DOST trains Bicol fisherfolk

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LEGAZPI CITY — The Community Life Competence Process (CLCP) is now part of the daily existence of some fishing communities in Bicol. Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Bicol Regional Director Tomas Briñas said barangay officials and fisherfolk from the municipalities of Gubat, Sorsogon; Del Gallego, Camarines Sur; and Balud, Masbate have been equipped with the CLCP through a recent training it conducted in partnership with the Worldfish Center (WFC).

The WFC, which is based at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) is an international non-government organization whose mission is to reduce poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture through research on policy and management changes necessary to improve resilience and productivity.

Its research focuses on small-scale fisheries in national and regional development policies; integrating assessment and advisory systems for management of the sector; improving management and governance; and building institutional capacity for adaptive learning among small-scale fishers.

In the CLCP training that lasted for two days held at the DOST regional office at Barangay Rawis here, Briñas said the participants, who included technical personnel who would later be fielded as trainers, were made to understand the concepts, steps and tools in relation to DOST’s on-going Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program.

Briñas defines the CLCP as a process that facilitates community action towards addressing a specific issue or concern while recognizing every community for its ownership of issues and relevant local actions.

The CEST, on the other hand, involves convergence initiatives with other government agencies and covers specific concerns like health, water and nutrition, basic education and literacy, livelihood/economic development and disaster risk reduction/climate change adaptation.

In Bicol, the municipalities of Aroroy, Masbate serves as the pilot beneficiary and model community while Gubat, Sorsogon; San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Norte; Claveria and Balud, Masbate; and Viga, Catanduanes are the identified priority areas for CEST interventions, Briñas said. These interventions, he said, are being initiated by the DOST in line with the national agenda of development enunciated in President Aquino’s Social Contract with the Filipino People.

“In taking up the challenge for community empowerment, we put more in the frontline of fighting poverty the empowering of the marginalized segments of society and to this challenge, the DOST in partnership with other government agencies and working sectors contribute science and technology (S&T) interventions to help bear against the barriers erected by poverty and deprivation,” he said.

Five development challenge areas that lend themselves well to S&T responses show the extent of interventions that DOST introduces in target communities and the desired results contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) being pursued by the country relative to poverty reduction and people empowerment, the DOST regional chief explained.

In Aroroy, Masbate, DOST’s assistance was realized with the strong support of the community and the LGU led by Mayor Enrico Capinig. Briñas said “we worked closely with the LGU in the implementation of various and activities, among them, the installation of an Automatic Rain Gauge (ARG) being used in weather monitoring.”

Other S&T interventions centered on education and literacy in this pilot area were the installation of STARBOOKS, a wealth of information at your fingertips project of the DOST; conduct of enrichment program for the undergraduate S&T scholarships; Invent School Program; and study mission cum technology search.

Another remarkable milestone is the establishment of the Aroroy processing facility for livelihood projects including the production of complementary food for infant and children, Briñas said. “Under CLCP, every community has the capacity to respond to life's challenges, to build a common vision, to act, and to adapt. We call this a local response and through the WFC, we stimulate and connect local responses around the world,” Brinas stressed.

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