The Department of Science and Technology Regional Office I (DOST-I) awarded the Tiger Grass Depollinator to the soft broom makers in Bugallon, Pangasinan on 29 March 2022 as one of the identified interventions in the municipality through the innovation, Science, and Technology for Accelerating Regional Technology-Based Development (iSTART) Program.
DOST-I Regional Director Armando Q. Ganal referred to Bugallon as the pilot municipality in the 2nd district of Pangasinan to have been chosen as recipient of the iSTART Program. He also emphasized the significance of the program to the development of the municipality. During the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) in 2021 with the DOST-I iSTART team, Tiger Grass depollinator was identified for intervention to help the soft broom makers increase their production, and subsequently, their income.
The Tiger Grass Depollinator is a technology developed by Dr. Victorio Palabay of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University Mid La Union Campus (DMMMSU-MLUC) to address the manual process of soft broom makers in depollinating the tiger grass. The machine was fabricated by Ruzzel A. Abuan, Metals Engineering Innovation Center (MEIC) personnel of DOST-I, that is led and supervised by Dr. Palabay.
LGU Bugallon Administrator Amado L. Aquino stated, “Dapat ang walis tambo ay tatak (the soft broom should be branded in) Bugallon. While we are looking for the improvement of our product, we will also increase the production of the tiger grass.” He also mentioned some variety for soft brooms named tanubong. He wanted the people of Bugallon especially the people under small scale industries to earn more in promoting their own local businesses.
Before the awarding ceremony, Abuan demonstrated the proper use of the machine to the members of the Dimantal Tribes Council with its president Evelyn Camoda. Also present during the awarding ceremony were LGU Bugallon Municipal Agriculturist Christopher Ballesteros, Municipal Planning Development Coordinator Corleto P. Calicdan and iSTART Coordinator Rina Castillo, along with other LGU staff.
Meanwhile, DOST-I Field Operations Officer-in-Charge Jonathan Viernes remarked, “Through this iSTART Program, sana sa paraan na ito alagaan ninyo at mapaunlad. Tutulong at tulong pa rin ang DOST (Hopefully, you can take care of this and lead to your development. DOST will continue to assist and support people).” He expressed his support to the needs of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to boost the number of local products in Bugallon.
DOST-I, through the iSTART Program, pledged its full support to provide and extend the necessary S&T assistance and intervention to all municipalities in nurturing their own local products. (By Monique C. Esguerra, DOST-I)
Regional Director Armando Q. Ganal (left, at the podium) gives his inspiring message as he explained the value of the iSTART Program.
Mr. Ruzzel A. Abuan demonstrates the proper use of the Tiger Grass Depollinator.