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Monday, November 28, 2022

DOST-SETUP Cooperators unite: A story of hope amid COVID-19 pandemic

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)—“The problem of humankind is that we often forget to be human, and to be kind,” this relates to logical truth that sometimes humankind cannot bear very much reality and forgets to help those who are in dire need.

Thousands of lives withered and many more suffer from hunger as the coronavirus rummage around the world, attacking the elderly, the rich and the poor, the smokers, the athletes, and even the healthy ones – everyone! There is nobody safe in the face of this crisis, but many chose to face the battle head on, with kindness and generosity gushing even from those who are in adversity themselves.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)–assisted local micro and small enterprises through the DOST banner program, Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading (SETUP) have overwhelmingly showered their support to frontliners and to the less-privileged since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In Bukidnon, where the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have had enough deficits from the recent drought and ASF (African Swine Fever) outbreak, these same line up of entrepreneurs are remarkably the first ones to administer the distribution of free facemasks and face shields, including food and grocery items to healthcare workers, law enforcers, and military frontliners.

Malaybalay’s Choice Handicraft, a well-known local producer of abaca handicrafts and indigenous accessories, has produced and donated 1,000 facemasks for the employees of local government unit (LGU) of Malaybalay City, barangay officials and workers, including the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC) staff.

To inspire other volunteers and benefactors, STORMTEC Enterprises and Celebrate Life & Prints from Malaybalay City have each produced and donated a bulk number of facemasks, face shields, sweatshirts with hoods, and Testing Acrylic Boxes to those who are on the front lines battling against COVID-19 in various parts of the province.

Celebrate Life and Prints also donated Trachebox to Northern Mindanao Medical Center, where COVID-19 positive patients are admitted, while Olarte Advertising and Iron Works has also turned over another aerosol box for Valencia City LGU.

New Nonie’s Buko Pie—the famous Buko Pie with Buko Juice—has also been distributing its delicious foodstuffs to the Philippine National Police (PNP) force on duty and Valencia LGU staff throughout barangay Lumbo checkpoints in Valencia City.

Likewise, Loulens’ Bakeshop of Manolo Fortich also donated P10,000 cash to Barangay Damilag and distributed 100 packs of assorted groceries.

As an appreciation to the frontliners, Cakeboom and Party Flavor provided free meals and snacks to the workforce in barangays Kalasungay and Aglayan checkpoints in Malaybalay City.

Loulens’ Bakeshop of Manolo Fortich packed and distributed 100 packs of assorted groceries to the community. (Nova Belle C. Calotes, DOST Bukidnon)

In the same way, FASEGO Hometown Breadland in Sumilao gave out grocery packs such as rice, noodles & canned goods to indigenous peoples (IPs) in Kisolon; while JRED Food Processing in Malitbog town also appropriated 10 packs of their mangosteen-robusta coffee blend to PNP on duty at Malitbog checkpoint.

Showing concern over the scarcity of food in some remote villages due to the imposed community quarantine, Mama Nene Food Products has distributed snacks and rice to the Natid-asan IPs.

CENYU Probiotic Technologies, producer of probiotic chicken and egg, in partnership with Cuchara Verde, have also been donating ready-to-eat meal boxes of “Adobong Probio Chicken and Egg with Rice” to 120 recipients every day to various hospitals, policemen, traffic enforcers on duty, and randomly to urban poor.

Several rice mills in the province contributed to the call for “Bayanihan (unity and cooperation)” to help those who are in need of the staple food as COVID-19 continues to create vast destruction.

MH Rice Mill donated 15 sacks of rice for distribution to the needy of Barangay Lumbo in Valencia City, while Tongan-tongan villagers were also grateful to Santos Rice Mill owner who donated cash and snacks.

Tires from AI Milling in Maramag were also donated for checkpoints’ use.

Moreover, a Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) beneficiary from Kibangay, Lantapan, and Xavier de Kibangay produced and donated packs of Corn InstaBlend to 87 children aged 9 months to 5 years in order to prevent malnutrition during the crisis.

DOST Bukidnon and its assisted MSMEs continue to combat COVID-19 in and outside the province through entrustment of VHF Radio communication equipment—for temporary use—of the Regional Communications and Electronics Office, PNP PRO 10, as the workforce continues to operate at the checkpoints in Cagayan de Oro City and a portion of Misamis Oriental. 

FASEGO Hometown Breadland distributes cash and grocery items to IPs in Kisolon, Sumilao, Bukidnon. (Nova Belle C. Calotes, DOST Bukidnon)

Assorted vegetables were also turned over to the city of Malaybalay that will be repacked for distribution to the most affected families. Said vegetables were procured by local farmers in the highlands through ‘Science for the Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT)’ project, which is a joint undertaking of DOST 10 and the Philippine Council of Aquaculture, Agriculture Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).

DOST is greatly moved with how the people it has served responded in rippling kindness in all places where it is greatly needed.

These collective efforts for one another are a manifestation that there is hope amidst this crisis. May this crisis bring forth only the best in us—kindness, unselfishness, and concern towards one another. (Nova Belle C. Calotes, DOST Bukidnon/PIA Bukidnon)