M’LANG, NORTH COTABATO, 18 Dec 2020 – A total of 1,343 Members of Persons with Disability (PWD) of M’lang Association will benefit from the One Million (1M) pesos DOST XII grant for the association’s technology-based livelihood projects.
The MOA signing between DOST XII thru its OIC-RD Engr. Sammy P. Malawan and M’lang PWD Association thru its President, Mr. Hermilo Paren took place at the Municipal Rooftop of M’lang @ 2:00PM today, December 18.
Approved projects for the said grant include the establishment of Tubig-Talino Refilling Station, Kalamansi Juice Processing, and Upgrading of their Bakeshop adopting the DOST-FNRI Nutribun and other nutritious products.
It can be recalled that DOST XII- Cotabato Provincial Office led by PD Michael Mayo conducted Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) last October which resulted to the recommendations of the said projects for the association.
This is one of the outcomes also of the earlier encouragement of Atty. Russel Abonado, Mayor of M’lang among his constituents to submit proposals to DOST XII, upon the latter’s presentation of its programs, projects and activities.
Representative of the 3rd District of Cotabato Province, Cong. Jose “Ping” Tejada endorsed as well the association’s proposal to DOST XII and personally witnessed the said MOA signing.
The PWD of M’lang Association has been in existence for seventeen (17) years already. Dr. Mary Ann Cortado, PESO Manager shared that with the members’ strengthened relationship as one organization with common goals of boosting morale, contributing to socio-economic development and enjoying life as normal persons do, the association put up a canteen in September 2013 which currently serves as income-generating project of the members and is recognized as a promising venture.
During the conduct of TNA, the Association President shared story of how they started the business with just a meager capital of P5,000.00 borrowed from then the Vice-President of the association. Certain amount was returned back after one and a half year without interest. That time, only seven (7) members handled operations of the canteen without honoraria or allowances just to save earnings. It was only after four (4) months that three (3) out of the seven members started receiving P30.00 fare allowance.
With the PWD members’ concerted effort, the canteen survived challenges and continuously in operation. Slowly but surely, it is growing and offers additional transactions such as printing documents and photocopying services.
Still with so much room for improvement and opportunity to be of more help to its members, the association requested DOST XII for the provision of needed technologies.
Vice Mayor Joselito Piñol further encouraged the people of M’lang especially the academe to pursue as well Research and Development (R&D) undertakings to avail more assistance from DOST XII and contribute to socio-economic development.