One of biggest casket-makers in Mindanao is almost done putting up its furnace-type lumber dryer (FTLD), after Department of Science and Technology (DoST-FPRDI) researcher Caesar Cuaresma supervised its installation. DoST-FPRDI’s Pedrito Lontok said “the 3,000-board-feet capacity lumber dryer of King Jude Metal Caskets and Accessories is about 70 percent completed, after the major parts were put in place last month.” Funds for the dryer were loaned from the DoST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). DoST-FPRDI’s FTLD enables SMEs to make high quality finished products from properly kiln-dried wood. Made from locally sourced materials, it is easy to install and operate, uses woodwaste as fuel, and dries lumber to a moisture content acceptable to both local and foreign markets. In the Soccksargen region, two other companies have also availed of SETUP loans for their own FTLDs – the Ramon Tan Sawmill in Tacurong City and Tecuala Mini Sawmill and Woodworks in Kidapawan City.