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The Department of Science and Technology-10 simultaneously turned over the funds for the newly approved projects under the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program last July 15, 2021, via Zoom.

Among the recipients is Sinacaban, a 5th class municipality in Misamis Occidental.

Under the CEST Program, the Local Government Unit of Sinacaban received science and technology assistance amounting to P625,410.00 for its two active Public Organizations (PO), namely the San Lorenzo Ruiz Subanen Farmers Organization, Inc. (SALORUSFAO) and Rural Improvement Club of Colupan Bajo (RICCOL).

Beneficiaries for the SALORUSFAO are Subanen farmers engaging in abaca fiber processing using the traditional method. For years, members of the organization have been producing abaca fiber through the hand stripping manual method.

The RICCOL women’s association, on the other hand, is faced with the issue of extending the product shelf-life of their bottled sardines.

SALORUSFAO received P354,600.00 to improve its abaca fiber processing, while RICCOL received total assistance of P270,810.00 to lengthen the shelf-life of its bottled sardines.

The science and technology intervention for the bottled fish production includes processing equipment such as a pressure canner, stainless steel solar dryer, stainless steel production table, stainless steel with kitchen sink, and chest freezer.

Also, part of the S&T package is laboratory analysis on nutrition facts, shelf-life analysis, commercial sterility, and packaging and labeling assistance.

For the Subanen farmers, the intervention aims to enhance the production of abaca fibers by shifting from manual to mechanical fiber production. The association will also receive abaca seedlings to support their abaca plantation.

During the check turnover, LGU-Sinacaban Mayor Dello Lood said that the implementation of CEST in the municipality will improve the livelihood opportunities of the RICCOL women entrepreneurs. It will also augment the income of the Subanen abaca farmers from the Brgy. San Lorenzo Ruiz, a barangay identified as a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA). (Kristel Alvarico, DOST-Misamis Occidental)