May 3, 2023 | Communities in Cotabato are in for a treat as today, 11 beneficiaries signed a Memorandum of Agreement at RC Farm in Brgy. San Vicente, Makilala, Cotabato.
The MOA entails a comprehensive set of provisions that aim to promote livelihood opportunities, enhance connectivity, and improve living conditions for individuals residing in remote areas. These include the provision of equipment to support livelihood initiatives, Starlink internet access to boost connectivity, solar-powered water systems to address water scarcity, IEC equipment support including DOST-STARBOOKS to facilitate learning, and solar-powered lights to promote safety and security.
Significance of funding programs that offer opportunities was emphasized by Hon. Congressman Rudy S. Caoagdan. He then conveyed his appreciation to DOST XII Regional Director Engr. Sammy P. Malawan for the agency's unwavering dedication to fulfilling its mandate and to Cotabato Province Director Michael T. Mayo for its continuing support to the Philippine Army’s mission.
Grants aim to empower communities, and the MOA's signing marks a significant milestone in building a brighter future for the people in North Cotabato. Eight of the beneficiaries are from Armed Forces of the Philippines. These include the 1002nd Infantry Brigade headed by BGEN. Patricio Ruben P. Amata, 602nd Infantry Brigade headed by BGEN. Donald M. Gumiran, 34th Infantry Battalion with the presence of Executive Officer Major Raul B. Ubaob, 39th Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Ezra L. Balagtey, 72nd Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Julious C. Paclibar, 90th Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Ruel E. Gavilanes, Community Defense Center (CDC) headed by Lt. Col. Lloyd T. Orcullo, and the 1201st Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Rudy S. Caoagdan.
Other beneficiaries include the Ashlei Research Training Assessment & Tourism Center (ART-ATC) headed by Dr. Cayetano Pomares, Ginatilan Mushroom Growers Association and Arakan Strawberry Growers Association also inked the agreement which was witnessed by 2nd District Board Member Hon. Ryl John C. Caoagdan representing Governor Emmylou "Lala" Taliño-Mendoza.
The DOST-CEST Program is a breath of fresh air for the communities of Cotabato, serving as a beacon of hope for those residing in conflict-stricken and underprivileged areas. With its promise of improving the overall quality of life, this program is undoubtedly a much-needed boost for the people.