More S&T interventions underway for Fuga Island

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

October 29, 2021, 7:03 pm

<p>DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña  (<em>PNA file photo</em>)</p>

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña  (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Residents of Fuga Island in Aparri, Cagayan can expect more science and technology (S&T) interventions, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said Friday.

In a taped report, he announced that the agency has partnered with the Philippine Marines and the Department of Education, as well as the local government of Aparri, to make this happen.

"Fuga is a geographically isolated and disadvantaged barangay, and (the) DOST desires to bring in hope by extending various science, technology and innovation interventions under the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) program," he said.

DOST's partnership with those agencies aims to provide livelihood economic activities. It also aims to give hope to farmers and fishers through better drying of their produce via the multipurpose solar drying trays. Provision of safe water is also in the pipeline.

De la Peña earlier mentioned that he has already visited the place. "I admire them (residents) because they were able to make the island progressive and orderly despite the area being far. They were able to use the natural resources to improve their lives," he said.

He added that he admires the youth, as they strive to attain good education.

The DOST wants to further strengthen the resources of Fuga Island, he continued.

The agency will provide a solar-powered STARBOOKS (Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station) so they could access various books and educational resources.

STARBOOKS is a digital library that can be accessed without internet connectivity, developed by the DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute.

"We also want to provide them with a potable water system, so they could have cleaner water, which we hope could help them prevent getting sick and become healthier instead," he said.

In terms of livelihood, the DOST chief said that apart from multi-purpose drying trays, the DOST will also provide the fishers and farmers with livelihood training.

"We hope that through the training, they will have the opportunity to put up a new business," he said. (PNA)