Legarda supports the convergence of DOST, DTI and University of Antique for more livelihood projects for Antiqueños

August 13, 2020

Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda continues to empower local communities in her home province of Antique by providing more livelihood programs in convergence with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of Antique (UA).

“Antiqueños already have the skills and the raw materials can be gathered right within the community. All we have to do is to empower them and provide support to further develop livelihood and generate jobs to provide their families and communities alternative sources of income. Our continued collaboration with the DOST and the UA on nutrition programs and technology is one of the most effective programs that we have in support of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the province,” Legarda said.

DOST CEST aims to establish five (5) livelihood support hubs (Techno hubs) and technology-based barangay economic enterprises (TechnoBEEs) in the municipalities of Tibiao, Caluya, San Remigio, Sibalom and Hamtic. The main focus of CEST is to provide assistance depending on the existing agriculture produce of the municipality.

In Tibiao, the area of focus is on fishery and machine products to provide support to sea fishing, aquaculture production, community-based fish processing, and complementary feeding program. The Techno hub aims to produce and provide support to production of various fish-based products such as kropeck, sardines, fish sauce and paste.

In Caluya, the area of focus is on seaweeds-based products and seaweeds processing. It will produce and provide technical support for the processing of seaweeds into food products such as jelly and seaweeds noodles.

In San Remigio, the area of focus is on processed vegetables and root crops that will be processed into various products such as vacuum fried products, jams, pickles, among others.

On the other hand, the facility in Hamtic will specialize in the processing of dairy products, such as ice cream, milk bars, and milk drinks. The milk used in the processing of dairy products come from the cows provided by the National Dairy Authority (NDA) in Tobias Fornier, again through Legarda’s initiative.

In February 2019, Legarda, DOST and UA launched the Techno hub in UA Sibalom which specializes in the production of rice- and grains-based products, such as Rice Mongo Curls, Rice Mongo Crunchies, Rice Mongo Polvoron, and Rice Mongo Baby Food Blend. The Techno Hub produces DOST-FNRI complementary food used to feed malnourished children in the towns of Tibiao, Culasi, Hamtic, Valderrama, and Patnongon, where the highest rates of malnutrition have been recorded.

“Through the CEST program, communities are being provided with product development and marketing support to enable them to compete equally in the market. By providing them with such assistance, we hope to enable our kasimanwa to exhibit their knowledge and expertise in various fields, provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, and increase the productivity level of our province,” Legarda said.

Legarda also envisioned a brick making facility and it is being developed by dost to provide technical assistance for the upgrading of community-based terra cotta production facility in Tibiao and Sibalom. Two existing producers of bricks and pottery products in the province were identified as beneficiaries of the project: the Asosasyon ng Maninihon sa Brgy. Bandoja (AMABA) in Tibiao and the Manugkoron Cooperative in Bari, Sibalom.

Aside from the Techno Hubs and the brick making facility, Legarda also supported the establishment of a bamboo development center under the Shared Services Facilities (SSF) program.

The UA with the Department of Trade and industry (DTI), the bamboo development center will have a Clonal Laboratory and Nursery and a Bamboo Crafts and Furniture Facility, which will be both situated in UA-Main Campus in Sibalom.

Experts from the UA-Hamtic Campus will manage the Clonal Laboratory and Nursery and when completed, the products of the facility will be supplied directly to the plantation owners, bamboo growers and other interested sectors assisted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as well as cater to the demand of other bamboo farmers in the province who may want to expand their plantations.

On the other hand, the Bamboo Crafts and Furniture Facility aims to provide opportunity to explore Antique’s capacity to grow and develop its own local bamboo industry in the province. This component’s target beneficiaries include 100 MSMEs, 29 students enrolled in the Bachelor in Industrial Technology (Civil Construction and Technology) course, and 28 people’s organizations in San Remigio, Valderrama, Culasi, Tibiao, Bugasong, Sebaste, Laua-an, and Patnongon.

“I have always talked about how rich Antique is in terms of natural resources and raw materials, which include the innate talents and skills of our kasimanwa. Making use of these available resources will deliver sustainable jobs, incomes, and livelihoods as we strive to move forward to improve the lives of all Antiqueños,” Legarda concluded.#