By Ramon David Castañeda
Celebrating the milestones of any institution is key to recognizing just how far it has progressed. And for the Technology Application and Promotion Institute (DOST-TAPI), TAPI @ 36 was the opportunity to do just that.
Held last January 31, 2023, at the Sequoia Hotel Manila Bay, the gala honored more than three decades of aiming to achieve new heights, awarded exemplary staff, and held an oath-taking ceremony for the new TAPI Employees’ Association, Inc. officers.
With the theme, “Strengthening Innovation for National Advancement and Growth” or SINAG, the gala opened with remarks from DOST-TAPI Director Atty. Marion Ivy Decena. Citing that the work at the institute may sometimes involve hurdles, she mentioned, “Tulad ng sinag ng araw…minsan damang dama natin ang init, may mga pagkakataon na dumadating ang bagyo.” “I want to encourage you to stand firm amid the difficulties and [to] face the challenges ahead as responsible and dedicated public servants,” she stated.
The celebration also featured testimonials of DOST-TAPI’s various beneficiaries, including those under the Investment and Business Operations Division’s commercialization programs: Manna Shameyn Enterprises Manager Jade Serrano and Compact Pharmaceuticals Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Valerio Calleja.
In her message, Serrano shared that while their industry was not the most hit at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Manna Shameyn’s clients were government hospitals that had a difficult time purchasing essentials such as hospital beds. “The financial aid that we got at that time reinforced our operations, thus, we were able to deliver on time. So it was fulfilling, in a way, that we assisted in our nation-building,” Serrano expressed.
Manna Sheyn Enterprises Manager Jade Serrano applauds DOST-TAPI’s services in accommodating proponents like her to further their business through the institute’s Technopreneurship Programs.
The manager also testified that in their project for Region I where they needed to produce more than 400 hospital beds, the financial aid from DOST-TAPI was “ample.” “Ultimately, their programs support our clients’ immediate needs without sacrificing quality, resulting in the satisfaction of our clients…During that time, feeling namin we weren’t just doing it for business purposes but that we were doing it for a cause,” she affirmed.
On the other hand, Calleja revealed that Compact Pharmaceuticals started working with DOST-TAPI even before the pandemic but had difficulty in terms of their documentation. But when they were able to apply for one of the programs successfully, Calleja divulged that it allowed their business to recover, “At that time, we were only making about ₱12 million annually. Now, we are moving to ₱245 million a year.”
For Compact Pharmaceuticals Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Valerio Calleja, his company is proud to contribute to national employment and to the upliftment of the lives in the community where they are based.
Through the commercialization program, Compact Pharmaceuticals was able to procure the raw materials to manufacture vitamins for its supply chain. Calleja testified, “DOST-TAPI’s assistance to Compact was critical and it is elemental to our continuous successes in these rapidly changing times where science and technology become indispensable.”
“Ultimately, what makes Compact proud is its financial performance because during these times, DOST was with us. But what makes Compact even prouder was its accomplishment to deliver its commitment in…contributing to national employment and the [upliftment] of the lives in the community where we are based,” he ended.
Serving as a highlight, TAPI formally announced the opening of the 2023 Call for Proposals for its Technopreneurship Programs. Open until March 31 of this year, the Institute will be accepting applications for its Venture Financing Program or VFP, and the Technology Innovation for Commercialization Program or TECHNiCOM.
Those interested may visit http://www.tapi.dost.gov.ph/call-for-proposals for more details on the programs.