It’s a dream come true for members of the Aeta community in Barangay Banoyo, San Luis, Batangas!
After the dialogue they had with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Batangas, the solar-powered sewing services enterprise they dreamt of establishing as a source of income is now a reality.
DOST-Batangas installed the off-grid solar power system in the Aeta community on 15 December 2021, and turned over the sewing equipment on 18 January 2022. Manual sewing machines were also provided to ensure the productivity of the community enterprise. To operationalize the sewing services enterprise of the community, a technology transfer training on the use of the equipment and on dressmaking will be conducted on the last week of January this year.
Members of the Aeta community expressed their appreciation for the assistance they received. According to Zosimo Magtibay, chieftain of the community, they are still overwhelmed with the support they received from DOST where the installation of the off-grid solar power system made possible the charging of their mobile devices and emergency lights. “Napakalaking tulong po nitong solar (system) na kaloob sa amin. Dati po dumadayo pa kami sa baba para maki-charge, ngayon po ay dito na kami lalo ang mga kabataan,” he mentioned. Solar lights, sewing kits, and sewing starter packs were also provided to the community.
Women members of the community also expressed their excitement to learn how to operate the equipment and realize the livelihood they want to pursue. Meanwhile, aside from technology transfer training, DOST also intends to provide business-related training to equip the community with the principles and strategies to champion their sewing services enterprise and become competitive.
These S&T interventions were made possible through the DOST CALABARZON’s Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) project entitled “Project Aetaguyod: Establishment of an S&T Based Community Livelihood for Aetas in San Luis, Batangas”. This is implemented in partnership with the Local Government Unit of San Luis, Batangas.
At present, the Aeta community has 68 families, 30 houses, one common comfort room facility, and accounts for more than the 275 total population. The community is one of the priorities of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) where the DOST is an active member.
CEST is one of the flagship programs of the DOST that is being implemented nationwide by the different DOST Regional Offices primarily to uplift the lives of marginalized communities. The assistance is carried out under five entry points, namely: basic education and literacy, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, livelihood or enterprise development, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.