Photo of the participants from the Abelling Tribe together with the resource persons from DOST ITDI Ms. Una Grace Dollete (middlemost on the front line) and Mr. Charles Feb Palla (third seat from R-L) and representative from DOST Tarlac, Ms. Cristina T. Isla (in brown on the front line)

 

Twenty-four members of the Abelling Tribe, a group of indigenous people from San Jose, Tarlac  recently completed a two-day skills training seminar on processing of rootcrops and vegetables last February 4-5, at the town’s training center through the initiative of the Department of Science and Technology - Tarlac Provincial Science and Technology Center (DOST- Tarlac PSTC).

Two technology experts from the Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) Food Processing Division, Una Grace Dollete and Charles Feb Palla served as trainers. The participants were taught how to process turmeric, ginger, cassava, sweet potato, squash and malunggay which are found aplenty in the municipality.

The activity is part of the expanded Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (eCEST) program of the DOST which is aimed at helping build resilient and smart communities by providing S&T interventions to address social issues such as lack of livelihood opportunities, malnutrition, waste management and environmental degradation caused by climate change, among others.

 

 

 

Aside from the training, Tarlac PSTC, headed by its Provincial Director, Mrs. Karen Yañgo-Dañez, will also link the community with the Got Heart Foundation, a non-government organization to help market the tribe’s products. “We will also coordinate with the Tarlac Agricultural University for further product development,” Mrs. Dañez further added. On the other hand, the tribe members said they will coordinate with officials of nearby schools to supply their canteens with processed veggie polvoron and powdered vegetables burger patties as possible additional outlets.

Also part of the package of assistance to the community is the provision of various food processing equipment such as weighing scale, stainless steel table, steamer, grinder, double burner gas stove and foot stamping machine, and installation of a water filtration system to supply the tribe with potable water. Review classes for students who took the DOST undergraduate scholarship examination last year were also provided.

In behalf of the tribe, Edna Villegas who is the Municipal Indigenous People Mandatory Representative (MIPMR) expressed their gratitude and appreciation stating thus, “Ngayon lang po namin nalaman na marami pa palang ibang recipe ang magagawa mula sa mga gulay na mayroon sa aming lugar. Sana po ay magpatuloy pa dahil iyon po ang unang beses na nakaranas kami ng ganoong training sa tulong po ng DOST. Maraming Salamat po.” The learning experience is enriched by actual hands-on sessions. 

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