18 June 2021
La Trinidad, Benguet –As part of the government’s efforts in strengthening postharvest handling and delivery of highland crops, the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) in partnership with the DOST- Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and the Benguet Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) has jumpstarted a project on packaging technology and logistics to upgrade the Benguet Cold Chain (BCC) facility in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
The joint project, which kicked-off on May 1, 2021, will involve technology transfer through the provision of PhP8.2M worth of equipment as well as appropriate capability-building activities for the processing facility’s personnel. An operational packaging line at the BCC will serve to effectively package fresh and semi-processed (i.e. pre-cut, washed, ready-to-cook) agricultural products such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, bell pepper, carrots, and strawberry. For their part, the Benguet PLGU has allotted P8.15M for building renovations to foster adjustments through the project.
Known as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines, the province of Benguet boasts of being the top producer of fresh semi-temperate vegetables. Upland farmers have constantly faced the challenges of income loss due to farm-to-market issues such as improper handling, packaging and transport of these perishable goods, not to mention the lack of postharvest storage facilities.
The project, through the DOST’s Smart Food Value Chain Program for the New Normal, is targeted to be operational by November this year. Through this S&T intervention, it is expected that the shelf life of the farmers' produce shall be extended, postharvest losses of crops minimized, and income of upland farmers consequently increased.
This collaborative project is being implemented to empower farmers and agricultural workers in the community with more adaptive and inclusive science, technology and innovation programs for the benefit of the people of Cordillera.// Christian Sandoval
08 June 2021
R&D FOR THE MOUNTAINS AND WATER SUPPLY IN THE CORDILLERAS. The MOA signing during the Launching and Orientation on DOST R&D Programs in CAR on June 8, 2021 at the Venus Parkview Hotel in Baguio City. (From left) Tuba LGU Engr. Albert Wayan, Jr., Baguio CPDO AO IV Ma. Victoria Lagmay, SLU-URIO Director Dr. Richel Lamadrid, Bauko, Mt. Province Mayor Hon. Abraham Akilit, WWRRDEC Head Helen Maddumba, as witnessed by DOST-CAR ARD-TSD Pepita Picpican and NEDA-CAR SEDS Virginia Anceno. For more pictures, click here.
Baguio City –The Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) conducted the Launching and Orientation of two DOST Research and Development (R&D) Programs in CAR on June 8, 2021. The two programs respectively aim to aid in the preservation of the region’s mountains amidst natural disasters and urbanization through innovative engineering solutions; and ensure water security and climate resiliency for the mountain communities in the Cordilleras.
During the launching, a press conference was also held with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-CAR) and local media with both program’s stakeholders across the region such as the academe, line agencies, and Local Government Units (LGUs): provincial government units of Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province; and municipal government units of Sallapadan, Abra; Itogon, Tuba, Tublay, and La Trinidad, Benguet; Baguio City; Banaue, Ifugao; Tabuk City, and Tinglayan, Kalinga; and Bontoc and Bauko, Mountain Province.
The first program, namely, “Program Boondock: A Mountain Engineering Center Towards Sustainable Infrastructure and Upland Water Security”, is a collaborative effort of the DOST-CAR with the University of the Cordilleras (UC), Kalinga State University (KSU), Saint Louis University (SLU) and the Watershed and Water Resources Research, Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC)—one of the Research Centers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB). The program seeks to enhance the industrial competitiveness of the Cordilleras in the field of agriculture, tourism and mobility through mountain engineering solutions and promote social and human development through upland water security, and environmental sustainability.
Funded by the DOST Science for Change Program (S4CP) Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER) for R&D, the Program Boondock is expected to have an estimated P1-billion savings in infrastructure damage due to landslides and extreme flooding in a span of 3 to 5 years while also safeguarding lives. The R&D center, which is the second NICER program in CAR (the first being the Potato Research and Development Center of Benguet State University in 2019), will have a total funding of P62 million and will target to increase agriculture production by 20% and provide sustainable water resources management solutions. Since 2017, 35 NICER Centers have been established in 17 regions across the country, amounting to P1.7 billion devoted to support the country’s R&D initiatives.
The second program, titled “Ensuring Water Security and Climate-Resilience for Mountain Indigenous Communities of the Cordillera through Technology-enhanced Decision Support Tools” is expected to bring about sufficient, clean and safe domestic water supply in mountain communities especially during the dry season. The program, which is a partnership of DOST-CAR with the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) and University of the Cordilleras (UC) and funded by the DOST- National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), will provide the necessary data and information to support decisions on water resources development for water supply that are more resilient to climate change and climate variability and a technology-enhanced information and decision support system for the conservation of the rivers and watersheds of the Cordilleras.
With this, both the Program Boondock and Water Security Program are seen not only to impact the state of R&D in addressing natural calamities in the region, but also in protecting the lives, livelihoods and natural resources in the Cordilleras.// Christian Robert Sandoval
04 June 2021
(From left) Ceremonial turnover of the CWF units to the respective PDRRMOs of Kalinga, Mt. Province and Ifugao headed by PSTC Directors Jasmin Donaal (for Kalinga), Alfonso Berto (for Mt. Province) and Genna Jallorina (for Ifugao).
To address issues on access to safe drinking water for households and evacuation centers especially during calamities when water is scarce or damaged utilities are yet to be rehabilitated, the DOST-CAR recently turned over seventy (70) units of DOST-Ceramic Water Filters (CWF) to the Kalinga Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) (on May 26, 2021), 65 units to the Mt. Province PDRRMO (on May 31, 2021) and 65 units to the Ifugao PDRRMO (on June 4, 2021).
The CWF is a patent innovative solution of the DOST- Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) and was rolled out to the different regions starting 2012. For CAR, the project was established by DOST-CAR in Bila, Bauko, Mountain Province through a 2013 project in partnership with the Municipal Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bauko, and the barangay LGU of Bila, Bauko. The CWF in Bila, Bauko is the source of the CWF units currently being deployed to the different PDRRMOs in the region, which is part of the DOST-CAR’s Local GIA project for DRRM and targeted to be completed within the year.
The CWF technology is portable and uses red clay filtering agent with nanotechnology silver coating with anti-microbial feature. This system uses the principle of gravity and can filter tap or deep well water at the rate of two liters per hour. Moreover, it is relatively cheaper than commercially available filtering systems. The filter can last up to one year before replacement.
Meanwhile, the clay used for the project was locally sourced and processed in the ceramic filter facility on a private lot in barangay Bila donated by Bauko Mayor Abraham Akilit. To establish the facility, the DOST central office provided a total of P2.28 million, DOST-CAR with P90,000.00 and the Bauko MLGU with P2.35 million.
The project is not only in line with DOST’s thrust to make local technologies work for the people particularly on safe and effective water sanitation but also to support the livelihood of communities.// Christian Sandoval
Participants, composed of members of associations and cooperatives in Benguet and Baguio City with the DOST-Provincial S&T Center-Benguet team lead by Provincial S&T Director Dr. Sheila Marie Singa-Claver (top, right), pose for a photo-op with their baked goodies during the training on food processing held from May 25-28, 2021 at the PSTC-Benguet Conference Hall, Governor Pack Road, Baguio City.
28 May 2021
Baguio City – As part of this year’s Science for the People (SFTP) Caravan in the province of Benguet and Baguio City, the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR), through the Provincial S&T Center (PSTC)-Benguet, held livelihood trainings on food processing for start-up Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the use of the DOST-Food Innovation Center (FIC) technologies and services from May 25 to 28, 2021.
In her keynote message, DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy Bantog acknowledged the strong partnership between DOST-CAR and MSMEs in advancing food processing in the region, especially to the benefit of local entrepreneurs. “Innovation spells the difference for the food MSMEs to compete in the local and global markets,” she said.
Meanwhile, Provincial S&T Director for Benguet Sheila Marie Singa-Claver encouraged the participants, majority of whom are members of associations/cooperatives in Benguet and Baguio City to take advantage of the FIC to develop new products and remain competitive in the market in as much as the FIC is readily accessible.
The FIC-CAR, which was established in La Trinidad, Benguet on April 2018 in partnership with the Benguet State University (BSU), is a hub for innovation, research and development that provides researchers and local food processors the capacity to enhance foods and delicacies and produce new ones. Among the equipment available in the center are: vacuum fryer, freeze dryer, spray dryer and water retort machine.
DOST-CAR-FIC Project Staff Emmanuel Quiñones and BSU-FIC Researcher Dr. Jao-Jao Somayden discussed during a Techno-Forum on May 25 technical requirements and processes for individuals and firms who may avail of the different FIC services and technologies. Further, Dr. Somayden showcased the freeze-dried fruits and herbs as local alternative flavors for ice cream, based on a recently-concluded study funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).
Likewise, MSMEs learned the basic principles and best practices of baking bread and pastry products and making noodles infused with fruits and vegetables (most of which were processed with the use of the FIC equipment) in a three-day (May 26-28) hands-on training lead by Jocelyn Villanueva and Rene Antonio Garcia, both owners of Baguio-based bakeries (Johec’s Cakes and Cupcakes and OMG Sweets Bakery, respectively). DOST-initiated livelihood trainings such as these give MSMEs, especially startups the opportunity not only to generate income especially during the pandemic but also to produce nutritious food for the community.
DOST-CAR notes the significance of the annual provincial SFTP Caravan and has employed the hybrid on-site and virtual modality to maximize the involvement of MSMEs in the whole of CAR while bringing science, technology and innovation closer to the grassroots. For more photos, click here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1aUD-6zsATBChZoqfo1xuZpOF1nCtX9zN?usp=sharing //Christian Robert M. Sandoval