CEST Focal Persons Strategize for Stronger STI Assistance to Communities

Focal persons for the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program from all 16 DOST Regional Offices convened for a “Strategic Planning and Road Mapping Activity for the CEST Program” on February 28 to March 1, 2024 at the Golden Prince Hotel, Cebu City to assess and strategize for stronger science, technology, and innovation assistance to communities in need.

During the workshop organized by CEST lead agency DOST-VIII, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Engr. Sancho Mabborang, emphasized that as program implementors, the Regional Offices must adopt a bold and daring approach when setting targets because many Filipinos seek assistance from DOST, especially those from secluded areas.

“These are the priorities that truly matter. The CEST program addresses the needs of ordinary people, and there are more pressing matters that require our attention and action. We must intensify and amplify our efforts, focusing not only on the statistics of accomplished targets but also on the countless individuals still in need of our assistance. This approach will inspire and accelerate efforts to deliver services effectively”, he added.

Regional Directors from the Visayas Cluster, DOST-Assistant Regional Directors, Research and Development Institutes (RDIs), Provincial S&T Directors, and CEST Coordinators collaborated to come up with the program’s new mission, vision, and objectives, key results areas, performance indicators, and 2025 Regional Action Plan.

In his remarks at the end of the workshop, DOST Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Dr. Teodoro M. Gatchalian paid tribute to the efforts of all the stakeholders and focal persons under the CEST program. “Reinvigorating, improving, and attempting to level-up the services we deliver to our stakeholders, these actions are indeed very commendable”, he said.

Dr. Gatchalian further underscored that through this activity, the DOST is poised to effectively guide and steer various programs towards the improvement of the welfare our communities.

By: Pinky Marcelo, SCCU

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