Davao Occidental – Half million worth of S&T intervention was granted by the Department of Science and Technology Region XI (DOST-XI) to the Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) as part of its implementation of the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) project in the province.

DOST-XI, through its Provincial Science and Technology Center in Davao Occidental, officially granted the financial assistance to support the goal of making coastal communities self-sufficient and food secure through the establishment of the Food Processing Innovation Center (FPIC). The partnership was formalized through the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) held on 18 May 2021.

The Center is a collaborative project by the different national agencies with SPAMAST that will provide an avenue for the development of new and innovative products for commercialization.

For 2021, DOST-XI will provide technological assistance for the acquisition of vacuum frying machine. Other partner agencies also committed to provide funding for the acquisition of other production equipment while SPAMAST will provide for the building facility which will be open for all constituents in the community especially the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for a fee.

The funding assistance to procure equipment for the establishment of the facility is part of the DOST-XI’s roll-out of CEST Project in Barangays Demoloc, Pinalpalan, Little Baguio, Manuel Peralta, Mana, Lais, Fishing Village, in Davao Occidental. The project will focus on all components, ensuring access to quality information that can be used to empower education and teaching techniques and provide opportunities to the marginalized sectors.

SPAMAST President, Dr. Ruth S. Lucero, Provincial Science and Technology Center – Davao Occidental Director; Maria Victoria I. Dado; and the SPAMAST IFMS Dean, Dr. Marlyn Llameg led the ceremonial signing of the MOA held at SPAMAST, Malita, Davao Occidental.