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BukSU expands extension projects to IP communities in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental

Bukidnon State University College of Technologies (COT) – Food Technology Department (BukSU COT-FTD) has partnered with the non-government organization, Non-Timber Forest Products-Philippines (NTFP-Philippines) for extension projects benefiting the Indigenous Peoples communities in Malitbog in Bukidnon and Claveria, Balingasag, and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental.

A memorandum of agreement was signed on March 15, 2024, for “Product Development, Food Safety, and Financial Management Training”, an extension project for the additional communities namely: Kalanawan Green Pina Adventure Organization (KGPAO) and Pamalihi Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT), Inc.

Thi extension project represented a collaborative effort between the Food Technology Department and NTFP-Philippines to address the multifaceted needs of indigenous communities involved in non-timber forest product enterprises. By leveraging our combined expertise and resources, this project aims to provide comprehensive support that encompasses technical training in product innovation, food safety practices, and financial management skills,” said COT-FTD Extension Project Leader Ms. Ruby Peralta.

In alignment with the department’s objectives, NTFP-Philippines facilitates educational initiatives and skills development opportunities aimed at empowering individuals to improve their lives.

“We’re expecting that the partnership will grow not only within the NTFP and BukSU but also among the local communities so that they can have BFAD facilities along with the technical assistance that BukSU can offer,” said Mr. Manuel Uy, the NTFP-Philippines Area Coordinator for Mindanao.

“NTFP assists in fostering a culture of lifelong learning and skill enhancement among community members, thereby enabling them to become more self-reliant and resilient in the face of socio-economic challenges,” Peralta added.

The project beneficiaries expressed their thoughts about the extension project.

“[Isip usa ka Higaunon kami nagpasalamat sa Bukidnon State University bisan paman nagpuyo kami sa kabukiran pero gi-hatagan gihapon ug higayon nga makabansay ug malambo ang among kinabuhi pinaagi sa bag-o nga teknolohiya. Kami mapasalamaton gihapon sa Kahitas-an pinaagi sa paggamit sa mga maestra sa Bukidnon State University aron aduna kami’y panginabuhian nga makat-unan, ug kami nanghinaot nga sila magpadayon ug tudlo sa mga tao sama kanamo] Being Higaunon, we are really thankful to Bukidnon State University. Even though we live in the mountains, we’ve been given the chance to train and improve our lives through new technology. We are also thankful to the Almighty who used the teachers here at Bukidnon State University to have our livelihood so that we could learn something, and I hope they continue to teach people like us,” Datu Noel Dagpong, representative of the Ancestral Domain Management Office.

Datu Cesar ‘Kailingan” Asapon, Chairman of Pamalihi CADT, Inc., expressed his gratitude to the project leaders.

“[Kagustohan namo nga mutaas pa ang sumbanan sa kinabuhi dili lamang sa mga kalalakin-an apan lakip usab sa kababainhan ug sa mga kabataan dinha sa paglakip sa mga bago nga teknolohiya sa amoang sistema kung asa kami nagpuyo, dinha sa yutang kabilin. Mao nga makanunayong akong mapasalamaton kang Dr. Joy M. Mirasol tungod usa kami sa mga lumad nga gihatagan sa oportunidad nga maapil ani nga programa] We want to raise the standard of living not only for men but for our women and children as we incorporate new technologies into the system in which we live within our ancestral domain. That is why I am always thankful to Dr. Joy M. Mirasol because we are one of the IPs who were given the opportunity to participate in this program,” he said.

COT will also ensure the sustainability of the project.

“Part of its sustainability is the continued consultation with our partners, while at the same time developing the products in the NTFP (Non-Timber Forest Products) and ensuring that resource management and sustainable harvesting are practiced in the area of the long-term sustainability of the raw materials used for the products,” Peralta said.

Before the MOA signing, guests arrived earlier at the BukSU main campus for an opening ritual. The ritual served as a symbol of respect for the cultural heritage and customs of the indigenous communities and recognized the inclusion of KGPAO and Pamalihi CADT, Inc. as partners.

Following the signing was a closing ritual, ‘Panampulot’, where all parties involved participated in the ceremony.

Present at the event were SMART BukSU President Dr. Joy M. Mirasol, Vice President for Research, Extension, and Innovations Dr. Carina Joan V. Barroso, and Extension Unit Director Dr. Jiemalyn B. Paulican, together with the faculty members and students of BukSU Food Technology Department.

Being Higaunon, we are really thankful to Bukidnon State University. Even though we live in the mountains, we’ve been given the chance to train and improve our lives through new technology. We are also thankful to the Almighty who used the teachers here at Bukidnon State University to have our livelihood so that we could learn something, and I hope they continue to teach people like us,” Datu Lipundagan Leo “Banbanugan Mantageo” Lirawan, the Kalanawan-Nabungkatol ADMO Head, said.Datu Cesar ‘Kailingan” Asapon, Chairman of Pamalihi CADT, Inc., expressed his gratitude to the project leaders.

(With information from Stepanne M. Bracero)

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