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By Halyn Lunel Gamboa

To conclude the celebration of the 2022 National Nutrition Month, DOST-CALABARZON conducted its Webinar on S&T Solutions to Food Security last 29 July 2022 via Zoom. Attended by 234 participants from various institutions within and outside CALABARZON, the webinar aims to highlight DOST-CALABARZON’s funded and supported projects in pushing for food safety and sustainability in the new normal especially with its alignment for this year’s Nutrition Month theme, “New Normal na Nutrisyon, Sama-samang Gawan ng Solusyon!”

Ms. Emelita P. Bagsit, Regional Director of DOST-CALABARZON, welcomed the participants and project presenters and mentioned some of DOST-CALABARZON’s ongoing initiatives and partnerships in improving nutrition in the region, including its Complementary Food Program, assistance on the Enhanced Nutribun Technology adoption and Dairy processing projects, support on the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) with DSWD CALABARZON and other agencies, and the continuous strengthening of DOST Integrated Food Safety Programs with other DOST agencies. 

She said, “We in DOST-CALABARZON hold that through Science, Technology, and Innovation, we can make significant changes to the lives of our fellow kababayans.”

Moreover, Ms. Carina Z. Santiago, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) CALABARZON, also gave her message. Ms. Santiago thanked DOST-CALABARZON for its efforts and called for other agencies and institutions to join NNC’s cause on mitigating hunger and food insecurity especially in the region.

Before the presentations, Ms. Diane Z. Ulan, Science Research Specialist II from DOST-CALABARZON’s Food Safety Team, introduced each project and their components, specifically:

  • “Retrofitting and Operationalization of a GMP-Compliant Facility in Support to the Smart Food Value Chain Processing Facility of the Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura sa Quezon Foundation, Inc. (SPPAQFI) at Southern Luzon State University (SLSU)-Lucena City Campus” by Dr. Maria Fara C. Cadeliña (Southern Luzon State University-Lucena City Campus)
  • “Fabrication of Prototype Deployable Mushroom Growing House as Complementary Technology to Enhance Livelihood and Food Security” by Ms. Charmayne D. Sanglay, MM (Laguna State Polytechnic University Siniloan College of Agriculture)
  • “Upgrading of Seed Storage Facility in Bureau of Plant Industry - Los Baños National Crop Research, Development, and Production Support Center (BPI-LBNCRDPSC)” by Dr. Herminigilda A. Gabertan (Bureau of Plant Industry- Los Baños National Crop Research, Development and Production Support Center)
  • “Enhancing the Capability of Smallhold CALABARZON Dairy Carabao Farmers through a Sustainable Forage Production System” by Dr. Consorcia E. Reaño (University of the Philippines Los Baños)
  • “Employing Hydroponics and Vegetable Gardening Technologies to alleviate COVID-19 Threats to Food Security in Selected Municipalities in Region IV-A” by Mr. Fernando E. Ablaza (Provincial S&T Center of Rizal

An open forum was held after the presentations where participants were able to virtually engage and discuss their queries and concerns with the project team. Following this, an awarding of certificates for the project presenters also commenced.

Engr. Francisco R. Barquilla III, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations of DOST-CALABARZON, thanked everyone for participating in the event and encouraged everyone to support DOST-CALABARZON’s similar webinars in the future.