By Framelia V. Anonas, S&T Media Service
More jobs, more equipped workers, more businesses, and more income—these are the ultimate aims ofMakiBayan, the Department of Science and Technology’s solution in raising the productivity of the metals industry in the country. Short for “Makinaryaat Teknolohiyaparasa Bayan,” MakiBayan is a tripartite program that involves close collaboration among DOST, the metalworks and other allied industries, and the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT), a consortium of topnotch engineering universities across the country.
“The MakiBayan program is essentially an indicative roadmap that outlines the research and development thrusts for the industry in order to achieve more sustained growth and overall development of the industry,” said DOST Secretary Mario Montejo.
MakiBayan provides a more enabling environment to spur growth in the metalworks and other related industries by strengthening research and development to provide solutions to industry problems, developing needed machineries and technologies locally, and equipping the industry manpower through higher education and training.
Through MakiBayan, the program partners will be able to work more closely and share their resources to work on common goals. The industry can identify its technology needs and, through collaboration, will be able to produce the technology and machinery locally. This results in more accessible and lower-priced equipment that will minimize the industry’s dependence on imported machineries, and even increase its competitiveness to export products and machinery.
A more vibrant metals industry will create more business opportunities through new products and services, and will result in more job opportunities for Filipinos.
According to Sec. Montejo, a strong and brisk metalworking sector is an important component in increasing the gross domestic product in the local and global economy. Globally, the metals and allied industries employ some 70 million people worldwide and account for nearly half of the goods produced in the manufacturing sector and more than half of all merchandise exported worldwide in terms of value, he said.
Consequently, the metal industry is both a driving force of the world economy and is influenced to a large extent by the overall world economic climate.
“I thank the DOST, through the leadership of Secretary Montejo, for the MakiBayan Program. It has always been our aspiration to upgrade the status of the tool and die sector of the country. Now we can work together to bring this objective into reality,” said Luis Antonio T. Fuster, president of the Philippine Die and Mold Association, one of the industry partners of MakiBayan.
PDMA through MakiBayan aims to establish a common service facility to accommodate small and medium enterprises who cannot afford to purchase costly pieces of equipment.
Other industry partners include the Metalworking Industry Association of the Philippines and the Electronics Industry Association of the Philippines, Inc.“We at MIAP are privileged to be part of this event in crafting the roadmap of the metalworking sector. As a gesture of gratitude we are taking a bold stance by accepting the challenge as one of the government partners in working towards improving productivity in the metal sector,” said Virgilio F. Lanzuela, MIAP president.
To produce more experts to work locally, “the industry can tell us its manpower needs and we will produce them,” assured Dr. Aura C. Matias, ERDT Program Leader. ERDT consists of eight universities with strong engineering curriculum, namely Ateneo de Manila University, Central Luzon State University, De La Salle University, Mapua Institute of Technology, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, and University of San Carlos.
The MakiBayan partners will complete a collaborative research and development (R&D) roadmap that will frame plans, projects, and milestones from 2012 to year 2016. The roadmap is expected to propel the metalworks, machinery and allied industries in the country toward greater competitiveness both in the local and global markets.