Friday, April 04, 2014

Editorial

by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM

Underdevelopment In Agriculture 
Leads To Poverty

“Agriculture for Asean Integration” is the topic of this week’s Kapihan at Carmen Hotel. The guests are: Dr. Eden Bautista – ATI Region 6, Mr. Alexander I. Ramos – ASU–ECS, Dr. Lelisa J. Teodosio – Dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry & Environment, Dr. Paterno Rebuelta, Researcher ASU and Ms. Ferlina B. Galvan, Jr., Coconut Development Officer, PCA. 

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino expressed keen interest in developing agriculture in Aklan since it is our economic base along with tourism. For the last 14 years, the 10 member nations of Asean has addressed priority issues of narrowing the developmental gap where pockets of underdevelopment persist. These are on political security, socio-cultural and economic community. So far, working groups are organized on each area of concern which formulate general advice and policy guidelines in the implementation of the Initiative for Asean Integration, said the prominent journalist.

Dr. Bautista said that Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) based at ASU Banga has a mandate to deliver agricultural extension services to farmers, agriculture technologists and other stakeholders concerned with food security. Short term production modules like organic farming on rice, vegetables fruits, food processing, preservation, and utilization, backyard poultry and livestock raising are conducted by subject matter specialists. ATI Training Staff members also conduct follow ups and evaluation of projects done by ATI graduates. Those found successful are accredited as extension service providers, averred the lady executive. 

ASU is accredited as Center of Development in Agriculture and as such is committed to develop and strengthen community-based organizations said Dr. Rebuelta. He coordinates with PCA on Kaanib organizations in San Jose, Ibajay and in Tambuan, Malinao. Capability building program is rendering technical assistance on intercropping coconuts with coffee and vegetables. 

Dr. Teodosio believes the reason why agriculture and forestry courses do not attract Filipino youth is that farming is boring and future seems very unstable. Is it because it requires technical skill and dirtying one’s hands? Result is less number of graduates in agriculture abdicating farming to 59 years old farmers considered as a spent force. However, the UN-FAO has declared that the world needs to increase agriculture productivity by 60 percent in this decade to avert potential risk of social, economic and political instability. 

PCA is created by PD 232 that mandates the development not only of the coconut industry but also of palm oil said Ms. Galvan. The Agency is implementing the participatory coco replanting program that gradually eliminates senile and diseased coco trees (60 years old and above) and replanting them with locally available seed nuts. Financing is P7.00 per seed nut sown, P7.00 for every seedling that grows to about 2 feet tall within 5 months. Afterwards, the amount of P16.00 per tree is given when it is about 1 meter tall. PCA also assists in fertilization, intercropping, timber disposal and utilization and organization of viable micro enterprises that would become coconut hubs in the future. Our Coconut Development Officers are indeed few but are striving to intensify farmers’ education on coco agro technology, underscored Ms. Galvan.

The Comparative Farm Productivity Report of ADB in 2009 shows that the Philippines is at the bottom list of Asean countries which are Indonesia which has $650, Vietnam - $1,062, Thailand - $1,760, Malaysia - $2,680 and Philippines - $340. It is also significant to note that our advanced neighbors have successfully obliterated rural poverty within 3 decades while the Philippines despite its rich natural resources and skilled manpower have not solve the problem. 

Despite 7.2 percent GDP growth in 2013, the Philippines has not achieved inclusive growth manifested in increased employment opportunities and reduced poverty incidence. World Bank (WB) seeks to halve extreme poverty by 2020. WB Pres. Jim Young said that global poverty must be halved in 7 years if it is to reach a more ambitious target set for 2030. 

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente is disillusioned why the Philippines is food deficit in leading commodities – rice, corn, vegetables, fruits, meat and eggs, milk and dairy products when we have the internationally renowned institutions namely: UPLB, IRRI and Philrice. The question is, are we prepared for eventual Asean integration in 2015?

The plain answer is no. Following are some of the issues and concern on agriculture: 

a) Limited budget for agriculture – Despite Agriculture and Fisheries MODERNIZATION Act of 1997 the national budget for agriculture is less than 2 percent of the GDP. The UN Development Programme recommends a minimum of 7 percent. The province of Aklan appropriates a dismal amount of a P10.8 million out of its P1.3 billion 2014 budget or just enough for salaries of personnel.

b) Miniscule budget for Research and Development (R&D) – the amount allocated for R&D is ½ of 1 percent. Developed countries like Japan, US, Germany and South Korea expend 5-7 percent of GDP since R&D is crucial to innovativeness and global competitiveness of their products. 

c) Failure to industrialize the Tree of Life known as the coconut – the Philippines has 3.56 million hectares of cocal land. A farmer normally cultivates a hectare planted on the average from 100-150 coco trees each yielding from 8-10 nuts. A good harvest yields 1,500 nuts that translates into 325 kgms. of copra every quarter. Earnings reached about P150 per day or even less counting the expense of harvesting and hauling. With 6-8 children, coco farmers are classified as the poorest of the poor.

d) The above scenario could be reconfigured if farmers adopt modern farm practices like fertilizing, seed selection, weeding and pest control. It also pays to choose wet process of coco oil extraction. The latter allows processing of by-products like coconut husks, shells, water and meat into various economic uses. It must be underscored that potential yield of coconut is 4.0 metric tons per hectare per year instead of 1.2 metric tons.

It is unfortunate that we failed to exploit the 1007 uses of coconut from its roots to the leaves. Findings show buko juice as excellent energy drink, virgin coconut oil has anti microbial properties, coco sugar is ideal for diabetics since it has low glycemic index, coco coir for ropes, strings, floor and doormats and geotextiles, coco shells for charcoal and materials for handicraft and accessories, coco leaves to make brooms, baskets and mats and coco trunk as source of lumber, furniture and even paper pulp. 

Based on data, Aklan has a total coconut area of 39,358.6 hectares the biggest in Western Visayas. Yet Aklan does not have any coco oil mill or integrated oil mill facility that can process the whole coconut into various industrial products. 

Considering the finances the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan through its Committee Chairman on Agriculture and Cooperatives must pass legislation/resolution addressed to DA seeking appropriate assistance from the coco levy that was contributed by small farmers in 1973-1982.

d) Agriculture is in disarray because its program and projects are devolved to LGU’s. There’s a saying that “many cooks spoil the broth”. We need to emphasize that agriculture is both a science, an art and a business. Yet we allow politicians to meddle in areas most likely they do not understand or disinterested in. Although there can be exemptions to the rule, their number is negligible. 

It is very obvious the road to industrialization starting with coconut could be arduous and challenging but well worth the price. It only needs patience and motivations to move on. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

“Livestock In Tagas, Tangalan, Aklan”

Ambrosio R. Villorente

In a study: Livestock In Tagas, Tangalan, Aklan conducted by Anna Mae S. Torneo and Riza P. Villanueva, they made the following conclusions: 1. Livestock being raised in brgy. Tagas are chicken, swine, ducks, cattle, carabao and goat; 2. Most of the livestocks raised are consumed by the producers; 3. The primary occupation of the people is farming, and some of them are caretakers of private land, 4. Some of the farmers have idle land and 5. They received no assistance from the government either technical or financial. Torneo and Villanueva had as their respondents 52 heads of families in Brgy. Tagas, Tangalan, 27 of whom were females and 25 were males. Their mean age was 55 which ranged from 25 to 75 years old.

Some 16 or 31.37 percent of the respondents admitted they have no cash income from their livestock project. However, 10 or 21.57 percent reported P10,000 annual income from their project, 9 or 17.65 percent got P20,000 and six (6) or 11.27 percent got P5,000.

As to their project expenses, 9 or 17.65 percent spent none; one or 1.97 percent spent P50,000; 16 or 29.41 percent spent P1,100; 22 or 23.53 percent spent 1000; 9 or 17.65 percent spent P5,000 and five (5) or 9.8 percent spent 10,000 each.

Asked what are their farm problems, the respondents answered the attack of pest and diseases is their prime problem, followed by calamity, lack of water and capital. 

Based on the findings of the study, the agricultural projects in Tagas, Tangalan are losing because the respondents are not well assisted in terms of both technical and financial assistance.

With these findings, who among the Aklanon youth will go back to the farms? The annual income reported by the respondents will discourage our probable farmers in engaging in agriculture projects and shift to other vocations.

In a survey conducted among the 80 third year students in the ASU college of agriculture in 2014, only one expressed his desire to engage in farming after his graduation from College.
This negative attitude of the Filipino youth toward agriculture is highly dangerous. Who will inherit the Philippines farms and produce enough food for the ever increasing Philippine population? 

Does this negative attitude of these 79 third year agriculture students of ASU exist with other students taking agriculture courses in other agriculture colleges in the Philippines?

Tangalan

Tangalan is one of the 17 towns of Aklan. It is 19 kilometers away from the capital town of Kalibo. At its north is Sibuyan Sea, southwest of it is Ibajay, and Northeast of Makato.

In 2010, Tangalan has 20,277 people living in its 15 barangays. Tangalan is largely agriculture and fishing municipality. Rice and coconuts are considered Tangalan’s chief products. Banana, corn, abaca, root crops and vegetables are also grown. Aqua marine culture and marine products are also of economic importance to Tangalan. 
Land Use

Tangalan has a total area of 7,458.5473 hectares being utilized as follows: agriculture – 3,235.562 hectares or 43.38 percent, forest – 3,516.3 hectares or 47.3 percent; Eco-Tourism – 307.439 hectares or 4.12 percent; fishponds – 280.7515 hectares or 3.76 percent; built-up – area – 62.9945 hectares or 0.8 percent; and rivers and creeks – 47.5 hectares – 0.64 percent.

Notice that in the general land use, Tangalan has big area for forest. Forest occupies 47.3 percent of the total land area of Tangalan. However, is this forest areas has growing trees? If there are, how many hectares have trees and how many hectares are devoid of trees or bald? Torenea and Villanueva graduated with the degree AB MassCom at the Northwestern Visayan Colleges, Kalibo, Aklan in March 2013. 

DOST Scholar

Of the 37 Aklanons who qualified for the science and technology scholarships in 2014 sponsored by the Department of Science And Technology, seven (7) are Kalibonhon. Nobody qualified from the town of Buruanga.

Banga, Ibajay, and Lezo municipalities had three (3) scholars each. Malinao, Batan, Altavas, Malay, Balete, Numancia, Nabas, Madalag, and Makato got two (2) scholars each. Libacao, New Washington and Tangalan got one (1)  scholar each. /MP   

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Revealing Clothes

Majority of the Brazilians say woman in revealing clothes deserve rapes. In a study conducted by the Institute of Applied Economics Research (IPEA) it investigated some Brazilians of what to do with women who wear revealing clothes. The questions asked not only the women in short dress like those with above the knee, sleeveless, and with V-neck that exposes parts of their breasts, see-through and tight fitting clothes.

The research covered 3,810 respondents of both sexes. And here are the findings. 

Of the respondents, 2,480 or 65 percent justified raping women that shows off her body. On the other hand, some 2,229 or 58.5 percent agreed that if women knew how to balance, there would be few rapes. 

Of the 3810 respondents, 1,276 or 33.5 were men while 2,534 or 66.5 percent were women. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Ro Eaging Kahita

Samtang naga pauli si Bertong Bulldog halin sa eskwelahan, may hakita imaw nga eaging kahita sa basurahan. 

Madasig nanang guin pueot ag guin sueod sa anang boesa. Pag abot sa andang baeay, dali-dali eagi nanang guin bukad ro kahita. Ogaling sa anang pag usisa, owa it nakita nga sueod. Anang guin pilak ro kahita. Ogaling, pag eagpok, hay matsa puno it sensilyo ro tunog. Guin pueot ni Bertong Bulldog, pagbukad it uman hay mga sensilyo ra sueod. Busa, sinueod eagi nana sa buesa, matsa mabug-at ro anang daea. Ro kaheta gali hay puno eot-a it kwarta tag naga tinikang eon si Berto. 

Tongod sa kahita, halin kato, owa eot-a nawad-i imaw it kwarta. Bangod sa abong kwarta, nag pundo eon imaw sa pag adto sa eskwelahan. Idto imaw permi naga babad sa sugae-an, sa mga nightclub ag sa daeagkong katipunan. Ro pangaeang Bulldog hay guina kahadlukan it ibang tawo. Owa imaw nahadlok maskin sa mga otoridad. Kwarta ro anang pambala kon ano man ro anang obrahon. Sarang nana nga mabakae ro tanan. 

Umabot ro adlaw nga owa eon imaw it guina taha-an nga mga tawo sa gobyerno. Abo man kunta imaw it amigo ogaling naga eapit eamang kana kon may kinahangean. 

Isaeang adlaw, may magueang nga nagpakalimos kana. Bukon eang sa owa nana paglimosi, ana pang guin tabog ro magueang. Dungan sa pagtabog sa magueang, natabog man ro mga kwarta sa kahita. Amat-amat nga naubos hasta maskin sangka sentimo hay owa eot-a it habilin kay Berto. Tongod kara, guin pilak nana ro kahita. 

Naglingo lingo eon lang ratong magueang. Ro magueang gali ro tag ana it kahita. Nagbalik ro kahita sa basurahan ag kon sin-o eon man ro makapueot hay owa nasayuri. Naduea it golpi ro magueang. Halin kato, owa man nasayuri kon siin eon ratong eaeaki nga golping nag manggaranon nga golpi mang nag pobre. Kon ay Bertong Bulldog eamang nga guin haeongan ratong kahita, abo kunta ro ana pang mabuligan.  /MP

GMA Wins Best TV Network Plum In NW Samar State U Tilt

Taking home the competition’s top honor, GMA Network was named the Best TV Network with Balanced Programming in the 5th Northwest Samar State University Students’ Choice Award for Radio and Television (NSCART).

The Kapuso Network also swept 20 other major awards in the NSCART ceremony held on March 6 at the Socio Cultural Center of Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) in Calbayog City.

GMA’s flagship primetime newscast, 24Oras, won the Best News and Public Affairs Program award. News anchors Mel Tiangco and Mike Enriquez were respectively lauded as the Best Female and Male News and Public Affairs Anchors.

Enriquez was also recognized as Best Investigative Journalism Program Host for Imbestigador, which was awarded as Best Investigative Journalism Program.

Jessica Soho, for her part, was recognized as the Best Magazine Program Host for the TV news magazine,Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. The top-rating weekend show was also hailed as the Best Magazine Program.

I-Witness received the Best Documentary Program award, while broadcast journalist Kara David won the Best Documentary Program Host accolade.

Unang Hirit and its host Arnold Clavio were named the Best Morning Show and Best Morning Show Host, respectively. Wish Ko Lang was awarded the Best Public Service Program, with Vicky Morales earning the Best Public Service Program Host trophy.

GMA entertainment personalities and programs were also cited in this year’s NSCART led by Primetime Queen Marian Rivera, who won the Best Actress in a Primetime Teleserye award for the Pinoy adaptation of the top-rating drama Temptation of Wife.

Bubble Gang was named the Best Comedy Program. Celebrity Bluff and its host Eugene Domingo were honored as the Best Game Show and Best Comedy Show Host, respectively. Carla Abellana took home the Best Variety Show Host award for the musical variety show Sunday All Stars.

The country’s longest-running noontime show, Eat Bulaga, was acknowledged as Best Noontime Variety Show, while host Vic Sotto was named Best Noontime Variety Show Host.
The Northwest Samar State University Students’ Choice Award for Radio and Television is an annual event that recognizes excellence in broadcast media arts. /MP

Casimero To Defend His IBF World Title This May

The Philippines has only two world boxing champions and one of them will stake his title in May.

John Riel Casimero, a fighter from Sammy Gello-ani’s stable, gained popularity for all the wrong reasons. Instead of being celebrated for winning a world title back in 2012, Casimero’s name exploded on the scene because of the riot in Argentina immediately after he knocked out Luis Albert Lazarte.

Two years after the ugly incident, Casimero’s name is still best remembered for it. He’s trying to change that by fighting big name opponents but the steep cost of getting popular fighter to fly to the Philippines along with the lukewarm reception of advertisers for boxing these days prevent him from doing just that.

Gello-ani has no other choice but to get a dangerous yet unpopular opponent for Casimero in what’s set-up to be a high-risk, low-reward fight for him.

“This is a sacrificial promotion just to make it happen,” Gello-Ani told veteran boxing writer Ronnie Nathanielsz. “We just helped one another with the management of Omega (who manage Casimero) and my co-promoter Sampson Lewkowicz for the mandatory defense of Casimero.”

Casimero (19-2-0, 11 knockouts) defended his title against Felipe Salguero last October in Makati with a tenth round technical knockout win. He will have his second straight defense in home soil as he takes on Mauricio Fuentes (16-2-0, 10 KOs) of Colombia on May 3 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu.

“Everything is in place and I have already got the tickets of Fuentes who will arrive on April 30 with his trainer Alvinio Martinez,” clarified Gello-ani. Although the promoter knows this is just a stay-busy fight for his ward, he still warned him not to be overconfident.

“Although Fuentes has not established a good name yet, this is boxing and he may have something to deliver,” said Gello-ani.

Fuentes has never fought outside his native country but for Gello-ani, it’s better him than Casimero.

After Merlito Sabillo lost his WBO minimumweight title in Mexico, the Philippines was left with only two world champions. Both are in the same division as Donnie Nietes holds the WBO light flyweight title. Gello-ani bit the bullet by forcing a title defense in the country to make sure Casimero has a better shot at retaining his title. /MP

GMA Wins Best TV Network Plum In NW Samar State U Tilt

Taking home the competition’s top honor, GMA Network was named the Best TV Network with Balanced Programming in the 5th Northwest Samar State University Students’ Choice Award for Radio and Television (NSCART).

The Kapuso Network also swept 20 other major awards in the NSCART ceremony held on March 6 at the Socio Cultural Center of Northwest Samar State University (NwSSU) in Calbayog City.

GMA’s flagship primetime newscast, 24Oras, won the Best News and Public Affairs Program award. News anchors Mel Tiangco and Mike Enriquez were respectively lauded as the Best Female and Male News and Public Affairs Anchors.

Enriquez was also recognized as Best Investigative Journalism Program Host for Imbestigador, which was awarded as Best Investigative Journalism Program.

Jessica Soho, for her part, was recognized as the Best Magazine Program Host for the TV news magazine,Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. The top-rating weekend show was also hailed as the Best Magazine Program.

I-Witness received the Best Documentary Program award, while broadcast journalist Kara David won the Best Documentary Program Host accolade.

Unang Hirit and its host Arnold Clavio were named the Best Morning Show and Best Morning Show Host, respectively. Wish Ko Lang was awarded the Best Public Service Program, with Vicky Morales earning the Best Public Service Program Host trophy.

GMA entertainment personalities and programs were also cited in this year’s NSCART led by Primetime Queen Marian Rivera, who won the Best Actress in a Primetime Teleserye award for the Pinoy adaptation of the top-rating drama Temptation of Wife.

Bubble Gang was named the Best Comedy Program. Celebrity Bluff and its host Eugene Domingo were honored as the Best Game Show and Best Comedy Show Host, respectively. Carla Abellana took home the Best Variety Show Host award for the musical variety show Sunday All Stars.

The country’s longest-running noontime show, Eat Bulaga, was acknowledged as Best Noontime Variety Show, while host Vic Sotto was named Best Noontime Variety Show Host.
The Northwest Samar State University Students’ Choice Award for Radio and Television is an annual event that recognizes excellence in broadcast media arts. /MP

Editorial

by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM

Focusing On MSME’s For ASEAN 
Integration 2015

Kapihan Sa Aklan on March 15, 2014 discussed the topic, “SME’s – Aklan Strength on Asean Business Integration”. The venue is Carmen Hotel located in the heart of Kalibo. The guests were Ms. Amelia Rentillo, Pres. Hugod Aklan Producers Assn.; Ms. Rosalinda Regalado, Senior Specialist DTI; Mr. Blas M. Solidum, Prov’l. Statistics Officer, PSA and Ms. Rudelyn Panadero, Senior Statistician PSA. Other guests were 15 members of SME’s engaging in garments and textiles, food processing, handicraft and novelty items. 

Ms. Rentillo said that Small and medium Enterprises (SME’s) are primary movers of growth for prosperity and stability. It is for this reason that Hugod Aklan welcomes this expanded facility for goods and services. Aklan SME’s is composed of 26 cooperatives and organizations and have joined Aklan Credit Surety Fund of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas disclosed Ms. Rentillo.

Atty. Allen S. Quimpo cited the report of Dr Rafaelita M. Aldaba, Senior Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies that SME’s is behind impressive growth up to 99 percent of their economies. This holds true for China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. This is export–oriented, 16 to 31 percent of total and providing employment to 60 percent of the workforce.

According to Mr. Blas Solidum, the four offices which are: DA-BAS, DOLE-BLES, NSCB and NSO with passage of RA 10625 or Philippine Statistics Act of 2013 are merged into one: Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The Agency is mandated to conduct periodic socio-economic surveys done either on individual households/establishments or randomized sampling method. Statistical findings invariably serve as basis for formulating policy guidelines in government programs and projects. It can also be used by private parties as a tool for development especially in preparing feasibility studies. Based on 2012 survey; the total domestic trade of Aklan reached 45,000 MT valued at P12 billion. 

Those interested to acquire data and info about a specific subject, Ms. Panadero suggested to the concerned individuals to send in their letter request. Except for comprehensive data that require certain fees, majority are handed out free.

Constraints Facing SME’s:

There has been unprecedented growth of Aklan SME’s for the past decade due to government intervention programs (mainly through DTI) especially Magna Carta for SME’s that offer financial assistance. The Agency is tapped for technical assistance, export marketing and SME development. There are 4 classifications which are: micro – 1 to 9 workers, small – 10 to 99, medium – 100 to 199 and large – more than 200. In the Philippines, the total employment generation is 62 percent while value added is 35 percent. 
Constraints

a) Scarcity of raw materials – Typhoon Yolanda destroyed agriculture, fisheries and forest products resulting to the disruption of manufacturing output. Raw materials such as saba bananas, ginger, coconut, camote, cassava, nitto, bamboo, piña/abaca and rattan are in short supply forcing entrepreneurs to temporarily stop or buy them at higher prices; 

b) Financing – A larger proportion is unable to tap external financing from banks and other credit sources. Formidable reason is that banks require SME’s to submit audited financial statements for the last 3 years and other documents; 

c) Technology and skill – Majority of SME’s lacks the technology to compete in the global market. Global competitiveness is the ability of industries to generate world class products and services in a cost effective manner that allows them to sustain and even increase market share. Many are not knowledgeable about modern technology and employ low level skills; 

d) Infrastructure – Suppliers of raw materials encounter difficulty in transporting their products to market since roads are passable only in good weather. Remote barangays of Libacao and Madalag are isolated during typhoons and floods. Transport cost is definitely staggering if not prohibitive; and 

e) Market environment – clothing apparels made of pure piña or piña combination with silk target a specific although upscale market – for corporate and casual wear. Processed foods and novelty items like ladies bags and shoes and personal accessories could be saleable in the Asean market provided products adhere to quality standards and prices are reasonable.

Comments: 

There was a time in American history when Negro slaves were used in agricultural production like corn, wheat and cotton. It was backbreaking task and not very profitable. Much of the rich farmland lay idle and people suffered pangs of hunger and deprivation. However, spark of life came with the invention of farm machines particularly the cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney. With industrialization, machines could plow, plant, cultivate, harvest and processed cotton in less time for the consumers market. Mechanized looms took over the textile industry that included cotton, silk and synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester.

Silk originated from China where it is produced from silkworm that feeds on mulberry leaves. The cocoon is harvested, dyed in different colors and fibers manually extracted. Eventually, they were set in mechanized looms that turned out bales of cloth in just a few hours. 

Our Asean neighbors are very successful on this enterprise that the Philippines inadvertently failed to join the economic bandwagon. Result: growing army of unemployed 3.3 million, underemployed – 10.9 million and 1.0 million each year’s nothing significant or impressive ever came out to modernize the industry. 

The industry languished for years due to government neglect and plagued by diseases notably mosaic and bunchy top of abaca. 

The probability of mechanized piña loom weaving is discounted since individual fibers have low tensile strength when stretched and twisted. Moreover, the fine texture and softness are so fragile that it could only be done by hand. Perhaps the Bureau of Agricultural Research and state agricultural universities can genetically develop a variety of pineapple or abaca suitable for mechanized loom weaving. 
If not possible, our desire to compete in the lucrative Asean textile market presently dominated by Indonesian batek and RTW’s from Thailand, Malaysia, China and Vietnam cannot succeed. Today, almost all RTW’s displayed in Boracay, Divisoria and megamalls come from these countries.

On the problem of availability and sustainability of raw materials, it is best for the manufacturers to tie up with agricultural cooperatives. Under this set-up commercial plantation of raw materials like bariw, ginger, pineapple, saba bananas, and others. could be undertaken at a contracted price. 

The Philippine economy looks bright with 2014 GDP forecast of 6.5 – 8.0 percent. Implementation of the Manufacturing Roadmap like inclusive growth, creation of quality jobs and higher spillover affected to MSME’s must be on focus. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Effective FM Radio Programs

The most effective segment program of FM radio stations in Aklan are Health, News and Public Affairs, and Radio/Magazine/Talkshow programs. This is the conclusion of three AB Masscom students based on their research study: “Effectiveness of Programs of FM Radio Stations In Aklan”. 

The study was conducted by AB MassCom students of the Northwestern Visayan Colleges in the second semester of School Year 2013 – 2014. According to the students Rina Marie Joy A. Calda, Georjene U. Dela Cruz and Liezel A. Trinidad, these programs are rated highly by the respondents for being informative, educational, timely and entertaining. The respondents rated also those FM radio programs from “effective to very effective”. 

Professor Aiza M. Dela Cruz served as their adviser in the study. 

This column wishes to congratulate those students who graduated from the elementary, secondary, and tertiary schools. It doubly congratulates those who graduated with honors and those who completed in their respective classes with honors ranging from model pupils to most outstanding students.

Red Cross Targets

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Aklan Chapter will assist the Aklanon victims of typhoon Yolanda in the area of shelter, livelihood, health, and education. 

According to Ms. Arcely Pelayo, PRC provincial administrator, Aklan Chapter, the program will be assisted by the Spanish and Finnish governments, International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Air Asia.

There are three (3) categories. Under the shelter sector are: shelter repair assistance for 5,000 households. The Spanish Red Cross will provide for 2,750, Finnish Red Cross – 2,000 and IFRC – 250; 2. The Core Shelter targets 3,000 households of which 1,250 will be provided by Spanish Red Cross, and Air Asia 400; 3. The Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness targets are 8,000 households. 

In Livelihood, 3,000 households are targeted for the provision of agriculture and fisheries inputs and diversification. The Spanish Red Cross will provide 3,000 and Finnish Red Cross – 1,700 for them. 

In the health sector, 14,500 families and 1,200 women are targeted. In education, it will repair 30 classrooms, provides school equipment for 30 classrooms and school kit for 3,000 students. 

According to Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, chairman of Board of Directors, PRC Aklan chapter, these targets will be done in three years. 

Some Rice Statistics

In the culture of rice, a farmer needs to irrigate at least 1,500 kilograms of water per square meter of his farm to produce one kilogram of palay. This watering or irrigation must be done from land preparation to the ripening of the palay. This means a one hectare farm needs 15,000 metric tons of water to produce 10 metric tons of palay per hectare per season.

But how much will the water requirement cost a farmer to produce 10 metric tons of palay assuming that the farmer followed all the recommended farm practices in rice farming?
And yet, palay trading is buyer’s market at P12 to P17 per kilogram. How can a two-hectare rice farmer live with all the requirements in a normal lifestyle? 

He must raise and produce other crops like vegetables and fruits, chicken and eggs among others.

For a decade, after the anti-burning ordinance of farm waste like rice straw was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and approved by the Provincial Governor of Aklan, the burning of rice straw is still popular among the Aklanon farmers. Everywhere in Aklan today, rice straw is being burn. Nobody cares, even the agricultural technologists of the LGUs and the barangay chairs who are mandated to implement the ordinance do not care. 

They know that burning destroys plant nutrients, destroys humus, and contributes to global warming. They know that one hectare rice straw means they destroy one bag of 50 kilos complete fertilizer.  /MP

DOST Aklanon Science Scholars

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), announces the names of the scholarship qualifiers in 2014. Each qualifier shall be notified of the award stating the date of orientation and contract signing. 

There are 34 who qualified as science and technology scholarship for sophomore college students under the RA 7687 scholarship program and three (3) science and technology scholarship or sophomore college students who are Liza Jean M. Molas and Hanz Bern R. Nagtalon of ASU Banga and Lyra May S. Inguillo of ASU Kalibo.

The S & T RA 7687 scholarship program are: Mark Billy R. Aclo, 2. John Paul A. Alfaro, 3. Jan Ryan O. Andrade, 4. Christian Nike Bamba. 5. Marivic M. Baranda, 6. Yeza Crystael A. Bulahan, 7. Janmarie Claire M. Catabui, 8. Ylaiza Joy N. Cuaterno, 9. Michelle R. Dela Cruz, 10. Mary Christine R. Dela Rosa, 11. Tyron R. Delos Reyes, 

12. Jeannifer L. Flores, 13. Ariel N. Gregorio, 14. Ray Michael S. Guantero, 15. John Lorenz S. Gulbique, 16. Rose Anne B. Hungay, 17. Niño R. Ibardolaza, 18. Therese Dane G. Iray, 19. Hearty Stalwart O. Isagan, 20. Angeline S. Itulid, 21. Shawn VJ T. Jarme, 22. Analyn D. Julian, 23. Jhea O. Laurilla, 24. Jhoria May T. Lontayao, 25. Ziara Joy T. Macariola, 26. Jaclyn F. Natividad, 27. Sam P. Pelayo, 28. Kristine Emerald N. Ramos, 
29. Sharina C. Reporen, 30. Shaira T. Tolentino, 31. Maynard F. Vargas, 32. Jaymuela Joy A. Zaulda, 33. Reinald B. Panganiban, and 34. Jan Philip S. Wong.  

Of those qualified, seven (7) came from Regional Science High School Kalibo; Batan Academy–1; Altavas National School–2; Lezo Integrated School–2; Maloco National High School–1; Boracay National High School–1; Jose Borromeo Memorial National HS–1; New Washington National Comprehensive HS–1; Ibajay National HS–1; Libacao National Forestry Voc. HS–1; Aklan Polytechnic Institute–1; Malinao School for Philip. Craftsmen–1; Alaminos National High School–1; Bay-ang Magpag-ong National HS–1; Torralba National HS–1; Infant Jesus School–2; ANHSAT–1; Tangalan National HS–1; Union National HS–1; Makato Integrated School–1; Fr. Julian C. Rago Memorial National HS–1; PSHS Western Visayas–2; and Ciriaco L. Icamina Sr. National HS–1.    /MP

10% of Aklan Households Use Kerosene For Lighting

Of the 116,123 households in Aklan, 104,376 or 89.9 percent used electricity for lighting based on the results of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing. The proportion of households using kerosene for lighting was recorded at 10, 937 or 9.4 percent. 

Meanwhile, wood was recorded as the most commonly used fuel for cooking. It was used most often by 77.6 percent or 90,055 of the total households. This is followed by LPG–13.4 percent, charcoal–7.2 percent, electricity–1.3 percent, and kerosene–0.54 percent.

On the other hand, the main source of water for drinking in the province was community water system as reported by 38.7 percent of the total households. Households having this water source for drinking consisted of those using own faucet–27.0 percent of the total households, and households use shared faucet–11.6 percent of the total households. The rest of the households reported other main sources of water for drinking as follows: shared, tubed/piped deep well–16.0 percent; own-use tubed/piped deep well–11.4 percent; tubed/piped shallow well–9.3 percent; dug well–9.1 percent, protected spring–5.3 percent; bottled water–4.7 percent; unprotected spring–3.5 percent; river, rain and other–0.8 percent, and peddler–0.7 percent.

In cooking and laundry/bathing, community water system was also the main source of water supply with 40.3 percent and 35.4 percent, respectively. 

The 2010 Census of Population and Housing was undertaken by NSO in May 2010 to take inventory of the total population and housing units in the Philippines and collected information about their characteristics as basis for the formulation of policies and programs for the country’s development. /MP

PNoy: Fertilizer Fund Scam Worse Than Pork Barrel Issue

President Benigno Aquino III brushed aside reports of anomalies under his administration by saying these “scams” pale in comparison with those that occurred under the Arroyo administration.

“I-contrast mo ‘yung pinalulusot noong araw versus ‘yung nakalusot ngayon,” Aquino told reporters recently.

He issued the statement after some lawmakers, even allies, were accused of helping fund alleged bogus groups under businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles using their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) — or “pork barrel”— allocations.

Even Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala’s office was dragged into the issue after it also reportedly endorsed the release of almost P90 million through one of the bogus organizations two years ago.

And although admitting that government processes during his term are not perfect, he said the PDAF controversy is nothing compared to the P728-million fertilizer fund scam during the time of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Compare mo sa fertilizer scam, gaano kalaki ang diperensiya? And yung fertilizer scam is the tip of the iceberg, marami pang iba,” he said.

“Alam mo ‘yung [Department of Agriculture] bago kami umupo...very marked difference ‘yung opportunities for potential—for misuse of public funds,” he added.

Aside from the fertlilizer fund scam, other controversies that rocked the Arroyo administration were the scrapped $329-million NBN-ZTE deal and $503-million North Luzon Railways (Northrail) project.

Aquino said since he assumed office, they have been implementing changes in government processes little by little .
“Hindi naman namin puwedeng sabihin na magiging perpekto (ang proseso). Hindi namin puwedeng masabi na talagang zero na ‘yung pagkakataon ng mga tiwali na mapagsamantalahan,” he said.

Aquino said he even asked Alcala and Budget Secretary Butch Abad to explain what these steps are.

“Marami talagang pinaghigpitan sa mga proseso. Parang, diyan na rin sa mga NGOs na dating nabibigyan ng mga pondo versus ‘yung na-accredit ngayon (ay) talagang ang laki ng binawas,” he said.

Aside from this, the President committed that no one will be spared from the investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation, not even Alcala, on the pork barrel scam.—RSJ/KBK, GMA News/MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Prinsesa It Mga Adoro

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

May natawo nga eapsag sa mag asawang Amboy ag Lucing. Sa anang pagkatawo, may bokoe nga naga timbang sa likod it eapsag. Pag eaum ko mag asawang Amboy ag Lucing hay ordinaryong bokoe manlang. Guin pangaeanan nanda ro onga nga si Ardeña. Ko olihi, nag buswang rong bokoe ag may nagtunga nga maintok nga pakpak. Samtang naga bahoe nga naga bahoe ro onga nga si Ardeña, nagatubo man rong pak-pak. Guina eambongan imaw nanda it madamoe ag perming may balabal agod indi makita it ibang tawo.

Mabahoe eon si Ardeña. Kapareho it ibang mga inunga, guina sampit imaw nga mag hampang, magpaligos sa suba ogaling naga balibad imaw. Ko olihi, agod makalikaw sa pagsunlog it mga tawo eabi gid it mga onga, naghalin sanda it ilistahan. Idto sanda sa kagueangan nag estar. Idto man sanda nag alila it mga hayop ag nagpananum. Nag umwad ro andang mga hayop ag mga tanum. Kon amat, naga munot si Ardeña sa anang ina kon mag adto sa tindahan. Idto hakita nana kon ano kasadya ro mga babayeng kapareho nana.

Isaeang adlaw, sa owa gina huna huna-a, may nag tugpa nga mabahoe nga pispis sa andang baeay. Sa medaling oras nangin amiga ko pispis si Ardeña. Halin kato, perming naga balik balik ro pispis kay Ardeña. Nagbahoe ro pispis samtang naga bahoe man si Ardeña. Ko olihi, nagsakay imaw sa likod it pispis. Naglinibot sanda sa giwhanan hasta nakaabot sa mataas nga bukid, isaeang ka ginharian it mga pispis nga adoro. Maangan-angan, gumuwa ro pinaka reyna it mga Adoro. Guin baton si Ardeña. Imaw kuno ro guin numbrar nga prinsesa ag maga salbar ko mga Adoro. Halin kato, permi nga naga bisita kon gabie si Ardeña sa kaharian it mga Adoro sakay sa pispis. 

Umabot ro takda nga oras nga ro pispis hay isaeang ka prinsipe. Guin kasae sanda ag pagkamatay ko anang guinikanan, si Ardeña ro nangin reyna it mga Adoro. /MP

THE GOOD LIFE

When You Do The Right Thing
by MEGS S. LUNN

“Do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people, and everything will turn out right.” – IJA Motto

In our everyday dealings with people, we don’t know whom to trust and who are our real friends are, through thick and think. At some point, you gather friends because you have the resources. What about if you have nothing? Can you still claim that you have a thousand friends? 

Gathering friends to trust aren’t due to popularity or because one is rich or highly educated. You find friends because you are real, humble, and strong. Because you touch other people’s lives, you become friends. Since you live a meaningful life, you are transparent, with integrity and above all, you are doing the right thing. 

On the other hand, there are still people who take advantage of one’s generosity. They are the people who are lazy and resort to extortion, to drop names of other people, to take the chance on the vulnerability of someone, and even to the point of blackmailing a good hearted person.

To live a good life can be harsh, too. “You will have delayed promises, difficult problems, undeserved criticism and even senseless tragedies. But God wants us to pass the tests of life; so He never allow the tests we face to be greater than the grace He gives.”

BCPB’s motto is worth pondering over and over again. “Be honest when others are not, if others are not, if others will not.” All government offices and strategic areas in town and cities are provided with this billboard. But no matter what, people just read but do not understand. They even refuse to understand the tenets of living the principle of “honesty is the best policy.”

With all the calamities and tragedies that here and now are happening, we may look back on how we live our life from day to day. What matters most is when you face the Lord Almighty. It is ‘not who you are’ that he will ask, but ask, “my child, what did you do to the least of my brethren?”

What a beautiful way to live a life where you can sleep peacefully and wake up with a smile on your face for yet another wonderful opportunity to serve others by doing the right thing. There is so much to be thankful with, to have live another day. We live to be the light for others, to gain pain for others and not inflict pain to others. It is not what other people do to us, but what we do for them. 

Rotary’s Four Way Test on the things people does, is worth emulating: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? and 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

According to an avid reader, “Not everyone will see your sacrifices, will appreciate your efforts, will understand your action, and even your most sincere intention may be questioned by others. 

Hence, make life as beautiful as your heart. No matter what, just do the right thing. /MP

VP Binay Thanks FILCOM In Netherlands For Yolanda Aid

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Sunday, March 23, thanked leaders of the Filipino community in the Netherlands for sending, aid to their countrymen in the Philippines in the wake of typhoon Yolanda which hit the country last November 8, 2013.

“Lubos po ang aking pasasalamat sa inyong lahat na mabilis na umayuda sa ating mga kababayan sa oras ng kanilang pangangailangan,” Binay said during the meeting at the Philippine Embassy in The Hague.

The Filipino community’s sending of aid had made the Dutch government aware of the massive problems the Philippines faced and prompted them to donate a considerable donation amounting to 36 million euros, or P2.26 billion, he added.

Binay assured them that the Philippine government is focused on rehabilitating the ravaged areas.

He told them of the construction of houses for Yolanda victims in Tanauan, Ormoc, and Tacloban City.

“Bagama’t marami ang nawalan ng bahay dahil sa bagyong Yolanda, umaasa akong sa lalong madaling panahon, lahat po ng naapektuhan ng bagyo ay hindi na makikitira sa mga kamag-anak nila o sa kanilang mga kaibigan dahil sa ating ipinapatupad at ipatutupad pang mga proyektong pabahay,” he said.

The Vice President also related the capture of Globe Asiatique head Delfin Lee.

“Ang kaso laban kay Lee ang kauna-unahang kaso na isinampa sa ilalim ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Aquino na bahagi ng kampanya tungo sa reporma sa gobyerno at laban sa katiwalian.”

Ito’y pagpapatunay na kami sa sektor ng pabahay ay ganap na tumatalima at sumusuporta sa layunin ng hayag, tapat, at malinis na pamamahala,” said Binay.

Binay also said that efforts to rid the country of the threat of human trafficking and illegal recruitment remains strong. He also thanked the various migrant groups in the Dutch country for advocating migrants’ rights in the country.

The Vice President also asked for the Filipino community’s help to raise the amount needed to secure the pardon of Joselito Zapanta, who was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for murder.

“Tuloy po ang aming pagsisikap upang maabot ang kinakailangang halaga ngunit sa pagkakataong ito, ako po’y dumudulog sa inyo na tulungan po kaming madagdagan ang ating inaalok sa pamilya ng biktima.” 

He assured them that not only Zapanta’s, but all Filipinos abroad facing charges are being  helped by the government.
The Vice President also fielded questions from the community leaders. /MP

Tuberculosis Cripples 10% of Pinoys

by ERNESTO T. SOLIDUM

The weekly Kapihan forum held at Carmen Hotel on March 22, 2014 discussed the World TB Day observance with the theme, “Stop TB, Makialam, Tama Na!” The guests are Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, Jr. Prov’l. Health Officer I; Dr. Juliet Macahilas, Pulmonary Specialist, and Dr. Makarius Dela Cruz II, Mun. Health Officer, Kalibo.

Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino cited overriding principle that the strength of a nation depends upon the health of the citizens. Observance of World TB day must create awareness since the disease ranks number nine as cause of morbidity in Aklan, said the former Vice Governor.

Human capital index or quality of life manifested in improved health, education, infra, welfare, and housing among others for the Philippines is rated number 153 out of 187 countries by the United Nations. Being among the bottom list makes us less liveable and should alert us to concrete action, according to Atty. Allen S. Quimpo.

Dr. Cuachon Jr. revealed that based on data of National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) there are nine million TB patients in the Philippines, three million of which do not get medical treatment. In 2002 TB ranked number VI in morbidity and mortality cases in Aklan. Today, with 20 DOTS facilities, one public hospital, two private hospitals and one clinic and collaboration of Aklan TB Council, we have succeeded on case detection rate of 90 percent and cure rate of 91 percent. Our program targets to reduce TB prevalence and death rates by 50 percent in 2015 and eliminating it by 2050.

TB DOTS facilities or Tuberculosis Directly Observed Treatment Short Course provides diagnostic services through sputum examination, treatment and counseling. Once a person is found positive of pulmonary TB, he automatically undergoes therapy. Choice center on 5 drugs which are: Isoniazid, Rifampin, Pyrazinamide, Streptomycin and Ethambutol. The first 3 drugs may be given in the same capsule to minimize the number of pills in the dosage. As of 1998, many patients were given Isoniazid and Rifampin together for 6 months with Pyrazinamide added for the first 2 months.

Chances of recovery from TB is good for most patients if the disease is diagnosed early and when treatment is undertaken for the whole 6 months period. Hospitalization is rarely necessary because many patients are no longer infectious after about two weeks of combination treatment. Follow up involves monitoring of side effects and monthly sputum tests. TB patients undergoing medication must faithfully comply with the requirements otherwise cessation or stoppage may cause relapse or development of multi-drug resistance, stressed Dr. Cuachon.

Dr. Macahilas revealed that TB occurrence is as old as mankind itself. From human remains of ancient Egypt, it has afflicted people 5,000 BC. Pulmonary TB is caused by tubercle bacilli and is spread by droplet infection. Bacterium once inhaled reaches the lungs (alveoli) and multiplies rapidly. The usual symptoms are coughing that lasts for 2 weeks, weight loss, shortness of breath and fatigue. Tubercle bacilli may migrate to other parts of the body like bones, kidneys, female reproductive organs, abdominal cavity, joints, meninges, skin, intestines and adrenal glands. A person is advised to immediately consult a doctor if he/she experiences symptoms of TB, said Dr. Macahilas. 

While Kalibo is listed in the report as having the third highest case detection rate, it has embarked on a systematic campaign by organizing and training barangay health teams on TB prevention and treatment. High rate of detection can be traced to heightened awareness. The provincial capital is the center of health institutions and had achieved respectable cure rate of 84 percent, stressed Dr. Makarius Dela Cruz. 

The NTP data show, there are 9 million Filipinos suffering from TB and only two thirds (2/3) get medical treatment. This is both chilling and disturbing. This means nearly 1 out of 10 pinoys is inutile, reticent to work and potential carriers of the dreaded disease.

In Aklan, the highest TB incidence in 2013 was in Malay with 179 cases, Nabas – 118 and Kalibo – 105. Both Kalibo and Malay are first class municipalities with high immigration rate.
With only 91 percent accomplishment in the cure rate of all cases detected in Aklan, it means it is not gaining enough ground towards complete eradication of the disease. The incidence of TB poverty-related and with 27 percent of Aklan’s population living below the poverty line, the problem may persist for decades unless other sectors of the economy are strengthened. 

It is significant to note that the World Health Organization is in the forefront of global initiative to completely eradicate the scourge. One must consider that only the most potent drugs are used and given to patients who may not have the capacity to pay the cost, the cast in itself is the noblest form of humanitarian aid. Dispensing of these drugs must be properly done and closely followed up. However, it appears that target to halve the total incidence by 2015 cannot be reached. The obvious reason is that more cases of TB is detected every year while cure rate appears to level off. The five year trend shows cure rate of 78 percent in 2009, 77 percent in 2010, 90 percent in 2011, 91 percent in 2012 and 91 percent in 2013.

This year’s theme says it all. Optimism runs high. TB could be wiped out at the home front! /MP  

NAPE Holds Successfully 2014 National Congress

by Nenita Nanit–Zulueta

The National Association of Physical Educators (NAPE) conducted the National Congress and Training on Physical Education, Health, Music, Arts, Dance and Sports for Western Visayas. This was held at Iloilo National High Schol Gymnasium, La Paz, Iloilo City on March 7 to 9, 2014.

Some school administrators, MSEP and MAPEH Teachers, Culture and Arts Coordinator, Coaches and Sports Enthusiasts from different schools of Western Visayas participated in the three-day congress. The Division of Aklan has the most number of delegates. Dr. Adelito T. Ancheta, President and Training Director of the National Association of Physical Educators highly commended and recognized Dr. Jesse M. Gomez, Schools Division Superintendent of Aklan.

Each participant enjoyed and learned a lot from the talented and versatile speakers. The 3-day congress was very fruitful and challenging due to the various activities prepared and implemented by the organizers. 

There was a competition during the culmination of Ethnic Classical Dance (Basic Choreography). Each participating group was given a chance to rehearse for about an hour only. The contest proper was done on the first hour of the final day program. Luckily, the Group I won and the group was awarded P2,500 cash prize and a Certificate of Recognition to each member of the group.

As a participant for this year’s congress, I’m very much eager to take part again on this one of a kind convention. I hope more participants could attend to in such educational training, and make the most of it next year especially that the planned venue next year as announced by the NAPE President will be in the Island of Boracay. /MP