THE Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) presented its various programs, projects and activities before the 27th National Press Congress of the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) at Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel on Dec. 11-13, in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Dr. Teresita A. Tabaog, DOST Region 1 director through an AVP (audio visual presentation) reported DOST’s various projects, programs and activities. With Congress’ theme “Media’s crucial role in encouraging agricultural scientific and technological innovations in LGUs,” she outlined the various activities DOST 1 is currently doing in the agricultural industry and other sectors.

DOST 1 deals with scholars, local government units (LGUs), Micro and Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and other stakeholders. It sees to it that the result of the project is used “for maximum economic and social benefits for the people.”

The agency, according to Tabaog, due to its vastness, has sectoral planning councils. Like agriculture which is linked to Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), which identifies what are to be prioritized when it comes to agriculture, aquatic and natural resources.

She recalled that DOST had high performance rating during the time of Covid-19 because of different projects to counter the virus. DOST was linked likewise to the Dept. of Health (DoH) and other institutions.

DOST had projects like testing kits and masks out of bamboo. Tabaog said that other important agencies linked to the department are the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS).

Meanwhile, the Research and Development Institute (RDI) is where the local technologies come from and the regions transfer these. The Food, Nutrition and Research Institute (FNRI) takes care of technology relating to foods.

DOST has 16 regional offices and 80 science and technology offices.

Another very important project is Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (DOST-SETUP) for small businessmen. This offers projects like food processing, furniture, decors and handicrafts, aqua, metals, halal products and services and salt processing, among others.

Applicants’ business should have been in existence for at least three years and they should submit documentary requirements. ”Now you can see that the govt. investment has impact. Hindi lugi ang gobyerno,” Tabaog explained.

To date, Tabaog said DOST has assisted 225 businessmen in 2019 alone and with a total of P162,180,000 and gross sales of over P3-billion.

Another project is the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology or CEST that empowers lives and builds communities in Region 1.

Another project is NICER or Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D. DOST has lot of other projects in every region.