DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DoST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña hopes that the next administration will continue the assistance programs for enterprises as these generate employment and contribute to the economy.

"We should really help our industry to become competitive. One aspect there, most of them need R&D (research and development) to develop innovative products, technologies that can compete, and so the problems on wastes, problems on energy [will be addressed]," he said in mixed English and Filipino during the 2022 TeknoKwentuhan.

Among the DoST assistance programs for entrepreneurs include the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (Setup), a nationwide strategy to encourage and assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to adopt technological innovations to improve their operations and thus boost their productivity and competitiveness.

The government has upgraded services provided under the Setup program based on the firms' level of development given the rapid emergence of Industry 4.0 and the debilitating effects of the pandemic.

Other assistance programs for entrepreneurs include technology training; and technical advisory and consultancy services in food safety, energy efficiency and conservation assessment; cleaner production; and Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program., an e-commerce web application that operates nationwide and caters primarily to Philippine consumers, helps the DoST's assisted MSMEs widen the scope of their target market.

De la Peña also cited the innovative startup development assistance program.

"Because here, we need to create new companies especially those that are technology-based that can compete, and we have so many Filipinos who are very innovative, they should just be assisted," he said in Filipino.

"Our programs are working toward inclusivity, productivity and sustainability," he added, also underscoring programs for disaster risk reduction.