On September 21, 2021, DOST Regional Office No. VIII through the Northern Samar Provincial Science and Technology Center conducted the Ceremonial Turnover of the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) Project Fund worth Php1,000,000.00 to the Local Government Unit of Gamay, Northern Samar. The LGU was represented by Hon. Cyril C. Costuna, Vice Mayor of LGU Gamay, Municipal Administrator Atty. Ceasar J. Clacito, Municipal Agriculturist Ms. Rena G. Capoquian, and MAFC Chairman Engr. Rizalito P. Gomba.

Particularly, there are five components or entry points for the project. First is the livelihood or economic development. In this particular project, part of the Php1,000,000.00 assistance fund will be for the procurement of equipment for the production of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO). As stated in the proposal, coconut or commonly known as “lubi” is dominant in Gamay, Northern Samar. Through this livelihood assistance, the people of LGU Gamay will be able to produce alternative products other than copra. The second entry point is human resource development. One of the projects pursued in this component is the granting of the Science and Technology Scholarship program and the deployment of Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks (STARBOOKS) in the area. Another is the Disaster Risk Reduction Management and climate change adaptation wherein LGU Gamay is already a recipient of the Automatic Rain Gauge (ARG) which is used in weather monitoring. This is one of the interventions as far as DRRM is concerned. On the other hand, environment protection and conservation will be another area for upgrading the CEST community in LGU Gamay. Moreover, the production of VCO can be a component for LGU Gamay’s health and nutrition. In fact, it is already proven that VCO can be considered as food supplement to help cure Covid-19 symptoms such as coughs and colds. Accordingly, LGU Gamay has already acted on the Supplemental Appropriation Ordinance for the given amount for them to push through the project.

Further, Atty. Caesar J. Clacito in behalf of LGU Gamay, extended his heartfelt gratitude to the DOST Regional Office No. 8 for the opportunity given to establish a partnership and deliver assistance to the LGU. Regional Director Ernesto M. Granada of DOST 8 then extended his respect to the representatives of the LGU for their active cooperation. He also delivered his thanks to the Provincial Office of Northern Samar through the Provincial Director Veronica Laguitan for proposing the project for LGU Gamay and making it possible. The DOST Regional Office 8 through PSTC Northern Samar will continue to monitor the community with the project progress and hopefully be able meet the organizations involved.