An Indigenous Peoples (IP) community in the depressed barangay of Cauyunan, Opol, Misamis Oriental received financial assistance as support for the development of a sericulture farm and the establishment of a banana food processing facility in the area from the Department of Science and Technology – Region X.
The IP community, through its local government unit, received science and technology (S&T) assistance amounting to P550,000 as part of the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) program of DOST.
The banana processing facility and the sericulture project are aimed at eradicating hunger and poverty in the community. The processing facility is a support to the existing 100 hectares of banana plantation managed by the Cauyunan Farmers Association (CFA). These livelihood projects are a collaborative effort of the LGU of Opol, the CFA, and the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI).
In addition, financial assistance amounting to P595,006 for health and nutrition interventions was also provided to the IPs in Cauyunan. The amount will be used in procuring enhanced nutribuns, iron-fortified rice, and iodized salt for the residents.
These health and nutrition interventions are expected to benefit the IPs, especially the 198 malnourished children aged 2-10 years old and pregnant women in the community. An initial assistance of DOST to the community was extended in April last year wherein 354 bags of 10-kilogram packed rice were distributed to the households in the area during the onset of COVID-19.
CEST is a program that aims to empower the poorest and most depressed communities in the country, via S&T interventions in health and nutrition, water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, livelihood/economic enterprise development, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.