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Monday, March 9, 2015

DOST inaugurates first complementary food production facility in Tungawan town

By Alma L. Tingcang

TUNGAWAN, Zamboanga Sibugay - The Department of Science and Technology inaugurated on Friday, March 6, the first complementary food production facility in the country in Barangay Libertad, Tungawan, this province.

“We are very lucky to find a very supportive partner in the person of Mayor Randy A. Climaco,” DOST-9 Regional Director Brenda Nazareth-Manzanosaid during the blessing, turn-over and inauguration of theproject  witnessed by partner agencies such as the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, National Economic Development Authority, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Education and local government officials.

In his acceptance speech, Mayor Climacosaid,“You are truly heaven-sent and I am very happy because you are working as a team for the improvement not just of Tungawan but the entire ZamPen region. We have many problems here especially on peace and order, health, education and these are all inter-connected because of poverty and discontentment.”

“This is really a great challenge for us local leaders.  I was 37 when I assumed office. I am 44 years old now.This is my last term and honestly, I would say that I have not really achieved my targets to decrease malnutrition, poverty incidence and provide livelihood to the people. So I asked myself, what else is lacking? What needs to be done? Sometimes I cannot sleep because of the problems that beset my administration,” the mayor humbly said.

“You inspire us to do our best. Please don’t ever get tired of helping us.From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you,” the mayor said to the stakeholders.

DTI Regional Director Julius V. Sicat of the Cordillera Administrative Region, who came all the way from Baguio said this is the commitment of all partner agencies.“The situation here in Mindanao is similar to that of CAR. This is one government intervention which need our attention and support,” he observed.

Sicat recalls that he was assigned by Secretary Montejo to take the lead role and implement the research activity on the rollout in 2013, and found it difficult to handle. He is grateful to FNRI for the unwavering support.

“We are very dependent on FNRI on technical guidance, and I would say they are very selfless persons. This isthe very first to be inaugurated among the 5 roll-out projects in 5 regions, the answer tothe achievement of our Millennium Development Goals.”

He lauded Mayor Climaco as he recalled that when they were still on the installation phase, a wire was lost. On that same day, Mayor Climacoordered a replacementfrom Manila. “That is the first time that I saw in a local chief executive such commitment, and that was my gauge that the project will really succeed,” the impressed director noted.

To date, they have received orders for some 41,600 pieces of rice-mongo products, which the DSWD will use in their supplementary feeding program in Zamboanga City. More government and private organizations are expected to make use of the locally developed healthy and affordable food products.