Written by: Licinio Gingoyon
Top officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), led by Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, hit the road to the northern towns of Cebu, spending the weekend in a host of events aimed at alleviating the conditions of marginalized village folk through technology innovation.
Dela Peña, accompanied by DOST 7 Regional Director Edilberto Paradela and Cebu 4th District Representative Benhur Salimbangon, and other DOST officials, had gone the distance to visit the towns of Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island on September 1 and 2, 2017, meeting with the village fisherfolk, barangay officials, and members of women’s organization.
The visits are part of his official commitment to take a look at all DOST-assisted projects and initiatives around the country and to see how they impacted on the lives of the people. The activities also serve as part of consultative process for better appreciation of the peculiar conditions and needs experienced by people in a given locality.
Through dialogue and interactions with the townsfolk, the secretary and other DOST officials can have a better determination of the S&T interventions suitable to the livelihood needs and requirements of the community.
Among the problems encountered by people in the fishing villages of Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island are inadequate power and potable water supplies as well as lack of modern storage facilities and fish drying equipment.
Salimbangon proposed the setting up of a solar power system and a desalination facility on Bantayan Island with the assistance of the DOST as a solution to the problem. Salimbangon and Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot have expressed interest in setting up the facilities.
For his part, Dela Peña has vowed to “devote time and energy” to implement the proposed project. He also assured that, with DOST’s technical assistance, quality fish drying equipment as well good solar power system and desalination facility would be set up for the fishing villages to produce better marine product quality.
A DOST technical team will return to Daanbantayan in a couple of months for assessment of the fishing villages’ technical and other needs that needs proper intervention.