Improved Abaca Stripping Machine Poised to Benefit Local Fabricators and Craftsmen

By: Marlyn U. Ramones

The abaca industry in the Philippines is one of the livelihood sources of many countryside communities.   Among the regions in the country that are heavy producers of abaca fiber are Bicol and Mindoro in Luzon; Leyte, Samar, Negros Oriental, Iloilo, and Aklan in the Visayas; and all provinces in Mindanao.

Recognizing the abaca industry as a huge market for local equipment fabricators, the DOST-MIRDC improved the commonly used manual abaca stripping machine. 

The improved machine is portable.  It is relatively light and can easily be transported to mountainous abaca plantations.  It can be installed in a few minutes.  Its use allows efficient and convenient stripping of abaca fiber. 

The design of the portable manual abaca stripping machine features a spring that is adjustable to ensure that the blade is tightly installed into the wooden board.  Its blade material is stainless steel 440C series, which is corrosion-free.  The blade is heat-treated, a process that increases the blade’s service life. 

Users of the machine evaluate that it produces excellent fiber grade which is based on color and texture quality.

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The blade used in the traditional

abaca stripping machine by the Antique Development Foundation


The portable abaca stripping machine was developed by the DOST-MIRDC.

The locally-developed portable abaca stripping machine is an output of research and development of the DOST-MIRDC.  Its intended end-users are the abaca processors.  

A notable example is the people with abaca plantation in Barangay Leon in Laua-an, Antique, who are presently benefitting from using the developed portable abaca stripping machine.  In the past, they were not involved in abaca stripping because, according to them, the traditional abaca stripping device was difficult to install. 

When the portable abaca stripping machine was introduced to them, they started producing abaca fibers.  At present, they continuously supply an average of 30-50 kgs abaca fibers per harvest to the Antique Development Foundation (ADF). The ADF is a non-government organization recognized as one of the key players in the abaca industry in the province of Antique.

The introduction of the portable manual abaca stripping machine is not only intended to benefit the abaca fiber producers.  It is, first and foremost, intended to create business opportunities for local equipment fabricators.  Fabricators who will license the technology may expand to serve the needs of businesses in the abaca handicrafts industry.  Commercialization of the locally-developed machine will generate jobs, widen profit margins, and encourage active economic activities.

The DOST-MIRDC will conduct a forum/webinar to feature the portable manual abaca stripping machine.  Abaca handicraft makers and equipment fabricators are invited to attend the event.

Connect to the online forum/webinar on DOST-MIRDC’s portable abaca stripping machine scheduled on 21 September 2021 at 2:00 - 3:30 pm.  You may now register through the link below on a  first-come-first-served basis:






 By Marlyn U. Ramones

Taguig, Metro Manila, 25 August 2021 – The Department of Science and Technology - Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) presented its new guidelines in facility sharing and technical services through a virtual industry dialogue.  The presentation of the guidelines is an initiative to better serve the metals, engineering, and allied industries.


The MIRDC offers technical services such as testing, calibration, metrology, training, technical consultancy, design, heat treatment, machining, metal casting, metal finishing, welding, and fabrication.  In his message, DOST-MIRDC Executive Director Robert O. Dizon said that although the MIRDC offers these services, the systems and procedures are not clearly defined. "There is still room for improvements," Director Dizon pointed out that the guidelines, which were formulated based on the Center’s collaboration with the industry, are intended to maximize the industry’s utilization of the DOST-MIRDC facilities.

Dr. Agustin M. Fudolig, MIRDC Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development, further discussed that MIRDC will offer technical services based on its mandate and will undertake research and development to fully support the industry players in the manufacture and disposition of metal products.  He emphasized that MIRDC shall not compete with the private sector, but rather complement them in the conduct of technical services.

“We value the partnership with the industry associations," said Engr. Jonathan Q. Puerto, MIRDC Deputy Executive Director for Technical Services, in his closing remarks.  He assured that the MIRDC, being a dynamic organization, continues to provide technologies and services to the metals, engineering, and allied industries.

There were 187 who attended the industry dialogue, mostly company members from different industry associations, academe, and government.

Hybrid Electric Road Train: Seals Partnership between the DOST-MIRDC Ilagan City

By: Zalda R. Gayahan


Ilagan City, in the province of Isabela, seeks to realize a ‘liveable city’ concept – one which includes accessible and sustainable mobility among its most important features.  The city’s strategy to achieve this goal is the adoption of the Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) technology developed by the Department of Science and Technology – Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC).

The city of Ilagan and the DOST-MIRDC signed the Memorandum of Understanding on August 11, 2021.  This event signals the beginning of a partnership that will lead to the realization of Ilagan City’s goal to be a ‘liveable’ city.

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Key officials who were part of the event are as follows:



Undersecretary Sancho A. Mabborang. 

‘We will help Ilagueños realize the true value of science and technology.’


DOST Secretary Fortunato T. De La Peña. 

‘The HERT will serve the best interest of the people of Ilagan City, particularly its need for an environment-friendly mass transportation system.’


DOST-MIRDC Executive Director Engr. Robert O. Dizon. 

‘The HERT in Ilagan City offers a win-win situation: good for the economy, good for the constituents, and good for the academe and the DOST as we continue to do research to further make improvements and innovation.’

Mayor Diaz

Ilagan City Mayor Josemarie L. Diaz. 

‘The HERT is a wonderful gift to the people of Ilagan….ang higit na matutulungan nito ay ang manufacturing sector …’


Group pic


With the MOU for the adoption and manufacture of the HERT signed between the DOST-MIRDC and the city of Ilagan, Ilagueños will soon experience the benefits of having in their hometown a Filipino-made mass transportation that will help in achieving the goal of becoming a ‘liveable city’– safe, clean, comfortable, and one which will allow businesses to grow and flourish. 


Click on the link below to pre-register for our webinar:

Poster Mold Assembly Batch2