DOST, MMSU to empower communities in Carasi

By Kimberly S. Miguel and Aris Reynold V. Cajigal


The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region I has tied up with the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) to implement the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program in Carasi, Ilocos Norte this year. 


CEST is an ongoing development initiative for the less privileged communities in the Ilocos Region. It supports the national government’s goal to eradicate poverty, raise livelihoods, ensure food security and provide healthy and physically safe environment. 


This partnership was formalized through a virtual signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between DOST Regional Director Armando Ganal, MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis, and Carasi Mayor Rene Gaspar last May 17. 


In the agreement, DOST-RO1 and MMSU will provide science and technology (S&T) interventions in Carasi to help mitigate problems on health and nutrition, water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation, and livelihood / economic enterprise development. 


To realize this, the department and the university will conduct community organizing and social mobilization activities in barangays Barbaquezo, Virbira, and Angset.  


Dr. Ganal assured the CEST is bound by a sense of respect of town’s cultural heritage, traditions, and beliefs. 


Meanwhile, Mayor Gaspar expressed support to the program, hoping that it would help the local government of Carasi “rise above its problems through appropriate S&T interventions.”


For her part, President Agrupis said the university “remains committed as an active development partner and a pillar of knowledge and expertise as we help people help themselves.”


Joining the virtual MOA signing were DOST-Ilocos Norte Director Benjamin Mercado, Jr.; DOST Assistant Regional Director for Field Operations Ismael D. Gurtiza; barangay captains Arnel Bondoc of Barbaquezo, Eric Advincula of Virbira, and Edwin Sueb of Angset; and, other local government officials and school heads in the said town. 


Carasi is a fifth-class municipality and one of the youngest towns in Ilocos Norte. 


In 2019, the CEST program was first implemented in Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte where livelihood training programs for the community were conducted. (StratCom)