• The Financial District


A local bottled water processing facility has signed an agreement with the Department of Science and Technology-9 (DOST-9) for equipment and production line upgrades worth PHP2.8 million.

DOST-Region 9 Director Martin Wee said in a statement Friday that the funding--released under the agency's Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP)--will be used by the Agua de Kuya water bottling facility here for the procurement of one Automatic Blowing Machine, a Water Filling Line, and a Reverse Osmosis System.

Wee said the installation of the technologies is expected to improve economic performance in the region and the Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) areas by providing clean and affordable bottled water, as well as generate multiple employment opportunities,  according to the Philippine News Agency.

The grant, he added, would help solve the increasing demand for clean, potable water especially while under the effects of the pandemic; with no local producers of bottled water, the region is reliant on sourcing the commodity from Manila, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro City.

He said that the facility would help the company supply products even outside regional borders, reducing local transport costs.

Agua de Kuya, which initially was only able to produce 350-millimeter (ml) bottles, is set to produce 220ml, 550ml, 750ml, and 1.5-liter purified drinking water through the technologies.

The firm is looking at producing close to 154,000 cases of the 350-ml variant per year, with each case holding 24 bottles each, Wee said, adding that the pricing will run at an estimated PHP5 per bottle.

According to DOST, SETUP aims to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and identified industries to improve productivity through different technological interventions such as the acquisition of innovative and cost-effective facilities; product development; process improvement; workforce capacity empowerment; and consultancy services, among others.

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