DOST-8 awards Oras town coop as Best GIA and S&T Project Implementer

BORONGAN CITY. Nov. 17 (PIA)—The Department of Science and Technology 8 (DOST-8) awarded the San Eduardo Agrarian Reform Cooperative (SEARCO) as Best GIA and S&T implementer in Eastern Samar.

The recognition was given in the  "Awarding of Best GIA S&T Projects" held on November 13, 2020 as part of the "Virtual National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration in Region 8."

This is according to Provincial S & T Director, DOST E. Samar  Arnaldo Amosco, Jr. in an interview with PIA.

According to Amosco, SEARCO was on top of their list because the organization exhibited conscientious utilization of DOST's technology intervention and technical assistance, community of their list because the organization exhibited conscientious utilization of DOST's technology intervention and technical assistance, community participation, linkages and socio-economic impact resulting to improved productivity and sustainability of the Grant-in-Aide (GIA) Project.

The coop based in Barangay San Eduardo, Oras town started in 2010 with buying and processing coconuts into vinegar, tuba and dried coconut or copra.

"Our operation was on and off as typhoons tried to destroy our little investment," lamented Franco Norona the elected president.

He added that in 2016, LGU Oras, DOST and DAR took interest on them and offered technology and the production facility  to keep the coop sustain its operation with significant efficiency.

The coop then started to produce coco wine and vinegar along with their old copra trading.

Since 2018, with the DOST's  provision of the Grant-in-Aide (GIA) the coop improved its production its production efficiency, increased sales by more than  50 percent per month,  generated at least 30 additional employment, benefited the 120 members, improved food handling, and improved the quality of its products.

Evaluators also observed that members involved in the production  observed food safety and good manufacturing practices.

The GIA grant of P200,000 in the form of equipment like heavy duty stove and gas tank, stainless tables, stock pots and other equipment helped the coop increased their production.

Norona thanked the agencies like DTI, DOST, PCA, LGU Oras, and the DA for the needed assistance.

Their biggest achievement so far was being able to comply with the stringent requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as FDA compliant.

"The challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pendemic will not prevent the entire scientific community from showcasing its latest innovative products and services that would be significantly  useful and relevant to every Filipino," the DOST said.

Oras Mayor Viviane Alvarez congratulated the coop and hoped that the organizations and coops the LGU has assisted will also gain inspiration from SEARCO and be recognized. (nbq)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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