Tuesday, June 07, 2016


By: Megs S. Lunn

     “Everybody needs to forgive somebody.  Our willingness to give and forgive often reveals the depth, or limitations of our Christianity.” – Matthew Kelly
     I am sure anyone of you will agree that it is the most radical love ever, that God died for our sins.  The cross is the greatest manifestation of that radical love.
     When Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 18:21, “How many times shall I forgive 
someone who has sinned against me? Not seven times, but seventy times seven times.”
Now, that is too radical for us to fathom. There have been so many stories about generosity and forgiveness.  You and I have experienced it.  Either it benefited us or the other.  How does it feel to forgive someone that wronged you?  I tell you, even before they commit to that wrong doing, it is a  radical love already to forgive that person.  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
Do you believe in good karma?  I had this “Good Karma” column before, but good karma keeps coming, thanks God for keeping me on the ground!  Just a few weeks ago, I was just tempted to face someone who just did me wrong.  However, I consoled myself to stay calm and uttered the words, “Lord, forgive me for being impatient and control my temper not to get angry to this person.”  For days, I keep thinking about that person, not that I hated him for doing it behind my back, I don’t care about his presumptions of me because I do believed that everyone is entitled to his own opinion. 
   But I am the kind of person who can confront someone for the sake of peace.  Surprisingly, I got a call from the person just recently and he came up to me for help.  To cut the story short, he was served with what he needed and I have never confronted him.  He was forgiven before he even said a thing, I just so wish he knew what he did and the kindness extended to him, he can pay it forward.  To forgive and be generous is a radical love, you do not expect something in return
  Radical?  Yes.  But truly it can be done.  Nobody’s perfect, I know.  We still are learning to put in action the commandment of God, “Love your enemies.”  The hardest part is that, God is asking us, “When was the last time we prayed for our enemies?” Absurd?  Ha ha, don’t worry, you are not alone.  But again, yes, it can be done, too.  Try it.  Practice it.  For there can be no peace without forgiveness.
     As the Bible Scholars would say, “When we choose not to forgive and be generous, we turn our backs from God.”  The soul of the gospel is forgiveness and generosity.  “If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)
     Let us pray.  Teach us, Jesus, to be generous with our forgiveness. Amen./MP



This Wednesday, Tunay na Buhay features the life of Kapuso actress Jaclyn Jose.
     A seasoned actress on television and film, Jaclyn has recently earned the nod of the world when she was awarded Best Actress in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.  The mother of young actress Andi Eigenmann won for her portrayal in “Ma’ Rosa”, a film by award winning director Brillante Mendoza.
     Join Rhea Santos as she discovers the story of Jaclyn’s life and current success this Wednesday night on Tunay na Buhay, after Saksi on GMA 7.


One month before he leaves his post as chief of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Sec. Proceso J. Alcala, visited Iloilo.  He discussed with various stakeholders some significant changes attained in the agriculture and fishery sector for the last six years.
     The forum was attended by more than 700 employees of DA, Regional Management Committee Members, farmers and fisher folks of Region 6.  These include the seven (7)  farmers and farmer leaders who shared how they were able to benefit from the programs and projects of the DA under Alcala’s leadership.  They cited the interventions they availed from DA which have significantly contributed to the overall increase of their farm production and net income.
     “I will be leaving the Department after 30 days, but I am confident now after hearing the testimonies of our farmers and farmer leaders that they have developed confidence as leaders because  we have trusted them as our partners towards rural development,” said Alcala.
     Alcala mentioned that during his term as DA secretary, farmers and fisher folks were given special importance.  They were sent to various technical seminars and workshops that helped them learn advanced science and technologies on farming and fisheries.
     Moreover, he enumerated several projects of the DA which highlighted the government’s priority of food production.  For the first time, all provinces now have seed bufferstocking as one way to prepare for any shortage on rice and seeds during the occurrence of natural calamities.
     Meanwhile, the DA seeks to lower the farmers’ production cost, minimize postharvest losses, and improve quality of produce, the reasons why Alcala initiated Farm Service Provider (FSP) program in 2012.  Macabitu Irrigator’s Association in Oton, Iloilo is actually one of the said programs implemented nationwide.
     There are a total of 20 FSP groups in Region 6 since then.  Alcala encouraged them to set aside funds for the maintenance of the equipment and for procurement of additional machinery in the future.  The utilization of modernized farm equipment such as the rice combine harvester is essential particularly during extreme weather conditions.
     He also urged farmers to continue their practice of multi-cropping or integrated farming.  He cited that local farmers who plant rice and vegetables should also raise native chicken and swine in their backyard.
     “Napakataas po ng demand ng native na baboy at manok.  To note, Iloilo has already overtook other areas in the production of native chicken and swine,” Alcala added.
     The DA with the help of its attached bureaus and other line agencies have successfully crafted and implemented mitigation and adaptation plans on El Nino.

   “In 2015, we predicted 972, 000 metric tons (MT) damage of rice production due to El Nino.  But with all the necessary DA preparations, we only have a total of 235, 000 MT damage on palay tallied to date,” he explained.
     Although, DA failed to achieve 100 percent rice self-sufficiency in 2013, the country has achieved the highest production of rice in 2014 with 18.98 million MT.  Aside from that, white corn consumption has also improved from 7 kilograms per capita consumption in 2010 to 10.72 kilograms per capita in 2015.  The Department pushes for the continued production of white corn nationwide since it is one of the Philippines’ food staples, and distributes units of corn mill to different corn growers associations.
     “Pakiusap ko po sa inyo huwag ninyo pong ikumpara ang darating na administrasyon sa ating pinagsamahan.  Mayroon po tayong nagawang maayos, mayroon din pong hindi.  Ngunit imungkahi ninyo po sa susunod na administrasyon ang mga maayos na programang ating nasimulan,” Alcala pleaded.
     DA RFO 6 Regional Executive Director Larry Nacionales thanked Alcala for bringing significant number of agri-fishery projects in Western Visayas which had helped in attaining 4.9 percent increase in the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) last year whereby agriculture and fishery sector has contributed 21.9 percent to that increase.
     Director Nacionales also cited that Alcala is the only cabinet secretary who visited and convened with farmers and fisher folks of 82 provinces of the country and has championed significant developments in the agri-fishery sector.
     Since 2010, DA has constructed a total of 323.02 kilometers of farm-to-market roads in Region 6 which has eased the transportation and access to development by around 244, 366 beneficiaries.  It has also funded Php 944.77 million worth of farm machinery and post harvest facilities including warehouses, storage facilities and rice processing centers.  In addition to that, a total of 419 small-scale irrigation facilities, 14 agricultural tramline systems, 43 barangay and municipal food terminals, 46 livestock “oksyon” markets, six (6) double “A” slaughterhouse projects were delivered./MP



The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) welcomed the statement of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies sending a strong message to China on the territorial disputes in Asia.

     In its statement, the DFA said that the G7 declaration supports the stance of the Philippine government in seeking a peaceful resolution of its territorial dispute with China through arbitration.
     The Philippine government also said that it will respect the outcome of the arbitration process that it started in 2013.

     “The Philippines welcomes the statement as it underlines the G7’s abiding commitment to support efforts to peacefully manage and settle the disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with the UN (United Nations) Convention on the Law of the Sea, through mechanisms recognized by international law, including legal procedures such as arbitration, the statement reads.
     The G7 declaration is said to be consistent with the international community’s support for the Philippines’ “principled and rules-based approach for addressing disputes” in the South China Sea, the DFA added.
     In an interview over state-run radio DZRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. rejected allegations that the United States is meddling in the arbitral process started by the Philippines.

     The Palace official also assured that the US is not taking sides on the matter.
     “Sa lahat ng ating nasasaksihan, wala naman tayong nakikitang patunay sa alegasyong iyan sa pag lahok ng Pilipinas sa mga international meetings katulad ng ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) at iyong US-ASEAN Special Summit na ipinatawag ni  President Obama noong nakaraang Pebrero.”
(As we are witnessing, there is no truth to that allegation about the Philippines’ participation in international meetings like ASEAN, APEC and US-ASEAN Special Summit called by President Obama last February.)
     “Malinaw naman iyong pagpapahayag ng posisyon ng Estados Unidos na ang kanilang kinakatigan ay iyong mga prinsipyong tinalakay natin kanina iyong kahalagahan sa paggalang sa rule of law, kasama na diyan iyong batas na sumasaklaw sa mga karagatan o iyong UNCLOS,” Coloma said during the interview on Sunday.
      (The United States’ position is clear that they are in favor of the principles we have discussed earlier, the importance of respecting the rule of law, including the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS.)

     China’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Wu Ken, said in an earlier Xinhua report that the arbitration case filed by the Philippines in The Hague is a “legal monstrosity and reeks of hegemony from Washington.”/MP



By: James Earl E. Ogatis

    The Department of Argriculture (DA) 6 convened Local Government Unit Livestock technicians and stakeholders in Western Visayas to update and set new directions for the control on Newcastle Diseases (ND) and Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) here in Iloilo City on March 25, 2016.

         Dir. Larry P. Nacionales, DA 6 Regional Executive  Director said that the poultry and livestock sector must be updated with the  pronouncement on policy direction of the incoming new administration.

     “We should align our directions towards the three point agenda of intensified technology transfer through School on the Air, affordability and availability of foods and market linkages,” said Nacionales.

         He added that poultry and livestock sector face a lot of challenges not only on the production but also on prices on feeds, drugs and biologics and marketing.
     Despite of these factors, WV contributes significantly in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year being number one in goat inventory, native chicken and carabao, number three in swine and number four in poultry (broiler).

     Nacionales stressed the importance of economics in the agriculture industry wherein value chain, cost structure, price, margins and return of investment were good references in making sound decisions.

     Meanwhile, Dr. Peter S. Sobrevega, Regional Technical Director for research and regulation said that proper laboratory diagnosis of sick animal is vital in correct prescription and administration of drugs.

     Sobrevega added that biosecurity and safety measures, hygiene and sanitation and timely vaccination are important in controlling Newcastle Disease, Caprine Arthritis-Encephalitis (CAE) and other economically important diseases.

     Other topics discussed were: Newcastle diseases virus updates delivered by Dr. Roanna Zerla E. Palma, DVM; Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) updates by Dr. Kenneth F. Chua, DVM; latest information from DA 6 livestock and poultry sector by Gareth Bayate and services of Regulatory Division by Dr. Jonic F. Natividad, DVM./MP

ENTREPRENEURIAL FARMER - K-12 Education Program Starts this Year

K-12 Education Program  Starts this Year

      On June 13, the Philippine Public Schools system will open its doors to both new and old students.  This time, it will follow the new program: K-12.  Qualified private schools will also open its doors to basic education students.

     Unlike the previous, the number of years to graduate high school is increased from 10 year to 12 years.  The child will start in Kindergarten and finish Grade VI.  He/she continues to Grade VII or Junior High School and proceed to Senior High School (SHS) and then continue studying for another two years to finish his secondary education.  However, if the child wishes to look for a job after completing Junior High School, he can enroll at the vocational technical course of his choice.  Those who graduated from the SHS can proceed to college.

     This school year 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, there will be no enrollment in the first year college as the first graduate of the K-12 Curriculum will be in March 2018.  However, those students who graduated high school before April 2016 may enroll in the first year college in school which will open for first year college.
     K-12 Program is a strategic move by the government to ensure the production of competent graduates who are highly skilled to put up and manage businesses and very employable work personnel.

     Kindergarten is a prerequisite to K-12 basic education.  It will adversely affect an estimated 13,600 teachers and 1,400 non-teaching staff in the higher education institutions as they may loss their jobs due to lack of enrollees in the first year college.
     For one thing, the new curriculum needs additional 30, 000 new classrooms, 30 000 new teachers and 6,000 non-teaching staff.  Nevertheless, private sector has shown interest and support to the K-12 program.  Makati Business Club, Philippine Business for Education, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines have been supporting the k-12 Program which covers Kindergarten, six (6) year Primary Education, four (4) years of Jr. High School and two (2) years Sr. High School.

     The K-12 is designed to provide solution to the widespread unemployment among young Filipinos and respond to the needs of some 30 million young Filipinos ages below 24 years old.  The TESDA will issue National Certificates after completion of a vocational/technical course at the high school level to assist the six (6) million unemployed by providing the needed skills employers require.  The SHS curriculum will enable higher education institutions to focus on specifics of their degree offerings instead of consuming time to remedy the inadequate competence of graduates of the previous 10-year basic education program.

     The adaption of K-12 will increase the students’ population which will require 66, 800 classrooms, 39, 000 additional teachers, textbooks, furniture, and for other needs.

   Moreover, K-12 is designed to catch up with the international standard of education.  Above all, the program will produce graduates who are loving, loyal, patriotic and whose interest is for the best of the Philippines and for the Filipinos./MP