In response to the request of Congressman Dante S. Garcia, the Department of Science and Technology Region 1 (DOST 1) through its Provincial Science and Technology Office – La Union (PSTO- La Union) conducted Technology Training on Bangus Processing for Women’s associations in Agoo, Aringay and Sto. Tomas on December 6-7, 2022, in DMMMSU-SLUC, College of Fisheries, Sto. Tomas, La Union.

Fifteen (15) participants actively participated in the training to boost their knowledge on bangus processing particularly in fish deboning, processing of smoked bangus and processing of bangus in olive oil. These participants are members of (1) Sta. Rita. Central Bagoong and Tinapa Association (2) La Union Vibrant Women Inc. (LUVWI) (3) Ubagan Fisherfolks Association and (4) Ubagan Seaside Sustainable Livelihood Program Association.

Engr. Bernadine P. Suniega, Science Research Specialist II of PSTO-La Union, presented the DOST’s program, projects and activities. During his presentation, he emphasized that MSMEs can apply soft loan under SETUP (Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program). It is a nationwide strategy aimed at encouraging and assisting MSMEs to adopt technology innovations to improve their operations; thus boost their productivity and competitiveness.

The resource speakers were food experts from DMMMSU-ATBI (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University - Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubation). Ms. Erlinda Q. Balancio, discussed current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) with emphasis on Food Safety. Before the discussion, she prepared a pre-test for the participants to determine their pre-existing knowledge on cGMP and Food Safety. Thereafter, she discussed the types of food safety hazards (1) microbiological hazards, (2) physical hazards, (3) chemical hazards and (4) allergens. “Food Safety and food quality are the two most important aspects of food handling environment,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mr. John Rommel Retuya, Science Research Assistant discussed Introduction to Fish Value Chain of Bangus in the eegion. Ms. Joana Marie E. Abanes, Laboratory Aide II, introduced the proper way of Fish Deboning and Smoking of bangus.

On the second day of the training, a return demonstration was done by the participants to show what they have learned during training. After the demonstration, Cost Return Analysis and Pricing was explained by Mr. Christopher Jeriemy Iniba, Laboratory Aide II. The participants also shared their impressions which was followed by the awarding of certificates to Resource Speakers and participants.

In her closing remarks, Prof. Anabella G. Valdez, Food Expert and Project Staff of DMMMSU-ATBI said, “Iti amin nga training masapol nga ag undergo iti seminar on good manufacturing practices. Suruten tayo apo no anya man iti naisuro kanyayo iti daytoy nga training tapno dagiti products yo ket haan nga malipatan dagiti customers yo. Food safety is in our hands. Maragsakan kami nga adda manen 15 nga namentor with the assistance of DOST, nagpapasalamat kami sa DOST. Congratulations to all of you.”

DOST 1 will continue to maximize the potential of every abundant resources in its scope of communities to ensure responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) and for decent work and economic growth