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Archive for September, 2013





Malaybalay City: outstanding LGU on quality corn production
Read 851 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

Despite the devastation caused by typhoon Pablo in December 2012, the local government unit of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon (LGU-Malaybalay) remained adamant in ensuring the production of quality corn and recently has been even declared as one of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) 2013 Corn Quality Awardees in the city category.

In order to achieve the average yield of 3.62 metric tons of corn production per hectare in 2012, the LGU through the City Agriculture’s Office has implemented several programs that have benefited around 3,500 corn farmers.

“We prioritize projects that will increase the production and ensure the quality of corn grains,” stated Remedios R. Sarzuelo, City Agriculturist. She added that among the city’s major interventions in support to the corn sector is the hybrid corn seed subsidy program, in which 363 bags were distributed to the farmers at 50% subsidy in 2012.

Moreso, in order to reduce the use of chemical fertilizer in corn production by 30%, the CAO also produced a total of 6,371 packs of Bio-N or nitrogen supplement for corn in 2010-2012, which has benefited 365 farmers with a service area of 1,061 hectares. Farmers were also encouraged to avail of the subsidized services of the City Soils Testing Laboratory which helps them determine the fertilizer recommendation for their farm area.

They also support the government’s effort in the promotion of white corn production which is an alternative food staple for rice. In collaboration with the DA through the Agri-Pinoy Corn Program, the CAO has established four sites for the production of open pollinated variety (OPV) of white corn seeds in 2012.

The LGU also prioritized the establishment of multi-purpose drying pavements fully granted to interested peoples’ organizations, farmers associations and barangay LGUs to insure the quality of corn grains produced, in which 41 units were established from 2010 to 2012. Every year, the LGU allocates budget for20 units of solar dryers at P 250,000 per unit.

“We have implemented this project so that farmers will not have to take their produce to very far areas just to avail the use of postharvest facilities,” said Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri.

Aside from providing logistic support to farmers, the CAO also leads in providing technical support through the conduct of Farmers’ Field Schools on Corn Breeding and Integrated Nutrient Management in six sites in 2010 to 2012.

As one of the awardees of the Corn Quality Awards, the LGU-Malaybalay commits to continue providing better services to the corn farmers.

“We have seen that the systems put in place to increase the production of corn have become successful, so we would like to do more of the same and avail of the projects coming from the national government. We would like to learn new technologies even from the private entities so that we can share these to our farmers to increase their production,” revealed Mayor Zubiri about his plans for sustaining the status of the city in producing quality corn.

Being one of the 25 outstanding city or municipality for corn quality production, LGU-Malaybalay will receive agri-related projects worth P 500,000, which will be formally awarded during the 9th Philippine National Corn Congress on October 23-25, 2013 at Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City. # (VANESSA MAE S. SIANO, DA-RAFID 10)



DA-10, plant operators to intensify Bio-N promotion
Read 826 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Decisive to boost the government’s thrust on food security, energy conservation and environmental protection, the Department of Agriculture through the Regional Soils Testing Laboratory (DA-RSTL 10) conferred with the Bio-N mixing plant operators in the region to assess the progress of their operation and lay-out plans for the promotion and marketing of Bio-N.

Bio-N is a microbial inoculant in powdered form used as nitrogen supplement for the production of rice, corn and even in some vegetables which has been found to increase the yield of agricultural crops even at a reduced application in the amount of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer (urea) by 30-50% per hectare.

Julieta A. Anarna, Bio-N Production Officer In-charge from the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) challenged the Bio-N mixing plant operators to be more keen in the promotion of the technology. “Kailangan natin na ma-explain sa client kung ano ba talaga ang Bio-N dahil hindi well-oriented ang mga farmers natin sa tamang paggamit,” she stressed (We need to inform our farmers on the proper use of Bio-N as not all of them are well-oriented about it).

She also presented the latest research results conducted by the institute to fortify the quality of Bio-N inoculants by improving its performance and prolonging its life span from 3 to 10 months and in using charcoaled corn cobs as an alternative to wood charcoal as carrier in Bio-N production.

Consequently, the DA-10 and Bio-N mixing plant operators crafted a plan to establish technology demonstration farms in their areas in 2014 which will showcase Bio-N technology to boost farmers’ adoption of the technology and reduce the use of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers. # (VANESSA MAE S. SIANO, DA-RAFID 10).



Govt agency eyes other options to pin down illegal logging kingpins
Read 883 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

By Eric F. Gallego of DENR-13

BUTUAN City––The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga region is exploring other options that can put to jail the perpetrators including the main operator and financier of illegal logging and timber poacher.

“We must admit that the DENR is finding hard time in pinning down a mastermind of illegal logging activities including their financiers owing to inadequate knowledge of legal procedures by the people imposing the environment regulations,” DENR 13 Regional Executive Director Nonito M. Tamayo said.

Director Tamayo was answering a query from the members of the local media during a press conference held at the DENR Conference shortly after the signing of the Memorandum of Partnership with the Agusan National High School Class 1990 on the planting of mangrove as its contribution to the National Greening Program.

He said the DENR has filed 81 cases related to illegal logging against the operators and timber poachers and more than half of these cases were dismissed by the court due to technicalities and insufficient documents.

“The rest of the cases that we have filed at the fiscal office are still awaiting court actions,” Tamayo said.

He said the DENR top management at the Central Office is on the process of reviewing the system to correct deficiencies in operational management based on the experiences of the people involved in the anti-illegal logging operations.

“There is urgency to upgrade our capabilities and skills in the operations particularly in the proper filing of criminal cases with the court against the perpetrators of our environment and natural resources otherwise the DENR will always be at the losing end,” Tamayo said.

He said the Philippine Army, PNP-led operations have succeeded in reducing the number of hot spots in Caraga Region from 31 to 17 municipalities.

These municipalities that are considered in the lists of ‘hot spot’ are the municipalities of Esperanza, Sibagat, Trento, Loreto, Rosario, La Paz, Talacogon, and San Luis in Agusan del Sur ; Bislig, Lingig, Carmen, San Agusan, Lianga, Barobo, Tandag, and Tago in Surigao del Sur and Cadianao in Dinagat Province.

He said there were at least 775,755.56 bd. Ft. of lumber were confiscated over the last nine months since January this year by joint operatives of the PNP-Philippine Army , the Local Government Units and the DENR.

A total of 47 units of trucks and other vehicles that were used in the transport of illegal log products were also confiscated and impounded by the police authorities during that period.



(Newly-appointed health official for Caraga vows) BETTER healthcare
Read 989 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

By PAT SAMONTE
Regional Editor-Caraga

BUTUAN City––The newly-appointed head of the Center for Health Development in Caraga said she wanted to reach out and visit health facilities in all the five provinces of the region. (more…)



(In Davao City, vendors air plaint of poor sales) ‘BOMB SCARES’
Read 1,049 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

By MEDEL V. HERNANI of Davao Today

DAVAO City––Bomb threats here have affected not only major business players but also vendors in the city’s public market who also complained of poor sales lately. (more…)



Globe internet service down in Malaybalay for 2 days
Read 818 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

By WALTER I. BALANE

MALAYBALAY CITY —The internet connection service of Globe Telecom in parts of this city was disrupted since Thursday and restored only Saturday afternoon.

Mary Joy Peñafil, Globe Malaybalay Business Center retail manager, told MindaNews the cause of disruption could “either be due to a routine maintenance operation or because of a stolen cable wire from a post in Barangay Casisang.”

She said they reported the problem Saturday morning to the firm’s network administrator in Cagayan de Oro City after bombarded with complaints from subscribers.

Peñafil said the affected areas covered Casisang and downtown Malaybalay City.

This is the first time the problem surfaced this month, she added.

A similar Globe internet connection outage also occurred between June and July here.

She said that thieves stole Globe’s cable wires in the Impalambong area twice sometime in those months.

Peñafil noted that the business center “is not privy to the operation of the repair and technical staff attending to the problem.”

MindaNews learned from several Globe subscribers that they could not connect to the internet since Thursday noon.

Rommel Pacheo, marketing manager of DXDB-AM Radyo Bandilyo, said they incurred loses after they failed to access accounts online for their marketing activities.

He also cited the difficulty suffered by the station’s reporters in researching for details of regional and national news from the internet.

DXDB, located in the downtown area, confirmed the restoration of stable connection at around noon today.

Police Officer 2 Ramel Romero, desk officer at the Malaybalay City police station, said Globe did not report the pilferage of its cable wires in Barangay Casisang. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)



Ocon looks into env’t complaints
Read 776 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

COUNCILOR Zaldy Ocon, chair of the City Council committee on environment and natural resources, this week asked the barangay chair of Tablon to submit the list of families who are presently residing near Gamma Farms located in Barangay Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City.

This is in view of the complaint of the residents concerning the drainage problem and alleged foul odor from the said farm.

According to Punong barangay Romeo Bacarro, the problem has been acted by the barangay council. He said families residing near the area are illegal settlers who are willing to transfer to the city’s relocation sites.

Councilor Ocon said the list of occupants will be endorsed to the Office of Estate Management Division for assessment if they are qualified to avail of this program.

Meanwhile, the committee favorably endorsed to the committee on laws and rules chaired by Councilor Ramon Tabor the application of JAS Trading & General Services for issuance of Social Acceptability endorsement to put up a gasoline refilling station at Julio Pacana Street, Balacanas Creekside, District 4, Barangay Puntod.

Councilor Eric Salcedo, OIC-City Building Official Engr. Jacinto Lumacang, and OIC-CLENRO Edwin Dael attended the meeting. (JBD)



Group asks PNoy: Where are the funds for the poor?
Read 437 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO of Bulatlat.com

Residents of urban poor communities trooped to office of the Commission on Audit in Quezon City on Sept. 27, calling for the release of its audit report on President Benigno Aquino III’s Informal Settler Fund.

“Every year, Aquino has been using the plight of the poor to justify the tremendous increase in the national budget, year after year. Yet the condition of the poor has only worsened under his administration, and thousands have suffered from lack of livelihood opportunities and employment in the government’s off-city relocation sites,” Carlito Badion, secretary general of urban poor group Kadamay, said.

On Nov. 23, 2011, P10 billion ($230.8 million) was first placed under the administration of the National Housing Authority. The PNOY Fund, as the National Housing Authority calls it, is supposedly allocated for the relocation of informal settlers residing in so-called danger areas, particularly along waterways.

Kadamay said $230.8 million is allotted for housing of urban poor families every year.

Budge Secretary Florencio Abad quoted presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda as saying that the government will use this year’s $230.8 million to provide P18,000 ($415) to relocatees as subsidy.

In the light of the pork barrel scam, which implicated legislators for reportedly pocketing public funds by funding projects of fake non-government agencies, the urban poor are asking: Where are the funds for the poor?”

Letter to COA

Leaders of Kadamay were initially barred from entering the premises of the Commission on Audit. Badion said the security personnel told themthat an officer would go down near the gate to receive their letter for Commission on Audit chairperson Gracia Pulido-Tan.

“We asserted our right. Otherwise we could have just handed the letter to the first person we saw working for (the Commission on Audit), even a janitor,” Badion told the media.

Urban poor protesters forcibly opened the gates of the Commission on Audit, which resulted in a brief scuffle with security personnel and the police. The urban poor eaders were eventually allowed to deliver their letter.

In their letter, Kadamay said they fear that the annual release of a P10 billion budget for the housing program of informal settlers has suffered the same fate as the pork barrel funds.

“In this light, we are urging your humble office to conduct a thorough investigation on how such fund was used by the Aquino administration. Or if a study has already been done on the said fund, we ask to be furnished a copy of the said report,” the letter, signed by Gloria Arellano, national chairperson of Kadamay, read.

“We feel we have the right to know where every centavo of the Informal Settler fund has been spent by the Aquino administration,” the letter added.

Kadamay also raised the issue of contracts entered into by government housing agencies with private developers such as the New San Jose Builders Inc., which is owned by Jerry Acuzar, brother-in-law of President Aquino’s executive secretary Paquito Ochoa.

The urban poor group said these contracts are “anomalous.”

“In Kasiglahan relocation sites in Rodriguez, Rizal, thousands of newly-constructed housing units are being built by the NSJB but are now declared condemned and inhabitable due to their substandard construction and vulnerability to flooding,” the letter read.

Public misled?

Kadamay, in its statement, said families whose homes were demolished were given false hopes by both the past and present administrations.

“Taxpayers are misled into believing that the urban poor are spoon-fed with taxpayers’ money. But in reality, relocatees were victims of the housing programs of the government, which are being run like a business,” Gloria Arellano, chairperson of Kadamay, said.

The urban poor group has long scored the government for the poor standards of homes being built in relocation areas. These relocation areas, they added, are found in geo-hazard areas, such as Kasiglahan Village, a resettlement area in Rodriguez, Rizal, which was heavily flooded during the monsoon rains on August 2012.

Kadamay said that while the government is using taxpayers’ money to build these houses, families who were relocated are being charged ten times the actual cost of the house.

Urban poor protesters vowed to hold more protest actions until the government looks into their conditions and promotes their welfare. (http://bulatlat.com)



Tagle to Pinoys: ‘Corruption is injustice’
Read 513 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

BLASTING corruption as a form of injustice, the highest leader of Manila’s Catholic Church on Saturday called on the Filipino faithful to counter greed by letting the values of fairness and generosity reign in their lives.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, in his keynote speech for Caritas Manila’s Generosity Conference, urged the faithful to give out love and justice while being more sensitive to the needs of less fortunate individuals.

“At present, we witness in our society that cheating and corruption is a form of non-giving. Instead of giving what is due to others and to the country, resources are being denied from them. We do not only lack love for others, but we also lack a sense of justice,” Tagle said in the vernacular.

“This explains how cheating and injustice are considered forms of not giving what the people and the nation deserve,” he added.

The prelate gave this remark amid the ongoing investigation in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam that involves the channeling of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus non-governmental organizations and foundations.

Quoting verses from the bible that tackle injustices done against marginalized individuals, Tagle emphasized the need for people to give not just for the sake of charity, but for the sake of giving justice to those who are in need.

“If we are to base the concept of giving according to what is written in the Old Testament, it pertains to the concept of giving that is just, giving that is based on justice,” he said.

“Some people think that the act of giving is only a form of charity, but what they fail to see is that there is also a need to fulfill the act of giving that is according to justice,” he added.

‘Demand of justice’

The cardinal also criticized politicians who plaster their names and faces on government projects that were funded with taxpayers’ money, noting that they must not gain credit from what the people rightfully deserve

“It gives me the creeps to see government projects plastered with the names and faces of government officials who grab credit for the construction of various infrastructure projects,” the prelate said.

“These projects are funded by the taxes taken from the salaries of average workers and from the taxes imposed on every consumer good we buy…Do not say that these projects are built as an act of generosity on your part because that is a demand of justice that you should give as justice demands,” Tagle said.

He also reminded business owners to be fair to less fortunate individuals by paying them with the amount that is due of the services they rendered.

“Do not make a profit out of what is due of your workers. Do not withhold their salary and give it when it is due for they have needs to sustain…that is a right that they are entitled to since they rendered their services to sustain their needs,” he added.

Tagle also urged the laity to practice a sense of justice that is rooted not merely in equality, but also in compassion.

“This is a different sense of justice—not that if someone borrowed 30 from you, he will have to return the same amount. Instead, if someone borrowed 30, you have to see the greater need of that person and let him have even what he borrowed. See that his need is greater than what you could gain,” he said.

He warned those who take advantage of other people, saying that the Lord will hear the cry of those who seek His name and give justice to those who are marginalized and abused.

“When these poor people cry out and seek help from the Lord, be prepared for God will hear and listen to their call…These teachings are set in the time of Moses, but until now we still experience them. When will we ever learn?” Tagle said.

Being just

He chided the mentality of some individuals who perceive that the poor are only after money—can be easily bribed and bought, primarily because of their financial needs.

“What am I? A (material thing)? Since (material things) can be bought, I too, can be bought as well? Do I still have honor?” Tagle said in the vernacular.

The persistence of individualism and personal desire to gain are the primary reasons why some people nowadays lack concern for poor individuals, he noted.

“Be just. Do not only think of what you are going to gain. Instead, think that your neighbor is also like you, suffering from poverty. You are just the same but because of selfish thinking, we tend not to give,” Tagle said.

“I hope that we would learn how to give according to justice—helping others because you see their true value,” he added.

Citing bible verses from the book of Proverbs, Tagle said, “Those who are just would never be in need of anything. The Lord will take care of all your needs, while those who take advantage of the less fortunate will be cursed.”

If his statements will hit those who are guilty of committing injustices against the poor, Tagle said that he is just echoing lessons of the bible.

“If (those who are guilty) will get mad, I will just respond by saying that these are not my words. They may charge Moses or the Word of God because I am just quoting His words. I will not make up a message that is based from my own statements…After all, we are ordained to proclaim His words, not ours,” he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)



Solon renews bill reinforcing use of English in schools
Read 825 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 5 years ago

House Assistant Majority Leader and Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. has renewed proposed new legislation that seeks to reinforce the English proficiency of Filipinos by reinstating the language as the medium of instruction in all school levels.

“We have high hopes that our bill, once enacted, will go a long way in boosting the English competency of our future labor force participants, and build up the capability of our high school as well as college graduates to gain and maintain employment,” Gullas said.

“English is the world’s working language. It is also the language of technology. Young Filipinos with inadequate English skills may risk getting marginalized in the lucrative global labor markets of the future,” Gullas, also House higher and technical education committee vice chairman, warned.

House Bill 1339 proposes the adoption of a new bilingual program in schools in which:

• English, Filipino or the regional/native language may be used as the teaching language in all subjects from kindergarten to Grade 3;

• English shall be the teaching language in all academic subjects from Grades 4 to 6 in elementary school, and from Grades 7 to 12 in junior and senior high school;

• English and Filipino shall be taught as separate subjects in all levels of elementary and high school;

• The current language policy prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education shall be maintained in college; and
• English shall be forcefully promoted as the language of interaction in schools.

The bill also categorically requires the use of English as the language of assessment in all government examinations, and in entrance tests in public schools as well as state universities and colleges.

Meanwhile, Gullas expressed confidence that once English is fully revived in schools, students would also find it easier to learn both Math and Science.

“Co-relations show that English proficiency translates positively to higher Math and Science abilities. This is partly because most if not all of our Math and Science manuals are in English to begin with,” he said.

Gullas said highly improved English reading and comprehension skills would enable students to quickly work out Math or Physics problems that are couched in English.

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