DOST Secretary visits agency-assisted projects in Ilocos Norte

NorteBATAC CITY, April 7 (PIA) – On his visit in Ilocos Norte recently, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña underscored the importance of science and technology in the society.

On March 29, Dela Peña, along with other key officials of the department, monitored business firms and livelihood in the province that create a big impact in the community.

He said their visit was the last leg of their planned visits to the various DOST-assisted projects and launching of the several new programs nationwide.

“This is in connection with our advocacy in bringing science to the people. We are also looking for new opportunities which we can assist local entrepreneurs through technologies,” Dela Peña said.

Two of the places they visited in the province were the Baker’s Percent in Laoag City and the Food Processing and Innovation Center (FIC) of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in the Batac City, Ilocos Norte.

The Baker’s Percent is under DOST’s technology innovation and packaging improvement project while the latter centralizes on food testing, training, consultancy services, and packaging and labeling of food products of MMSU.

Under the management of then DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, MMSU-FIC is part of the circle of food innovations in the country which was implemented to support small business entrepreneurs in the region and to produce new food technologies.

Dr. Prima Fe Franco, OIC President of MMSU, promised a continuing partnership with the DOST in bringing science and technology to the grassroots level.

“In the university, we really embrace science and technology. We will really bring science and technology to the grassroots. And that we are doing because the technologies that we have generated, our research activities are being extended through our extension directorate,” Franco said.

The DOST and the Department of Trade and Industry continue to make rounds in the country to help small and medium enterprises for more opportunities of employment and a high percentage in manufacturing.

“One of the main targets are the SMEs and we look forward to identifying more of them who will benefit from our technologies,” Dela Peña said.

He also said that they are also looking into the possibility of applying technology into the so-called creative arts such as jewelry and textiles, among others.

“We are looking at the creative arts products in the different regions to see how technology can improve them or at least improve the production processes,” he added.  (Ma.Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)