TABUK CITY, Kalinga- – Projects and activities implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) are having significant effects unto the lives of its beneficiaries.
DOST secretary Fortunato dela Peña, in his message read by Richard Burgos, DOST – STII director said during the opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies of the 2017 Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW), October 10 at the Kalinga Astrodome that the event is a nationwide program of the DOST that hopes to bring to the countryside science, technology and innovation initiatives that were developed by local scientist and engineers.
”Science and technology (S&T) is deemed an important vehicle to insure sustainable economic development in the country. The DOST, being the main advocate of S&T innovations, research and development, and technology transfer and commercialization programs are now showcasing these efforts in this five-day event,” dela Peña told.
As to the programs and projects given to CAR, the secretary disclosed that since 2002, the implementation of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading program (SETUP) in the Cordillera Region resulted to a total of 433 micro, small and medium enterprises in the region.
”To improve the productivity of these firms and enable them to be more competitive , the DOST has invested P205M as of September 22, 2017,” he added.
He also informed that through the regional Grants-in-Aid funds, the DOST-CAR was able to assist 259 community-based projects from 2011 to June 2017. These projects, he said were implemented in partnership with various LGUs in CAR and with support from the regional office of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) as well as other partners both in the government and private sectors.
Other major programs, he said also include the Complementary Food Program established in Apayao State College, Luna, Apayao; and the Ceramic Water Filter Project which was completed in partnership with the Bauko, Mountain province LGU.
Also in the roster is the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) which aims to provide S&T assistance to the poorest of the poor municipalities in the country through five entry points namely livelihood/economic development enterprise; basic education and literacy; disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation; health and nutrition; and water and sanitation which was provided to the municipalities of Tanudan and Balbalan, Kalinga; Tineg, Abra; Tinoc, Ifugao; Kabugao, Apayao.
Similarly, the Hydromet and National Dengue Vector Surveillance programs have already been implemented in the region.
The secretary also told that the RxBox program designed to provide rural health units in identified geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas with a medical device used for diagnostic procedures is to be rolled out in the region.
Apart from these, dela Peña also shared that the Food Innovation Center (FCI) shall be carried out in partnership with Benguet State University (BSU); and the Automated Guideway
Transit (AGT) that addresses traffic woe in Baguio City and La Trinidad.
He also announced that all the municipalities in CAR except for Lacub, Abra have DOST scholars.
”It is our target to reach 100% municipalities in the region by 2017 considering the transition period of the K-12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd),” he told adding that since 2011, the qualifiers for the Science and Technology Undergraduate Scholarship Examination gradually increased from 38 to 187 qualifiers in 2015.
The DOST, he said currently caters to 409 scholars in CAR enrolled in the region’s state colleges and universities including the University of the Philippines- Baguio.
Another initiative to support S&T education, he said is the DOST’s Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks Station (STARBOOKS) developed by DOST STII which already have 100 units deployed in the region which does not require internet connectivity to access thousand S&T contents and features.
The secretary also invited everyone to take advantage of the activities such as S&T exhibits, interactive exhibits, technology bazaar, S&T fora, disaster risk activities, S&T quiz.
By Darwin S. Serion