The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) expressed support to the efforts of its regional offices to work closely together with various stakeholders in building full support and fostering strong commitments towards promoting science, technology, and innovation.
DOST on Thursday, June 10, specifically cited the efforts of Regional Office I (DOST-I) for rallying various stakeholders in the region to work closely together and achieve inclusive and sustainable peace.
The DOST-I initiated collaboration with the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police (PNP) – Ilocos Sur Provincial Police Office (ISPPO), Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College (ISPSC), North Luzon Philippines State College (NLPSC), and 12 Local Government Units (LGUs) of Ilocos Sur.
As a result, these organizations signed the Memorandum of Agreement, Partnership, and Understanding (MOA, MOP, and MOU) for shared implementation of DOST’s Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program last month.
DOST said that virtual signing ceremony created an avenue for mutual understanding on the roles and responsibilities of all implementing parties towards the attainment of the program’s objectives.
During the ceremony, Dr. Armando Q. Ganal, DOST-I regional director, delivered the rationale of the activity highlighting the milestones of the CEST program in Region I.
Ganal emphasized that the agency aims to bring science, technology and innovation (STI) to partner LGUs in the realms of health and nutrition, human resource development, environmental protection and conservation, livelihood, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Climate Change Adaptation (DRRM/CCA) that are very important to the communities.
Meanwhile, LTC. Rodrigo A. Mariñas Jr., Commanding Officer of the 81st Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army welcomed the initiative of DOST.
“We are honored to be partner in bringing the CEST program to our communities in the province; rest assured that we will always be there to support all your various undertakings and we will be looking forward to be working in attaining success in the implementation of the program,” Mariñas said.
The ISPPO, represented by PLTCOL. Jay A. de Guzman, Deputy Provincial Director for Administration, also congratulated DOST for coming up with the project and for choosing the organization as a partner.
Likewise, ISPSC president Dr. Gilbert R. Arce assured their commitment and support to this undertaking. He conveyed that the project would provide an opportunity for the college to prove its worth, not only as purveyor of quality education but as a partner in the development of the communities.
NLPSC president Dr. Elizabeth M. Gacusana also reiterated college’s commitment to undertake extension services and assist the different government instrumentalities and agencies in the project as it promotes unity, national reconciliation, peace, and economic development.
As stipulated in the MOA/MOP/MOU, DOST-I will deliver science and technology (S&T)-based interventions by employing the CEST program.
In turn, the partner SUCs will provide additional funds and technical assistance needed in the implementation aligned with the program’s thrusts and operations through their research and extension services.
The Philippine Army and Philippine National Police – ISPPO commit to assist throughout the implementation of the project which include, but not limited to, providing security and transportation in geographically isolated and depressed areas.
“All these commitments are geared towards bringing STI to the communities affected by armed conflicts and sustaining the development efforts of both national agencies and LGUs,” DOST said.
For 2021, DOST-I – Provincial Science and Technology Center in Ilocos Sur will spearhead the implementation of the CEST project titled “Engaging Local Communities with Science, Technology and Innovation for Development” that will benefit 39 beneficiary barangays from 12 LGUs of the second district of Ilocos Sur including Narvacan, Cervantes, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Cruz, Nagbukel, Candon City, Suyo, Sta. Maria, Salcedo, Galimuyod, Burgos, and Quirino.
DOST said that the project, with a total budget allocation of P10.5 million, aims to uplift the socio-economic condition of the people in the communities affected by local armed conflicts by providing them development interventions in the areas of Livelihood/Economic Enterprise Development, Human Resource Development, Health and Nutrition, Environmental Protection and Conservation, and DRRM/CCA.
Meanwhile, all the parties also expressed their commitment to end the insurgency problem and create economic benefits for the communities and municipalities covered by the program.
Stakeholders signed MOA for CEST implementation in Ilocos Sur towards ending local armed conflicts. (Screenshots from DOST)