DOST eyes alternative raw materials for paper bag, DOST to showcase latest localtechnologies in National Science and Technology Week and Dumingag: Weaving sustainability thru women empowerment
Posted on June 14th By Apple Jean C. Martin (S&T Media Service, FPRDI), Luisa S. Lumioan (S&T Media Service), Joy Camille A. Baldo, S&T MediaService
DOST eyes alternative raw materials for paper bag
Plastic is out, paper is in. And to the mounting need for paper bags as the best environmental-friendly option, the country’s science agency is looking into more ways to make paper packaging more accessible to all and even provide additional income opportunities to people.
“The greater use of paper packaging is in line with our current initiatives that protect the environment and uplift the ecosystem,” said Science Secretary Mario Montejo. “One of the thrusts of the Department of Science and Technology is the support to green technologies, products, and services.”
In Metro Manila and nearby areas, more and more local governments are slowly easing out plastic in their own backyards, compelling stores and vendors to use paper bags in wrapping their wares. The back to paper drive is considered as one good way of avoiding the build up of plastic garbage that clogs up the waterways and contributes to flooding. Plastics likewise are harmful to the environment because of their chemical content and very long degradation process, in addition to making the environment look bad.
“People have become more aware of the environmental risks posed by the continued use of plastics after the onslaught of typhoon Ondoy. Today, 27 towns already have in place local ordinances that regulate the use of plastic bags,” said Aimee Beatrix Habon, Science Research Specialist at DOST’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute-Technology Innovation Division.
“Increased demand for pulp and paper means more challenges for the industry and for DOST-FPRDI as well,” Habon added.
FPRDI has completed and on-going research studies on alternative raw materials such as low grade abaca fibers, banana fibers, and palm oils’ empty fruit bunch fibers for packaging paper, according to Adela Torres, Chief of FPRDI’s Pulp and Paper Products Development Section.
FPRDI is also working out a collaboration with UP Los Banos’ Institute of Plant Breeding in studying hybrid abaca as reinforcement fiber. Currently, FPRDI is part of the Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of Product Standards’ Technical Committee on Board, Paper, and Pulp which develops standards for packaging paper.
FPRDI was likewise part of the initial stages when the “No to Plastic” campaign in Los Baños, Laguna was conceptualized. Los Baños was one of the first towns in the country to regulate the use of plastic bags for packaging.
DOST to showcase latest localtechnologies in National Science and Technology Week
Learn about the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs that could impactour lives in the upcoming National Science and Technology Week to be held on July 10-14, 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia.
Spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the event revolves around the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation: Working Together for Growth and Development.”
The celebration will kick off on the July 10 with opening of exhibit of the latest products and technologies on information and communications technology, agriculture, electronics, renewable energy, energy-saving devices and food processing among others. Exhibitors will include inventors, beneficiaries of DOST programs, government and academic institutions.
High Impact Technology Solutions developed by DOST will be featured in a Technology and Industry Forum to be held on July 11-12. Among the technologies to be presented are on disaster mitigation; health and food processing; information and communication technology for delivery of government and social services; nanotechnology; genomics; and biotechnology. These technologies will provide long term solutions to pressing national problems and contribute to socio-economic development.
Another highlight of the event is the awardingof outstanding researchers, inventors and young scientists to be conferred by National Academy of Science and Technology, DOST advisory council.
Other events lined up for the Science and Technology Week are the National Invention Contest, product invention demo, scientific forum, and interactive activities.
The National Science and Technology Week is an annual celebration that highlights the significant contributions of science and technology to national development. It has become a platform for heralding science and technology advocacy in the country. It began as Philippine National Science Week in the 1950s and was instituted in 1982.
For more information please log on to http://nstw.dost.gov.ph/ or contact the secretariat c/o DOST Planning and Evaluation Service at 8372932 or 8373165.
Dumingag: Weaving sustainability thru women empowerment
Dumingag, a 2nd class municipality in the northernmost part of Zamboanga del Sur in Western Mindanao, slowly makes its name as one of the most rapidly progressing municipalities in the region. The 44 barangays, covering approximately 29,775 hectares, of Dumingag are separated by rivers and mountains that bound its population of 46,039 (2007 census). Numerous local and national awards and citations recognized the local government unit’s (LGU) successful programs and initiatives in building sustainable communities, one of which is through empowering women thru provision of comprehensive livelihood training programs.
Through the guidance of its visionary leader Mayor Nacianceno M. Pacalioga, Jr., more popularly known as “Mayor Jun” to his constituents, Dumingag became a recipient of various practical yet effective livelihood programs. These programs took advantage of indigenous materials that abound within their town, especially a high value crop such as abaca. Well loved by the people of Dumingag, Mayor Jun is on his second term in office. Early in his administration, he advocated for the increase of abaca plantations to aide 200 abaca farmers. Total abaca plantation is currently at 460 hectares. To provide the abaca farmers a more sustainable source of livelihood, the Dumingag LGU took interest in the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Textile Research Institute’s (DOST-PTRI) abaca weaving technology. With DOST Region 9 coordinating, PTRI’s very first intervention can be traced back in July 2007, through the conduct of a basic handloom weaving course in Pagadian City attended by Mr. Felix Nepomuceno, a skills trainer of the Fiber Industry Development Association (FIDA). Mr. Nepomuceno was then requested to conduct the same training for the women folks of Dumingag.
With the perfect team up of great leaders and enthusiastic learners, the first trainees and women volunteers organized themselves as the Dumingag Federated Women’s Association (DFWA) under the guidance of their local government. Right away, the members of DFWA saw the promise of weaving abaca fibers that they started expanding their range of products from baskets and handbags to mats, which were sold by the dozens in their local market. To rev up the growth of the DFWA, the LGU provided them allowances until they were able to support themselves and allocated them a stall in the market place for a more effective selling and advertising. Soon afterwards, the members started earning enough to shoulder some of their family expenses.
The training proved to be just the start of a harmonious partnership between PTRI and the town of Dumingag. Realizing the need for more innovative products, DFWA requested for PTRI’s assistance in conducting a training, this time on advanced handloom weaving to further improve their weaving skills, and widen capabilities on their design analysis and execution. The training was conducted in October of 2008, and soon enough, proving a great improvement in the resultant products, they were accepting bulk orders, just a month after the training, for Christmas give-aways.
Driven by a continued increase in sales and a rapidly growing organization, DFWA had, once again, asked for PTRI’s technical assistance on natural and synthetic dyeing of indigenous fibers. Through the training conducted in June of 2009 they learned to dye abaca fibers, as well as pandan leaves. Through the beautiful myriad of colors they dyed their fibers with, their product and design range further stretched to include lampshades, wallets, hats, and more sophisticated and stylish bags while increasing their commercial value even more. They also opened new slots for members to specialize on dyeing.
The women of DFWA hard at work weaving dyed pandan bags (left) and assembling colorful scrunch bags (right) at their workshop center.
Through the years: In Photos
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) acknowledged the hard work and dedication of LGU Dumingag and the members of DFWA when it awarded the municipality with the Best Implementer Award in September 2009 for its abiding efforts towards the implementation of One Town, One Product (OTOP) and recognition of DFWA as an Outstanding OTOP SME for its great contribution to the local employment and trade. In 2010, Dumingag LGU also won the prestigious Galing Pook Award for its entry “Steering Local Development Thru People Empowerment”. Dumingag LGU was one of the 10 annual awardees of the Galing Pook Foundation besting 67 other LGUs which submitted an entry. In the entry, Mayor Jun revealed their strategy in building trust in leadership, providing grassroots machinery for livelihood, and establishing direction towards food sufficiency and poverty alleviation.
June 2009: DFWA members during their training on natural and synthetic textile application technologies. The training was conducted by PTRI trainers Ms. Procer Navarra and Mr. Dakila Naval.
August 2010: Mayor “Jun” Pacalioga, accompanied by Provincial FIDA Officer Engr. Nelson Burguete, observes how a rotary press works during his visit in PTRI in August 2010.
April 2011: The women of DFWA enjoy their hands-on training on advanced handloom weaving of abaca fibers. The training aims to provide them with skills on creating more intricate and complex designs. PTRI weaving experts Ms. Josefa Garlitos and Ms. Teresa Valencia conducted the training.
These recognitions just sparked their unfaltering desire to keep on sustaining their gains and expanding their organization. In 2011, LGU Dumingag proposed a DOST-SETUP project titled “Upgrading of Dumingag Handicrafts Production Facility by DFWA” in order to further expand their production to include handwoven silk and “pinukpok” abaca fabrics for apparel. With the production of a rotary press for the technology in the offing, PTRI conducted their 4th training for DFWA on abaca handloom weaving for “pinukpok” fabric in April 2011. The “tinagak” fabrics they produced after this training were showcased during Dumingag’s Foundation Day in December 5-6, 2011. Currently, FIDA is assisting DFWA to search for better abaca species to produce finer and stronger fibers.
Thru DTI and the DOST-SETUP Project, DFWA acquired 10 handlooms to aide in creating their abaca “tinagak” fabric.
These initiatives of the local government proved to be more than satisfying as it inspired initiative and mobilized people participation. From the five women pioneers of DFWA three years ago, the organization now employs 39 skilled craftsmen, of which 36 are females and three are males. The members joyfully attested an average of 50% increase in their income. More than the skills, additional income, and meaningful relationships they have gained, what they treasure most is that these helped them regain control over their lives and a newfound sense of self-worth. These women have patiently labored and wove to earn power over factors and decisions that shape their own life and their family’s which directly translate to the sustainable economic development of their municipality. Dumingag’s Municipal Economic Development Planning Officer Neil Estillore says that they are satisfied with a slow but sure growth – a growth which is anchored on renewed values and concern for the environment.
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