Celebrating Women in Science and Technology in Albay

Celebrating Women in Science and Technology in Albay

A WOMAN in Albay is now the face of a 48-year-old company based in Legazpi City.

Ms. Alzenda Maria Rellama-Jarque has made great strides in the company despite facing challenges and difficulties. She is the managing director of Rockwell Enterprises.

Jarque recalled how their company, Rockwell Enterprises, started operating in 1976 as a sole proprietorship owned by his father, Alex R. Rellama.

The business has evolved from refilling empty fire extinguisher cylinders to becoming the only licensed local manufacturer of portable fire extinguishers in Albay. With the nature of its business, the firm is undoubtedly advocating for fire safety and volunteering for fire prevention initiatives in the community.

As a safety advocate, the products and services they offer cater to the different sectors and industries to promote workplace safety. The firm practices fair business ethics by complying with regulatory and statutory requirements and appropriate certification and licenses.

Rockwell Enterprises availed the DOST-Small Enterprise Upgrading Program (SETUP) in 2017 to meet customers’ demand for high-quality portable fire extinguishers.

Through the project “Upgrading Technology on Fire Extinguisher Manufacturing,” SETUP infused P 1.2M innovation-enabling fund. The funding support allowed the firm to procure a carbon dioxide refilling machine, a dry chemical powder filling machine, a hydrostatic testing machine model, and a cylinder dryer.

The STI intervention allowed the enterprise to serve more satisfied clients, such as private offices, government institutions, and other institutional partners within and outside Albay province. The sales from various products and service offerings translated to more than triple their income before the intervention.

More importantly, the firm has maintained its employees and even generated additional workforce to support its business operations.

Thus, DOST V – PSTO Albay recognized the firm as the 2021 Provincial Winner of the SETUP Praise Award for SETUP cooperators in Albay.

As a woman leader, Jarque has steered the company to redefine and navigate new paths as it diversified its product and service offering on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM). The company became the first to adopt the Tsunami Early Warning System – Alerting Station, a DOST-ASTI developed technology.

The company is the first successful Fairness Opinion Report (FOR) transaction in Bicol facilitated by distinguished and expert members of the Fairness Opinion Board (FOB) with DOST V Regional Office as the board’s secretariat.

Staying true to its safety advocacy, Jarque visited various Local Government Units (LGUs), government offices, and the private sector to facilitate public education and awareness of risks and warnings and ensure the safety and protection of the community.

The TEWS -Alerting Stations are now installed in various strategic locations in Bicol and parts of Visayas and are now reaching Mindanao with the purchase order from MOST-BARRM.

The firm is also the first successfully-assisted project in Bicol under the DOST-TAPI’s Purchase Order Financing Program.

After 48 years, just two years shy from the firm’s golden anniversary, Jarque still has a greater vision for the company. The firm recently had another Technology Licensing Agreement to manufacture DOST-ITDI developed technology, SAFEWTRS: Emergency Disinfection System of Drinking Water. The firm plans to adopt another DOST-developed technology for flood early warning devices and other related technologies. “The firm is entering an exciting era with its continued thrust for potential collaboration and cooperation with government institutions such as the DOST system,” Jarque added. She concluded that hard work and passion are necessary to keep that fire burning in business.

Rockwell Enterprises is a fine example of how the gains of science, technology, and innovation can lead to continued business enterprise growth when put to good use. Likewise, the firm demonstrated high-level trust in the capabilities of our local scientists and researchers to churn out products that not only provide additional income to the enterprise but serve communities as well. Indeed, the connection between science and society is getting more and more real.