12 May 2021
La Trinidad, Benguet –The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH) program is the agency’s answer to the call to support returning OFWs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
DOST-CAR, under the leadership of Regional Director Nancy Bantog, provides innovation support and opportunities for pandemic-affected OFWs in order for them to establish technology-based enterprises right at the comfort of their home provinces.
“This is our response to the challenges faced by OFWs who were affected by the pandemic,” said Dir. Bantog in a statement. “We will continue to work hard—and work together—to advance the livelihood of our modern-day heroes,” she added.
It can be recalled that on 29 May 2020, DOST launched the said project on a live virtual presser through the DOST-Philippines Facebook page.
The first project under the iFWD PH program in CAR was launched on May 11, 2021 in Luna, Apayao with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of the Hachloley Caluducan Curtains and Beddings, managed by former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Mrs. Joanna Marie Caluducan, to enhance and market curtains and beddings accented with woven fabrics of the yApayaos.
Having completed the Phase 1 (capability-building), where the firm was guided on how to establish and maintain their business, Hachloley Caluducan Curtains and Beddings will now be provided the innovation-Enabling Fund (iFund) for entrepreneurship. This is Phase 2 of the program that includes the provision of technical training, product development and market testing, operational consultancy services, packaging and labeling design and equipment acquisition. Likewise, the DOST’s e-commerce OneSTore hub, will also be tapped to promote and sell their products online.
For CY 2021, there are a total of 8 applicants for the program from the region, with one (1) each from Abra, Apayao, Kalinga and Mt. Province; and two (2) each from Benguet and Ifugao. All these firms are currently undergoing a Training on Business Core Development to prepare them for jumpstarting their respective businesses.//Christian Robert Sandoval
May 4, 2021
Sta. Marcela, Apayao – The Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) is set to roll-out the enhanced nutribun (E-Nutribun) squash variant in the region for the supplemental feeding of undernourished children, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic through technology adoptor VFM Food Products, a beneficiary of the DOST-Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
As part of the technology transfer from the DOST- Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), VFM Food Products completed the required assessment and training as well as compliance to the standards and protocol to produce and market the E-Nutribun. With the DOST-FNRI technology license already issued to the firm on April 26, 2021, the second E-Nutribun adoptor in CAR is expected to start its production this May 2021. It can be recalled that Mila’s Bakeshop and Canteen, also a SETUP-assisted firm in Ifugao is the first E-Nutribun adoptor in CAR.
For its nutritional value, DOST Provincial S&T Director for Apayao Debbie Glynn Manangkil attested that the E-Nutribun has a new formulation and is made of natural, fresh squash.
“It is enriched with squash and milk to make it nutritious and delicious. It is great for snacks and it is being used for the Supplemental Feeding Programs of Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development and other agencies,” said Dir. Manangkil.
The enhanced nutribun is a healthy bread made from squash that is rich in fiber, energy, protein, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamin A—nutrients needed by growing Filipino children. It also has zero trans-fat, no cholesterol, no artificial flavor, and no food coloring.
Further, the E-Nutribun, partnered with milk products, are part of the national government’s supplementary feeding program for children during community quarantine. In April last year, the DSWD’s Memorandum Circular No. 12 Series of 2020 and the Nutrition Cluster Advisory No. 2 s. 2020 recommended the provision of healthy and nutritious family food packs and sustainable food source during community quarantine, set the guidelines for feeding program during the pandemic period and encouraged local government units (LGU) to use DOST-FNRI-developed products for their supplemental feeding program.
The E-Nutribun is the improved and reformulated version of the famous nutribun given to public school elementary pupils in the 1970s to 1980s to help address malnutrition.
To date, there are 79 licensed adoptors of E-Nutribun across the country since it was launched in July last year.
Based on the DOST-FNRI’s Rapid Nutrition Assessment Survey conducted between November and December in 2020, only 11.9 percent of children aged 12 and below have participated in supplemental feeding programs — which was lower compared with the 21.6-percent participation of the targeted beneficiaries based on FNRI’s Expanded National Nutrition Survey.
Meanwhile, DOST-FNRI has launched its newest variety on April 29, 2021: the nutribun carrot variant, which is equally as nutritious as the squash variant. With the new E-Nutribun with carrots, existing and potential technology adoptors have an alternative when squash is expensive and in limited supply.
The DOST’s support to technology adoptors is embodied in the agency’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program, which provides technical and financial assistance to various sectors, including food processing, not only to enhance the productivity of micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs), but also to ensure science-based processes and technological innovations.
DOST-CAR enjoins entrepreneurs for partnerships in the production and marketing of the E-Nutribun, in view not only of the economic opportunities for technology adoptors but also to spur livelihood opportunities for local vegetable farmers.// Christian Robert Sandoval, May 4, 2021
March 30, 2021
Tabuk City, Kalinga – Anchored on the cause for inclusive and holistic countryside development through Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), the Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) conducted the first leg of the Science for the People (SFTP) caravan in CAR for the year.
The Kalinga Provincial S&T Center (PSTC), headed by PST Director Jasmin Donaal, organized the month-long hybrid information campaign (March 2021) consisting of a series of promotional events and dialogues on existing programs, projects and activities (PPAs) designed to bring STI closer to the community and various sectors at large, and accessible even to the remotest towns in the province of Kalinga. Besides targeting grassroots, the Caravan also centered on women for the technology transfer activities, in sync with the celebration of women’s month.
Workshop on Basic GIS for Mapping and Risk Assessment
As Vice-Chair for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in CAR, DOST-CAR has partnered with the local scientific community to implement trainings and programs on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) for a more proactive and resilient region.
On March 22-24, 2021, an onsite cum virtual Training-Workshop on Basic Geographic Information System (GIS) for Mapping and Risk Assessment was held with the help of Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD)-CAR, DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), DOST- Cordillera Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development Consortium (CIEERDEC), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) and Provincial Local Government Unit (LGU) of Kalinga.
A score of frontline disaster personnel from the public and private sectors across the province explored the use of GIS through a series of discussions and hands-on activities on basic GIS features as a vital science-based tool for DRRM.
Among the participants were staff and officers from the Local Government Units of the provincial, municipal and barangay level, local DRRM councils, Department of the Interior and Local Government-Kalinga, Bureau of Fire Protection and Kalinga State University (KSU) and Red Cross-Kalinga Chapter.
DOST-CAR notes that virtual simulation of different disaster scenarios such as floods or landslides through spatial location analysis and visualizations (i.e. maps and 3D scenes) may prove critical in crafting sound plans and policies to address threats and respond to situations accordingly in real time.
Support to Establishment of Analytical Laboratory
As part of the collaborative plan to establish an Analytical Laboratory in the province, DOST-CAR turned over equipment for analysis (oven and circulating water bath) to KSU - Central Science Laboratory on March 24, 2021.
Currently, the facility is being used for the local production of ethyl alcohol. The equipment will aid in the preparation of samples for analysis and thus hasten the timely distribution of the disinfectant to public offices, business establishments and schools across the province especially during the pandemic.
Empowerment of Cordilleran weavers
In a separate event in Baguio City, DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy Bantog convened members of the Regional Research, Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC) to discuss plans on forming the Cordillera Weaving Industry Council on March 24, 2021.
As chairperson of the RRDIC, DOST-CAR, together with line agencies, has recently crafted the Cordillera Weaving Industry Development Plan (CWIDP) 2020-2028 that aims to empower artisans and weavers, especially women in the local weaving industry, through capacity-building activities and provision of equipment to improve livelihood and marketing opportunities for local businesses.
As of 2020, there were a total of 24 projects under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) and community-based projects in the natural dyeing and weaving sector in the region.
To help meet market demand, DOST-CAR has established silkworm rearing and cocoon processing facilities in the KSU for enhanced silk production since 2017, with the aid of the Philippine Textile Research Institute and the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority. Mulberry fields were also prepared in the KSU as well as the Apayao State College.
Farm and firm visits for technology needs assessment
Staff from the Kalinga PSTC, together with a team of experts from the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center, particularly of the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL) project and the KSU Local AMERIAL team, visited 41 (forty-one) farms and firms in Tabuk City and the town of Rizal for technology needs assessment.
The 10-day activity (March 15-26, 2021) included technical assistance for existing SETUP beneficiaries and potential startups using technology upgrades which they may adopt to enhance competitiveness and productivity.
Skills Training on Food Processing
Hands-on skills training for different farming communities were done to help improve the efficiency of local producers. DOST-CAR, together with the KSU and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Kalinga, conducted discussions on best practices and demonstrations on the use of appropriate technologies for community-based projects.
In the village of Malagnat in Pinukpuk, Kalinga, women from the Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI)- Malagnat gathered to master the methods involved in making quality vinegar from banana on March 8 and March 26, 2021.
Meanwhile, planters from Ambato in the town of Tinglayan, Kalinga learned new ways on how to handle sugarcane to produce superior classes of wine through a training in partnership with Tinglayan LGU on March 12, 2021.
Info drives on CEST projects and other programs
The S&T team conducted a validation activity with the Municipal LGU of Pasil for the RxBox as well as the monitoring and maintenance of Science & Technology Academic Research-Based and Openly-Operated Kiosk Stations (STARBOOKS) units as part of the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) projects in the municipalities of Pasil and Balbalan on March 9-11, 2021.
In line with this, DOST-CAR Inter-agency Design and Engineering Assessment (IDEA) Team Leader Engr. Angel Maguen lead a seminar-workshop on Energy Audit, particularly on energy-saving measures for representatives from the MSMEs in the province, KSU and DTI-Kalinga in Tabuk City.
Forum on R&D Opportunities and Networks
DOST-CAR presented research opportunities and linkages for stakeholders from the academe through its Research and Development arm, the Cordillera Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development Consortium (CIEERDEC) during the Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Caravan held onsite in Tabuk City on March 25, 2021.
Researchers and professors from different educational institutions in the province, including KSU, Saint Louis College, Kalinga College of Science and Technology and Cordillera A+ Computer Technology College attended the forum on different projects and services available through the consortium, particularly in its priority sectors.
Going beyond implementing STI programs for regional development, DOST-CAR continues to ensure that science works for the people of Cordillera.// Christian Robert M. Sandoval
For event photos, click here.
Baguio City – As part of the collaborative efforts to upgrade the city’s weaving industry, Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) Regional Director Nancy Bantog signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong yesterday, March 10, 2021.
“A common direction is needed for this joint effort to be successful,” Dr. Bantog said in her message during the ceremony, assuring full support to the four (4) beneficiaries, namely D' Dreamers Association of East Quirino Hill, The Conquerors Association of Middle Quirino Hill, Inc., West Quirino Hill Women's Organization and Share Weaver Association in Irisan.
The project titled "Upgrading the Loom Weaving Industry of Baguio City through Science, Technology and Innovation” of which DOST-CAR will bring in Php557,000.00 from its regional Grant-in-Aid program while the Baguio City Local Government Unit (LGU) with their counterpart of Php1.5M, is targeted to be operational within the year.
Under the MOA, DOST-CAR, through the Provincial S&T Center-Benguet and the Baguio City LGU will provide appropriate equipment for loom weaving as well as the implementation of capacity building programs. The DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) as well as appropriate experts shall be tapped for the implementation of development trainings for the loom weavers.
Meanwhile, the agreement entails developing new loom weaving products and designs in the locality, establishment of a Common Service Facility (in Middle Quirino Hill and Cypress Irisan) for loom weavers and the designation of the Botanical Garden in Baguio City as a loom weaving showcase and marketing center where loom weaving products will be put on display to the public—for tourists and residents alike.
In his message, Mayor Magalong extended his appreciation to the DOST-CAR for partnering with the city government in his initiative to develop the loom weaving industry. Further, he said he recently met with Bayo, a fashion company, who are also willing to help in the marketing and purchasing of locally-woven products, thus adding to the market potential of the industry.
DOST-CAR notes that these Science, Technology and Innovation initiatives among stakeholders will continue to offer avenues on sustainable livelihood and promote possible partnerships among businesses, thus enhancing the weaving industry in the city and neighboring Cordillera towns.// Christian Robert Sandoval