Silliman University opens food lab to MSMEs in NegOr

By Roi Lomotan

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Representatives of different sectors take a look at the food processing equipment which will be used in the SUNDD-DOST Food Laboratory. The food laboratory located at Silliman University – Nutrition and Dietetics Department (SUNDD) Building in Dumaguete City was formally opened on September 27, 2018. This is a joint project between SUNDD and the Department of Science and Technology which aims to assist MSMEs engaged in food business in their product development. (ral/PIA7-NegOr)

The Silliman University – Nutrition and Dietetics Department (SUNDD) opened its food laboratory to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise  (MSMES) engaged in food industry who seek assistance in improving and developing their products in Negros Oriental.

On Sept. 27, SUNDD together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Negros Oriental officially launched the SUNND- DOST Food Laboratory located inside the university.

The event was attended by university officials led by SU President Dr. Betty Cernol-McCann, DOST-7 Assistant Regional Director Engr. Jesus Zamora, DOST-Negros Oriental team headed by Provincial Director Engr. Gilbert Arbon, and local partners of DOST.

The food laboratory is equipped with pulverizer, blender or grinder, moisture analyzer, vacuum sealer, band sealer, dryer, refractometer, water activity meter, and PH meter.

The food laboratory aims to support the local food processing industry including community-based livelihood groups with enterprise development services related to product strategy development and product design and development including scientific research or testing, technology training, information and advisory services, and kitchen – scale trial productions.

“We have product development, we also have product testing, we can check the shelf life of your food, the PH, the moisture of your product, and we can also help you develop your food,” said Asst. Prof. Jin Genove, chairperson of HE-ND Department of Silliman University.

“The packaging, that is in partnership with Foundation University. They have two faculties there who are trained in packaging. Whenever it’s about packaging design, we ask their help,” she added.

Genove explained that MSMEs can approach SUNDD and have a consultation meeting with them and the department will assign one faculty member who will be the director of the said project.

The food laboratory is a joint endeavour of SUNDD and DOST under the Grants in Aid (GIA) Project.

It was SUNDD who submitted the proposal to DOST and it was the department that granted the equipment estimated to cost P500,000.

SU official Dr. Michele Naranjo said the idea for the establishment of a food laboratory came after the university and DOST had initial talks on how to help food establishments in Negros Oriental.

Based on the business name registration data of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), there are more than 2,000 food processing enterprises in the province and most of them are MSMEs.

“These food processors do not do product development mainly due to lack of resources and most of their products may be described as traditional, copycat or generic. MSMEs are therefore most vulnerable to competition from foreign firms especially now where is an integrated ASEAN market,” Naranjo explained.

“With new acquisitions of equipment, it is our hope that our students, our partners, our MSMEs, our stakeholders will avail of the food technology expert services via training, consultancy, and product development program that will improve capabilities and will enable us to be more creative in developing new recipes or product formulation which you can use to start or improve your business,” She elaborated.

Meanwhile, DOST-7 Assistant Regional Director Engr. Jesus Zamora expressed his support to the project noting that the department is just “sowing seeds” and it gave his assurance that DOST will provide more assistance to the academic institution.

Zamora also urged the university to link up with its Food Innovation Centers (FIC) to for further assistance and development.

Aside from helping MSMEs, the food laboratory will also be utilized to enhance food research and development know-how of SUNND faculty and staff through training or consultancy.

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DOST deploys STARBOOKS in Dumaguete City

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Dumaguete City’s seven public junior high schools have received last week a unit each of “library box” or STARBOOKS from the Department of Scienc and Technology (DOST).

STARBOOKS is short for Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated KioskS, the first Philippine Science &Technology digital library, is a stand alone information source designed to bring Science and Technology (S&T) information to the grassroots.

The beneficiaries include Piapi High School, RTPM-Dumaguete Science High School, Dumaguete City National High School, Junob National High School, Hermenegilda F. Gloria Memorial High School, Taclobo National High School and Camanjac National High School.

The STARBOOKS aims to provide S&T-based educational and learning resources in various formats to geographically-isolated schools and local government units throughout the country as well as enhance the educational competence of students in its beneficiary schools.

The deployment was part of “Smarter Schools in Digital Dumaguete Initiative” (SSDDI) Grants-in-Aid project which aims to scale-up information, communication and technology (ICT) utilization in the public schools in the city.

The said initiative was organized by the DOST Negros Oriental Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) in cooperation with the Department of Education-Dumaguete City Division Office.

“STARBOOKS is a great foundation for students who wish to achieve higher learning. Acquiring correct information is crucial in their formative years. That’s why it is best to equip them with credible and validated digital information at a young age”, said Atty. Gilbert R. Arbon, Provincial Director of DOST Negros Oriental.

The turnover ceremony was separately conducted in each of the seven schools and was attended by around 200 participants from school heads, teachers and students.

STARBOOKS is deployed in over 2,662 sites nationwide.

Interesed institutions may avail of the said project through DOST-STII (www.stii.dost.gov.ph) or visit the nearest DOST regional/provincial office in the area.

DOST opens college scholarships in Negros Oriental

By Jennifer C. Tilos

 

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Image courtesy of DOST-Negros Oriental

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here is now accepting applications for its scholarship grants for college students in Negros Oriental.

Engr. Reinhold Abing of DOST said the scholarship will be given to deserving students who aspire to take up science and technology (S&T) related courses, those in, will be provided with financial and tuition assistance.

The scholarship programs are open to all graduating senior high school students who are enrolled in public and private schools.

Abing said Grade 12 students taking up Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) strand are all qualified to apply, while the non-STEM strand students must belong to the top five percent class to be able to qualify.

Under DOST’s scholarship program, which is RA 7687, or “Science and Technology Act of 1994,” it says the government shall provide for scholarships to talented and deserving students whole families’ socio-economic status do not exceed the set cut-off values of certain indicators.

Qualifiers must pursue priority fields of study in the basic sciences, engineering, other applied sciences, and science and mathematics teaching.

For Merit program, it is awarded to non-poor students with high aptitude in science and mathematics and willing to pursue careers in the fields of science and technology.

Exam passers will enjoy P40,000 subsidy for tuition and school fees, receive P10,000.00 book allowance per academic year, and be given P7,000 monthly living allowance for the academic year, among other benefits, said Abing.

He added these scholars have to be enrolled in any of the science and technology priority courses in any state university and colleges or private schools identified as Center of Excellence or Center of Development.

The DOST encouraged more students especially in the far flung areas to grab this opportunity and apply for the scholarship.

In last year’s examination, it is noted that Negros Oriental has 89 qualifiers out of 973 examinees for the 2018 DOST Undergraduate Scholarships.

Application forms and brochures are available at the Negros Oriental Provincial Science and Technology Center and can also be downloaded from the Science Education Institute (www.sei.dost.gov.ph/downloads ) website.

Deadline for the submission of application forms along with complete requirements is on August 31, 2018 (Friday) while examination is on October 21, 2018(Sunday).

For inquiries, you may contact DOST NegOr thru telefax (035) 421-2100; 225-4551 or e-mail dostnegor@gmail.com.