DOST Innovations stun Palawenos during the STI Roadshow in Coron

Written by Phylicia Ann Baguyo, Dr. Ma Josefina P. Abilay

With 140 attendees and participants, the Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Roadshow was completed in Coron, Palawan last October 25-26, 2017.

The STI Roadshow, delivered by DOST-MIMAROPA through the Provincial Science and Technology Center -Palawan (PSTC- Palawan), in partnership with the Local Government of Coron (LGU-Coron), Department of Agrarian Reform-Palawan (DAR-Palawan), and the Calamian Islands Power Corporation (CIPC) offers micro-enterprises/ industry; local government units and other local government agencies; officials, faculty, and students from the academe; researchers; non-government agencies, and a wider public an opportunity to discover various technologies that are, and could be relevant to their everyday life. The STI Roadshow also intends to stimulate interest, improve motivation and attitude towards S&T, and open people’s eyes to the breath-taking opportunities that the scientific community has to offer.

The two-day event which opened in Sunlight Guest Hotel, Coron, Palawan featured three different activities reflecting DOST’s existing programs and services and potential S&T endeavors for the municipality. These activities include technology forums, cGMP and Food Safety Practices and Training, and Site Visitations to potential beneficiaries. Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay, Regional Director of DOST-MIMAROPA, welcomed the audience with a brief account of the programs and services that have benefitted MIMAROPA communities for the past years.

Some of the DOST-developed technologies that were showcased during the roadshow were the E-Trike and the Environment-friendly Septic (Eco-sep) Tank. DOST-MIMAROPA continuous to ensure ecologically sustainable development in its provinces by introducing technologies that aim to boost the tourism sector while protecting the environment.

Palawan is considered as an eco-tourism hub in the MIMAROPA Region. Coron, which lies in the northern part of Palawan and one of the islands comprising the Calamianes, has recently become a popular and must-visit destination in the province. Not only Filipinos, but also foreigners flock to the island because of its pristine white and clear blue water beaches, lakes and lagoons, and diving sites. This major tourism boom also led to the flourishing of resorts and hotels in the area. It stands to reason that a province with these natural wonders and tourism activity should strive to maintain its beauty. Resort and hotel owners now suddenly face the challenge of managing wastes so as to maintain the island’s natural beauty.

As a response to this need, DOST-MIMAROPA organized a technology forum bringing the wastewater contamination solution to island. Members of the association of resort and hotel owners were introduced to Eco-Sep or an eco-friendly septic water management system that contains Vigormin- an organo-mineral product that hastens the decomposition of harmful bacteria present in septic tanks thereby preventing water contamination.

The roadshow also featured an orientation on Electric Vehicle Technology or the E-trike. DOST-MIMAROPA encouraged members of the Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) in Coron, Palawan to adopt the said technology to minimize carbon emission in the province.

Other STI-related programs and services of DOST to support upgrading of micro-enterprises and community-based enterprises in the Calamian Islands were also discussed during the forum. Such include the Small Enterprise Technology Program (SETUP, technology trainings, and laboratory testing and analysis and calibration services. MSMEs different sectors such as food processing, furniture, gifts/houseware/decors, aquaculture, horticulture and agriculture, welding and machine shop, and health product and services participated in the forum which also featured a one-on-one consultation for those who are interested in availing the services.

Technology trainings were also conducted during the roadshow which include a training on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Food Safety and a hands-on training on Inspection and Verification of Fuel Dispensers and Spring Type Weighing Scales for representatives of LGU Coron, Culion, and Busuanga.

With the aim of extending the benefits of the DOST’s SETUP to more local entrepreneurs, particularly to those based in Coron, Palawan, site visits were also conducted in five (5) micro-enterprises in Palawan namely: Lumpia Wrapper Manufacturer, Corong Lokals Marketing and Services, Aramintas Arts and Crafts, Eco Cashew, and Coron Harvest. These micro-enterprises are eyed to be the first-ever SETUP adoptors in the municipality.