabrication laboratory (fablab) has helped some 25 micro, small and medium enterprise (SME) groups in making their products fare better as the country braces for ASEAN Integration by 2015, reports Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Director Asteria Caberte.
Of the 25 groups, 6 would come from the food industry where 3 are micro and another 3 belongs to MPCs, groups outside Bohol needing design assistance and students of BISU, Caberte told media.
The rest are furniture, metal and woodworks, simple circuit boards for automations, packaging and food processing.
Aside from the SME, the state of the art fabrication laboratory has provided an experience-based learning to science, technology and engineering students of the Bohol Island State University, adds Dr. Elpidio Magante, school president.
The fablab is a shared service facility, which helps small and medium entrepreneurs produce better quality products.
This as the creative industries in the province sought for state of the art technology that could help them do rapid prototypes of high value and quality products to ascertain uniformity, product standard and the ability for mass production.
A project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in cooperation with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bohol Island State University (BISU), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United States Agency for International Development (AUSAID), the fablab in Bohol is the country’s first of its kind, according to Trade Regional Director Aster Caberte.
It is a technology filled laboratory that offers hardware, software and state of the art equipment which attempts to help designers, food technologists, local products specialists and travel retail craftsmen replicate any of their creations with the precision only computers can make.
Machineries and technologies at the fablab Bohol include Small Milling Machine, a 3D Printer, Universal Laser System with water cannon, shopbot, Pina Teleconferencing with other Fablab experts and all Teleconferencing and sweatshirts
In Asia, regional leaders have been batting for an ASEAN economic community, to create one whole single market and production base in the region by ensuring free flow of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled or less skilled labor.
The AEC, which was signed in previous ASEAN conferences, pegged the start of opening Asean Member States (AMS) doors to friendly ASEAN workers accepting work without the need for working permits anymore, That also means products can come in the country without having to collect import duties.
As this bodes well to boost investments, open up jobs, and escalate incomes, for producers, they would need to brace for the flooding of cheaper products that could practically drown the local competitions.
Here, the fablab forms as a laboratory for local designers and engineers needing the technological back-up towards the manufacture of product prototypes that could compete with the onslaught of cheap products.
We all need to work together to understand the pros and cons of global policy reforms to ensure that the poor communities in the tourism supply chain, can participate as destinations or suppliers of travel retails or souvenirs and food for the industry according to a hint by DTI Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo, during a round table discussion at the BISU Fablab Conference Hall, November 14. (RAC/PIABohol)