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The shortest way to better nutrition is still through the stomach.
In a fresh effort to bring down the high incidence of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) among adults and children, especially schoolchildren, the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology has added the development of Iron Rice Premix (IRP) and Iron-Fortified Rice (IFR) in its mix of nutritional value-adding and food fortification program.
DOST’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute, which has developed IRP and IFR are currently testing the nutrition-enriched rice combinations in eight of 23 barangays [villages] in Orion town, Bataan.
The municipal government has passed an ordinance that spells out the regulatory mechanism for the sale of iron-fortified rice in all stores and food establishments in the Central Luzon town of 49,164 population or 8,735 households.
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When the wave of global economic slump hit home, some 21,867 workers at the Laguna Export Processing Zone south of Metro Manila bit the dust just like many overseas counterparts. But starting in May, the Laguna ecozone’s displaced workers can start anew as entrepreneurs.
This development came out following an innovative multi-agency livelihood training program for retrenched workers.
A joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, its line agency Technology Resource Center, and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, the program introduces technologies and mechanisms in starting a business. It will also provide business kits with basic tools to guide displaced workers to start doing business immediately.
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Department of Science and Technology Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro recently visited micro, small and medium enterprises in CAMANAVA area that received technology assistance under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program.
The MSMEs make up 99% of the country’s industry sector which, according to Alabastro, form the Philippine economy’s backbone. SETUP is a DOST flagship program that supports the sector’s growth.
A small DOST convoy waded through early morning traffic and proceeded first to Marisa’s Foods in Valenzuela City, maker of the 3A atchara, a popular Filipino pickled appetizer made from shredded papaya. Marisa’s Foods raised its monthly average production and gross sales by 134% and 36% following SETUP intervention. It gained two more institutional distribution accounts such as Super Ferry and Traders Hotel.
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Many indigenous products in Antique province need improvement, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro has learned from Antique Vice Governor Rhodora Cadiao in a recent meeting.
Antique’s resurgent muscovado industry for example needs to improve in terms of quality to meet international requirements. Many local muscovado processors find it difficult to penetrate foreign markets because of quality issues, Cadiao explained during Alabastro’s courtesy call at the University of Antique May 14.