THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Negros Occidental to invest in technology to help meet the market demand for their products.

DTI consultant Leon Flores III said the province really has potential products, including those considered as one town, one product (Otop).

Flores, national program manager of Otop Next Generation Program, said one big issue among enterprises that needs to be solved is the volume.

After addressing the quality and design, the demand will increase since the product has become more marketable, he noted.

Then the market will require additional volume which enterprises should know how to answer, Flores said, adding that “one way to resolve the issue is through technology.”

One measure of the DTI in responding to the needs for access to technology of local MSMEs is providing shared service facilities (SSFs).

Other government agencies like the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also have complementing programs like the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET UP).

Flores said enterprises should not only rely on technology support services from DTI and DOST.

He pointed out that the government has limited resources thus it is good that MSMEs, on their own, will invest in technology.

“Currently, there are many financing schemes in the country. Aside from the recently launched Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso loan program of the government, banks also have MSME units that provide credit services with low interest rates thus, there is no excuse to not level up," Flores added.

The DTI itself provides market access platform to local entrepreneurs.

The department said that there is now a “shift” in terms of product development.

Flores added that MSMEs are encouraged to position their products in the market even though these are not yet perfect.

After which, enterprises should listen to the customers’ feedback for improvement since design in particular is an imperative process.

“Once they know already the market, MSMEs are now equipped with ideas on what technologies to invest especially in meeting the volume requirement," he added.