DOST, MMSU to implement CEST program in Dumalneg

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region 1 and MMSU have agreed to conduct various technological interventions and training programs that would increase the productivity of people in Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte this year.


These development activities are part of the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program which is being implemented by the DOST for the less-privileged communities and municipalities in Region I.


It was identified by the National Statistical Coordination Board as one of the poorest municipalities of  Ilocos Norte. Dumalneg is a fifth class municipality and, according to the 2015 census, it has only a population of 2,947.


Las February 11,  a memorandum of agreement for this purpose was signed by DOST Regional Director Armando Q. Ganal, MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis, and Dumalneg Mayor Lairvee G. Espiritu at the Sangguniang Bayan Function Hall in Dumalneg.


Dr. Agrupis said she welcomes this effort as another milestone in sharing the expert services of MMSU and DOST to the remote areas of Ilocos Norte.


"With the expertise of MMSU and other partners of the program, the delivery of extension services on areas such as food production, livelihood and skills trainings will be more effectively handled," she added.


CEST Program seeks to undertake social mobilization activities in cognizance of existing values, skill or talents, resources and problems in the community. It also aims to take advantage of opportunities for wealth-creation through appropriate technological interventions.


Four different activities will be implemented under this program: community organizing in barangays; social mobilization activities; provision of science and technology (S&T) interventions that would mitigate the communities’ concerns; and project evaluation/assessment.


As agreed upon, the DOST shall facilitate the acquisition and fabrication of all the equipment and facilities to be used in the CEST Program. It shall also monitor, evaluate and document the project activities, lead in the conduct of impact assessment, and provide continuing technical assistance needed during and even after the program implementation.


Meanwhile, MMSU shall provide additional funds for the project, particularly to be used for supplies, travel, representation and accommodation. It shall also ensure the alignment of the program’s thrusts and operations with the approved vision and objectives of the University’s Extension Unit.


MMSU shall also assist the DOST in the provision of technical assistance needed during and after the program implementation; in monitoring, evaluating, and documenting the project activities; and in conducting impact-assessment.


On the other hand, the local government of Dumalneg shall share the cost in the delivery of S&T interventions in the locality, and provide full support and commitment to the program.


In addition, the program beneficiaries or the four barangays of the town —  Cabaritan, Kalaw, Quibel, and San Isidro – shall provide the space to house the equipment and facilities and shall implement the program activities according to the identified and approved S&T interventions.


The MOA signing was witnessed by the administrators of MMSU, DOST, as well as the local government and barangay officials, and heads of schools in Dumalneg.