The Department of Science and Technology Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (DOST CEST) Program extends assistance to three (3) indigenous cultural communities in Tubungan, Iloilo with an aim to improve their overall economic conditions through science and technology.

Tubungan is a 4th class municipality in the southern part of Iloilo which is among the poorest municipalities with poverty incidence reported at 25.39%. Indigent farmers and families here have limited access to transportation, basic educational needs, healthcare, and livelihood opportunities. The communities within the municipality are also vulnerable to the recruitment of communist terrorist groups or CTGs.

With this, DOST VI, Tubungan Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Iloilo Provincial Government – Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion (IPG-LEDIP) work together to provide much-needed assistance to three (3) target barangays, namely, Brgy. Igpaho, Brgy. Igtuble, and Brgy. Victoria which is to be implemented through the DOST CEST project entitled, “Empowering Indigenous Cultural Communities in the Municipality of Tubungan”.

Among the assistance identified are to establish a fiber processing facility for abaca and pineapple, enhance the technical know-how of upland farmers particularly in abaca fiber processing and handicraft making, increase awareness on proper nutrition, improve basic education by installing local technologies, and strengthen community preparedness and response and disaster risk reduction and management by conducting DRRM-related seminars.

The project was officially launched at Brgy. Igtuble Integrated School. The launching activity was hosted by the Municipality of Tubungan in coordination with DOST VI through its Iloilo Provincial Science and Technology Office (PSTO) and IPG-LEDIP.

Present during the activity were Emelyn E. Tano, Project Leader; Joseph Glenn Tanallon, Project Assistant; Representative from DOST VI Iloilo PSTO, Ms. Mary Beth D. Grecia and Mr. Tito C. Gambuta; Hon. Jo Ann Germinada, Board Member-First Congressional District; Roquito G. Tacsagon, Municipal Mayor; Luna M. Bela-ong from IPG-LEDIP; Mr. Juan G. Gepullano from Department of Education (DepEd)-Tubungan; For. Francisco Gallego, Jr. from the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO)-Tubungan; Ms. Liezel Arabe from the Municipal Environmental and Natural Resources Office (MENRO); Dir. Ana N. Burgos, Regional Director of National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) VI & VII; Dr. Jesus C. Insilada from Division Indigenous Peoples Education (IPed)-Focal Person;

Representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Field Office VI (TESDA VI), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Iloilo, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority Region VI (PhilFIDA VI); Municipal Officials and Department Heads; Igtuble, Igpaho and Victoria School Head Teachers and Brgy. Officials, and IP elders.