BAGUIO CITY: The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is funding small and medium enterprises in the Cordillera region as the country prepares for next year’s ASEAN integration. DOST-Cordillera Regional Director Julius Caesar Sicat distributed P4.87 million during the Unity Gong Relay last week for the enhancement and upgrading of community enterprises in coffee, fruit wine, rice wine, sugarcane, heirloom rice, mushroom, vermiculture (organic fertilizer), veggie noodles soap, and nutri-snack, among others. The S&T assistance is in partnership with the different local government units in the region and facilitated under the DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) and S&T Enhancement for the Advancement of Municipalities (STEAM). Sicat stressed the need to work together in boosting the competitiveness of the SMEs in terms of financial capacities, entrepreneurial skills, improving product qualities and boosting production at lower production cost. He also encouraged local government units through their municipal/city S&T coordinators, to help boost the competitiveness of the SMEs in their localities by submitting more proposals that can be funded under DOST’s SET-UP and STEAM.