Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ricefields Are Burning

Ricefields Are Burning

Photo above shows a newly harvested ricefield in Brgy. Mataphaw, New Washington, Aklan which rice straw is being burned. Inspite of the provincial ordinance prohibiting the burning of rice straw, the farmers are still burning it. 

The Anti-Burning Ordinance was approved 10 years ago but the agency concerned has not implemented the ordinance.  One hectare rice straw is equivalent to one bag commercial fertilizer valued at P1,200. Moreover, the fire will kill the beneficial insects like earthworms in the soil and destroys humus rendering the field unproductive. Burning will also hastened soil infertility. /MP

COMMENTS ON PULSE ASIA RESULTS

COMMENTS ON PULSE ASIA RESULTS

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay welcomes the results of the Pulse Asia survey while remaining focused on his work. Vice President Binay is set to meet housing beneficiaries and is pressing his appeal for the restoration of the budget allocation for overseas absentee voting which the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has removed from the 2015 budget. He encourages our OFWs to join his appeal for Congress to restore the budget.

He expects his political detractors to continue their campaign of lies. But the ratings drop for personalities involved in the on-going Senate sub-committee probe shows that people do not appreciate abuse of senatorial privilege to launch a witch hunt in aid of ambition. 

Unfortunately, these personalities will probably ignore this lesson and just redouble their vicious attacks. This will be of no importance to me as I continue to lead despite their grandstanding and the baseless attacks, and amid a widening field of contenders.

Again, if the detractors feel strongly about the allegations made by discredited local politicians, they should bring it before a court of law.  This would afford us the opportunity to cross-examine the accusers and scrutinize their so-called evidence, unlike in the Senate sub-committee probe where such rights are not allowed.

Meanwhile, Binay announced his Tagaytay property was sold in December 2012 to Constant Builders. The change in the title of ownership is being processed now by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The property is listed in his SALN according to its lawyer, attoney Martin Subido. /MP

Korean Gov’t, PhilRice Prepare Quality Seeds For WV Rice Farmers

Korean Gov’t, PhilRice Prepare Quality 
Seeds For WV Rice Farmers

In support to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) goal of improving food security in the Philippines, the Korea Project for International Agriculture (KOPIA) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) developed seed varieties to be distributed to farmers in the rainfed and irrigated lowland conditions in Western Visayas.

The KOPIA funded P254,666 for the seed production of PSB Rc 14 and NSIC Rc 214 during the wet season this year in the 2.5 ha. demo farm at Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (WESVIARC), Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City.

Managed by the Rural Development Administration of Korea, the KOPIA was launched in 2009 and it has centers in Vietnam, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Kenya, Brazil, Paraguay, Congo, Algeria, Cambodia and in the Philippines.

On October 6, 31 Korean delegates are expected to grace the KOPIA Seed Production Project Farmers Field Day at WESVIARC. There will be a field demonstration of rice combine harvester and thresher in the said seed production area.

KOPIA Project Leader in the Philippines Dr. Norvie L. Manigbas, Center Director, Dr. Jeong Taek Lee, PhilRice Executive Director Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., Dr. Yeo Un Sang of International Rice Research Institute and Dr. Jeong Eung Gi of the Rice Research Division in South Korea will discuss to farmers various seed production technologies. DA Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will also attend the said activity.

Around 130 participants from the towns of Dumangas, Barotac Nuevo, Dingle, Passi City, Cabatuan and San Miguel are expected to attend the field day. These six municipalities are also beneficiaries of the Community-Based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) Project of the DA.
Meanwhile, the KOPIA will turn over one unit of soil analyzer and rice transplanter to one farmers’ organization of the Municipality of Dingle. /MP


THE GOOD LIFE

CREATE A BETTER YOU
by: Megs S. Lunn

Once I was told, “To make you a better person, never cease or stop exploring and experiencing life.”  As one author once said, “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived and understood.”

It’s true. No matter how challenging and painful that experience would be, we need to face and experience. One becomes what he/she is because of that experience. It is better than experiencing nothing and not growing from life.

Widen our horizon by making ourselves open to learning and experiences, experience of a lifetime or surprise learning. When I excitedly asked God to help me pass in my exams so I can go back to school, He granted it to me. I thought when I pray to Him, I am like a child who asks for a ‘baon’ to go to school. 

When someone texted me that I passed, I jump like a child, too. As if, it was my first time to go to school. Why did I ask to go back to school? I feel hungry for knowledge. Then here comes another two learning opportunities that I whispered to myself, “God, I only asked for one school, now You give me two that I must attend to. Now I have three.” Indeed, ‘when it rains, it pours.’

I feel I am ready for another challenging school days. School allows me to experience a lifetime. Is education boring? No. It is needed in order for us to learn more and live a good life. 

Likewise, it broadens our horizon, experience something both old and new in our lifetime. Traveling to other places gives me a new breather, too. Something we can share and compare. An experience should be something relevant to us or a challenge to us. Why go back to school? A friend asked. “Do you need reasons?”  Sometimes, you just do it. No need to find reasons.

In my mission trips, it helps me decide on what side I should be. Seeing the people around me, who are suffering emotionally, physically, morally and financially, what is the best thing to do? I couldn’t help but share the sorrow with them. Then I thought of something that I can do to help. I search for strategies and other means to reach out. I think of people who can channel their wealth and energy through me so that others will live. These things are better ways to live my life. They are worth my effort and generosity. They are there to make me a better person. And you?

Life is spectacular. It is full of ups and downs but it also has so much learning that helps me become a better person. To be able to experience life itself is helping me open up to the world and learn to understand people, culture and habits. When I widen my horizon, I create a more compassionate ‘me’. When I welcome the opportunity of new learning, I create a better me and a better world around me. Life must be a discovery or an adventure. 

Warning, one can learn from the book. But one can learn better if he/she does those things, if I practice and act on the good learning. As Author Sanders said, “Focus to make yourself better, and not thinking that you are better.”

My prayer for all our readers is, “To simply wake up a better person than when we went to bed.” /MP


Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Tin-Tin, Maaeam nga Ayam

Halin pa nga nagretiro si Mang Andoy sa anang obra bilang mensahero sa isaeang ka pribado nga kompanya, isaeahanon eon lang imaw nga naga-kabuhi. Guin kabuhi nana ro anang maisot nga pension paagi sa pagbaligya it butong it niyog sa kilid it karsada maeapit sa terminal it bus. Madahog rong baligyang butong it niyog ni Mang Andoy eabi guid kon tag-init. Guinabutangan nana it yelo rong kinuskos nga butong ag ibaligya una mismo sa sueudlan nga niyog.

Isaeang adlaw, may isaeang ka tiyo rong nagpaeapit kay Mang Andoy. Guin painum nana it sabaw it butong rong ayam. Pagkatapos, nag eoko sa eoyo ni Mang Andoy hasta nakatoeogan. Pag-uli ni Mang Andoy, guin daea nana rong ayam sa anang baeay. Anang guin pangaeanan nga si Tin-tin ro tiyo. Nagbahoe si Tin-tin ag nangin kaibahan perme ni Mang Andoy. Abo nga naila maghampang kay Tin-Tin tungod guinatun-an it iba ibang abilidad ni Mang Andoy. Antiguhan eun imaw magsaot, magturo ko sari-saring kolor, pageompat sa kaeat ag iba pa. Abo nga nagadugok kay Tin-tin samtang naga kaon it butong it niyog.

Ko gabi-i ngaron, may habatyagan si Tin-tin nga kaeoskos sa pihak kong mabahoe nga baeay. Ro maaeam nga ayam, owa magpabaya. Dali-dali imaw nga eomokso sa kurae ag guin inangkit ro mga mananakaw samtang naga linahay. Nakabugtaw rong pamaeay ag haabutan nanda ro paginangkit ni Tin-tin sa manakaw. Nagtawag it pulis rong tag baeay. Nadakpan ro mga kawatan samtang nakauli eot-a si Tin-tin. Guin balita sa radiyo rong natabo ko gabi-eng nagtaliwan. Ogaling owa nanda makilaea kon anyo nga ayam rong nakadakop sa mga kawatan. Guin tago ni Mang Andoy si Tin-tin agod indi pagdumtan it mga tawong may maeain nga tuyo.

May nagtuhaw man nga sunog una sa lugar ni Tin-tin. Naglinahay man imaw pabalik balik hasta nakabugtaw rong mga tawo. May nakakita kay Tin-tin. Guinsuguid sa Brgy. Kapitan rong nahimo ni Tin-tin sa andang lugar. 

Pagtaliwan it pilang dag-on, umabot man rong tiyempo nga nagmasakit ag namatay si Mang Andoy. Sa eoeob-ngan ni Mang Andoy nagakatoeog si Tin-tin agod bantayan ro anang amo. Ko agahon ngaron, hakita kong sepoltorero nga patay man si Tin-tin. Ro maaeam nga ayam, nag-unong hasta it kamatayan sa anang amo nga nagtao kana it pagtatap ag pagpalangga. /MP

DULCE ET DECORUM EST

DULCE ET DECORUM EST
by Alex P. Vidal

While reading the Aspects of Western Civilization (Volume II) Problems and Sources of History (fourth edition) Chapter 6 on The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Era, compiled by Perry M. Rogers, I came across a very impressive poem written by Wilfred Owen, the greatest writer of war poetry in the English language.

Owen wrote out of his intense personal experience as a soldier and wrote with unrivaled power of the physical, moral and psychological trauma of the First World War. All of his great war poems on which his reputation rests were written in a mere 15 months.

From the age of 19, Owen wanted to become a poet and immersed himself in poetry, being especially impressed by Keats and Shelley. He was working in France, close to the Pyrenees, as a private tutor when the First World War broke out. At this time he was remote from the war and felt completely disconnected from it too.
HOSPITAL
Even when he visited the local hospital with a doctor friend and examined, at close quarters, the nature of the wounds of soldiers who were arriving from the Western Front, the war still appeared to him as someone else’s story, according to The War Poetry website. Eventually he began to feel guilty of his inactivity as he read copies of The Daily Mail which his mother sent him from England. He returned to England, and volunteered to fight on October 21, 1915.

He trained in England for over a year and enjoyed the impression he made on people as he walked about in public wearing his soldier’s uniform. Owen was sent to France on the last day of 1916, and within days was enduring the horrors of the front line. Here’s Owen’s famous poem:

DULCE ET DECORUM EST
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori. /MP


Reason and Concern by Ronquillo C. Tolentino

No to Pnoy’s Running Again

It was on August 13, 2014 that President Aquino made the confirmation that he is open to running again in the 2016 presidential elections. I cannot remember the other times that he made similar statements though..

On September 30,2014, a movement  calling itself as Movement for  Reform, Continuity and Momentum (More2Come) occupied a full page  propaganda in two national broadsheets urging President Aquino to seek a second term alleging and emphasizing “in order to make sure that the country stays  on course, on the right road and headed for continued Growth and Reform. “We must maintain the MOMENTUM AND CONTINUITY!”,the More2Come further asserted.

Malacañang was quick to deny  any hand and involvement in the More2Come propaganda albeit certain members of the Opposition were quick to raise doubt on the denial.

The third to the last paragraph of the More2Come propaganda emphasized, thus: “We understand that reelection is almost the greatest sacrifice PNOY can make for our country but then again, he is no stranger to sacrifice on behalf of this country. Such is the way of “Matuwid na Daan”.

The propaganda, trying to convince the readers and audience that the country stands in the threshold of Growth and Reform and boasting with : “ -7 successive quarters of 7-percent growth - a sterling investment-grade international credit rating -a buoyant domestic economic brimming with investor confidence - major reforms in fiscal and budgetary policies resulting in sizeable government savings,  greater efficiencies, and lessened opportunities for graft and corruption.”,   further asserted:

“ It seems that PNOY is still the BEST and ONLY SUCCESSOR.”

The propaganda is understandable from  the point of praising the subject and raising him to high heavens. It can beat-ify the subject as blessed among men or even proposed for his canonization as a living saint! Just joking! The Philippines is not new to this kind of propaganda though.

As I write this, banner headlined in the October 3, 2014 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer is  “ ‘Bosses’ say no to P-Noy 2” with the sub heading “Survey says 62 percent oppose second term for Aquino”.

Citing the Pulse Asia survey, “Six in 10 Filipinos are not in favor of President Aquino running for the presidency in 2016 should the Constitution be amended to allow his reelection.

So there. We do hope that we can put an end to the issue. But can certain sectors who idolize  Pnoy remain silent? What about More2Come? Proudly, the movement stressed: “The Barangays, with the vigorous support of various cause oriented groups, major civic, business and religious organizations will be the lead players of this effort.

More2Come did not capitulate. It even boastfully announced for  a two million signature campaign for Pinoy’s  second term and debunked Pulse Asia’s survey.

***
I do hope I have the luxury of time to re-read  a 2004 book titled :” The Rulemakers” authored by Sheila S. Coronel, Yvonne T. Chua, Luz Rimban and Booma B. Cruz.
The book is about how the wealthy and well-born dominate Congress.
It  studies the perks of lawmaking, the love of pork and search for alternatives.
***
We are prone to quote the oft repeated statement that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
There are others who have different views about power. Note for, instance John Steinbeck who said : “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts, perhaps the fear of a loss of power.” Will and Ariel Durant has this to say :
“Power dements event more  than it corrupts, lowering the guard of foresight and raising the haste of action.” /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Wasting Rice

Food is one of the basic personal needs and for an average Filipino wage earner, 52 percent of his daily wage is going to food.

Rice is one of the ingredients of a Filipino diet. To produce rice is a long and tedious process from land preparation, transplanting, care of plants, and harvesting. To produce one kilogram of palay, it requires 1500 kilograms of water from land preparation up to harvesting. In land preparation up to transplanting, the feet of the farmers are buried in the mud while the rest of his body is exposed to sunlight or rain.

According to the rice specialist in UP at Los Banos, College of Agriculture, 10 to 30 percent of the palay grains is lost from harvesting, to transporting, to storing and in milling.

On the table, 16 grams or ¼ cup per person per day is lost. At P24 per kilogram rice, the 100 million Filipinos must be losing billions worth of rice on the meal table annually. 

According to the Food and Nutrition Institute, Department of Science and Technology study, edible food wastes include plate wastes, food fed to pets and domesticated animals, pot wastes or burned rice and spoilage, or any other edible food materials, raw or cooked that family members failed to eat. 

Other food wastes amounting to one gram per person per day are from corn and its products, vegetables, and fish and its products. The FNRI survey found negligible amount of food wastes come from other cereals, starchy, roots and tubers, fats and oils, meat and poultry, eggs, dried beans, and fruits.

In another study by Gracia M. Villavieja, Scientist I shows that edible food wastes tend to be greater among smaller households. She observed there is abundant supply of food among households with few members and higher edible food wastes in households with domesticated animals.

Food wastage was also higher among households with larger budget in food. The families with higher budget for food have higher food wastage compared to families with less food purchasing power.

TODO ASENSO
“Todo Asenso” are two words now being inscribed in billboards posted by the road sides where public work construction projects like road repair and bridge constructions. Todo Asenso billboards are seen in two bridges widening projects, in Marianos and Bulwang, Numancia.

What does it mean when we say TODO ASENSO? These are Spanish terms. TODO means fast, rapid, swift, and speedy. Hence, fast action, rapid result, swift progress or speedy action.

ASENSO means progress, moving forward or onward, advancing toward perfection, toward better life, moving forward course.

In Aklanon, TODO means madasig and mabakas. Asenso means pag umwad o pag uswag. TODO ASENSO therefore means rapid, fast and speedy growth. It may be swift progress, speedy action, rapid movement toward better, peaceful and contented living. Madasig o mabakas nga pag umwad agud madangatan ro malinong, mahidaiton ag malipayong pangabuhi it tanan sa Aklan.

TODO ASENSO billboards are especially posted in sites where there are ongoing public works constructions. It is also posted in conspicuous places as one is posted on the corner of Roxas Avenue and A. Mabini Street, Kalibo, Aklan.

One good thing with TODO ASENSO is its positive reinforcement effect on people who are busy doing good and who are fast progressing.

However, the author of this TODO ASENSO billboard aims to claim credit for these infrastructure projects in progress. TODO ASENSO billboards are mostly posted in the site of public works construction such as bridges and roads. These billboards must motivate the workers to work fast and rapidly. But the work is becoming slow as demonstrated in the Marianos bridge and Bulwang Bridge Widening projects in Numancia, Aklan. 

Instead of TODO ASENSO, it is FOCO ASENSO, mahinay ro pag umwad or slow progress. However, we want TODO ASENSO, rapid progress ag Madasig nga Pag umwad. /MP

Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Everybody Is Responsible 
In Climate Change

“Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” is a hot topic during the October 4, 2014 Kapihan at NVC Carmen Hotel. Lone guest from Environmental Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) is Mr. Heherson R. Alvarez, EM Specialist II, R6 Iloilo City.

Mr. Alvarez cited some most pressing problems confronting LGU Kalibo, the open dumpsite in Bakhao Sur. It gravely affects health and safety of residents and students population. Began in 1991, tons of garbage emits methane gas, toxic effluents and serves as breeding place of pests – flies, rats and mosquitos.

DENR memo addressed to then Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo in 2006 to close the dumpsite and use alternative area has fallen on deaf ears until the present Administration of Mayor William S. Lachica. Recently, two barangay resolutions from Bakhao Sur and Old Buswang strongly recommended closure of the above facility citing earlier memo of EMB-DENR.
Mr. Alvarez mentioned that a 10 hectare lot in Castillo, Makato can be common sanitary landfill site of 5 adjoining municipalities of Kalibo, New Washington, Banga, Makato, and Numancia. However, this needs construction of 1.8 km access road. The other issue is tipping fee that would be divided into 40-30-30 percent for host barangay, 30 percent for host municipality and 30 percent – province.

Meanwhile,  the details of the proposed facility is being ironed out. The EMB has recommended to LGU Kalibo the temporary mitigating measure that will ensure that pollutants will not harm health and safety of the community and marine ecosystem. This includes: a) sealing of holes on bottom concrete wall, b) reversing decomposed garbage to be placed on top of new pile, and c) sealing the top with clay soil. 

Mr. Alvarez confirmed that Boracay is environmentally critical based on blatant encroachments of business establishments in declared no build zones. This is to ensure long term sustainability of the island jewel of Aklan and the Western Visayas. Because of this development, the Forest Lease Agreement for Tourism (Flag-T) issued during the time of DENR Sec. Atienza is repealed.

Considering the issue of continued violation of EMB directive to LGU Kalibo since 2006 regarding its open dumping site, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo said that this must be resolved once and for all. Penalties or sanctions must have been done because DENR is recognized authority to implement Solid Waste Management Act. For instance, the City of Passi in Iloilo has been issued continuing mandamus by Supreme Court to insure compliance of environmental regulations.

Furthermore, the Climate Change Act of 2009 or RA9729 penalizes people who cut forest trees, CLOG THE WATERWAYS AND POLLUTE AIR AND WATER (emphasis mine). Now the table is turn on LGU Kalibo and the provincial leadership to address this environmental disaster.

The Solid Waste Management Act provides for on-site segregation and collection of wastes: bio-degradable, recyclable, and non-biodegradable. This is further refined in a Material Recovery Facility using a machine equipped with a conveyor belt. Recyclables like plastic, glass, and bottles and paper could either be turned into cash or plastic converted into monoblock chairs and tables while biodegradables are processed into fertilizer. What is left for the sanitary landfill is 1-2 percent of total volume of garbage.

Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino suggests incineration of garbage since this is very practical and safe practice done in Germany, Japan, and Sweden. What is innovative and creative is that there is no carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere and the facility produces electricity. In Sweden they import 700,000 MT of garbage every year to help produce electricity and heating for cities such as Helsingborg with a population of 100,000. Here the environment is adequately safeguarded with no garbage and pollution. This added value is power generation. Sweden hopes to cut carbon footprints to less than 1.5 MT/person by year 2020, well below the US average of 20 MT’s.

Technology uses no oxygen in the combustion process and burning temperature is 1,300 Celcius. Residence are slag-used as material in road construction and landscaping, ferrous metals-iron and steel industries, filter dusts-backfill in the mining industry and extracted gypsum-construction industry. Since no carbon dioxide is emitted from the smoke stacks but hot air, contrary provision of the Clean Air Act of 1999 or RA 8749 could well be negated.

As government watchdog in conserving and protecting the environment, DENR is very weak in enforcing pertinent laws especially on proper disposal of garbage, establishment and rampant cutting of trees for fuel and firewood in communal forests.

By 2050, Asean countries will have 64 percent of total population settled in urban areas. The Major challenge will be poverty, unemployment and climate change. Atty, Allen S. Quimpo however, cites the positive. Based on data, the Philippines has the 5th longest coastline in the world. We can utilize the coastal resources for mitigating climate change and enhancing economic growth.

The Philippines has 36,289 kms. of coastline and is considered to be the world’s second largest archipelago after Indonesia. However, BFAR data show our fishery output is rapidly declining while our mangroves drastically reduced from 450,000 has. in 1918 to only 138,000 has. in 1993. Nipa palm sap can be sourced of biofuel (ethanol) and now commercially produced in Malaysia. Studies show a hectare of nipa plantation can produce 15,600 liters of ethanol, twice the yield of sugar cane.

Climate change is one big subject to tackle. It can only be solved by active involvement of stakeholders. /MP

CHIZ QUESTIONS BIG MONITORING BUDGET BUB PROJECTS

CHIZ QUESTIONS BIG MONITORING BUDGET BUB PROJECTS

While hailing the bottom-up budgeting (BUB) as an excellent template in enlarging the share of local government units in the national budget, Senator Chiz Escudero, however, suggested it should be rid of expensive riders that can be utilized to cover more towns or projects.

Escudero chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, reported that P840 million was proposed in the 2015 national budget for the “monitoring and evaluation” of BuB projects.



 The amount is on top of the P20.9 billion for a menu of projects ranging from classrooms to clinics, which were identified by local governments through a process involving citizens’ consultation, and brings real allocation for the BUB to P21.7 billion, said Escudero. 



“I think, at the very least, we should reduce the monitoring budget. Then we add whatever amount slashed to the budget of the BuB proper so that we can cover more towns or increase the funding for those already in,” he added.



According to Escudero, Aquino administration’s BuB project introduced in 2013 can be implemented without creating a monitoring industry.

Piloted last year, BuB was officially renamed Grassroots Participatory Budgeting Process (GPBP) in the 2015 proposed spending plan. Under the program, funding for projects chosen by local government units (LGUs) is incorporated in the budgets of 11 participating national agencies. There is also a separate budget for monitoring.

In last week’s budget hearing of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Escudero asked department officials on the particulars of its total BuB fund amounting to P5.7 billion.

DILG Sec. Mar Roxas said their BuB is spent on monitoring and evaluation and other activities pertaining to projects in all 1,600 LGUs across the country. Escudero asked the secretary to submit to the committee the detailed breakdown.

Among the participating agencies with GPBP allocations are

 Department of Tourism (DoT), P348 million; Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P2.717 billion; Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), P641 million; Department of Agriculture (DA), P4.28 billion; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), P323.5 million. 

Department of Education (DepEd), P1.49 billion; Department of Energy (DoE), P84.6 million; Department of Health (DoH), P1.47 billion; Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), P444.2 million; and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), P296 million.



To monitor and evaluate the projects which will be implemented in partnership with LGUs, “monitoring and evaluation” expenses are proposed for the following:

 DILG, P451 million; DepEd, P44.8 million; DA, P113.3 million; DOE, P2.5 million; DoH, P44.1 million; DoLE, P13.3 million; TESDA, P8.9 million; DoT, P10.4 million; DSWD, P81.5 million; and DTI, 18.4 million.



To illustrate how funding for “monitoring and evaluation” of projects under BuB could be spent to finance other programs, Escudero said the P44.8 million set aside for DepEd could buy 64,000 classroom chairs, while the P81 million proposed for DSWD could cover the expenses of the agency’s Balik Probinsya Program for some 5,000 families.

“If you look at the DOH budget, there is no distinctly identified budget for monitoring one disease. There’s no funding to track Dengue, for example. Kulang ang ‘health sentinel’ funding support, but sa BuB merong P44 million,” he said.

Cutting GPBP’s monitoring budget by half will free up P400 million and “ if we later disperse this to 800 poor towns at P500,000 each, it can do a lot of good at the grassroots,” Escudero said. /MP


DENR IMPLEMENTS P15.9M ILOILO MANGROVE REHAB PROJECT

DENR IMPLEMENTS P15.9M
ILOILO MANGROVE REHAB PROJECT

Some 2,000 people in the coastal communities in Iloilo province will receive cash-for-work incentives totaling P16 million to rehabilitate mangroves destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda. 

The Mangrove Rehabilitation Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which started in August, aims to rehabilitate some 450 hectares of marshland along coastal towns of Ajuy, Barotac Viejo, Concepcion, San Dionisio, Estancia, and Carles in Northern Iloilo. These are heavily damaged when typhoon Yolanda struck the country in November, 2013. 

Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Acting Chief Salvador Manglinong, Jr. informed the people in communities typhoon Yolanda hit would be hired for a period of 180 days to prepare the planting site, haul seedlings and plant mangrove seedlings. 

“A worker is paid depending upon the volume of his output. A worker will be paid P3,000 for every hectare he planted. In addition, a worker is also paid P15 for every propagule he can raise,” Manglinong said. 

“The DENR needs to plant about 800,000 propagules to cover the mangrove forest stretching over six (6) municipalities. So there’s a lot of work for everyone in the community under the cash-for-work scheme,” Manglinong added. 

Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Chief Raul Lorilla confirms that the project cost is P15.95 million. The amount is taken from the National Greening Program of the DENR through the initiative of AAMBIS-Owa Party list Representative Sharon Garin, a native of Iloilo province. 

Lorilla emphasized the importance of mangroves in fisheries and environmental protection. “Varieties of fish, shrimps, crabs, mollusks seek refuge in mangroves. These species form an essential food source for humans. Meanwhile, dense root systems in mangrove forests stabilize the shoreline and mitigate soil erosion.” 

Rep. Garin thanks DENR Secretary Ramon Paje for heeding her request for a project which will not only rehabilitate the typhoon-hit coastal towns but will also provide work for thousands of her fellow Ilonggo.  /MP

Sen. Villar Distributes Agricl. Interventions To Yolanda Victims

Sen. Villar Distributes Agricl.
Interventions To Yolanda Victims
By: James Earl E. Ogatis

Iloilo City – Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food distributed additional agricultural interventions to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda to the municipalities San Rafael, San Dionisio and Barotac Viejo, Iloilo last week.

She handed over to some 500 beneficiaries from the three municipalities 240 packs of white corn seeds, 3,000 packs of assorted vegetable seeds (PAKBET), 450 pieces jackfruit seedlings, 60 packs of certified seeds (RC 238), 2,000 coconut seedlings and coconut fertilizers, 213 sets of garden tools (spade and trowel) and one unit hand tractor with trailer.

Villar said, the DA 6 is committed to give additional nine units of steel layer cages with 40 heads ready-to-lay pullets and 530 bags of certified seeds RC 238 to the farmers of the three municipalities. 

Aside from the agricultural inputs, Senator Villar also distributed G.I. sheets, nails and tying wires for roofs of some 300 affected families; medical kits from Las Piñas Red Cross, relief goods and 90 bags of organic fertilizers from savanna.

She said, the Villar Foundation together with the DA has already visited a total of 45 towns affected by Yolanda wherein 13 towns in Iloilo, 4 towns each in the provinces of Capiz, Aklan, and Cebu and ten towns each in the provinces of Leyte and Samar.

According to Villar, there are 33 million work force nationwide and 11 million of these are in the agriculture sector, 13 million are OFW and the rest are distributed to other sectors.

“With these data, there are 40 percent poor people in the agri. sector who need our help that is why all of my legislations is inclined for the benefit of the farmers in the countryside.” Villar said.

Sen. Villar is working on the disposition of the coco levy fund for the coconut farmers, pushing for the amendments of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 and sponsored the sugarcane industry development act of 2014, a bill which will prepare the local sugar industry for the impact of ASEAN integration in 2015.

Director Manuel O. Olanday, Regional Technical Director for Operations said that white corn seeds, Pakbet vegetable seeds and jackfruit seedlings are produced from the different research outreach stations (ROS) of the DA in the region. These interventions are part of the DA rehabilitation assistance on Yolanda and Haiyan agricultural rehabilitation program.

According to Olanday, early intervention of DA 6 includes provision of cash for work on clearing and desilting operations; vaccination of animals; distribution of drugs, disinfectants and biologics; restocking of swine and goats; provision of mushroom fruiting bags and insurance coverage to rice farmers. /MP


TODO ASENSO OR HINAY UMWAD

TODO ASENSO OR HINAY UMWAD

Picture  above shows a billboard “TODO ASENSO” which means “fast progress” in english. It means “Hinay Umwad” in Aklanon.

However, under it is another billboard, “Widening of Marianos Bridge”. It portrays the project is started on June 23, 2014; Contract duration-100 calendar days; Contract cost-Php13.422 million; and Implementing  Office- DPWH, Region VI, Iloilo City.

Sad to notice, after 100 days the construction is still moving slowly. Many people are doubting if the construction of the bridge can be finished at the end of the year 2014 at its present working speed.

Hinay Umwad , isn’t it? It is very frustrating and dissapointing./MP

Thursday, October 09, 2014

14 Bulgarian Buffalo Bulls To Upgrade Iloilo’s Native Carabaos

14 Bulgarian Buffalo Bulls
To Upgrade Iloilo’s Native Carabaos
By: James Earl E. Ogatis

A total of 14 Bulgarian Buffalo Bulls (dairy type) from PCC-Ubay Stock Farm, Ubay, Bohol were imported by the Philippine Carabao Center based at West Visayas State University (PCC@WVSU) Calinog Campus to upgrade native carabaos in the province of Iloilo.

According to Dir. Arn G. Granada, PCCWVSU OIC- Center Director, the carabulls are given to identified coconut farmers who are members of Philippine Association of Small Coconut Farmers’ Organization (PASCFO) duly accredited farmers’ Organization by Iloilo Provincial Government which advocate carabao development in their villages thereby benefiting other carabao raisers out of palais or pakasta system.

The beneficiaries are Perlito Echeche, Rolito Cajilig, Ave Calagday and Arison Calugas from Leon; Rodrigo Gamarcha and Ruperto Tady of Sara, Rolando Pabilona and Elpidio Batallones of San Dionisio, Rogelio Ansuyon of Lemery, Pedro Palencia of San Enrique, Zoilo Suplemento of Dingle, Andrew Tiples of Dueñas, Nestor Alimpuyo of Alimodian and Franciso Eola of Igbaras, Iloilo.

Granada stressed that Iloilo Province which has a population of 93,872 native carabaos, around 18,774 of which are females ready for breeding that need Bulgarian bulls to upgrade. Said stocks will produce mestiza/mestizo that are proven as fast grower, bigger animals for meat, milk and work purposes.

“These bulls/stocks are about two years old and are expected to mate after a year or two. One carabull can produce at least 25 offsprings within a 5 kilometer radius area (or clusters of sitios/barangays) for the beneficiaries to fully own the bull.”Explained Granada.

He said that the beneficiary can also charge a minimal fee to the owner of caracows who wishes to avail the services of the bull. This will defray the maintenance cost of the bull while waiting for the completion of 25 offsprings.

The PCC @ WVSU conducted training on proper handling, housing, feeding and diseases control and related technologies on the management of the carabulls to the farmer beneficiaries.

Granada encourages the beneficiaries to take extra care for the bulls for the first two months to one year to develop a symbiotic relation with the local carabaos and socialize with the new caretaker.

This project is one of the major interventions of PCC @ WVSU to coconut farmers in Iloilo. Other services offered and being done by PCC are: artificial insemination, deworming, vaccination, project monitoring and technological assistance to carabao raisers/crossbred buffalo dairymen.

This is realized with the cooperation of the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Provincial Government of Iloilo. /MP 


Young Artists Highlight Family Farming In WFD Mosaic Making Contest

Young Artists Highlight Family Farming In WFD Mosaic Making Contest
Maetrix F. Gonzales with her Certificate of Recognition
Some 18 pupils from both public and private elementary schools in Western Visayas stressed the roles and importance of family farming in the promotion of food security and poverty reduction during the World Food Day (WFD) regional on-the-spot mosaic making contest conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Education (DepEd) at DA Operations Building, Iloilo City. 

This year’s theme “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth,” is in support to the United Nation’s declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. 

Maetrix F. Gonzales, a grade VI pupil of Oton Central Elementary School is this year’s regional winner. Together with her coach Romel Mediavilla, Gonzales will represent Region VI in the national level on October 10 at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Diliman, Quezon City. 

Danielle Mari Yorac of Iloilo Central Elementary School and Val Joseph Valencia of Ticud Elementary School ranked second and third, respectively. /MP 

INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR

INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV speaks before the attendees of the 35th Manila International Book Fair during its opening ceremonies at the SMX Convention Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City on Wednesday, September 17. (Alex Nueva España photo)/MP

Kapuso stars are World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific Ambassadors

Kapuso stars are World Youth 
Alliance Asia Pacific Ambassadors

(From Left to Right: Charee Pineda, Joanna Marie Tan, Simoun Ferrer, Lord Leomer Pomperada, Julian Trono and Kristoffer Martin)
Last September 30, GMA Artist Center talents Charee Pineda, Joanna Marie Tan, Julian Trono and Kristoffer Martin were named as the first Filipino celebrity ambassadors of the World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific.

The World Youth Alliance is a global coalition of young people committed to promoting the dignity of the person and building solidarity among youth from developed and developing nations.

Present during the contract signing were Regional Director of World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific Lord Leomer Pomperada, GMA Artist Center Assistant Vice President for Talent Branding and Imaging Simoun Ferrer and GMA Artist Center Talent Manager Tracy Garcia. /MP

TALK CHEAPER THAN P54-B TO SOLVE MRT-3 WOES

TALK CHEAPER THAN P54-B
TO SOLVE MRT-3 WOES
MRT WOES: Former chairman of the Metro Rail Transit Corp. Robert John Sobrepeña tells (from right) Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Grace Poe, Chiz Escudero and Serge Osmeña during a public hearing last week that the company repeatedly proposed to procure new trains but the DOTC instead recommended the purchase of second-hand trains. (Alex Nueva España photo)
According to Sen. Chiz Escudero, to solve the problems surrounding the ownership and control of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) Project,  P54 billion is not needed to buy out Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) and take over its operations.

 Escudero, chairman of the Senate Finance panel commented at the hearing of the Committee on Public Services that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the MRTC, led by the Sobrepeňa group made no attempt to sit down and discuss a string of operational and maintenance issues affecting the service of MRT 3.

 The DOTC plans to buy out the MRTC from operating MRT 3 for P53.9 billion in a bid to improve its services to the riding public. 

 However, Roberto Sobrepeňa, chairman of the Fil-Estate, the major equity holder in the MRTC, said the DOTC had not made a formal offer to buy them out. The P54 billion is just an approximation and is not even enough to buy MRTC shares.

 “Are you even talking?” Escudero asked the DOTC and the MRTC, to which Sobrepeňa answered, “No, your honor. They have not talked to us. We have not talked to them.”

At the hearing, Escudero made a manifestation to the committee to have the DOTC and the MRTC sit down together to thresh out the issues surrounding the poor operations and maintenance of MRT 3. They can’t get their acts together. Each has their own responsibilities.”

He offered to conduct Senate hearings every week if that would bring the two parties together to get to the bottom of the MRT 3 problems and bring about better public transport service.

Escudero said the proposed allocation for MRT 3 buyout under the 2015 budget may not see the light of the day. “I am not convinced that we need to shell out almost P54 billion of public funds just to take over MRT 3. DOTC and MRTC can talk seriously, analyze and agree on terms and conditions to improve the state of affairs of our mass transport system.”

Escudero has been calling for the final resolution of the MRT 3 ownership since 2010 in order to determine the status of its operational control and allow development plans to move forward.
“We don’t need to bleed out this much money; we could very well use this amount for other programs that need immediate and much needed allocations. In fact, the DOTC admitted during their budget hearing that they can very well bid the operation and maintenance of MRT 3 now without a takeover worth billions of pesos,” Escudero said. /MP

Drilon Assures Economic Measure Passage, Mulls Special Session To Pass Economic Bills

Drilon Assures Economic Measure Passage, Mulls Special Session To Pass Economic Bills

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon last week expressed readiness to recommend to the President the holding of special session in order to enact a number of economic measures which will improve business climate, boost investment and ensure the nation’s macroeconomic and fiscal sustainability.
“If we cannot make a substantial progress to our economic legislative agenda by March 2015, I am prepared to recommend to the President that we convene Congress to a special session in May and June 2015 to pursue our economic reform policies,” said Drilon.

“The 2016 elections can wait. We have work to do,” he stressed.

Drilon told the business leaders during the Management Association of the Philippines’ General Membership meeting that upon the resumption of session in October, the Senate will shift its focus on a comprehensive package of reforms that will improve the business and investment climate, apart from the enactment of the 2015 national budget and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.
This reform package includes the proposed amendment of the Build Operate Transfer Law “to create a better enabling policy environment for Public-Private Partnership.”

“To attract foreign investment, we have set our sights on cultivating a business environment that allows foreign investors to engage in a wider array of financial activities, to comply with reasonable and expedient regulatory requirements, and earn fair and equitable return of their investments,” said Drilon.

He assured business leaders that Congress is looking into the looming power shortage in the summer of 2015.  However, Drilon maintained that the request of the President to authorize him to contract additional generating power must not be done in haste and must be the “last resort”.

“Although there is a need for additional generating capacity, I believe that we must first explore other available solutions to the problem. We can implement various efficiency and conservation measures such as load curtailments, an example of which is utilization of the existing Interruptible Load Program,” underscored Drilon.

It is time “to establish a clear energy agenda and to address the growing concern over the perceived inability of the country’s power sector to keep up with the growing demand that is intricately linked to the Philippine economy’s immense economic growth.”

Congress will also pass the Fair Competition Act to promote economic efficiency in trade, industry and commerce through the prohibition of anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, and anti-competitive mergers which distort and restrict competition.

“Having a competition law and policy in place will foster the competitive environment in our national economy. Competition spurs economic efficiency and innovation, and attracts investments, all of which lead to lower prices, higher quality of products and services, and more choices for consumers,” explained Drilon.

“Competition law and policy will ultimately bring about a dynamic, sustainable, inclusive economic growth and national progress,” he added.

After the Congress allowed the full entry of foreign banks in the country, Drilon said the Congress is seriously considering the amendment or repeal of provisions in existing laws limiting foreign equity in areas such as retail trade enterprise, contracts for the construction and repair of locally-funded public works, and rice and corn production, among others.

It also plans to amend the Cabotage law to allow foreign-registered vessels to engage in coastwise trade in the country. Drilon explained that the amendment is being proposed to open the market to competition, bring down transportation costs by sea, and enable the country to fully utilize the supply chains for products.

Also up for discussion in Congress are measures calling for a review of numerous fiscal and non-fiscal incentives and subsidies to foreign and domestic investors.  Drilon noted that there are around 186 laws which provide numerous fiscal and non-fiscal incentives and subsidies to foreign and domestic investors.

“We would reassess and harmonize these laws to avoid redundant and overlapping incentives to cut revenue loss,” he said.

Lastly, Drilon said that the Senate is also open to discussing the proposed constitutional amendment which will allow Congress to formulate economic policies by legislative process. It will also act on the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act to address smuggling and simplify customs procedures for ordinary citizens. /MP

Senate Commends Founders Of Integrity Initiative

Senate Commends Founders Of 
Integrity Initiative 

The Senate last week adopted a resolution commending the founders and participants of Integrity Initiative for their efforts to institutionalize integrity standards among all sectors of society and curb corruption in the country.

Sen.Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, who introduced Resolution 868, said the founders and participants of Integrity Initiative deserves to be recognized for its efforts to minimize if not totally eradicate corruption since it is the greatest impediment to good governance, transparency and accountability in any nation.

Guingona said the resolution also urged government to require all private firms engaged in business to sign the “Integrity Pledge,” a formal agreement to adhere to ethical business practices and to support a national campaign against corruption.

“Private sector initiatives such as this reignited hope for the nation and helps the government restore the trust and confidence of its people,” Guingona said.

“Integrity, transparency and accountability are the three main ingredients needed to finally curb the culture of corruption in our society. We are all called not only to do our jobs competently, but to live our lives with integrity,” Guingona said.

A commendation, he said, is in order for the founders, participants and supporters of the Integrity Initiative. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Pinaka Mahaygang Regalo

Daeayawon ag hueowarang pamilya sanday Felix ag Ana. Sa an-um nanda nga mga unga, ap-at rong nakatapos sa pag eskwela sa colehiyo. Nag-asawa man sanda ag idto naga estar sa Amerika. 

Daywa pa ro owa it asawa. Ogaling ro kamanghuran nga si Nicanor rong problema ko andang ginikanan tungod owa it ganang magtuon. Nangin barumbado ag permeng kaibahan sa gulo. Naga intra pa imaw sa mga sugae bangod bugana sa kwarta halin sa anang mga igmanghod sa Amerika.

Sa dag-unan nga pagpili it “Huwarang Pamilya” hay owa hapili sanday Felix ag Ana bangod eamang kay Nicanor. Guin binasoe ko anang mga igmanghod si Nicanor. 

Owa eon imaw pagpadaehi it sustento. Guin kontra man ni Nicanor ro anang mga igmanghod ag guinikanan hasta nga nag ea-as imaw. Owa eon mag-uli uli sa andang baeay si Nicanor. Umpisa man kato, amat-amat nga nageoya ag nagmasakit ro mag-asawa tungod sa sobrang pagdumdom sa problema nga dueot ko andang onga nga si Nicanor. 

Pag-abot kong Anibersaryo ko andang kasae, nag-uli tanan ro mga unga ag mga apo nanday Felix ag Ana. Si Nicanor eamang ro owa. Idto sa piresuhan imaw. Hadakpan abi imaw nga naga baligya it droga. 

Sa tunga it selebrasyon it Golden Wedding ni Felix ag Ana, may nag-abot nga pulis. May guin dawat nga sobre sa mag-asawa. Ro sueod ko sobre hay papel nga may naka baehag nga isaeang ka tagipusuon nga may sueat, “Nanay, Tatay, Palangga ko kamo. Patawara guid ako. Hueata ninyo ako sa akong paglaya nga isaeang ka bag-ong Nicanor. Malipayon nga anibersaryo, Nicanor.” Mingko tinub-ok sa eangit ro mag-asawa. Rondaya rong pinaka mahaygang Regalo nga andang nabaton. Bangod sa isaeang ka kaeag nga nagtaeang ag nagbalik nga puno it paghinoesoe. Nagbisita rong tanan kay Nicanor ag daea rong abo nga pagkaon. Nagselebrar rong bilog nga piresuhan sa handa kong pamilya. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Ethanol From Nipa

God has endowed more natural resources for the Philippines and the Filipinos. One natural resources is nipa. But how do we, Filipino benefit out of nipa?

In the Philippines, nipa leaves are made into nipa thatches which are also being used as roofing materials for houses. In some regions, people extract the sap or juice from the nipa fruits as wine. The surplus of which is fermented for vinegar. 

In Malaysia, they are producing ethanol from nipa. Not only ethanol, a Malaysian firm announced, nipa is also a potential solution to global warming. 

The ethanol processing plants are built in Northern Perak state where Pioneer Bio Industries Corporation has secured rights from the state government to extract ethanol from nipa trees growing wild along the coastal areas. Pioneer Bio Industries Corporation officer said, it has a five year contract worth US$66 billion with a global trading firm to supply the nipa palm based ethanol. 
Badrul Shah Muhamad Noor, chairman of Pioneer Bio has been working with the Malaysian government since 2008 on biofuel project.

By the year 2020, ethanol will represent 30 percent of global energy, it is estimated. With the existing nipa palm they have identified, Malaysia can produce enough ethanol for the requirement of the worlds, boast Badrul Shah Muhamad Noor. In Brazil and Europe, ethanol is commercially produced from sugar cane, cassava, corn and sugar beet.

The Pioneer Bio scientists studies show that nipa palm is capable to produce 15,600 liters of ethanol per hectare. This is more than twice the yield of sugar cane.

According to Badrul Shak Muhamad Noor, Pioneer Bio has invested US$12.53 billion for the construction of 15 refineries in Malaysia including the port where ethanol will pass for export.

Pioneer Bio will pay Perak State government 324 million ringgits annually for the 10,000 hectares nipa palm trees.

How about us Filipinos? What are we doing with our natural resources? We must develop it, use it, and enjoy it.

Inter-School Competition

“The biggest, the grandest, and the most prestigious inter-school competition in the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels is on”. This is announced by ABS-CBN which will be launched in Kalibo, Aklan on Saturday, October 11, 2014. This is open to all interested college students from all year levels and courses, preferably from the College of Arts and Science or College of Mass Communication.

The newscasting competition will be done in three languages: English, Filipino, and Hiligaynon. The participating schools will conduct an elimination contest to choose its top 10 winners to compete in the 2nd ABS-CBN Inter-School News Casting Competition where the top three (3) winners will serve as contestants to the 4th ABS-CBN Regional News Casting Competition to be held in November 2014 in Iloilo City.

The contestants are requested to wear a business suits during the competition. The contestants shall read the scripts prepared by ABS-CBN 30 minutes before the program. 
Gross Misconduct In 

Office Vs Hon. Tolentino

A very new radio reporter of Energy FM radio in Kalibo, Aklan, Ms. Ma-ann B. Lachica has filed a complaint against Hon. Augusto C. tolentino, Sangguniang Bayan member, Kalibo, Aklan with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan for GROSS MISCONDUCT IN OFFICE. The complaint is referred to the committee on Laws and Good Governance chaired by Hon. Plaridel M. Morania.

The complaint, according to the information filed with the Aklan SP alleged that at about 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, September 23, 2014, Lachica was at the Session Hall of the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo to cover the SB Kalibo Special Session. Hon. Tolentino was sitting inside the Session Hall. “When he noticed my presence, he suddenly said in a loud voice: Iya ro reporter ngara ni Jodel nga saea saea mag tao it balita.” Lachica just ignored what Hon Tolentino said. However, Hon. Tolentino continued talking against me and my anchorman, Mr. Jodel Rentillo. Hon. Tolentino talked about the “lechon” from a Filipino Tandog. Many people present heard him such as SB members Hon. Ariel Fernandez, Hon. Rodolfo I. Policarpio, and Mr. Rolly Hererra.

“Feeling alluded to”, Lachica approached Hon. Tolentino and asked, “Sir, ako ro reporter it Energy FM… hay ako gid man ro ing gina pabati bati an?” Hon. Tolentino replied, “Huo, ikaw saea ka magta-o it impormasyon sa imong amo. Ag ikaw indi ka kaantiguhan magcorrect sing anchor kung saea imaw magreport. Kunta ikaw mismo, correkan mo imaw hay ikaw ro head reporter.” Hon. Tolentino was angry berating me, wrote lachica.

“Hon. Tolentino only stopped maligning me when the SB Kalibo session started”, said Lachica who requested the SP Aklan to give due course to her complaint, and after due hearing, place the respondent for 60 days  preventive suspension.

Section 60 of the Local Government Code provides the grounds for disciplinary actions for elective local officials and “Misconduct in Office” is one of the grounds.

This complaint of misconduct in office against Hon. Tolentino is uncalled for. It should not happen, but it happened.

Hon. Tolentino is a retired manager of two radio stations in Aklan. He has long and great experience in the radio. On the other hand, Ms. Ma-ann Lachica is just a beginner in radio broadcasting. She has more to learn in the radio information trade. Hon. Tolentino could have shown her the best way to succeed in radio broadcasting.   /MP


Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Wanted: Responsible Pet Ownership

Weekly Kapihan on September 27, 2014 discussed the topic, “World Rabies Day” held at NVC Carmen Hotel, Kalibo, Aklan. The lone guest is Dr. Ronald R. Lorenzo, Provincial Rabies Coord., Office of Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet), Kalibo, Aklan.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. All warm blooded animals are potential carriers but more particularly to dogs, wolves, cayotes, bats, foxes, skunks and ground squirrels. Disease is commonly transmitted to a person through bite of a rabid dog and when neglected, results to 100 percent mortality.

Aklan has 47,787 dog population where only 26.36 percent has been vaccinated. The only way to insure a rabies-free environment is to vaccinate dogs by licensed veterinarians. 

Target for this year’s program is 70 percent, prioritizing those towns where services of veterinarians are requested. Fortunately, Boracay is declared rabies-free because of closed collaboration among NGO’s and OPVet. Their saturation drive conducted in the 3 barangays is very commendable.

Dr. Lorenzo explained that rabies kills 250-300 Filipinos each day despite the fact that rabies is preventable and treatable. Rabies Act of 2007 or Responsible Pet Ownership stipulates the following requirements: a) yearly vaccination of dogs, b) animal registration with OPVet, c) provision of adequate food and care, d) regular consultation with OPVet or private practitioners on health problems, and e) no straying outside of residential premises.

Observance in Aklan of World Rabies Day is doggy parade, pet blessings, Oplan Kapon, Pet Care Day, Info Caravan, Dog Deworming, Rabies Vaccination and Consultation, and Dog treatment of diseases.

Clinical symptoms of rabies in human are 2-4 days of headache, low grade fever, malaise or discomfort, loss of appetite and nausea. Sore throat precedes involvement of the nervous system. Hydrophobia sets in where sight of water causes contraction of the throat muscles. Convulsion and agitation alternate with lucid periods. Most of 10 patients die of convulsion or progressive paralysis.
Normally, incubation period is 14-20 days. However, virus may remain dormant for 5-20 years. The duration varies widely depending on site of wound from the brain and immunity of the individual. Virus movement to the brain is 3 mm per hour confides Dr. Lorenzo.

First aid treatment if one is bitten by a suspected rabid dog is to wash the infected wound thoroughly with soap and water. Benzalkonium chloride or betadine reduces infections. Injection of alcohol into the site could be helpful.

Dr. Lorenzo warns of killing the suspected rabid dog outright but to observe the animal for 3-5 days. If the dog dies, cut off the head and immediately bring the specimen to OPVet for lab analysis. Under no circumstances must the patient be treated by arbularyo or quack doctors. The 11 year old elementary pupil in Mabilo, Kalibo, victim of rabid dog died just that. He was bitten in November 2013 and passed away in February 2014.

Classifications of rabid dogs fall into two categories: a) furious-dog is highly excited, restless and vicious. He attacks and bites other dogs and even its owner. b) Dumb-partial paralysis of vocal muscles often makes the dog unable to bark. Animal dies without apparent signs of illness.

It is admirable that municipalities of Altavas, Balete, and Malinao have reached vaccination target of 70 percent. The simple reason is that these towns have licensed veterinarians. Presently, Aklan has achieved 40 percent accomplishment and while the supply of vaccine may be adequate it would be herculean job to penetrate all the 327 barangays. Obviously, dogs must be voluntarily brought by their owners to Brgy. Hall during scheduled vaccination date.

Ironically, dog lovers are also dog eaters. They flagrantly violate the law that prohibits slaughtering and eating of dog meat. Stray dogs in urban area like Kalibo must be catched and confined at Dog Impounding Center based on existing Ordinance. The problem is the facility is not rehabilitated since Yolanda struck.

Animal bite Center Services administered by DRSTMH and Saint Gabriel Hospital are most welcomed. However, considering that most patients are indigents, it is highly recommended that hospital charges be downgraded in their favor. This will discourage treatment of quack doctors and unnecessary deaths.

Dogs are man’s best friends. They serve their masters 24/7 without pay. Actually, they are most loyal and competent among animals when they are properly nourished and cared for. Under the law, pets have animal rights and common demand is responsible pet ownership. /MP

SALARY INCREASE FOR TEACHERS

SALARY INCREASE 
FOR TEACHERS

Sen. Pia Cayetano, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, discusses with educators the possibility of salary increase for public school teachers and employees next year during a public hearing on Wednesday, October 01, 2014. 
Sen. Edgardo Angara, who filed Senate Bill 61, otherwise known as upgrading the minimum salary grade of public school teachers, said the proposed measure is designed to upgrade the salary grade level of teachers from Salary Grade 11 to 19, nearly doubling their current monthly base pay from P18,549 to P33,859. (Romeo Bugante photo) /MP

DEVELOPING FARMS AS VIABLE TOURIST SPOTS

DEVELOPING FARMS 
AS VIABLE TOURIST SPOTS

Local and foreign tourists interested in experiencing life on Philippines farms first hand can add farm visits to their travel itinerary after House Bill 3745 becomes the Farm Tourism Act.

“Milking cows, fruit-picking, harvesting vegetables, fishing, horseback riding, watching butterflies, tending bees, tasting wines or juices, and sight-seeing are just some of the exciting recreational and educational activities tourists can do in a farm tourist spots,” HB 3745 author AAMBIS-Owa Representative Sharon Garin said.

Garin said farms can be viable tourist destinations after the Farm Tourism Act is signed into law.
“The fusion of tourism and agriculture will benefit both sectors as it will boost the country’s economy by improving the income and potential economic viability of small farms and rural communities.” Garin pointed out.

The House Committee on Tourism concluded the hearing on HB 3745 with farm owners, tourism officers, agriculture experts and other stakeholders and government officials last August.

Street food vendor turned millionaire-farm owner Desiree Duran said she is living proof that farm tourism is a viable economic venture.

It was 2001 when Duran first embarked on planting off-season vegetables. Over the years, her backyard farm grew into a 3.6 hectare farm land now known as Duran Farm.

Duran farm, located in San Ildefonso, Bulacan, is a known farm tourist destination in Luzon where local and foreign visitors go to learn about best practices in vegetable production.

Her farm also serves as venue for private companies who are conducting their seminars and training for their clients.

University of South Eastern Philippines Professor Fernando Magdato, Jr believes that agri-tourism will encourage farmers to preserve their lands and prevent agri-land conversions helping promote food security in the country.

The bill seeks to create a Philippine Farm Tourism Industry Development Coordinating Council under the Department of Tourism to ensure the development and promotion of farm tourism in the Philippines.

Farm tourism is already a thriving industry in many parts of the world with each country having their unique selling points.

A good example is the sweet potato-based, tea-based, and pomelo-based farm tourism industry in Taiwan.

Malaysians have coconut-based farms for tourists. In Indonesia, orange-picking tours are well-known.

In Japan, rice-based farm tours are renowned. /MP 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Feed Additives Strengthens Immune System of Native Chickens

Feed Additives Strengthens
Immune System of Native Chickens 
By: James Earl E. Ogatis
Native Chickens are given with feed ration mixed with additives of garlic, onion and moringa at CPU-CARES Native Chicken Research Station in Leon, Iloilo. The research station serves as technology demonstration on native chicken commercialization here in Western Visayas. (CPU-CARES photo)

Iloilo City – Feed additives using garlic, onion and moringa proved to strengthen immune system of native chicken according to research conducted by Central Philippine University-College of Agriculture Resources and Environmental Sciences (CPU-CARES).

According to Dr. Jaime C. Cabarles, Jr. Dean of CPU-CARES research showed that incorporation of 2 grams/kg feed of garlic powder increased live weight gain and attributed to enhanced chicken immune system.

Cabarles said that the appearance and quality of rations with additives greatly affects the volume ingested by chickens thereby decreasing the feed consumption due to repulsive odor and taste of the diet.

He stressed that the use of virginiamycin antibiotics in feeds have higher feed conversion ratio with that of basal diet and Chickens receiving basal diet (22.88% CP) has insignificant difference with phytogenic fed-group.

He emphasized that failure in providing the chicks with optimum environmental conditions during brooding period to hardening stage may lead to poor growth performance, lower survival rate and ultimately, reduced in productivity.

It has been concluded that regardless of the breeds, chickens fed with commercial feed have significant (P< 0.05) difference on the weight gain and feed efficiency among other naturally based additives.

Synthetic feed premix has numerically comparable (P> 0.05) results with natural feed additives indicating enough nutrient supply for the requirements of the chicken and fermentation of the feeds improved its appearance and palatability; likewise, stocking density and environmental factors affects survival percentage.

Economic analysis also reveals that commercial feeds require more investment as compared to other rations wherein cheap cost of the raw materials for feed additives contributes to its lower production expense.

Meanwhile, Mr. Homer Deloso, research presenter said that quality meat of chicken was developed base on what they eat. 

Deloso said that the study aimed to determine the growth performance of hardened chicks of different genetic groups of native chicken in Western Visayas in terms of live weight gain, feed consumption, feed efficiency, survival rate and cost of production.

The research entitled “Growth Performance of Different Native Chicken Genetic Group Fed with Phytogenic Additive Enriched Supplemental Feeds” vested 47 agriculture related researches during the 3rd regional research symposium for students.  /MP


Thursday, October 02, 2014

SEN. GUINGONA TO FAST-TRACK GOVT HEALTH INFRA PROGRAM

SEN. GUINGONA TO FAST-TRACK
GOVT HEALTH INFRA PROGRAM

Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III pushes for the swift implementation of the government’s health infrastructure program funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2014 to service the majority of Filipinos.

Sen. Guingona, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, asked Health Secretary Enrique Ona during Monday’s senate hearing of the 2015 Department of Health (DOH) budget, to explain the slow implementation of its Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) for 2014, and identify the bottlenecks in the completion of the projects.

During the hearing, Sen. Guingona requested Sec. Ona to identify and document the causes of the delay in HFEP implementation. He also revealed plans to undertake regional public consultations on the issue of HFEP.

Since 2010, the government has been investing in the provision of health infrastructure nationwide through the HFEP. As Chair of the Committee on Health and Demography in the senate, Sen. Guingona approved the largest increase in HFEP, from P8.1 billion in 2013 to P13.54 billion in 2014.

As of September 15, 2014, of the 991 Barangay Health Stations (BHS), only 2 percent were completed. Records from DOH revealed that as of August 30, 2014, only 56 percent of the 2,917 health facilities approved for funding in the 2014 GAA has moved. For Rural Health Stations (RHU), only 45 percent of the allocated amount of P1.76 billion was utilized. For hospitals, only 22 percent of the allocated amount of P2.34 billion was utilized. 

Sen. Guingona stressed that the health facilities are expected to provide simple medical and emergency care within the community, including maternal and child health services, the construction/improvement and equipping of BHS are vital for delivery of front line health services as well as for de-clogging tertiary health care facilities which are saddled with patients needing even simple medical services.

The Aquino administration is bent in providing Filipinos access to sufficient healthcare. It can only be achieved if the infrastructure and equipment needed for healthcare programs are delivered on time, said Guingona.

“The infusion of P37 billion for the payment of Philhealth premiums of the indigent in the 2015 proposed budget should be complemented by the improvement of public health facilities to achieve the goal of enhanced service delivery, and better quality of health for the Filipinos, especially of the poor.

For the 2015 proposed budget, the DOH is asking for P13.08 billion for its HFEP program. It seeks to provide for the construction, upgrading, expansion, repair and rehabilitation and purchase of hospital equipment of DOH retained hospitals and other health care facilities, like the Rural Health Units, district/provincial hospitals and barangay health stations. /MP