10 February 2021

La Trinidad, Benguet – Pledging to work together in an undertaking to benefit displaced workers, including agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) signed a tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR) on January 28, 2021. This convergence is part of the agencies’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect to agripreneurs and OFWs in the region.

DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy Bantog, DA-CAR Regional Director Cameron Odsey and DTI-CAR Myrna Pablo signed the agreement with top officials from the agencies as witnesses to this initiative.

The partnership will provide technology-driven, resource-based livelihood activities and business opportunities to address the needs of the affected sectors. Likewise, a series of collaborative initiatives such as trainings, technology transfers and online marketing campaigns will mark its implementation.

Under the agreement, DOST-CAR, which is assigned to direct and coordinate S&T-related efforts in the development of programs and policies, will activate the iFWD PH (Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines) to encourage OFW returnees to venture into technology-based enterprises.

Moreover, DOST-CAR will also promote the smart food value chain program for food security and tap the support of Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

For its part, DA-CAR will ensure the sustainable livelihood of agri-based workers through goods, services, infrastructures and institutions and encourage OFW returnees to pursue agri-based businesses.

On the other hand, DTI-CAR is expected to provide technical, financial and marketing support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and link them with the markets in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors for a more comprehensive approach, support OFW returnees through business start-up financing and enhance e-commerce platforms in the region.

DOST, together with the concerned agencies, will continue exploring possibilities and uplift the lives of the people.//CRS