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By: Krizzia Mei C. Esperanza

The Los Baños Science Community Foundation, Inc. (LBSCFI) Technology Forum (TechnoForum) Committee, chaired by Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal, the Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) CALABARZON, organized a virtual forum via Zoom and Facebook Live on December 3, 2020. The TechnoForum titled “Si Plantito, Plantita sa Pandemya: Food Security Challenges and Opportunities Under the New Normal” is part of the 12th Los Baños SyenSaya Science Festival. Around 200 individuals, coming from different parts of the country, attended the event.

Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria, the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and the President of the LBSCFI, highlighted the virtual or online character of this year’s TechnoForum during her welcome address. She said, “While we will be missing the usual physical or face-to-face gathering that characterizes our TechnoForum participation during the previous years, this virtual TechnoForum was designed to achieve the same set of objectives—to provide information, models of good practices, on the application of science-based products and services to our daily lives, and to stimulate discourse concerning issues that are controversial to many.” She cited how food security is a relevant issue, given the instances of families not having enough to eat, or of farmers restricted to sell their produce under the “new normal.” However, she continued that the forum is a celebration of resilience—“to move past these initial challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and even surface opportunities that kept many of us going.”

Dr. Madrigal shared the active participation of the DOST-CALABARZON to the recently concluded National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration, and presented the rationale behind the TechnoForum’s program of activities. The forum covers the 4 thematic Ks of the 2020 NSTW: Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, and Kinabukasan. Under Kalusugan, Dr. Eufemio V. Rasco, Jr., the Chair of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Agricultural Sciences Division, was invited to talk about how food security involves not only adequacy, but accessibility to nutritious food. Under Kabuhayan, the organizing committee invited Los Baños-based produce sellers, Carbonn Farms and Sierreza, to talk about how the pandemic both posed a threat to, and offered opportunities for, food security. Under Kaayusan and Kinabukasan, Ms. Cheryll Laviña-Gonzales, the Municipal Agriculturist of Los Baños, and Hon. Filomena Cinco, the Barangay Chairperson of 412, Sampaloc, Manila, were invited to share local government and community projects on food security, and how these has helped them cope with the pandemic.

By: Krizzia Mei C. Esperanza

Rubber tapping.

On November 5, 2020, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) CALABARZON launched via Zoom and Facebook Live its funded project, the rubber latex drying facility, in Barangay Cansuso, Cavinti, Laguna, in celebration of the National Science and Technology Week 2020, with the theme “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan,” under the Kabuhayan sector.

Engr. Samuel L. Caperiña, the Director of the DOST Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) Lagunain his welcome remarks, featured the drying facility in Barangay Cansuso as not only useful for kabuhayan or livelihood, but also to address environmental health issues, including climate change, under the Kalusugan sector. The drying facility, designed and developed by the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), uses a renewable energy source: solar power.

Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal, the Regional Director of DOST-CALABARZON, delivers his opening message during the Virtual Launching of Rubber Latex Drying Facility, November 5, 2020. Ms. Demee Angelica S. Ludia of DOST-CALABARZON officiated the event.

The Regional Director of DOST-CALABARZON, Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal expressed support to the Southern Tagalog Rubber Producers Cooperative (STRPC) in fully utilizing its 136 hectares of land for rubber latex production. It also organized a 2-day training (October 23-24, 2020) on rubber latex harvesting, processing, and marketing to farmers and foresters in Barangay Cansuso. “We, in DOST, are proud to have embedded innovation, science and technology in the value addition system of another promising industry in CALABARZON,” Dr. Madrigal said.

 By: Demee Angelica S. Ludia 

During these trying times, micronutrient malnutrition is waving. With calamities shaking our country one after another, the Department of Science and Technology through its Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) aims to ensure nutritional well-being through the revived and enhanced “ready to eat complete meal”-Enhanced Nutribun (E-Nutribun). And guess what? The CALABARZON region will soon get a taste of the E-Nutribun from none other than their kababayan bakers and manufacturers in the region.

Eight DOST CALABARZON-assisted micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have sealed the deal through signing a Technology Licensing Agreement (TLA) as the official first batch of producers of the E-Nutribun in the region.

 

Inking of the E-Nutribun TLA by (Top, Left to Right) Swiss Pharma Research Laboratories, Inc., Momilo Mio, Gem See’s Cakeshop, and Golden Wheat Bakery (Bottom, Left to Right) DoughPro Manufacturing and Trading Corp., Panaderia Pantoja, San Jose Workers’ Multi Purpose Cooperative, and MRG Foods Products.

By: Rochelle L. Cruz 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has now delivered a total of 368 RxBox units to UP-PGH (40) and DOST Regional Offices in NCR (50), VII (100), IV-A (36), III (40), XI (31) and VIII (71) for distribution to selected hospitals and healthcare facilities in the region helping the medical frontliners in monitoring COVID-19 patients. 

By: Krizzia Mei C. Esperanza

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) CALABARZON continued with its free online seminar series #BANGON Bayanihan tungo sa pagbangon with two webinars on Kalusugan (Health) on October 12 and 14, 2020. This is part of DOST-CALABARZON’s pre-National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration with the theme “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan.” The first day, participated by 50 individuals, focused on dengue, and the second, attended by 80 individuals, focused on mental health, both in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal, Regional Director of DOST-CALABARZON, welcomed the participants, and said that the topics were selected to respond to the difficulties in addressing specific health concerns, that of dengue and of mental health, brought about by the pandemic.

Dr. Regina P. Berba shares various findings on the similarities of dengue and COVID-19, including the duration of its incubation period, October 12, 2020.