The Department of Science and Technology Region I (DOST I) conducted a two-day consultation meeting with the six (6) pilot municipalities of Pangasinan in relation to its innovation, Science, and Technology for Accelerating Regional Technology-Based Development (iSTART) program on December 16-17, 2021 at Dr. Telesforo N. Boquiren Convention Hall, Pangasinan State University-Lingayen Campus.

The consultation meeting was a multi-sectoral approach to be able to meet the objectives of the program specifically in the area of developing a technology-based development plan for the agri-based, manufacturing, and service sectors through various strategies, formulation of a Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) -based policy and development of a Communication Plan. 

DOST I Regional Director, Dr. Armando Q. Ganal, presented the overview and objectives of the consultation meeting, highlighting the significance of the program to the developmement of the municipality, Director Ganal reiterated the intensive

coordination and cooperation of the six (6) pilot Local Government Units (LGUs) in the implementation of the iSTART Program. On the other hand, Ms. Jennifer C. Fernandez, Science Research Specialist II and the Officer-in-charge of the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) Pangasinan Field Office acknowledged the participants and representatives from the different offices namely the Municipal Planning Development Office, Office of the Municipal Administrator, Office of the Sangguniang Bayan (particularly on Trade and Industry) and from the Municipal Information Office.

Dr. Lily Ann D. Lando, DOST I consultant presented the strategy in the crafting of a Communication Plan in three parts; 1) Stakeholder Mapping 2) Crafting Messages and 3) Communication Action Plan.  Also, she presented the framework for Planning of the LGU’s Comprehensive Development Plan.

Meanwhile, LGU participants actively participated in the workshop and were assisted by researchers from the partner academic institutions namely, Pangasinan State University Extension Director, Francis Albert T. Argente and Lyceum Northwestern University Vice-President for Reasearch and Innovation, Dr. Cynthia Lopez. The presenters from the LGUs include LGU Alcala Planning Officer II Michelle Retoria, LGU Balungao Municipal Agriculture Officer Marilyn Lilagan, LGU Sual OIC-Municipal Planning Office Michelle Benito, the and LGU Bugallon Municipal Statistician Lany Claire Laoana.

Dr. Ganal expressed his thanks and grateful appreciation for the active participation and cooperation of the LGUs and also mentioned the full commitment of the DOST I iSTART Team to support, provide and extend the necessary S&T assistance and intervention to all the six (6) pilot municipalities as part of the implementation of the iSTART Program.