Miraflor C. Montano, a native of Surigao del Sur, learned her recipe for Siopao in the 90s. She soon established her own food business in 2000. Her business, the Mira’s Frozen Foods and General Merchandise, continued to grow and in 2015 they were offered by Gaisano Capital in Tandag City a space for their food business. They were growing steadily but problems in productivity and product quality continued to challenge Mrs. Montano. She applied for DOST SETUP and enrolled in MPEX in 2018 and was able to upgrade their operations.

Through the Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) Consultancy program, consultants were able to see areas for improvement and intervention in Mira’s Frozen Foods and General Merchandise.

Mira's Frozen Foods Floor Plan

Production area of Mira’s Frozen Foods after following consultants recommendations on floor plan, food safety and ensuring the safety of workers

Following the consultant’s recommendations, Mrs. Montano and her workers attended trainings on Food Safety, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), product costing, and better food handling to help increase the shelf-life of products, extending and increasing productivity. Mrs. Montano also hired 6 additional employees after opening new outlets, and procured additional equipment to compensate to the increase in labor productivity. She implemented GMP in the processing area, monitoring of yield and productivity of workers, and designated safety signages and material labels.

After adopting the consultant’s recommendations in 6 months, Mira’s Frozen Foods and General Merchandise has increased its labor productivity by 86% which resulted to an increase in production volume and yield by 50% each. Mrs. Montano reported increase in sales from Php 912,500.00 in 2017 to Php 1,404,025.00 as of October 2018.

Mira's Frozen Foods 1

Mrs. Montano poses beside her siopao-on-wheels cart

“MPEX program plays a huge part in my company. It helps me in my journey. Before MPEX, recording and weighing things were not so important to me. Now that I am implementing the things I learned from MPEX, I can manage my workers well and maximize my working area,” said Mrs. Montano during the MPEX experience sharing. “I also practice now research and development to innovate my products. I have ensaymada, buko pie, frozen goods such as tocino,and longganisa, and now, 3 mobile carts of siopao. I hired and trained more people. With my learnings from DOST, I was able to establish a bigger market for my products.”

Aliana Gene E. Sarmiento