Local entrepreneurs and stakeholders from the MIMAROPA region were recently gathered by the Department of Science and Technology – MIMAROPA under its Science, Technology, and Innovation Town Hop (STI Town Hop) initiative that is popularized by the Provincial S&T Center-Palawan (PSTC-Palawan) to bring down to communities the various products and services of the department.

Recently, DOST-MIMAROPA brought the STI Town Hop to the municipality of Bataraza to promote various DOST programs and services and to showcase chosen technologies ready for adoption of stakeholders in the municipality.

The town hop, which was held last month at the Municipal Lagoon, Brgy. Maranggas, Bataraza, Palawan, was attended by members of the academe, MSMEs, and associations and cooperatives. Programs and services including the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), Innovations for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH), Technology Training, S&T Scholarships, Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory (RSTL), and STARBOOKS, among others, were introduced to the community. Also, DOST-developed technologies including E-Nutribun, Tubig Talino, and Iron-Fortified Rice were showcased to encourage possible adopters.

Audiences who were identified as potential beneficiaries were visited and given the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) to identify their needs and the possible assistance and engagement. To inspire more MSMEs to adopt technological innovations to boost their productivity, a ceremonial awarding of SETUP assistance to May Anne’s Cake and Bread Hauz, a firm based in Bataraza, was given.

On the other hand, a former OFW from Bataraza was introduced to the different programs and services of DOST-MIMAROPA, particularly through the STI Town Hop that will help enhance its existing beverage production business.

“Ako ay isang OFW sa Hongkong na nawalan ng trabaho. Umuwi ako sa Bataraza, Palawan. Nag start ako ng negosyo na tinawag kong Kahawa Instant Sara-Sara Drink during pandemic. Marami ang nakatikim nito at in-encourage ako na iregister bilang legal na negosyo. Sa pagattend ko dito sa STI TOWN HOP-BATARAZA nabigyan ako ng solution sa mga tanong ko regarding sa label design, laboratory testings at mga maaari kong makuhang tulong sa katulad kong naguumpisa palang sa trabaho. Salamat sa DOST PSTC PALAWAN. Ako ay nabisita pagkatapos ng forum na aking inattendan at nabigyan ng mga advice sa aking products”, said Ms. Juddama A.H-nuh of Kahawa Instant Sara-Sara Drink.

The STI Town Hop aims to promote STI programs and services to more people in the countryside by communicating and engaging with them on a personal level.  It resumed in 2021 upon the lifting of strict restrictions in the province due to COVID-19 and has already reached the municipalities of Puerto Princesa, Aborlan, Narra, Sofronio Española, Brooke’s Point, Roxas, Linapacan, Dumaran, and El Nido. (30)