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TUGUEGARAO CITY — Department of Science and Technology Region 02 (DOST-RO2) Director Sancho A. Mabborang takes pride in the initiatives of their agency in combatting the health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in his recent radio interview here.

Interviewed over Bombo Radyo Tuguegarao last April 28, Mabborang trumpeted the efforts of DOST in ensuring the continuous production by their micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSME)-beneficiaries particularly those engaged in essential products and services.

Among these MSMEs are those producing Immuno-booster food, drinks and related products including Turmeric powder, Calamansi Juice, and Banana Chips that are purchased by some local government units (LGUs) for distribution to frontliners in various areas.

To support the MSMEs, DOST-RO2, despite the Enhanced Community Quarantine, released Php41 million of its Innovation Fund this April to 43 MSMEs under its banner program, Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

Maborang said the fund support will sustain their SETUP beneficiaries that also benefits their workers and their suppliers of raw materials,  especially in this time of the pandemic. As further support for its SETUP beneficiaries, DOST has also deferred the payment of their loans from April to June this year.

In addition, he said DOST-RO2 is also working with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture on the “KADIWA ng Ani at Kita” program which enables the MSMEs to display their products for promotion and marketing.

Furthermore, the DOST Regional Director also highlighted the benefits of the OneSTore.ph program they developed, an e-commerce platform that helps market products of MSMEs for free. Despite the temporary suspension of some logistics companies, he said the self-enabled MSMEs are still able to deliver their products to their customers.

In the search for the cure for COVID-19, Maborang said DOST is now  conducting clinical trials on virgin coconut oil (VCO) that is believe to have anti-viral and anti-microbial properties that can help deter the spread of the current pandemic contagion.

He likewise cited the continuous production of 70% alcohol at their  DOST-Isabela State University (ISU) facility, and the utilization of their Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) and E-trikes that provide free transportation for front liners in Cauayan City and Tuguegarao City, respectively.

“Asahan niyo po na ang ahensya ng Agham at Teknolohiya ay tuluy-tuloy ang trabaho kahit na ECQ at GCQ man tayo, di tayo titigil para humanap ng solusyon, lalo na ngayong napakarami nating problema,” (Please be assured that DOST continues its work, and despite the ECQ and DCQ  we will not stop to fine solutions to our current problems), he said.

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