CEST is a program that aims to provide livelihood and alleviate poverty in remote areas and its implementation entails provision and transfer of technology-based livelihood projects to the identified communities.
DOST Project Assistant III John Lerry Bautista said that from 2018 to 2021, the DOST has launched projects in 63 municipalities, assisted 467 customers, and conducted 1,771 interventions through CEST initiatives including cashew processing, fish processing facility and fish cages, community gardening, and production of free-range chickens.
In coordination with the Food Nutrition and Research Institute, the DOST has also developed products like rice monggo baby food blend, malunggay noodles, and nutribun that is used to provide nutritious meals during feeding programs.
Bautista said DOST provides training and technical consultancy for mangrove rehabilitation; technology for processing biodegradable waste to convert into organic fertilizer and methane gas; and training on disaster risk management, among others.
He added that for this year, they have identified 33 municipalities, with 10 new communities as program beneficiaries, with projects focusing on the theme “Strengthening Local Disaster Preparedness and Post Pandemic Recovery Capacities of Central Luzon Community.”
Among these are building three processing facilities in the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Ecija, and Bataan, which will produce nutritious ready-to-eat relief goods which can be distributed during disasters.
Qualified to avail of the technology and services under the CEST program are those in the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas communities as long as they are members of the marginalized sector; they have a group, association, or a cooperative; part of women’s organization, part of the indigenous peoples’ community; or those living in communities with armed conflict.
“Using science and technology, CEST provides technical assistance to community beneficiaries to improve living standards, improve health and nutrition, promote sound and progressive education, and protect the environment and prepare for disasters,” Bautista said.