Aligned with the agenda to alleviate poverty and provide livelihood by empowering the marginalized segments of society, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) VI continues to address the prevalent issues in communities through its Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program in the barangays of Timpas, Capagao, and Tinigban in Panitan, Capiz. The project addresses the needs of communities in five entry points via Science and Technology (S&T) interventions in Human Resource Development, Good Governance, Health and Nutrition, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, and Environmental Protection and Conservation.

Creating an interest in the field of S&T under the component of Human Resource Development, the project will provide two (2) units of desktop computers and printers to the schools of Antonio Belo Integrated School, Tinigban Integrated School, and Leodegario D. Deocampo, Sr. National High School. The provided desktop computers will be installed with Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly-Operated Kiosk Stations or dubbed as STARBOOKS which will allow students, school faculty and residents to have access to thousands of digitized academic and livelihood S&T resources in various formats even without the use of the internet.

Incorporating the Good Governance component, the Barangay Infosystem for Development and Accountability or BIDA system will be installed in the identified barangays to assist and improve the office operation through an office management system. The BIDA system is an e-governance system developed by DOST VI where barangays can encode and easily track the minutes of the meetings, resolutions, ordinances and other official documents.

The barangays will also undergo training workshops on disaster preparedness and creation of evacuation maps, satisfying the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation component. Bantay Panahon, a web-based weather monitoring system in Western Visayas developed by DOST VI, will also be made available through the BIDA system.

Meanwhile, the small-scale motorized composter equipment by the DOST – Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) will be piloted under the component of Environment Protection and Conservation to enable the management of biodegradable solid waste, following a standardized process with compost as the end product. The produced compost will be made available to backyard gardeners and local farmers.

Parents and guardians will also be trained in meal planning, focusing on preparation of healthy meals for the family at a lower cost under the component of Health and Nutrition.

DOST VI released a grant amounting to P650,000.00 for the project. The results of the implemented interventions of the program will contribute in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the country relative to poverty reduction and people empowerment. (JJMoleño/DOST VI-KMU)