Friday, November 26, 2010

LGU Altavas organizes forest land use plan workshop

By Jeoffrey Gervacio

Information Service Specialist

FITS Altavas

On November 3-5, 2010, the local government of Altavas, Aklan hosted a workshop on Situational Analysis and Strategy Formulation Orientation Workshop on Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) at the Casa Blanca Hotel in barangay Poblacion, Altavas, Aklan.

A joint project of the Local Government of Altavas (LGU-Altavas); Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); and the Kreditanstalt Fur Weideraufbau (KFW), a German funding agency through the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), FLUP is a Community–Based Forest and Mangrove Management Project (CBFMMP) which seeks to manage, protect and develop forestland area of Altavas.

Funded by the KFW, FLUP also aims to uplift the socioeconomic conditions of the participating households and to promote collaborative efforts on natural resources management implementation among the said agencies, peoples’ organizations and the barangay councils.

FLUP also seeks to create agro-forestry projects in the uplands and mangrove reforestation on the coastal barangays to restore breeding places of marine animals, which could allow for the creation of additional livelihood the areas’ residents.

Mayor Denny D. Refol looked forward to its success “through the help of everyone.” According to Refol, the grant would “surely boost our programs on environmental conservation especially that the primary aim of our municipality is to protect the environment without sacrificing the livelihood of our constituents.”

At the end of the three-day study, participants were briefed on overview of situational analysis of FLUP, they also came up with the criteria for production and protection zones and a strategy formulation including FLUP’s vision, mission, goals and objectives.

Led by the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist/FITS Center, Office of the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) and DENR, the workshop was joined by some 35 stakeholders including Sangguniang Bayan members, Department of Agrarian Reform personnel, NGOs and members of farmers and fisherfolk’s organizations and Barangay Councils.

Engr. Rogelio C. Dela Cruz, Altavas MPDC Head, supported the initiative, saying “We are thankful for the help you have extended to our municipality, especially the personnel of the DENR who acted as our resource speakers. Through our collective effort I am optimistic that this project will be a reality.”

(Top photo) Mr. Romeo Launio, Forester 1 of DENR briefs the participants on flup’s strategy formulation; and participants listen to the input on FLUP (lower photo).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

FITS Dao, Capiz marks WESVARRDEC's 47th

By Niño Saavedra Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University

In an afternoon assembly attended by some 200 farmers representing 20 barangays, the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development (WESVARRDEC) launched its 47th Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center on November 23, 2010 in Poblacion, Dao, Capiz.

The farmers’ center launch was led by representatives of the partners and major stakeholders, all of whom expressed felicitations, commitment and support for the consortium’s new member.

For his part, Mayor Joselito Escutin looked forward to having a “helpful, useful and functional” farmers’ center which will cater to their farmers’ needs and provide more realistic livelihood for them.

Vice-Mayor Loreto Eslaban also expressed optimism on the farmers’ center, saying “Gamiton ang programa hindi para sa inyo lang kundi para sa aton nga buasdamlag.” Eslaban also cited how bulahan (lucky) the town of Dao is for having taken the step to realize their efforts for “sustainable agriculture.”

In behalf of Dr. Editha Magallanes, Capiz State University (CapSU) president, Dr Raul Ticar, director of CapSU Extension Institute, explained to the farmers that their job is to assist the Dao farmers in terms of livelihood trainings. Ticar expressed commitment and willingness to help the farmers to further on their agricultural practices.

Representing WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Edward Idemne, Regional Applied Communications Group Coordinator Cora Navarra briefed the new audience on the consortium’s goals and particular targets for the newly launched FITS Center.

According to Navarra, WESVARRDEC can help enhance the capabilities of LGU staff. Navarra cited the farmers' benefits from the consortium and urged the LGU to direct their activities for farmers' profits and products.

Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Elizabeth Betito congratulated the new partners and urged the farmers and local stakeholders to avail themselves of their publications and technology primers for farmers and agriculture practitioners.

Representing PCARRD, Regional Techno Gabay (TG) Coordinator Anna Mae Relingo encouraged all farmers to benefit from the partnership, even as the consortium tries to bridge the Council’s initiative to the local agriculture units.

After these expressions of commitment and support formalized through the signing of the memorandum of agreement, , all leaders and farmers beneficiaries witnessed the unveiling and opening of the new center strategically located in Dao’s Farmer Training Center right at the town plaza.

Earlier in the assembly, TG Team Leader Eduardo Navarra of the CapSU Extension Institute led a lecture demonstration to the farmers on the benefits of organic farming.

According to FITS Manager Susan Dordas who hosted the entire ceremonies, FITS Dao is now pursuing effective indigenous microorganisms as their prospective focus commodity, an initiative largely supported by a big number of Dao farmers.

Aklan State University Dean of College and Agriculture Marilyn Romaquin (left, top photo) confers with Technology Services Specialist Genes Estialbo on the indigenous microorganisms (IMO) she locally produced as foliar fertilizer now being used by their local farmers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CPU TG monitors Iloilo MAOs, FITS centers

By Hope G. Patricio

Regional Applied Communications Group Representative

Central Philippine University

The Central Philippine University (CPU) Techno Gabay Program (TGP) Team composed of Team Leader Dr. Reynaldo N. Dusaran, RMIS Representative Engr. Aries Roda D. Romallosa, and RACG Representative Prof. Hope G. Patricio visited three municipal agriculture offices (MAOs) across Iloilo province on November 9, 2010.

CPU visited first the MAO of Sta. Barbara to follow up the possible launching date of their FITS Center. The center was eventually launched November 17, 2010.

The MAOs of Zarraga and Leganes, both of Iloilo Province, were given a draft memorandum of agreement to be signed between CPU, PCARRD-WESVARRDEC and the LGU for presentation to the Sangguniang Bayan of said municipalities.

The CPU team also monitored their FITS Center in New Lucena and turned over IEC materials to their FITS Manager Jocelyn Espia. They also visited the catfish (pantat) hatchery of Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Leuel Divinagracia of FITS Dumangas located in Sitio Bulod II, in Barangay Pulao. MS Divinagracia was interviewed on his focus commodity.

THE CENTRAL TEAM. (Clockwise) RACG Rep Hope Patricio interviews MS Divinagracia in his catfish hatchery; the Team shares light moment with FITS New Lucena Manager Jocelyn Espia; and TG Team Leader Reynaldo Dusaran briefs MAO Waling-Waling Terania on the MOA.

OPA Negros Occidental promotes Christmas recipes for extra income

By Vishia Mae Dominic J Tolcidas
RACG Representative
FITS OPA Negros Occidental

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) in Negros Occidental has been leading trainings on how to prepare breakfast, snacks and Christmas recipes for extra income.

Facilitated by its Home Management and Nutrition Division at the OPA Demo Farm at the back of the Provincial Capitol Building in Gatuslao Street, Bacolod City, these livelihood trainings support the Food Security Program of NEGROS FIRST, the priority development agenda of the Provincial Government under Gov. Alfredo Maranon, Jr. and Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez, Jr.

“Housewives, rural women and self-employed individuals can work on these easy-to-prepare recipes and sell them in time for Christmas,” said Provincial Nutrition Coordinator Ma. Teena Acebedo.

Carmencita Rodriguez, a pharmacist from Hinigaran, said she read about the OPA food processing training from a local newspaper and got interested in trying the recipes. The pharmacist cooked fish tocino she learned from the training and said her family liked it. She was happy that this training to start a business was held and she plans to attend next time.

“I liked the taste of quick ham,” said Connie Secaluya, employee of the Provincial Budget Office. She attended the training because she plans to venture into food processing when she retires next year.

Organic advocate Marcelina Alipis of Barangay Taculing, Bacolod City said OPA taught how to make pork tocino without using preservatives like monosodium glutamate.

Lilibeth Miñoza, Mildred Saul and Eva Lobaton of the Negrosanon for Economic Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Barangay Old Sagay, Sagay City were interested in fish cracker-making as another income-generating project. Miñoza said their coop is already into fish trading, and late last year, they started on nata de coco-making and mushroom culture, livelihood ventures they learned from OPA Agricultural Productivity Division.

OPA hosted Vegetables Pickling and Salted Egg Making on November 22; Candle, and will conduct Soap Dishwashing Liquid Making on December 6; and Malunggay Polvoron and Instant Salabat Making on December 13. The trainings are held on Mondays at 1:30 P.M.

For inquiries, please visit OPA at the Second Floor of the Provincial Administration Center, Aguinaldo Street-North Capitol Road in Bacolod City or call (036) 708-0975. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Search for environment-friendly Negros LGUs

OPA Negros Occidental joins evaluation team

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Negros Occidental (OPA) joins the evaluation team of the ongoing Search for Outstanding Local Government Units on Environment Management.

OPA is represented by Vishia Mae Dominic Tolcidas, Regional Applied Communications Representative of its Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center.

Ma. Joy Maredith Madayag, Provincial Interior and Local Government Officer and chairperson of the Provincial Search Committee, said the evaluation is comprehensive as it covers programs on environmental education and advocacy, greening (includes reforestation projects, vegetable and herbal gardens), solid waste management, special functional programs in upland and coastal areas, sustainability, and documentation.

“It covers the accomplishments of the LGUS for the whole year of 2009 and from January to October 2010,” she said.

The evaluation team inspects as well as commends the efforts of LGUs on preserving, conserving, protecting and rehabilitating the environment with emphasis on sustainable activities, Madayag added.

Other members of the evaluation team are Olive Seruelo of the Provincial Environment Management Office, Ranymond Cadiz of the Provincial Health Office, Jesusa Gumayan of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, and Victor Peroja of the Department of Education.

Winning LGUs will be announced and awarded during the Provincial Environment Week celebration in Bacolod City in June 2011.

Now on its 6th year, the search is spearheaded by the Department of Interior and Local Government Provincial Office. It is supported by the Negros Occidental Provincial Government in line with the Natural Resources Management and Food Security Programs of NEGROS FIRST, the strategic development agenda for Negros Occidental under Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr. and Vice-Gov. Genaro Alvarez, Jr.

Photo Source:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Partner member agencies assess, plan for 2011-2016

To assess their performance and plan for their involvement in the consortium's projects and programs under the new Science & Technology Agenda of PCARRD, some 34 participants from 13 different Partner Member Agencies (PMA) of WESVARRDEC joined the PMA Assessment and Planning Meeting at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center in Iloilo City on October 12–13, 2010.

Nine Techno Gabay Team Leaders (TGTL), six RACG representatives, 7 RMIS representatives, seven accountants, two administrative personnel, one Center Director and one FITS Manager represented ASU, BPI-NMRDC, CapSU, CHMSC, CPU, DA 6, DA-ATI RTC 6, DENR 6, GSC, PCA, PCC, UA, UPV and WVSU .

Of the 16 PMAs, eleven presented their reports while the TG team leaders of three PMAs vowed to submit their reports after the meeting. NIPSC and NSCA were not represented.

PCARRD noted an increase in the database content build-up of the FITS Centers and the IEC materials packaging of technology. The evaluation of Magsasaka Siyentista has also been fast-tracked. This means that there will be more upcoming coordination between PMAs and FITS Centers.

PCARRD likewise observed that most PMAs were not able to fully utilize their funds. Almost all PMAs replied that they have difficulty with processing the release of their funds with the accountants who are not familiar with the utilization of the line item budget components of the FITS and PMA finances. The PMAs and WESVARRDEC promised to check their individual financial statements and reconcile them with the releases made. PMAs were thus requested to liquidate as soon as possible.

PCARRD was represented by Dr. Arturo Argañosa , Acting Director of the Technology Outreach and Promotion Division (TOPD), Ms. Theresita Abella, TGP Point Person and Ms. Yolanda Tanyag, Senior Science Research Specialist.

In behalf of PCARRD, Argañosa introduced Pinoy S&T Services for Farmers and Entrepreneurs (PSF), a new modality that acknowledges that “commerciable” products are the endpoints of R&D.

Recognizing the inadequate supply of raw materials, lack of markets, and lack or inaccessibility of information, PSF addresses these with its three components. The Science and Technology-Based Farms (STBF) would be the source of raw material, the Technomart (TM) will be charged of pushing products to markets, and the One-Stop-Information Service (OSIS) will be the source of Information and Technology services.

According to Argañosa, the convergence of the three components is hoped to create science and technology-based enterprises and eventually put “science in every product.”

For his part, WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Idemne underscored the importance of value-adding in the innovations and products through their functionality and packaging. Idemne cited that the Science and Teachnology-Based Farm (STBF) of MS Norberto Ceballos of Maasin FITS Center recently developed a deodorizer basket made of thin bamboo sheets priced at P30.00.

Idemne encouraged the PMAs to do things promptly and accordingly and to utilize the funds provided for the projects. According to Idemne, WESVARRDEC is working hard to guide the consortium members in the right direction.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Govt concern for corn real, Negros farmers say

By Vishia Mae Dominic J Tolcidas

RACG Representative

FITS OPA Negros Occidental

“The concern of government on the plight of farmers is not just lip-service; it’s real,” thus said Nestor Servando, one of the more than 100 graduates who completed the Science and Technology Training for the Development of a Sustainable Corn Industry in Negros Occidental held at the Negros State College of Agriculture (NSCA) in Kabankalan City, southern Negros Occidental.

Servando, a farmer-leader of Barangay Oringao in the city said he is happy and thankful that the first-ever Negros tripartite training was conducted. He said he learned a lot because the training was basic and easy-to-understand.

Small farmers and agriculturists from municipal and city governments recently received their certificates of completion for the first phase of the training from Regional Technical Director Joyce Wendam and Regional Corn Coordinator Ricardo Saltin of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 6 (DA-RFU 6), and Sangguniang Panlungsod Chairman on Agriculture Ricardo Regalia, Jr. at the Mount Ballo Hall in Barangay Camingawan.

“What I really like is the coming and working together of farmers, academicians and technicians on teaching and learning corn technology. Our instructors learned from our ideas and experiences while we learned appropriate technology and interventions from them,” said the 46-year old farmer.

“I will use this knowledge on increasing production and income to have enough money to spend for the schooling of my seven children,” said Servando. “I will also share this knowledge with my fellow farmers,” he added.

Servando finished elementary school but owns half an hectare of corn, and one hectare each of rice, sugarcane, and forest trees.


(Clockwise from left) Corn farmers trainees undertake agro ecosystems analysis in a corn demo farm at the Negros State College of Agriculture (NSCA); Mr. Armando Abaño briefs farmers on some concepts on corn farming; and corn farmers exchange ideas and information on raising the staple in a farm school at NSCA in Kabankalan City.

Alejandro Nalagon, meanwhile, said the first part of the year-round training on corn was like one year of studying Agriculture.

He said yield on corn could be higher if the right technology and approaches are used,” said the 32-year old Agriculture graduate who works as a guard at NSCA. “I am even more determined to be a corn farmer. All I need is capital,” said the farmer from Barangay Tabugon, also in Kabankalan.

Nalagon, a crop science major, presented his study on the effectiveness of the Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus on earworm-infected corn at the Technology Forum the day before the graduation rites.

Another graduate Eliseo Javalde, Jr. of the Calatrava Agriculture Office said he has become a more effective agricultural technician. “We kept attending even if we have budgetary constraints because we are inspired at the farmers’ attentiveness and openness to learn. Our interactions were interesting and lively,” he said.

The organizing and training team of the corn program sees to it that the program is participatory, location-specific, and research-oriented, said NSCA Research and Development Services Director Mae Flor Posadas.

The second phase of the corn training started this November while Phase III ends by middle of 2011. Agencies actively involved in the training are NSCA, Kabankalan City Government, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, DA-RFU 6, Agricultural Training Institute, Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium, and private companies that donated seeds and fertilizers.

Sustainable agriculture and rural development are the thrusts of Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr. and Vice Gov. Genaro Alvarez, Jr. under the Food Security Program of the NEGROS FIRST Agenda. This includes increasing production areas for corn not only as the second staple food of Negrosanons but also as feed for the poultry and livestock industry.

Coconut hybrids, low-cost shredder, freshmen math skills studies cited best papers

By Niño S. Manaog

Capiz State University

A study on coconut hybrids in Capiz, one on development and performance evaluation of a low-cost shredder in Iloilo and an analysis of math competencies of college entrants in an Iloilo City university were declared best papers in the 2nd Regional Symposium on Research and Development Highlights led by the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) VI, at the West Visayas State University (WVSU) on October 29, 2010.

Anchored on the theme “Mobilizing the SUC’s Research Capability toward Globally Competitive Education, Science and Technology,” some 42 papers representing 10 SUCs were presented for evaluation in the symposium attended by some 100 participants from across the region.

The “Bio-physico-Chemical Attributes of Mature Nuts of Coconut Hybrids as Quality Indices for Economic Utilization” presented by Dr. Federito Launio of the Capiz State University (CapSU) topped the 14 papers presented in the Natural and Biological Sciences category; while the “Design, Construction and Performance Evaluation of Electric Motor-Driven Shredder authored by Agricultural Engineer Salvador Ballano of the Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF) San Enrique Campus was cited Best Paper under the Technology and Development Category. The project won over eight other presenters.

(Clockwise from top left)

NONESCOST's Jocelyn Bantigue presents her seagrass study conducted in Sagay City; Dr. Cherry Nepomuceno of West Visayas State University (WVSU) answers questions on her freshmen math skills study; WVCST's Joselito Mendoza concludes his bamboo database research; Dr. Corazon Arroyo (extreme right) of DA-WESVIARC asks a presenter in the Natural and Biological Sciences category; and member of the audience applauds after a paper is presented.

“WVSU College Freshmen Entry Mathematical Competencies, SY 2008–2009” by Dr. Cherry Nepomuceno of WVSU clinched the top prize in the Social Sciences category; and cited the Best Poster was the “Awareness regarding Schistosomiasis (Snail Fever) among the Residents of Laga-an, Calatrava, Negros Occidental: Basis for Health Education Program” by Roselo Ocampo, Jocelyn Bantigue of the Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology (NONESCOST).

The best papers and poster were awarded plaques of recognition and cash prize of 1,000 pesos each. Winning papers for the three categories are listed below.

For the technology and development category: “Production and Dispersal of Improved Week-old and 40-45 Day-Old Philippine Native (Darag) Chicks” by Evelyn Tomambo, George Fredrick Roxas,, West Visayas State University, First Runner-up; “Electronic Water Level Controller” by Julius Catalan, Renerio Mucas and Antonio Derequito, Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST), Second Runner-up; and “Design and Development of Jatropha Gas Stove” by Pedro Celo, Efren Linan and Reem Berondo, Capiz State University, Third Runner-up.

For the Social Sciences Category, winners were: “Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections among Entering College of Maritime Education Freshmen” of the University of Antique by Nelibeth Fedelicio, University of Antique; First Runner-up; “Teaching Technology- Enhanced Large Classes: The Western Visayas State University Experience” by Cherry Nepomuceno, WVSU, Second Runner-up; and “Employment Status of the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology Graduates of Guimaras” by Ethel Junco and Julieta Infante, Guimaras State College, Third Runner-up.

Under the natural and biological sciences category, winners included theAgronomic Performance of NSIC-Released Rice Varieties Seeded in Varying Rates under Rainfed Lowlands” by Benjamin Gutierrez and Geronimo Gregorio, Capiz State University, First Runner-up; “Sea Grass Status and Its Macrofaunal Diversity in Three Selected Areas of Sagay Marine Reserve” by Jocelyn Bantigue, NONESCOST, and “Morphological Characterization and Composition of the Ovarian Development Stages in Relation to Size and Other Reproductive Parameters of the Silver Perch (Leipotherapon plambeus)” by Jones Denusta and Luis Ma. Garcia, WVSU, Second Runner-up; and “Coconut Water-Based Agar Medium as an Alternative Medium for the Growth of Escherichia E.coli” by Rogelio Noble, Jr., Ginaclin Dalisay, Gloria Valencia and Rosalina Atos, Aklan State University, Third Runner-up.

The regional research summit drew a number of feedbacks from participants and guests.

Engr. Pedro Celo of CapSU, co-author of the award-winning jatropha stove project, had to say of the symposium’s merit. According to Celo, the symposium is an exposure which renders the research necessary competence level and further equips them to be able to communicate research results to bigger audiences. This allows for more opportunities and partnerships in the future.

Forty-three-year-old Loyalda Bolivar, faculty member from UA, cited a number of learnings from such an exposure. She said a paper must be taken and undertaken seriously. For Bolivar, more time should be devoted by the researcher to the research itself. She also cited the importance of a good PowerPoint presentation. While Bolivar believes that a research paper must be clear, brief, concise and visually appealing, she also resolved to follow the format prescribed by the organizers.

San Enrique, Iloilo-based Engr. Salvador Ballano, whose shredder project was cited best Technology and Development paper, said he must have won owing to its importance to help mitigate climate change. The agricultural engineer said that with his solid waste management in(ter)vention, he now needs to pursue for its Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

Dr. Corazon Arroyo, evaluator in the Natural and Biological Sciences category said that what she looked for in the researches was its social impact to the livelihood of small farmers in the region. Arroyo deemed it an important criterion if research were to be relevant.

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