DOST-FPRDI boosts aid to indigenous groups

In support of the Duterte administration’s socio-economic agenda to underpin rural development, the Department of Science and Technology’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute has intensified its technology assistance to the country’s tribal community.

In July, FPRDI’s Training and Manpower Development Services Section held a lecture-demonstration on some bamboo processing technologies for Batak Craft, a livelihood development project for the Batak tribe in Palawan.

Led by its founder Lara Frayre, Batak Craft sought FPRDI’s help in improving handcrafted baskets made mainly from “buho” bamboo. Among the topics covered were bamboo preservation, drying, handicraft making and finishing.

According to Frayre, their long-term plan is to develop a sustainable livelihood for the indigenous tribe and to set up a bamboo craft industry in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Currently, Batak Craft is exploring ways on how best to utilize buho, which abounds in Batak communities.

A similar training on bamboo handicraft production was also conducted for the B’laan tribe of Koronadal City on June 27 to 29. Members of the Oluclufe B’laan Landcare Association-Farmers were taught to make bamboo lampshades, amplifiers, candleholders, and wind chimes.

The training was made possible thru the collaboration of DoST-FPRDI, DoST-Region 12, Provincial S&T Center-South Cotabato and the local government of Koronadal City. 

FPRDI’s Dr. Ma. Cielito G. Siladan, and Foresters Zenaida R. Reyes and Moreno L. Santander Jr. coordinated and facilitated both trainings.

Numbering about 11 million today, the indigenous peoples are among the poorest sectors in Philippine society. According to a study by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, they suffer from “lack of equal access to basic social services, compounded by a long history of discrimination and prejudice.”

“We wish to be of help to our indigenous communities through our technologies that are suited to their needs and the resources that abound in their areas,” said DoST-FPRDI Director Dr. Romulo T. Aggangan. 

“With a holistic plan and strong partnership with other government agencies and people’s organizations, we are optimistic that we can help better the lives of the IPs and other marginalized sectors in the country,” Aggangan added.

For inquiries on technology demonstrations and trainings, interested parties may contact (049) 536-2586 or 536-2377, or e-mail at [email protected]

Topics: Duterte administration’s socio-economic agenda , Department of Science and Technology’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute

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