Department of Science and Technology Negros Occidental Provincial Director Allan Francis Dara-ug reminded beneficiary and applicant businesses of the Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of their obligations for availing of the program.
Dara-ug said that while the DOST provides fund assistance, the beneficiaries will have to repay the government agency back with a technology transfer fee amounting to 0.5 of the acquisition cost of all equipment acquired out of the project fund.
The enterprise should refund the DOST with the funds that the government agency granted to the proprietor of the enterprise after three years or earlier. The three-year period is preceded by a one-year grace period.
The financial assistance provided by DOST is neither a grant nor a donation, but it is a loan which should be paid back, Daraug said.
The DOST provincial director also said that aside from the financial obligations, businesses that availed the benefits of SETUP should also prepare and secure the necessary documents and paperwork, including receipts, permits and licenses, schedules, accounting or bookkeeping records, and contracts.
The DOST must ensure that the funds are really being spent on improving facilities, production processes and other assets of the business operation. We do not award the funds to business owners just to let them spend the money on dubious activities, Dara-ug said.
We at the DOST are willing to help any small-scale businesses who want to grow and prosper, but their proprietors must also assure us that the funds we allocated to them truly go into the development and improvement of their businesses, Dara-ug added.
Dara-ug, also explained the processes involving technological needs assessment for small-scale enterprises in the province.
Dara-ug said the DOST has to evaluate the business establishment whether it is capable of being financially stable enough to earn profits on their own and later refund the SETUP for the loan.
After determining whether the business is compatible with SETUP, the proprietors of the business establishment must prepare and submit a project proposal, he said.*PSF
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