DOST-8 empowers rural communities in Samar with innovative projects

DOST-8 empowers rural communities in Samar with innovative projects

DOST Regional Office 8 visited project sites in Samar, Eastern Visayas, to assess DOST-8-assisted projects, such as a green mussel production facility. Photo: PIA-8/Facebook

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office 8 visited project sites and facilities in Samar to improve the livelihoods of rural communities. The two-day visit from June 6-7, spearheaded by Engr. Ernesto M. Granada and other DOST officials aimed to evaluate the progress of DOST-8-assisted projects and witness firsthand the impact of their interventions. 

Among the notable projects visited was the Green Mussel Production and Processing Facility in Brgy. Alejandrea, Jiabong, Samar, and Nena's Food & Beverages Manufacturing in Catbalogan City. The RxBox in Calbiga Samar, Regina's Homebaked Products in Brgy. Mercedes Catbalogan City, and Mayette's Native Food Products in Adela Heights, Gandara, Samar were also part of the inspection.

A significant innovation showcased during the visit was the implementation of mussel long-line technology, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional stake methods. DOST introduced this green technology to the Maligaya Agri-business Association (MABA) members, replacing the bamboo stakes that often pollute the ocean and hinder mussel growth over time. 

Enthusiastically endorsing the new approach, Director Granada emphasized the positive impact of this sustainable solution on both the environment and the local industry.

Oscar Acotin, the president of MABA, expressed gratitude to the DOST for their support and highlighted the positive outcomes achieved through the project. The association received financial assistance of Php500,000 to acquire equipment for their product processing. This injection of resources has not only enhanced their production capabilities but also improved the livelihoods of the beneficiaries.

Additionally, Nena's Food & Beverages Manufacturing, led by Jason and Hannah Montejo, experienced a transformation in their calamansi juice production process through DOST's Innovation Support System (ISS). 

The SETUP fund and consultancy services facilitated the acquisition of advanced equipment, resulting in increased production volumes and the expansion of market outlets for the family-owned business. The positive outcomes extended to the creation of new employment opportunities.

Similarly, Mayette's Native Food Products, owned by Marietta B. Bernales, received DOST's assistance through the SETUP program. The funding enabled the upgrading and packaging of their products, which include cacao tablets, white cheese from carabao milk, and corioso cookies. Infusing necessary equipment such as stainless tables, ovens, mixers, grinders, and molders significantly improved production output and generated higher demand from new markets.

Regina's Homebaked Products, initially established in 2006, showcased remarkable growth and market expansion, with a presence in both Samar and national markets. Through DOST's continuous support, this enterprise has been able to thrive and contribute to the region's economic development. —iTacloban (Source: DOST-8/PIA-8)

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