The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region XI, thru its Provincial Science and Technology Center in Davao Oriental, entered into a partnership with the Municipal Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tarragona for the implementation of the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) Project.

Mayor Nestor L. Uy of LGU Tarragona and Provincial Science and Technology Center-Davao Oriental Director Sharon M. Alegado led the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement held on 27 April 2021 at the Municipal Building of Tarragona, Davao Oriental.

Under the agreement, the DOST will release Php 800,000 fund to LGU Tarragona for the acquisition/fabrication of all the equipment and materials for the implementation of the identified and approved technological interventions under Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Climate Change Adaptation (DRRM+CCA) and Environmental Protection and Conservation. The partnership also seeks to develop a pool of individuals trained on DRRM, CCA, and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), as well as to increase resilience of community to disaster risks and climate change.

Mayor Uy warmly welcomed the DOST’s planned interventions and committed to provide all the necessary support for the successful implementation of the project. The implementation of CEST in Tarragona in CY 2021 was made possible thru the Congress-Introduced Increases (CII) funding.

CEST is one of DOST’s flagship programs that enables communities engage in sustainable livelihood that will eventually alleviate poverty in remote communities using science and technology interventions.  The program targets to empower the poorest and most depressed communities in the country through five entry points, namely: health and nutrition, water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, livelihood/economic enterprise development, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Its target beneficiaries also include communities in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs), communities with conflicts, women’s organizations, members of marginalized sectors and indigenous groups.

Moreover, CEST is the DOST’s nationwide program that aims to contribute in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) being pursued by the country to help in poverty reduction and strengthening people empowerment.