Volunteerism is a priceless act that no amount of money or property can pay off. As the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was implemented due to the COVID-19 threat, thousands of volunteers stood up to back frontliners while they are fighting to protect the masses from this pandemic. Thus, let us turn the pages of the books to look at stories of a different set of heroes.
A volunteer’s vegan restaurant turns into a Community Kitchen
Mr. Elmer Macalingay and staff are among the thousand brave and passionate volunteers who were not threatened by COVID-19. He owns the Health 101 Restoreant in Baguio City and Health 100 in La Trinidad, which he converted into a Community Kitchen to cater healthy foods for the frontliners since the implementation of the Luzon-wide ECQ.
Through Mr. Macalingay’s leadership, the Community Kitchen has initiated a call for a donations drive for vegetables and other food supplies. From the donations, his team has been preparing and delivering free lunch to more than 300 frontliners in La Trinidad, Benguet for 51 days.
The Community Kitchen has signed off on May 15, when ECQ in Benguet has finally been lifted and classified as one of the areas to undergo General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until May 31, 2020.
The rise of a ‘healthypreneur’
One cannot wonder why Mr. Macalingay is so eager in helping frontliners during their war on to COVID-19 as he has been one of the health and nutrition advocates in the Cordillera region. This advocacy has driven him into establishing vegetarian stores and restaurants.
Health 100 Restoreant is a vegan restaurant and health products store that was established in 2009. It is a single proprietorship company owned by Mr. Elmer Macalingay, who associated the name of the restaurant to the numeral 100 with longevity. Further, from the words rest, resto, restore, store and ant, a “Restoreant” was established so that one could rest, get a homey atmosphere; and one’s health could be restored with their simple and natural foods. There are also healthy processed products being sold in the store like vegetarian meats, organic vegetables, and teas. One could see the owner and his staff working busy and happy like ants, the firm’s model.
Moreover, the firms’ baked products being served was outsourced from a home-based baker. Eventually, it started with a locally fabricated small oven positioned in one of the corners of the restaurant’s kitchen. It first introduced cinnamon followed by banana bread. The hand-mixed cinnamon was selling like hotcakes and that prompted them to upgrade their oven to a two- decker oven (8-trays). This also encouraged them to transfer to a wider space to enable them to expand their product lines. From breads, they added bars and soon cakes.
As the firm continues to grow, Mr. Macalingay did not think twice to ask assistance from DOST- CAR’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) in 2014 in order to upgrade its equipment and increase productivity. This inspired the firm to further upgrade its production process and upgrade its equipment through 2nd phase of SETUP assistance in 2019.
Empowered with S&T, the new Health 100
Through the SETUP assistance and determination of the firm to improve its business, he has innovated additional product lines from nine (9) to 61 kinds of assorted baked products. They also employed four (4) additional workers for the Bakeshop and generate additional 4 market outlets within Baguio City and La Trinidad Benguet. The firm also improved in terms of administration, production and, production lay-out, materials management, market strategy and finance strategy through the DOST’s MPEX program conducted in 2015.
Mr. Macalingay’s efforts in promoting healthy lifestyle through his business ideas has been recognized by several government agencies. For one, he has been awarded as the Benguet’s Best SETUP Adoptor in 2019. He also continues to serve as resource speaker in activities for MSMEs in the region and beyond.//FAA
*Photos were credited to Emler Macalingay's FB Page
Binnadang, a culture that was embedded in the hearts of every Cordilleran has come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the frontliners risk their lives in the battleground, other brave men and women have chosen to work as one to ensure that each frontliner will never be left unarmed.
DOST-CAR, the backliner
Staging the #WeWorkAsOne and #WeHealAsOne social media campaigns, the Department of Science and Technology- Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) and its Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTCs) are zealous in providing Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) to frontliners. It was able to provide a total of 2,960 pcs. face masks, one (1) pack non-woven mob cap, 838 DIY Face shields & face shield with 3D-printed brackets/reusable frames, and 121 liters disinfectant 70% alcohol to various frontliners in the Cordillera region. Further, a total of 215 hygiene kits containing alcohol, face mask, disposable gloves, wet wipes, antibacterial soap, mouthwash, and bleach; and 25 boxes (100 capsules per box) of Vitamin C were given to frontliners in Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet.
In support to relief operations, a total of 3,041 food items and several beverages were also donated to frontliners and some less privileged residents affected by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the PSTC Benguet also raised funds from personal donations to purchase 25 cavans rice which was donated to garbage collectors and bantay-basura volunteers in La Trinidad, Benguet. This is in recognition to their efforts in safeguarding cleanliness in the society despite COVID-19 threats.
PSTC- Kalinga also led the establishment of 70% alcohol production in partnership with Alvendo’s Food Products and Kalinga State University. This project aimed to augment the increased demand for alcohol. The experimental production has been completed, and the proposal for mass production has been prepared by KSU, endorsed by the Regional Research, Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC) to CHED-CAR for funding.
Partners join the #WorkAsOne
The DOST-CAR is also proud to report that MSMEs supported by the agency have risen to the occasion to help in the current health and economic crisis.
A total of 63 Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) cooperators in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Kalinga provinces were able to provide free meals, snacks, coffee, other food items, and PPEs to frontliners in their respective municipalities. Other cooperators also provided food supplies, cash, and other assistance to their employees.
The DOST-CAR also highlights the establishment of the Community Kitchen which was managed by Mr. Elmer Macalingay, owner of Health 100 restaurant. Mr. Macalingay’s vegan restaurant in La Trinidad branch was converted into Community Kitchen which has been providing free healthy meals for 51 days to frontliners since the implementation of Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
In the end, unity and generosity of spirit will go a long way as we work together in supporting frontliners as well as the vulnerable sectors of society. As the adage goes, “Where there is unity, there is always victory!”. // FAA
The Cordillera Administrative Region was surrounded by vast, misty, and mossy forests. However, the increase in population and households as well as private companies’ expansion of operations has greatly affected the region’s forest cover. Consequently, it has compromised air quality and water resources in CAR which serve as a watershed hub of the entire Luzon.
As aligned to the objectives of the National Greening program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Science and Technology - Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) has adopted a communal forest in Shilan, La Trinidad, Benguet to help revive its mossy and natural freshness as well as to do its part in rejuvenating the environment.
Last year, a two (2) hectare communal forest overlooking the whole La Trinidad Valley was planted with 150 Callandra and Pine Trees. Coffee seedlings were also planted to make it more beneficial to the community, since coffee production is among the existing industries in CAR over the decades.
‘Til the last leaf survives
Tree planting may be a common activity, but it is also a long-term commitment to the environment and society. It cannot end by merely digging the soil and burying the roots, rather it is continuous until the seedlings have grown into trees, bearing their own fruits and cherries.
The DOST-CAR staff, together with a representative from the DENR-CAR, Forester Jonard Dio-as, conducted the monitoring and weeding in its adopted communal forest on March 13, 2020. This is to ensure that the seedlings planted are surviving.
With this, it was noted that 90% of the seedlings have survived and expected to be more robust come rainy season. Mr. Dio-as further recommends that planting activity will be done during rainy season to save the seedlings from drought.
As the DOST-CAR planned to adopt more communal forests and plant more trees this year, it will continue to monitor its area in Shilan to ensure that the seedlings will survive.//FAA
La Trinidad, Benguet -- The Department of Science and Technology- Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) through the DOST-Cordillera Administrative Region opens its online application for the 2020 Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) program for regular second year college students or incoming third year college.
Qualifiers to the program will enjoy various scholarship benefits, such as tuition and other school fees, book allowance, and monthly living allowance for two to three year specifically, benefits include PhP40,000.00 tuition fee per Academic Year; PhP10,000 book allowance per academic year, and PhP7,000 monthly stipend; and PhP10,000.00 thesis allowance. However, scholars must maintain good academic standing to enjoy the said benefits.
The deadline of the online application will be on April 30, 2020 while the qualifying examination will be held on June 7, 2020. Meanwhile, applicants should be natural-born Filipino Citizen, poor, talented, and deserving student whose socio-economic status does not exceed the set values of certain indicators, a regular 2nd year college student in an identified priority S&T program for the 2nd semester of AY 2019-2020 with a general weighted average (GWA) of at least 83%, must be a resident of the municipality for the last four years as attested by the barangay chairman, has good moral character.
Interested applicants are encouraged to secure and file their application ONLINE at http://bit.do/fAndb or at https://www.science-scholarships.ph/jlss_app/#/register.
Application requirements are the following: (1) Official Transcript of Records or Certified True Copy of Grades; One recent (1”x1”) picture; (3) Birth certificate; (4) Any document showing the DepEd Learner Reference Number; (5) 2019 Income Tax Return/ W2/ Employment Contract for OFW/ BIR Certificate of Exemption for filing of ITS/ Municipal or Barangay Certificate of Indigency; (6) Affidavit of guardianship (if with legal guardian).
The JLSS is among the DOST-SEI’s scholarship programs for regular third year students that aims to increase the number of S&T workers that will help boost knowledge creation and economic productivity in the country.
For details, you may visit http://www.sei.dost.gov.ph/ or you may call us at (074) 422-0979 or 09079132231.//FAA