Cauayan, Isabela—The Department of Science and Technology committed to lead and collaborate in scientific research, production and commercialization of organic herbal food supplements and similar products that will benefit Filipinos and the world.
DOST Undersecretary Brenda Manzano said this recently as she represented Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña at the groundbreaking of a facility at the Isabela State University main campus in Echague, Isabela.
Manzano affirmed the agency’s “full support for collaborative undertakings” that are related to DOST’s mandate and mission.
A 10-hectare portion of the ISU Echague campus has been set aside as a prototype model plantation of “malunggay” (moringa) plants and herbs like piperine (pepper), curcumin (turmeric) and guyabano fruit, which have been proven to contain medicinal properties.
The ISU facility would be the storage and processing center of materials to create herbal food supplements and alternative herbal medicine preparations, with financial assistance from DOST and the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc., facilitated by former ISU Board of Regents member Charles T. Lim.
The project is an undertaking among DOST, ISU, FCCCI, and Bauertek Corp.
The partner agencies’ officials signed an agreement for the project. Manzano described the undertaking as a “rare and ideal partnership among the government, private industry sector, and academe.”
Scientific botanical research studies on plant growth, nutrient enhancement, medicinal value exploration, and related concerns will be undertaken on the prototype plantation, which may later be expanded.
Bauertek founder Dr. Richard Nixon Gomez noted that the plants mentioned are used in cosmetic and related products.
“Turmeric, however, is a real deal,” for herbal food supplements which can be upscaled to global marketing since it is a leading herbal supplement ingredient and tops traditional medicine worldwide, said Gomez.
The processed plantation products will then be transferred to Bauertek for laboratory treatments and
packaging for commercialization and marketing distribution.
“The partnership linkage will bolster the science and technology ecosystem, making it productive,” Manzano added.
She lauded ISU president Ricmar Aquino for prioritizing S&T, which will “add to the body of knowledge with outputs that benefit the general public.”
Meanwhile, Director Mabborang, emphasized the “undertaking goes beyond mere research and would redound to community empowerment.”
He said it will help farmers cultivate and raise and raise high-value alternative crops that can provide them significantly higher income than traditional farming to which Gomez eagerly agreed.
ISU president Ricmar Aquino thanked the partner-agencies for involving their institution in the partnership.
“ISU will do its part with all the technology and resources it has to help make in Region number one” in agricultural productivity, Aquino said.
Simultaneous with the talks on herb production, another agreement was forged between ISU and the Red Dragon Farm (RDF) Feed Livestock and Foods Inc. the firm behind the Fresh Options Meat shop. The accord will make the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) project of ISU’s Cagayan Valley Small Ruminants Research Center (CVSRRC) Integrated Slaughterhouse and Meat Processing Center, as the platform for RDF’s North Luzon expansion, and its production of processed-meat products particularly pork tocino, pork longganisa, and pork tapa.
The groundbreaking ceremonies were presided over by Usec Dr. Nazareth-Manzano, Regional Director Engr. Sancho Mabborang, ISU president Dr. Ricmar Aquino, Charles T. Lim of FCCC, and Bauertek Corp. Board Chair and General Manager Richard Nixon Gomez and other officials of the project’s partner institutions.