Bontoc, Southern Leyte – Department of Science and Technology – VIII Regional Director Edgar Esperancilla recently turned over P400,000 funding to Southern Leyte State University – Bontoc Campus for the project “Strengthening and Monitoring of Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program in Region 8”.  Said project was conceptualized by SLSU-Bontoc and DOST 8 in the last quarter of CY 2014.
Developed by the DOST, the CEST program aims to provide livelihood and alleviate poverty in communities. Campus Administator Madel Calva received the funding.

The program’s implementation in Region 8 entails provision and transfer of technology-based livelihood projects to six identified new CEST communities. CEST will also facilitate the transfer of know-how and technologies to beneficiaries along the areas of education, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, and industry development or livelihood.

The program will focus on communities located in Jaro, Leyte; Basey, Samar; Salcedo, Eastern Samar; and Sogod, Southern Leyte.

A firm believer and one of the prime movers of the program, Dir. Esperancilla encouraged SLSU-Bontoc Campus to include in their extension function the transfer of SLSU’s developed technologies to communities. Empowerment is highly needed in said communities, he said, and livelihood opportunities provide sound option to alleviate poverty.  

Esperancilla cited the case of Bobon, Northern Samar, a pioneering CEST beneficiary municipality that empowered a women’s group through the provision of a Common Service Facility (CSF) for the processing of their local food products called “piñato” and “pinangat.” The facility’s establishment was made possible by the collaboration among DOST VIII, the local government, and the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) Research office consultancy group.  The said women’s group is now competitive and generating income that augments their respective families’ revenue.

Other components such as water and sanitation, health and nutrition, and others, have also been implemented by the municipality in coordination with DOST 8 and the UEP.

Esperancilla emphasized that the higher education institution plays a vital role in empowering communities because it can conduct research, access information, develop new products, educate a community, and access sources of funds.  
He stressed that this call for the participation of different higher education institutions and its external campuses in the CEST implementation in the region has already been agreed and approved by the different SCU Presidents in one of the Board of Regents Meeting.  

Ms. Calva on the other hand, accepted the challenge of Dir. Esperancilla and stressed that the early release of the project funds and the presence of the director himself in the fund turnover showed the seriousness and the commitment of DOST 8 to hasten the CEST implementation program in the municipality of Bontoc and its nearby municipalities, and to identify other possible areas where CEST could be best implemented. (By Engr. Ramil T. Uy, S&T Media Service, DOST 8) #CEST  #dostPH #livelihood  #opportunity

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SLSU-Bontoc Adm. Mabel Calva (center) receives the check amounting to P0.4M for the project Strengthening and Monitoring of CEST Program in Region 8. (L-R); Dr. Dominador Clavejo, PSTD Southern Leyte, Dir. Edgardo M. Esperancilla and Engr. Ramil T. Uy, DOST 8 CEST Coordinator.

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Dir. Edgardo M. Esperancilla discussing CEST to SLSU-Bontoc faculty.

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