Don Marcelino is a 3rd class municipality which belongs to the 2nd district of Davao del Sur with a population of 42,646 (2012 data). The municipality has a poverty incidence of 80.75% which was the reason why it was chosen as one of the beneficiaries for the CEST Project of DOST.
CEST Project aims to provide S&T intervention in the minimum basic needs for basic education and literacy, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and livelihood.
Basic education and literacy
Dr. Yorobe visited two (2) out of eight (8) school-beneficiaries of the Science & Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station (STARBOOKS) also known as "Library in a Box." The schools visited by the Undersecretary are the Pamongot Elementary School and Kinanga Elementary School. The DOST XI provided the schools with external hard drives loaded with STARBOOKS which can be used by the teachers and students alike to reinforce their learning.
The Provincial S&T Center (PSTC) in Davao del Sur intensified its campaign for the province’s availment of the DOST scholarship program. An enrichment program was conducted to interested students from the District. Currently, there are two (2) on-going DOST scholars and 1 qualifier for 2015 from Don Marcelino. An overwhelmed Undersecretary even challenged the younger generation to pursue S&T courses in the future during her visit.
Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation
With the DOST’s continuing efforts for disaster preparedness mitigation, the Municipality of Don Marcelino was installed with one Automatic Rain Gauge (ARG) as tool to monitor the amount of rainfall and predict occurrence of floods within a six-hour span. Mayor Johnson said that the ARG is essential for their community to prepare for the upcoming weather events.
Health and Nutrition
DOST XI trained Kinanga Elementary School parents and teachers on the production of healthy snack foods. Since the basic agricultural crops of the municipality such as coconut and banana, they were taught how to make coco cookies, coco chips and banana chips. Currently, they are producing cookies and banana chips sold in the school canteen for their children’s nutritious snack foods. DOST XI will provide the two (2) elementary schools and one (1) national high school with baking ovens to further improve their product quality and production capacity.
Water and sanitation
To help the community access safe drinking water, DOST XI provided biosand water filters to Kinanga Elementary School, Pamongot Elementary School and John Martin Johnson National High School. The biosand water filter reduces the incidence of water-related diseases in children and adults. The filter can cleanse 60-80 liters of water every day and can remove bacteria and parasites. The technology was provided by the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center.
Aside from the training on cookies production, the community was also trained on pottery and brick making. DOST XI has transferred 5 units potter’s wheel and 6 units metal brick moulders to Johnson Martin Johnson National High School. The skills training were done last 6 November – 9 December 2014. This skills training is in support to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) K-12 program, at the same time an income generating project of the school to benefit the students, out-of-school youth and the PTA members. North Lamidan Brgy. Captain Neil Johnson is supportive of the project as he promised the beneficiaries to help in marketing their products.
“I am happy to see that the community is grateful for the DOST interventions and that they are really using our technologies” said Undersecretary Carol M. Yorobe. The Undersecretary is hopeful that with the DOST assistance, the community will be empowered in the fate of poverty and economic deprivation.