SorSU- RET and DOST-PCIEERD spearhead Futures Thinking Writeshop on the Application of Circular Economy Approach to Pili Processing, Waste Management, and Valorization

The SorSU – Office of Research, Extension and Training, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), conducts a three-day Futures Thinking Writeshop on the Application of Circular Economy Approach to Pili Processing, Waste Management and Valorization in Fernando’s Hotel, Sorsogon City from April 24 to 26, 2023.

The writeshop aims to identify the gaps, issues, resources, technology, research priorities, and application of Circular Economy R&D for Pili. It is the goal of the activity to produce R&D proposals on Pili and its by-products for submission to funding agencies.

The esteemed resource speakers from DOST-PCIEERD namely: Dr. Ian Dominic F. Tabañag and Dr. Francis N. Baleta, Dr. Maria Theresa I. Cabaraban, and Dr. Gilbert U. Yu, who are all S&T Fellows, were warmly welcomed by Dr. Ryan V. Dio (VP for Research, Extension and Training) of Sorsogon State University while Prof. Christine H. Ferolino (SorSU Director-Office of Research & Development) introduced the Pili R&D background and the rationale of the activity.

This collaborative event from SorSU-RET and DOST-PCIEERD began with a visit and a tour to Leslie Pili Products, Inc., owned by Ms. Melinda A. Yee last Sunday, April 23, 2023. Dr.  Tabañag and Dr. Baleta of DOST-PCIEERD) were accompanied by Prof. Ferolino and Ms. Jeanette Diesta (SorSU-RET) as they were shown the processing of Pili products, its various uses, and the numerous products produced from Pili. A farm tour capped the first day of the activity.

Meanwhile, during the writeshop program, Dr. Tabañag discussed biomass valorization of mango seed kernel as a starting point for Pili processing. He pointed out that product wastes can be minimized through R&D and the use of appropriate technology and processes. Likewise, in a discussion of Circular Economy Approach to Food Processing Wastes, Dr. Baleta emphasized that if SorSU researchers want to help Pili farmers, they must improve the value chain; that continuous research and development of Pili and its byproducts is important to increase competitiveness.

On Day 2, Dr. Cabaraban discussed the Waste-to-Energy Application for Pili Processing Wastes while Dr. Yu focused on the funding of research proposals under the Institutional Development Program of DOST-PCIEERD. The researchers were also presented with guidelines on the preparation of project proposals and line-item budgets. Breakout sessions and writeshop proper followed after the discussions and open forum.

The last day of the activity, Day 3, consists of the presentation, critiquing, and submission of final outputs. The dynamic participation and relevant inputs from the resource speakers and pili producers were substantial in the formulation of the proposals. Dr. Ryan V. Dio, (VP-RET) gave the closing remarks. (SorSU PIO)