By Dhel Nazario
Bicolanos have once again experienced the feel of the different enabling technologies developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW) celebration is one of the many follow-up events after the National Science and Technology Week held in Manila.
DOST Region V recently organized a three-day event, from October 8 to 10, at the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST) Gymnasium in Naga City, Camarines Sur.
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña led the opening ceremonies, together with Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel H. Bordado, Jr., Camarines Sur Governor Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte, and Naga City Mayor Nelson S. Legacion.
One of the highlights of the celebration included the awarding of plaques of ownership to the graduates of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP titled “Parangal sa Mga Bayaning Entrepreneur.” SETUP is one of the flagship programs of the DOST implemented in the regions to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) improve their productivity, product quality, and operation using science and technology.
Being the 2019 Best SETUP Adoptor for Region V, MAS Steel Fabricator had an audio-visual presentation to serve as inspiration to other local entrepreneurs to use science and technology as a way to improve their business and later become world class. MAS Steel Fabricator is now the leading stainless steel fabricator in Bicol that provides high-quality stainless-steel products.
Another major event was the awarding of the best CEST program that was given to the local government of Aroroy, a coastal municipality in the province of Masbate. CEST stands for Community Empowerment through Science and Technology, another flagship program of the DOST that focuses on addressing problems on health and nutrition, water and sanitation, human resource and development, economic development and livelihood opportunities, and disaster risk reduction and management/climate change adaptation.
The partnership of the DOST Region V and Aroroy resulted in providing six technology trainings, creation of the MDRRMO office and establishment of radio stations, assistance to 13 MSMEs in the water analysis thru OneLab, assistance to two SETUP beneficiaries, and granting of seven scholarships.
Aside from the exhibits of latest innovations in agriculture, enterprise development, and practical inventions, the celebration featured the launch of the Modernization Through Upgrading of Albay Dairy Plant Project and the Food Safety Assurance for Every Juan or FoodSAFE aimed at helping the street food vendors upgrade the standards of their products and operation.
The RSTW also featured the Bicol Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits or BRICE, a venue to showcase the latest inventions of Bicolanos that can help in improving their lives. The event was conducted in collaboration with the DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute.