Food and non-food products were recently distributed to frontliners, health workers, and COVID-19 affected communities in Nueva Ecija and other localities. This was accomplished by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) through the incubatees of the Central Luzon State University Agricultural Technology Business Incubator (CLSU ATBI).
Led by CLSU Commercial and Business Development Office Director Dr. Rafael J. Pablo, Jr., the ATBI houses Mycosphere, Daerry’s Tilapia Ice Cream, Justainable Philippines, and Mrs. and Mr. Alfon’s, among others. These incubatees responded to the call for relief goods as the ATBI team mobilized to contribute to the provision of basic necessities to families and individuals affected by the enhanced and extended Community Quarantine, as stated in the Republic Act No. 11469, which is also known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
About 327 health workers, soldiers, policemen, security guards, garbage collectors, and community volunteers in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija received Daerry’s tilapia ice cream on April 7, 9, and 13.
Mrs. Hazel Alfon and Mr. Alexander William Alfon’s disinfecting and cleaning materials (liquid handwash, dishwashing liquid, liquid detergent, and all-purpose cleaner) infused with extracts from lemon peelings were distributed in April 2020 to the Tarlac Provincial Hospital, Dominican Mission Group in Tuguegarao, and frontliners in Brgy. Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
Frontliners deployed in Metro Manila received 1,700 bottles of calamansi juice produced by Justainable Philippines, Inc. The Office of Vice President Leni Robredo, through its Angat Buhay program, partnered with the said incubatee in hauling and distributing the products from April 15 to 17.
Moreover, to help secure food sustainability, about 300 bags of white and brown oyster mushroom spawns produced by Mycosphere have been distributed to the mushroom growers in Baguio City, Bukidnon, Cebu, Bohol, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Lanao del Norte, and Nueva Ecija since February.
In a report, Dr. Pablo said that this response aims to embody DOST-PCAARRD’s commitment and its constant challenge to all TBIs to foster and nurture partnerships and collaborations.
Other members of the DOST-PCAARRD ATBI network have also been organizing relief assistance activities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ATBIs of the Benguet State University (BSU) and Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU) started their efforts in March and April, respectively.
The three universities are among the 16 ATBIs that are currently being supported by the DOST-PCAARRD. ATBIs house mature technologies that are commercialized by supporting, nurturing, and establishing viable agribusinesses under the ATBIs’ care.
PCAARRD is one of the sectoral councils of the DOST, which is mandated to formulate policies, plans, and programs for science and technology-based R&D in the different sectors under its concern. It coordinates, evaluates, and monitors the national R&D efforts in the AANR sector. It also allocates government and external funds for R&D and generates resources to support its program.