Antique Places 3rd in National Best CEST Community

The province of Antique, represented by the municipality of Sibalom, finished second runner up at the National Best Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) community by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Prior to this national recognition, the Municipality of Sibalom was awarded Regional Winner for 2021 Best CEST Community and University of Antique – Sibalom Campus was recognized as the lead implementing agency.

As a regional champion, the CEST project of the municipality of Sibalom competed at the national level and was chosen as one of the top three finalists.

According to Engr. Rowen Gelonga, DOST VI regional director, the award was given to CEST communities that have remarkably developed beneficiaries into empowered and resilient communities after the provision of science and technology (S&T) interventions under CEST programs.
The CEST project aimed to address the issues faced by communities through the five S&T interventions under the priority areas of CEST namely Livelihood/Economic Enterprise Development, Health and Nutrition, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Human Resource Development, Strengthening of Community Governance.


According to Sibalom Mayor Gian Carlo F. Occeña, the CEST program interventions helped uplift the economic status of the people in Sibalom.

He said that under the Livelihood Component program, the first and unique framework was created where farmers were taught to market their own products; this established the Sibalom TechnoHUB located at the UA Sibalom Campus.

The Alangan United Farmers Association supplied the TechnoHUB with their grain products after availing of the S&T trainings and the Carrageenan Growth Enhancer supplies to boost their rice harvest.

(Watch 2021 NSTW in Region VI Opening Ceremonies

Dr. Pablo Crespo Jr., UA president, explained that Antique has the highest malnutrition problem in Panay and the CEST project helped in reducing the malnutrition status in the province.
He said that 60% of severe malnourished children has improved their nutrition status while 78% of underweight children gained normal weight after four months of feeding program.

Through this program, Dr. Crespo revealed that the TechnoHUB provided complementary food to medical frontliners during the pandemic and jobs to many alumni of UA.

With UA Sibalom Campus as the lead implementing agency of the CEST project, the university aided S&T interventions such as livelihood programs; health and nutrition programs mainly the feeding programs using the DOST-FNRI Developed Complementary Food and Capability Building on Food and Nutrition, and distribution of ceramic water filter; disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation programs like provision and installation of siren or early warning systems, conduct of trainings, provision of info-boards (hazard maps), and provision of computer units installed with Bantay Panahon; human resource and development with S&T Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Stations (STARBOOKS); and strengthening of community governance through Barangay Infosystem for Development and Accountability (BIDA).

The said projects were funded by former senator and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, the representative of the lone province of Antique, with UA as lead implementer, in collaboration with the provincial government of Antique led by Gov. Rhodora Cadiao, and with direction from the DOST Region VI. | 𝗜𝗔𝗣