DOST-NCR unveils health, livelihood projects as part of week-long NSTW celebration

Published November 12, 2021, 12:16 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) formally opened the week-long celebration of the 2021 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) by showcasing its three major health and livelihood projects amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.


The DOST-NCR conducted on Thursday, Nov. 11, a virtual kickoff of the NSTW with the sub-theme “Tugon sa Hamon ng Panahon: Mga Proyektong Pangkalusugan at Pangkabuhayan ng DOST-NCR.”

Among the projects showcased during the event were: From CEST to SETUP: A Success Story of DOST-NCR’s CEST Community in Southville-3, Muntinlupa City; Support to Persons Deprived with Liberty in Manila City Jail: Upgrading the Livelihood Operations of the Manila City Jail’s Male Dormitory Bread and Pastry Program; and launching of Project on Supporting Adolescent Growth in the Philippines (SAGIP) Information, Education and Communication Materials.

Keynoting the event, DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the DOST-NCR’s projects showed how the agency makes science, technology and innovation (STI) work for the Filipino people.

“I commend DOST-NCR Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug III and his staff for reaching out to our kababayans on the ground, and for providing practical solutions to change their lives. Tunay ngang tugon sa mga hamon ng ating panahon ang agham at teknolohiya (Indeed, science and technology are the answer to the challenges of our time),” he said.

He said the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has not stopped the DOST “from finding solutions to the problems of our society.”

“Rather, this pandemic drove us to be more and do more for our people. COVID-19 did not, and will never, stop us from reaching out and extending helping hands to communities – especially the vulnerable ones.”

De la Peña lauded the first project of the DOST-NCR which turned former informal settlers into successful entrepreneurs.

“Southville 3 Homebased Producers Association Inc. (SHBPAI) started as a small group of women who did not have a steady source of income but because of the interventions provided by DOST-NCR, it had grown to become an established, and earning social enterprise. The association was first assisted through DOST’s Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology or CEST program,” he said.

He said to be enrolled in the CEST program, a community must be among those identified as poorest of the poor or one that belongs to the vulnerable sector of our society.

“So you can imagine the status of the association then, but indeed, we, at the DOST, make STI work for our people. DOST-NCR identified the problems of the community and provided the needed interventions and not long after that, we saw positive changes,” he said.

“We are happy to report that the association is now expanding their business and is now a DOST-SETUP beneficiary. Because of STI, they transformed from being informal settlers to businesswomen.”

De la Peña also hailed the DOST-NCR for exemplifying the inclusivity of STI by providing opportunities for those who were deprived of freedom.

He said the second project of the DOST-NCR showed how STI touched the lives of persons deprived with liberty from a city jail in Metro Manila.

“We extend help to PDLs because we would like them to be prepared to live their lives after confinement. We would like to give them hope… to give them something to look forward to when they are finally free,” the DOST chief said.

He likewise lauded the DOST-NCR, DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), Department of Education (DepEd)-NCR, and the Office of Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo for “converging for a mission to address the problem of stunting among children in Marikina City.”

“They campaigned, and continue to campaign, to save school children from unsafe food and malnutrition,” he said.

Proclamation No. 780, series of 2019 declares the fourth week of November of each year as the National Science and Technology Week.

This year’s NSTW anchored on the theme “Agham at Teknolohiya: Tugon sa Hamon ng Panahon” is slated on Nov. 22 to 28.

This year’s celebration aims to showcase the contributions of science and technology in addressing the changing needs of time, especially now that the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.