DOST Cordillera’s purpose and initiative of launching a program to inform the public upon adapting efficiently on climate change. 

By Rodolfo de Guzman, S&T Media Service

Tabuk, Kalinga – In an effort to address the negative impact of climate change and implement science-based solutions to minimize its effects and ensure the viability of agricultural programs, the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) launched the S&T Action Frontline for Emergencies & Hazards (SAFE) Program.The launch coincided with the recent celebration of the regional science and technology week of DOST-CAR and was held at the Kalinga State University-Main Campus in Tabuk, Kalinga.

The SAFE Program on Disaster Risk Reduction on Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Farms in CAR is a multi-sectoral initiative spearheaded by the DOST and DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), in partnership with the Highland Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium, and the six participating state colleges and universities (SUCs).

DOST-CAR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Dr. Nancy A. Bantog (at the podium) leads the awarding of financial assistance to the six participating SUCs of the SAFE Program recently launched at the Kalinga State University. SAFE stands for S&T Action Frontline for Emergencies and Hazards in the agriculture, aquatic and natural resources sector. Mayor Ferdinand B. Tubban (seated, 4th from left) of Tabuk City, Kalinga, welcomed the participants.

“On behalf of DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, we are fully supporting the SAFE Program and he will be very happy to know that the SUCs here in the Cordillera region are doing research and development (R&D) to study ways to minimize the negative effects of climate change particularly in agriculture,” said DOST-CAR Director Victor B. Mariano, who represented the DOST Secretary.

Director Mariano added that research work that remains on shelves are useless. Thus the importance of the SAFE program is very obvious as it represents the results of R&D. This is the reason why the funding agency, DOST-PCAARRD, did not hesitate to provide 43 million in assistance to the SUCs.

Dr. Carlito P. Laurean, vice president for research and extension of the Benguet State University and the program leader, presented the components of the SAFE Program. He explained how it will be implemented in the six provinces of CAR to get the most benefits for the farmers who are most vulnerable to, and at risk of, climate change.

The SAFE Program has six project components, including the one launched for Kalinga State University, which focus on the different conditions of the different provinces in CAR.

Project 1 is about Disaster Risk Reduction Climate Change Impacts on Vegetable Farms in Abra. The project will be implemented by the Abra State Institute of Science and Technology (ASIST), headed by Dr. Vicente A. Ato, and has received funding of 6.991 million.

Project 2 is about Disaster Risk Reduction Climate Change Impacts in Agricultural Farms in Apayao Province, to be implemented by the Apayao State College and headed by Dr. Reymalyn C. Aman; the project has funding of R6.289 million.

Project 3, titled Disaster Risk Reduction Climate Change Impacts on Vulnerable Terrace Farms in Benguet, is led by Dr. Carlito P. Laurean of the Benguet State University and has a total funding of R10.299 million.

Project 4 deals with Disaster Risk Reduction Climate Change Impacts on Rice and Vegetable Farms in Ifugao and a funding of R6.109 million. It will be implemented by the Ifugao State University through Dr. Teresita D. Allig.

Project 5 is called Disaster Risk Reduction Climate Change Impacts on Vulnerable Coffee Farms in Kalinga, to be implemented under the leadership of Dr. Robert A. Rodolfo of the Kalinga State University. Funding for the project is 6.312 million.

Project 6, titled Disaster Risk Reduction Climate Change Impacts on Vulnerable Farms in Mountain Province, will be implemented by the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College. The 7.097 million project is led by Elmer D. Pakipac.

The launch was attended by DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute Director Richard P. Burgos; Gary Damian representing Kalinga representative and vice chair of the House Committee on Science and Technology Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang; Tabuk mayor Ferdinand B. Tubban; DOST-CAR director Victor B. Mariano; supervising SRS Noel A. Catibog representing DOST-PCAARRD executive director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora; Benguet State University president Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr.; Dr. Carlito P. Laurean of Benguet State University and SAFE program leader; and Kalinga State University president Dr. Eduardo T. Bagtang. (Rodolfo P. de Guzmaman, S&T Media Service)

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s December 2017 issue.