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In the recently conducted DOST-Samahan sa Ikauunlad ng mga Kawani ng Agham at Teknolohiya (SIKAT) Board of Directors (BOD) election last 12 January 2015, the Department of Science and Technology Regional Office No. VIII (DOST VIII) Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operations, Engr. Ernesto M. Granada, leads the poll with a total of 381 votes making him to be the top notcher as to the number of voters garnered among the 10 candidates. Engr. Granada is followed by Diane Marie C. Bernardo of PES with 317 votes; Elvin B. Almazar of DOST-NCR with 315 votes; Rosario D. Balde of FMS with 305 votes; Corlita G. Canilao of the Office of the Undersecretary for S&T Services with 276 votes; Cherry G. Gonzales of PES with 257 votes; and Marciano L. Jacinto, Jr. of the Legislative Liason Office of DOST-CO with 237 votes, completed the 7-man composition of the BOD.

Bontoc, Southern Leyte, 06 January 2015 - Ms. Mabel Calva, Southern Leyte State University - Bontoc Campus Administrator was so surprised when Dir. Edgardo M. Esperancilla, Regional Director of DOST Region VIII, appeared at the door of her office last January 6, 2015. The ever smiling Director greeted the surprised Administrator with a warm "beso-beso" and afterwards seated comfortable at the cushioned chair offered by the administrator. Director Esperancilla personally visited SLSU-Bontoc to turn-over a project fund in the amount of P0.4M for the project "Strengthening and Monitoring of Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program in Region VIII". The said project was conceptualized by SLSU-Bontoc and DOST VIII in the last quarter of CY 2014. During the same period, proposal of the said project was deliberated by the DOST VIII Regional Technical Evaluation Committee (RTEC) and found to be significant and qualified for the local Grants-In-Aid (GIA) Program thus, endorsed for approval and funding. The project primarily aims to strengthen the implementation of the Program in the region and at the same time monitor the impact of the program which was introduced in some provinces in the region since it was started in 2013.

January 12, 2015 marks an important milestone in the history of Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) implementation in the Province of Biliran. It is the time when DOST VIII celebrated and honored the success of seven beneficiaries of the SETUP, the biggest number yet, who completed their obligations of the SETUP for the prescribed period of implementation. These micro entrepreneurs all came from different areas of Biliran Province.

The Municipal Government of Biliran, represented by its very own Municipal Mayor Honorable Grace Casil, received a financial assistance in the amount of P250,000 from DOST VIII for the Establishment of Common Service Facility for Meat Processing during the recently conducted SETUP Forum in Naval, Biliran on January 12, 2015.

The beaming beautiful lady Mayor of Sogod, Southern Leyte, Honorable Imelda Uy-Tan, together with her Vice-Mayor, Honorable Rufo Olo, greeted with much enthusiasm the DOST VIII staff and Provincial Director, Dr. Dominador A. Clavejo of DOST Southern Leyte, during the turn-over of project financial assistance for the project Rehabilitation of Abaca Production in Barangays Maac and Mahayahay, Sogod, Southern Leyte. The said financial assistance amounting to P200,000.00 is for the purchase of tissue cultured abaca seedlings necessary for the project implementation to start. The abaca planting materials will be purchased from Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte. This project was conceptualized when DOST VIII Director, Engr. Edgardo M. Esperancilla joined WorldFish and the LGU Sogod, Southern Leyte in the identification of possible livelihood project for the four poorest barangay in the municipality. Director Esperancilla committed the project fund in his hope that the abaca industry in the said area will be rehabilitated and the DOST VIII have found a partner in the person of Mayor Tan.

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