UN-WFP donates digital library to Benguet public schools

BENGUET, Mar. 5 (PIA) -- Putting importance on providing access to knowledge and information that can empower communities towards progress and disaster resiliency, the United Nations World Food Program partnered with the Department of Science and Technology to bring the DOST – Science and Technology Information Institute- developed STARBOOKS (Science and Technology Academic Research Based Openly Operated Kiosks) Digital Library to public schools in remote areas in the province.


In a turn–over ceremony hosted by Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso at the provincial capitol here, DOST–CAR Assistant Regional Director Nancy Bantog and DOST–STII Finance and Admin chief Arlene Centeno led the awarding of 14 units of STARBOOKS to the officials and representatives of the public school beneficiaries.

Department of Education – Cordillera Asst. Regional Director Bettina Aquino and Mario Baucas Jr., a representative of Congressman Ronald Cosalan, witnessed the event.

UN WFP Country Director Stephen Gluning, in his message read by Shai Claver of DOST–CAR, said that the partnership is truly critical to ensuring that communities have access to scientific knowledge and are empowered by that knowledge to act.

Gluning stated that when WFP learned about the STARBOOKS, they have been helping to scale – up the distribution of such digital library throughout the country as they appreciated that the project makes information especially related to disaster preparedness and response and climate change adaptation accessible and user friendly.

The WFP believes that natural and man–made disasters are among the main drivers of hunger and malnutrition, he said.

Bantog expounded that STARBOOKS is an innovation that allows access to thousands of S&T materials that do not need internet connection. This is appropriate to the Cordillera where internet service providers have a hard time covering the whole region given its unique mountainous terrain.

The STARBOOKS not only contains the programs and services of the DOST but also includes information on disaster mitigation and preparedness, climate change adaptation and S&T related educational videos and library materials.

The DOST has been relentless in rolling out the STARBOOKS to various stakeholders in Cordillera mostly to the academic sector. To date, 118 units have been provided to various stakeholders in the region.

Bantog said the DOST already provided STARBOOKS to 57 out of the 77 municipalities in the region. She added that they signed a memorandum of agreement with DepEd last January for the deployment of 42 STARBOOKS to priority elementary and high schools in the region.

Priority means those who have no access to internet service. For public schools that also have no access to electricity, the STARBOOKS comes with solar panels to power it up, Bantog said. Carlito C. Dar (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)


Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.
EL Kikasa