The Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) rolled out the first Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) project in Benguet during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Kibungan and the three (3) beneficiaries under the livelihood component namely, Kibungan Arabica Coffee Growers’ Multi-purpose Cooperative (KACGMPC), Tacadang Organic Coffee Growers Association (TOCGA), and Badeo Arabica Coffee Growers Organization (BACGO) on February 19, 2021.
With the CEST program, DOST-CAR empowers and improves the standard of living of beneficiary-communities in the region through holistic S&T interventions. It aims to provide S&T assistance to vulnerable communities in the country through5 entry points namely, economic development, health and nutrition, human resource development, environmental protection and conservation, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Priority areas include Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) that are physically and socio-economically separated from the mainstream society to include islands, upland, lowland and landlocked areas.
For this particular project, DOST-CAR will provide common service facilities for the rice processing, muscovado processing and coffee processing in barangays Tacadang, Badeo and Poblacion, Kibungan, respectively. These will eventually help in the communities’ livelihood which is likewise expected to impact the whole municipality.
Furthermore, DOST-CAR will organize livelihood trainings; provide the STARBOOKS Digital Library to barangays Badeo, Lubo, Palina, Poblacion and Sagpat; provide ceramic water filter to barangay Tacadang; and strengthen the Disaster Risk Reduction & Disaster Risk Management of LGU-Kibungan by providing appropriate communications system.
In her speech during the ceremony, DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy Bantog, acknowledged the desire and efforts of the community to improve their industries while assuring DOST-CAR’s unabated support to the LGU and beneficiaries of the project.
Meanwhile, Benguet Caretaker Congressman Eric Yap in his message delivered by Engr. Ricardo Tacio, Jr. conveyed his confidence that the implementation of the project will be smooth given all stakeholders’ ability to develop the project and even exceed its objectives.
During his acceptance message, Kibungan Mayor, Hon. Cesar Molitas encouraged his constituents to be more productive as he extended his appreciation to the DOST-CAR for being the first recipient of the CEST project in the province.
DOST-CAR, through the CEST program, envisions building more active, sustainable and more resilient communities through the implementation of responsive science, technology and innovation programs.