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AGRICULTURE PHOTO OF THE YEAR

"FROSTLANDIA"
HARLEY PALANGCHAO
BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER

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"LEAVES OF GOLD"
MAURICIO VICTA
BUSINESS MIRROR
AGRICULTURE STORY OF THE YEAR
“FISH IN TROUBLED WATERS”
CHERRY ANN T. LIM AND LIBERTY PINILI
SUN STAR CEBU.
This is a three part series that was published in June 2014. The Visayan Sea, one of the country’s major fishing grounds, is overfished at a degree where it is difficult for fish stocks to replenish. This threatens not just the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk but also the country’s food security. The problem is complex and needs a package of solutions that includes rationalizing policies, law enforcement, and resource management.
FULL STORY
2014 AGRICULTURE STORY OF THE YEAR
"Fish in troubled waters"

By Cherry Ann T. Lim and Liberty Pinili

Sun Star Cebu



Fish in troubled waters (First of three parts)

Visayan Sea mayday

Plummeting fish stocks threaten livelihood, food security

THE fish population in the Visayan Sea, one of the country’s major fishing grounds, has been exploited 70 percent, beyond its capacity to replenish, threatening not just the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk but also the country’s food security.

National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) Visayan Sea project leader Prudencio Belga Jr. said the exploitation rate of commercial fisheries in the area has surpassed the exploration ratio of 50 percent, the threshold at which commercial dominant marine fish stock can recoup from natural deaths and death by fishing.

“This is alarming. We are exploiting our fish stock beyond its capacity to replenish,” he said.

In Central Visayas (Region 7), fish is the main source of cheap animal protein, since prices of poultry and meat are more prohibitive.

Fishing also provides livelihood for many families living below the poverty line.

This means when overfishing cuts the fish supply, the health and incomes of the poorest communities will suffer, according to “The Fisheries of Central Visayas, Philippines: Status and Trends,” the 2004 publication of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Coastal Resource Management Project (CRMP).

It said poor families already suffered when fish prices rose “1,400 percent” from 1977 to 2003 because fish catch declined despite the significant increase in fishing effort in the region.

Ahead of World Oceans Day on June 8, Sun.Star Cebu explores in this three- part special report the harm caused by overfishing in the Visayas, and the challenges faced by those seeking to protect marine resources from overexploitation.

Dwindling

The 10,000-square-kilometer Visayan Sea is bounded by Masbate in the north, Cebu in the southeast, Negros in the south and Panay in the west. It is shared by 22 municipalities in four provinces: Masbate (in Region 5), Iloilo and Negros Occidental (Region 6) and Cebu (Region 7).

In 1995, the Bfar’s NSAP said, the Visayan Sea “ranked third in the commercial fisheries sector with 13.46 percent contribution (equivalent to 120,000 metric tons) to the country’s total fish harvest, and first in the municipal sector with a share of 11.28 percent (89,000 metric tons).”

But by 2005, NSAP figures (from Regions 6 and 7) showed landed catch for commercial fishery in the Visayan Sea plummeting to 30,251 mt, then to 19,089 mt by 2011. For municipal fishery, NSAP figures (Regions 5, 6 and 7) showed a 98 percent drop in landed catch to 1,605 mt by 2011.

In just seven years, municipal fishermen saw their catch nearly halve from 92.67 kilograms per day in 2004 (measured as catch per unit effort) to 50.29 kg/day by 2011. From 1,117 kg/day in 2004, commercial fishing operators’ catch dove to 661 kg/day in 2011.

Freddie Baguio, 40, president of the Panaghugpong sa Day-asanong Mananagat in Barangay Day-as, Cordova town, Cebu, recalled that many years ago, he did not have to go far to fish.

“Daghang isda diri sauna (There was a lot of fish here before),” he said, pointing to the seawater off the barangay’s thick mangrove forest. But these days, he said, he has to go farther out and stay as long as five hours and come home with very little.

“This could be the effect of climate change. Some commercial fishing vessels also encroach in municipal waters,” he said in Cebuano.

Some mangroves in Day-as were also damaged last August when spilled oil from the sunken m/v St. Thomas Aquinas reached Cordova. The boat had collided with Sulpicio Express Siete off Talisay City.

Mangroves provide food and shelter to juvenile fish and other marine organisms, helping to improve fish populations.

Economic impact

Overfishing that leads to fish catch declines will hurt the economy, as the fishing industry contributes 1.9 percent to the gross domestic product.

Depleted fish stocks could also mean the loss of jobs for 1,614,368 individuals nationwide who rely on fishery for livelihood, more than 125,000 of them in Central Visayas.

Food security is also at risk, as Bfar reveals that fish and fish products make up 11.7 percent of the Filipino’s daily food consumption or more than half of the animal protein he consumes.

As early as 2001, Bfar officials had already noted that the Visayan Sea could no longer yield enough marine products for everyone in the Visayas, Sun.Star Cebu reported in 2002. So the country could not rely on local production alone.

In 2011, the Philippines imported US $217 million worth of fish and fishery

products, which included $102 million worth (or 132,707 metric tons) of tuna, mackerel and sardines.

Total Philippine fishery production (capture and culture of aquatic plants and animals) that year had slid 3.6 percent to 4.97 million metric tons from 2010.

See the signs

Fisheries expert Nygiel Armada said there is overfishing when catch and catch rates decline despite increased effort (longer time at sea or use of more efficient gear), there are increasing mortality and exploitation rates, changes or shifts in species composition, leveling off of marine landings, and concentration of fishing efforts within a small area.

Belga said declining fish stocks is caused by increased fishing efforts. He said commercial fishing is the major contributor to overfishing because of the gear used.

“One commercial fishing vessel can get tons of fish in one night,” he said. Municipal fishermen, on the other hand, can get only a few kilos if they are lucky.

Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 declares the sea extending 15 kilometers from the shore of a town or city as municipal waters, where municipal fisherfolk have preferential rights. Municipal fisherfolk are those who catch fish using boats or bancas of three gross tons or less, or without using boats.

In Central Visayas, there are 56,142 municipal fishing bancas and 565 commercial fishing vessels.

Municipal fisherfolk caught 52,816.9 metric tons, while commercial fishing operations yielded 39,836 metric tons in 2011. This shows that each municipal fishing banca caught about .94 ton while one commercial fishing vessel caught 70.51 tons in

2011.
Central Visayas is surrounded by the Visayan Sea, Camotes Sea, Danajon Bank,

Tañon Strait, Cebu Strait, Bohol Sea and East Sulu Sea.

Catch ceilings

RA 8550 provides that Bfar impose catch ceilings in fishing grounds to prevent overfishing and depletion of breeding stocks. The catch ceiling would be based on the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) to be determined by Bfar.

The MSY is the largest average quantity of fish that can be harvested from a fish stock/resource within a period of time on a sustainable basis.

But Bfar Director Asis Perez said the MSY cannot be applied to Philippine fishing grounds, which are multi-species. He said the MSY can be applied on specific species, like tuna, a pelagic migratory species.

The Philippines is part of a regional body that ensures the management of tuna.

Bfar adviser Armada said catch ceilings can still be imposed in fishing grounds even without the MSY by regulating the number of fishing vessels in an area.

Trash fish

Armada, also deputy chief of party of the Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (Ecofish) Project, said surveys indicate that the kinds of fish caught have changed.

“We are now getting what we used to consider as trash fish,” he said.

He said the presence of trash fish or species of low commercial value is an indication of overfishing because some of them serve as food for bigger fish. “Their population has grown because their predators are no longer there,” he said.

This has implications on fisherfolk incomes. Trash fish bring low returns to fishermen whose costs, like fuel for their motorized bancas and kerosene for lamps, continue to rise.

Armada also said in a 2004 study that the abundance of shrimp and squid in relation to fish biomass indicates decline of catch. Shrimp and squid have replaced finfish in the food web.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), trash fish in the Philippines come in two categories: the commercially known fish that are too small for the fresh fish market and the non-commercially known species both in adult and juvenile forms.

Demersal (bottom-dwelling) fish include slipmouths, lizardfishes, goatfishes, mullets, mojarras, flatfishes and glassfishes. Non-commercial fish groups consist of cardinal fish, puffer fish, trigger fish, trumpet fish, flying gurnards, goby fish and filefish.

The 1998-2002 NSAP listed sunrise goatfish (timbugan) among the major commercial fish species in the Visayan Sea. In Bfar’s 2011 Fisheries Profile, slipmouth (sapsap) was among the major species caught by commercial fishery with a catch of 19,533 metric tons.

“Landings of low value/trash fish in the Philippines result mainly from the use of demersal gear,” read the FAO report, which was based on 2003 data. “About 41 percent of total low value/trash fish landings are caught by trawls, 22 percent by modified Danish seine, 12 percent by beach seine, and four percent by push net.”

Hurting the poor

Initially, the effects of overfishing hurt municipal fisherfolk the most because they

are the ones who cannot afford to venture into other means of livelihood on their own. But Armada said ultimately, everyone suffers once fish stocks are depleted.

Municipal fisherfolk are also the first to feel the effects of the pollution of coastal waters, degradation of coral reefs and destruction of mangrove forests.

Leonardo Sumagang and his wife Lucrecia rely on their daily catch of bakasi, an eel that serves as the main ingredient of Cordova’s delicacy.

Sumagang said his catch has not been able to recover since the oil spill in August although some mangroves in Day-as have started to grow new leaves. Last Saturday, he returned home at midmorning with less than a kilo of bakasi, which his wife sold for about P100 to a local restaurant.

Not overfished

But commercial fishing operators deny overfishing is taking place.

Romeo Villaceran, president of the Northern Cebu Commercial Fishing Operators Association (NCCFOA), said in Cebuano: “It is even difficult for us to raise the net to the surface because of the volume of fish caught. So you can’t say the sea has been overfished.”

His boats have even risked overturning from the bounty of the sea, he said.

He told Sun.Star Cebu that small fishermen often blame commercial operators for their small catch when their predicament is the result of other causes, like their preference to go drinking instead of fishing if they were able to catch a lot of fish the day before.

He said climate change or the warming of the seas may also explain why the fish seem fewer.

Fish usually congregate near the surface of the water, where it is easy to spot and catch them. But when the water is warm, the fish prefer to go to the deeper and cooler parts of the ocean, favoring commercial operators who have the equipment to fish in deep water, he said.

Commercial fishing is done using passive or active gear on fishing vessels at least 3.1 gross tons. It is not allowed in municipal waters, unless the local government unit (LGU) permits it in the 10.1 to 15 kilometer area and only if the depth is at least seven fathoms.

Big contributors

With about 50 active members, the NCCFOA supplies some 80 percent of the fish in the province of Cebu, said Villaceran.

He said commercial fishing operators had done a lot of good, lifting incomes and enabling many residents to become professionals.

Before commercial fishing, many residents just engaged in farming, the proceeds of which were not enough to send their children to college. But now, fishermen can get a big share in the proceeds and also get cash advances from their employers, he said.

He himself has put the children, and even the wives, of his fishermen through school.

Since each boat carries 50 fishermen or workers, it can help 50 families, he said, aside from the laborers in the ports, including the Pasil Fish Port in Cebu City, where their fish is brought.

Closing the sea

He said when the Bfar implemented a closed season for sardines and mackerel

in the Visayan Sea from Nov. 15, 2012 to March 15, 2013 to protect fish stocks, 70 percent of the group’s fishermen had to go as far as Leyte, Palawan and Masbate to catch fish.

The rest stopped fishing and planted crops instead, earning less than fishing. He said if LGUs provided help to the displaced fishermen, it was probably minimal.

The Bfar, however, attempted to help those affected by the closed season by encouraging the commercial fishermen to farm fish.

Villaceran said they were just starting to enjoy growing bangus (milkfish) and lapu-lapu (grouper) near the Hagnaya Port in San Remigio town when super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) destroyed their fish farms last Nov. 8.

Traumatized by the loss of their investment, none of them has returned to fish farming, Villaceran said, though it would have been a good business since the cost of farming fish was similar to the cost of catching fish in the wild.

He said fish farms in Metro Manila are better protected because these are surrounded by mountains and that region has big lakes, unlike in Cebu.

Condos

Aside from the failed fish farming venture, the group tried to improve fish stocks by installing more than 200 fish condominiums in the marine sanctuary of Visayan Sea Squadron (VSS) chairman Antonio Oposa in Sta. Fe town, Bantayan Island. The VSS monitors illegal activities in the Visayan Sea and prosecutes violators.

The three-storey fish condos made of bamboo and used fish nets, and covered with limestone and cement mixture, serve as alternative shelter for fish, and breeding and nursery areas for marine life, especially after Yolanda damaged the coral reefs in

the area.

Threats

The plan was to encircle Bantayan Island with 1,000 fish condos, but Villaceran said the operators were “discouraged” from continuing the project after constant threats by the Bfar, which materialized in Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 246 last year, to take their livelihood away from them by disallowing the use of Danish seine and modified Danish seine (locally called holbot-holbot, zipper, palusot, bira-bira, hulahoop, liba-liba or buli-buli) as fishing methods in Philippine waters.

The Sept. 12, 2013 order gave them six months to switch to legitimate fishing gear.

Villaceran said most of the NCCFOA members used the “zipper” method.

Danish seine consists of a conical net with a pair of wings, the ends of which are connected to a rope embedded with buri, plastic strips, sinkers or similar materials to serve as scaring/herding device and hauled through a mechanical winch or by manpower. In modified Danish seine, hauling ropes pass through a ring permanently attached to a tom weight.

“They say the ring destroys the bottom of the ocean and the corals,” said Villaceran. “They (Bfar) were the ones who introduced that fishing method, but they did not introduce a new method to replace that.”

The 2004 Bfar-CMRP publication said Danish seine fishery was introduced to Central Visayas in the 1980s as large-scale municipal fishing gear. Full commercial operation occurred after Bfar in 1986 provided the gear’s commercial size design and

trained fishermen to use it.
Aside from Danish seine operators able to stay away from corals, Villaceran said

disturbing the seabed was not always bad.
He said this action releases plankton, which fish feed on, drawing fish to the area

that otherwise would just pass without stopping.
An alternative fishing method, approved by Bfar, he said, is purse seine. But this

is costly because of the hydraulics involved, so commercial fishing operators filed a case and received a temporary restraining order preventing the Bfar from implementing FAO 246.

Purse seine is an encircling net with a line at the bottom passing through rings attached to the net, which can be drawn or pursed.

Helping rivals

Villaceran said clamping down on commercial fishing operators in Cebu would only benefit the fishermen in Zamboanga (in Mindanao) who, even now, threaten their livelihood.

Whenever they sell their fish in Cebu, they drive down prices, hurting business, he said.

From the usual P1,500 to P2,000 they could get for each tub of fish carrying 30 to 35 kilos, the price would drop to P300-P400/tub because the Zamboanga fishermen could bring to Cebu as many as 1,000-3,000 tubs in a single night.

“Arkansi sa crudo. Unya trucking pa,” he said. (We can no longer recover the cost of our boat fuel and the trucking expense.)

Despite the resistance of fishermen, the Bfar is not losing hope that it can stop

overfishing.
Belga said that in a previous survey, the exploitation rate of the Visayan Sea was

80 percent. He attributed the improvement to 70 percent to law enforcement efforts and the four-month closed season in the Visayan Sea.

Armada said the biomass of demersal fish in the Visayan Sea has improved.

He cited trawl surveys by the bureau and partner organizations showing that from 1.63 metric tons per square kilometer (mt/km2) in 2007, fish biomass rose to 2.56 mt/ km2 in 2013.

This shows that if fishermen just give the sea a chance to renew itself, it will.

(Tomorrow: Augmenting fish production no easy task)

Fish in troubled waters (Second of three parts)

Paper caper, harmful farm

Licensing, aquaculture take heat as efforts to save fish hurt mangroves; integrated solutions sought

Special Report

By Liberty A. Pinili

Sun.Star Cebu, June 6, 2014 Others Section, Page 12

LIKE a Facebook relationship status, overfishing in the Visayan Sea is a complicated issue that cannot be addressed by a single solution.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) has implemented programs to manage commercial fishing efforts, enforce prohibitions on destructive fishing practices and provide alternative livelihood opportunities to fisherfolk in the

Visayan Sea.
The Visayan Sea is one of the country’s major fishing grounds. It falls under the

jurisdiction of the Bicol Region, and Western and Central Visayas.
Among the methods to manage fishing efforts is imposing closed seasons. To

allow sardines and mackerel to replenish their stocks, the Bfar implemented a four- month closed season starting Nov. 15, 2012 to March 15, 2013 in the Visayan Sea.

Prudencio Belga Jr., project leader of Bfar’s National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) for the Visayan Sea, said the closed season may have helped bring down the exploitation ratio of commercial fish stocks in the Visayan Sea to 70 percent from 80 percent.

The closed season coincides with the spawning period of sardines and mackerel.

Nygiel Armada, deputy chief of party of the Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (Ecofish) Project, agreed with Belga but pointed out that the closed season is a “remedial solution.”

“It will make a dent, but it will not solve the problem,” he said. “The ultimate solution is to bring down fishing efforts to sustainable levels.”

Licensing

Armada, former fisheries management adviser of Bfar, said one way to do this is to improve the licensing of commercial fishing vessels and municipal fisherfolk.

Under Republic Act (RA) 8550, known as The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, any person or entity that wishes to engage in commercial fishing must secure a license from the Bfar.

Commercial fishing operators are supposed to secure one license for every fishing vessel they own. But Armada said some operators secure only one license, which they use for all their fishing vessels.

“They just change the name on the license (which bears the name of the vessel). They’re basically tampering with the license,” he said.

The practice prevents Bfar from getting the correct figures on the actual catch of commercial fishing operators, hampering efforts to better manage fish stocks.

Armada recommends the following: imposing stricter rules to prevent the tampering of licenses, imposing a premium for every additional boat licensed to a commercial fishing operator, strengthening the registration of municipal fisherfolk, and abolishing open access licenses so that new licenses will be limited to a specific fishing ground.

He also recommends providing more effective livelihood opportunities, and increasing the value of fish through processing.

Armada said efforts to bring down fishing efforts to sustainable levels should aim for a fish biomass of 3.5 to four metric tons per square kilometer.

According to a Bfar trawl survey in 2013, the fish biomass in the Visayan Sea was 2.56 metric tons per square kilometer. The survey was conducted before super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated many areas in the Visayas last November.

Rightsizing catch

To achieve the sustainable yield, the government has to put its foot down on reducing the number of fishing vessels in operation, Armada said.

A scheme can be developed allowing fishing vessels to operate in shifts so that

fishing operators can recoup their investments without breaching catch ceilings, he said.

Armada said that while commercial and municipal fisherfolk both contribute to overfishing, Bfar has identified the former as the priority target of its crackdown on overfishing because of the amount of fish commercial fishing vessels can catch.

On the other hand, Ecofish is working with some local government units (LGUs) to develop an efficient system of registering fisherfolk and recording their catch.

“The goal is to rightsize the fishing effort (at the municipal level) affecting a certain stock,” he said.

Aquaculture

Amid the need to regulate fishing efforts, the government, through Bfar, also raises the need to improve the productivity of the aquaculture sector.

In 2011, the combined aquaculture production in Regions 5, 6, 7 and 8 reached 128,282 metric tons for fish and 325,435 metric tons for mussels and seaweeds.

The aquaculture sector, which helps fill the demand for fish and other aquatic products, includes persons and entities that have been allowed to convert foreshore and mangrove areas into brackish water fishponds using a fishpond lease agreement (FLA) from the Bfar.

FLAs are good for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.

So the development of fishponds has been done at the expense of mangrove forests.

A study by Romeo Dieta and Florida Arboleda of the National Brackishwater Aquaculture Technology Research Center of Bfar states that the country’s mangrove

forests disappeared at 6,685 hectares a year from 1950 to 1972.
“The period coincided with the large-scale conversion of mangrove areas into

fishponds,” the study reads.
As early as 1932, the first Fisheries Act, which was Commonwealth Act 4003,

already included mangroves among the public forest lands that could be granted permits and leases for fishpond construction.

Dieta et al. said the reason is that coastal areas and resources were managed then under the assumption that while there was limited demand for fish, its supply was unlimited.

Mangroves provide the habitat for many aquatic organisms, including crabs, shells and juvenile fish. A study by Alan White and A. Trinidad in 1998 pointed out that the direct economic values from mangrove wood and fish products range from $150 to $1,396 per hectare a year.

Rapid growth

More rapid expansion of aquaculture was brought about by Presidential Decree (PD) 43 of 1972, which transferred the jurisdiction of public land available for fishpond development to Bfar, and PD 704, the Fisheries Decree of 1975.

Sections 23 to 25 of PD 704 defined the disposition of public lands for fishponds. Tidal swamps and mangroves were again included in PD 43’s definition of public land available for fishpond development.

Wilfredo Yap, in an appendix to the report “Strategy for Sustainable Aquaculture Development for Poverty Reduction” by the WorldFish Center and Pacific Rim Innovation and Management Exponents Inc. Philippines in 2007, said that although

brackish water fishponds share 87 percent of the total aquaculture area, they contribute only 52.8 percent to total production and have the lowest average yield of 1.06 tons per hectare, compared to fresh water ponds with 5.19 tons per hectare.

In Cebu alone, 160 FLAs have been issued covering 1,204.31 hectares.

Alan White and R. De Leon in the Status of Philippine Marine Fisheries (2004) noted that most FLA areas are underutilized or used for purposes other than aquaculture.

Bfar Director Asis Perez said the bureau has started cancelation proceedings on several fishponds considered abandoned, unused and underutilized for five years, but some are under appeal by the operators.

The secretary of the Department of Agriculture, of which Bfar is a line bureau, gives the final approval for the cancelation of FLAs. But Perez said some fishpond operators even go to Malacañang to appeal their cases.

Reversion tricky

RA 8550, passed in 1998, provides that once an FLA is canceled, the fishpond should revert to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which will then rehabilitate the area by reforesting it.

The law also prohibited the conversion of mangroves for any purpose, including fishponds.

DENR Administrative Order 98-17 also prohibited the conversion of mangrove forests for fishpond development. DENR identified fishpond development as a major cause of mangrove deforestation.

Despite calls for the implementation of the law, the Mangrove Management

Handbook of the Philippines 2000 points out that the reversion of abandoned fishponds under FLAs is an “extremely difficult activity that requires considerable time and resources to accomplish. For this reason, there is little practical experience with restoring disused fishponds back into mangroves.”

Options for fisherfolk

In 2010, more than 22 percent of the production of fish, crustaceans and mollusks in the Philippines was undertaken through aquaculture, up from 17 percent in 2003, Bfar data showed.

The 62 percent growth of aquaculture (excluding aquatic plants) during this period versus the 20 percent growth in capture fishing (excluding aquatic plants) highlights the importance of aquaculture in maintaining the fish supply.

But Armada said aquaculture to deter capture fishing is not an equitable option. Because aquaculture entails investment, very few municipal fisherfolk are able to venture into it.

“The law no longer allows the development of new fishponds, so recent aquaculture activities are mostly at sea. But even then, you need money to build fish cages,” he said.

Self-funding

Freddie Baguio, president of Panaghugpong sa Day-asanong Mananagat (Padama) in Cordova town, Cebu, however, said the fisherfolk organization was able to create more options for its members. One was to build a fish cage about a kilometer from the shore in Barangay Day-as.

Padama obtained the funds to build the fish cage by requiring members to give a

portion of their daily earnings to the association to finance projects and activities that benefit the group.

Baguio said the grouper fingerlings grown at the fish cage are still too young to be harvested.

“Wa mi kasugod dayon kay naghuwat mi na mawagtang tong oil spill (We had to wait for the oil spill to disappear before putting in the fingerlings),” he said.

Two ships collided off Talisay City last August, resulting in an oil spill after one of the ships sank.

So the organization can earn revenues while waiting for the grouper to mature, Baguio organized tours to the fish cage and neighboring areas using the three motorized bancas that Padama had purchased earlier.

He said he also encouraged members to use the motorized bancas to fish at night using a kerosene lamp and net.

He said two members can use one boat for night fishing. Members have a schedule to follow when using the boats so that everyone benefits.

Guarding waters

Baguio said Padama guards the coastal areas of Barangay Day-as and the fish cage. But he admitted that they are no match for some commercial fishermen who encroach on the municipal waters.

He said some members are afraid of the commercial fishing vessels whose crews are rumored to be armed.

Environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr. raised the need for stronger law enforcement in guarding municipal waters, where coral reefs exist.

Belga said dynamite fishing, which destroys coral reefs, has been minimized in the Visayan Sea.

However, discussions during the recent Environmental Law Talks 3, organized by the University of Cebu and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, raised the threat posed by commercial fishing vessels that encroach on municipal waters on the livelihood of small- scale fisherfolk. Among the areas in Cebu mentioned by forum participants were Alegria, Barili and San Remigio towns.

Lawyer Liza Eisma-Osorio, managing trustee of the Philippine Earth Justice Center, said law enforcement is often weak in areas where there are commercial fishing operators.

Oposa said lack of funds and personnel are not enough reasons for inaction against illegal fishing. Local government officials only need political will, he said, citing the town of Bantayan, Cebu. (See Part 3 of this special report tomorrow for more on the secrets of Bantayan town’s success.)

Oposa, who initiated the Visayan Sea Squadron, helped the Bantayan Police and Bantay Dagat prosecute illegal fisherfolk by designing a pro forma complaint sheet. The complaint sheet simplified the process of filing cases before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, because Bantay Dagat personnel would just fill in the spaces for the name of the accused, nature of violation, place and time.

But some forum participants said few cases against illegal fishers reach the trial stage because judges take pity on the accused, who are usually indigent.

Few alternatives

Enforcement of fishing regulations is ineffective when government fails to offer

alternative livelihood that works.
When the closed season was implemented in the Visayan Sea, commercial

fishermen were offered assistance to go into aquaculture.
At the national level, Bfar helps fisherfolk by providing technology and materials

for aquaculture and seaweed farming. It also encourages processing of fishery products to add value to the catch of fisherfolk.

In 2010, the Philippines ranked 10th in the world in the aquaculture of fish, crustaceans and mollusks, Bfar said. It ranked third in the aquaculture of aquatic plants, including seaweed.

But Armada said fish cages are not advisable in the Visayan Sea, which is often visited by typhoons.

He said Ecofish is studying enterprise development strategies that will provide alternative livelihood to municipal fisherfolk.

Head for land

Osorio, who also works with the Sto. Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation (Snaf), said land-based livelihood provides better options.

“The objective is to take the pressure out of the marine resources,” she said.

She said Snaf plans to train residents in Kinatarcan Island of Sta. Fe town, Bantayan Island, Cebu to produce turmeric and moringa (from the malunggay plant), high-value plant products.

Bfar’s Perez pointed out during the forum that stakeholders—government and the private sector—should take an integrated approach in protecting and managing the country’s marine resources.

“Whatever happens on land affects the sea. So you have to protect the forest if you want to protect the sea,” he said.

Deforestation causes soil erosion that generates sediments, which are carried by rivers and streams to the sea and kill corals. Pollution that occurs inland and garbage thrown in rivers also end up in the sea and kill marine organisms.

Protected areas

In an effort to rehabilitate degraded coral reefs, the government—through the DENR and Bfar—encouraged LGUs to establish marine protected areas (MPAs) in their municipal waters.

Coral reefs support other marine life by providing them with food and shelter.

An MPA has two distinct features: the strict protection zone and the buffer zone. All types of human activity are prohibited in the strict protection zone. Although MPAs are no-take or no fishing zones, some, like the Gilutongan Island Marine Sanctuary in Cordova, allow snorkeling and diving to collect users’ fees, which fund the maintenance of the reserve.

According to the 2012 “Marine Protected Area Management Effectiveness: Progress and Lessons in the Philippines” (by Aileen P. Maypa, Alan T. White, Elline Cañares, Raffy Martinez, Osorio, Porfirio Aliño and Dean Apistar), about 47 percent of MPAs in Central Visayas in 2008 could be described as being in fair condition for having 25 to 49 live hard coral cover.

Only 30 percent could be described as in good condition with live hard coral cover of 50 to 74 percent, while only six percent were in excellent condition with live hard coral cover of 75 to 100 percent.

The study identified the lack of a sustainable financial system, mismanagement, and lack of political and community support as common problems bugging MPAs.

Networking

Aliño, during the Environmental Law Talks 3, said creating a network of MPAs is more effective in restoring degraded marine ecosystems.

“MPA networks optimize the synergy connectivity among ecosystems at various scales,” he said. “They scale up benefits in biodiversity conservation, fisheries and tourism.”

MPA networks also benefit migratory species, he said.

He said that because an MPA network involves several LGUs, the costs of maintaining it are shared by participating towns or cities.

Oposa said education is key in getting communities to participate in protecting the sea and its resources. But he admitted that the process is a long one.

“It takes a long time to make people aware and longer time to make them act,” he said. (Tomorrow: Local governments’ hits and misses in addressing overfishing)

Fish in troubled waters (Last of three parts)

Town and bounty

What other LGUs can do to protect fish stocks in municipal waters, Bantayan does better

Special Report

By Cherry Ann T. Lim

Sun.Star Cebu, June 7, 2014 Others Section, Page 10

IF MAN won’t set the limits on his forays into the sea, the sea itself will.

In Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, despite the risk of overfishing, no limits have been set on the volume of fish its fishermen may catch in its municipal waters, said Orlando Leyson, chairman of the city’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC).

The sea itself has set the limits for the residents.

“In some areas, the catch is not big enough for the fishermen, so they ask for (livelihood) assistance,” Leyson told Sun.Star Cebu.

He cited Olango Island, where many families live. “Their families are also big, with some having six to seven children,” he said.

With overfishing having a direct impact on the incomes and food security of their constituents, local government units (LGU) play a big role in ensuring the sustainable use of fishery resources.

Catching the catchers

The primary way LGUs protect fishery resources is to apprehend violators of Republic Act 8550 or The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 and local ordinances.

Capitol Chief of Security Loy Madrigal, part of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force, said the task force had made at least 26 apprehensions of both commercial and municipal fishermen since September with boat and truck inspections.

He said dynamite fishing usually occurred in Bantayan Island, Cordova town, Talisay City and Daanbantayan town. Dynamite fishing causes collateral damage to the marine environment, like corals and other marine species that are not the target of the fishing effort.

As for commercial fishermen, they have been caught in the Tañon Strait, which covers San Remigio town down to Toledo City in western Cebu; and the Visayan Sea, which covers the waters off northern Cebu.

Commercial fisherman are caught either fishing illegally in municipal waters (waters within 15 kilometers of a municipality’s shoreline reserved for local fishermen), or using illegal fishing methods, like active fishing gear in municipal waters and fine- meshed nets (with mesh size of less than three centimeters) that indiscriminately draw in both mature and juvenile fish.

Under RA 8550, the use of active fishing gear, which is “characterized by gear movement and/or the pursuit of the target species by towing, lifting, and pushing the gears, surrounding, covering, dredging, pumping and scaring the target species to impoundments, such as ... trawl, purse seines, Danish seines, bag nets, paaling, drift gill and tuna longline,” is not allowed in municipal waters and carries a fine of P2,000 to P20,000 for the vessel owner/operator and jail time of two to six years for the boat captain and master fisherman.

The use of fine-meshed nets, except for the gathering of fry, glass eels and other species that are small even when mature, carries the penalty of P2,000 to P20,000, or jail time of six months to two years, or both.

Madrigal said there is also a fine of P5,000 per kilo of fish caught illegally.

When apprehended, most violators just make bail, except those apprehended for dynamite fishing, which is non-bailable, he said.

On the second offense, Madrigal said a case would already be filed against the perpetrator. But they have still caught people up to the third offense.

“The penalties are prescribed by the Fisheries Code. But mohangyo sa gobernador. Usahay i-grant,” he said. (They seek consideration from the governor, who grants it at times.)

He said most perpetrators end up being meted a fine only. No one has been jailed yet after having been convicted.

Sought for comment, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said: “All cases for violation of the Fisheries Code are referred to the Provincial Legal Office (PLO). It is then the PLO that adjudicates on the matter.”

Conviction

In Lapu-Lapu City, FARMC chairman Leyson said two people were caught in Barangay Caubian last May 15 using dynamite. Their catch and unused dynamite were confiscated.

For their “actual use” of dynamite, he said, they will be convicted under RA 8550 and spend five to 10 years in jail. He said another two people, this time in Barangay Marigondon, were apprehended for the same offense last May 23 and face the same fate.

Without giving a specific figure, he said many violators had already been jailed.

“Daghan na. Ang nakasuway, di na gyud mo-usab.” (Many have gone to jail. Those who have been jailed don’t break the law again.)

Composed of fisherfolk organizations/cooperatives and non-government organizations (NGO) in the area and assisted by the LGU and other government entities, FARMCs are mandated by RA 8550 to help prepare the Municipal Fishery Development Plan, recommend the enactment of municipal fishery ordinances, and

help enforce fishery laws and regulations in municipal waters.
Leyson said the city also has a Task Force Kalikasan composed of five people

per barangay that the City pays P1,500/month to enforce environmental laws.
The task force reports violations to the council or the police, which takes care of

apprehending the violators, he said.

Protectors

The City does not give alternative livelihood to fishermen who don’t earn enough from fishing.

“We just advise them to help protect the marine environment by not using cyanide or dynamite” and watching out for people who might destroy corals, Leyson said.

Corals provide small fish with food and shelter.

In some barangays, like Pangan-an, fishermen make fish cages and fish traps from materials provided by the barangay captain, so they can catch more fish in areas where there are lots of fish, he said.

To discourage illegal fishing, the FARMC encourages coastal barangays to apply for marine protected areas (MPA).

“Nine MPAs have been approved in the city,” the latest being that of Crimson Resort and Spa, which applied for MPA status for an eight-hectare area in front of its beach, he said.

MPA applicants sign a stewardship agreement with the City that nothing can be taken from the MPAs, including fish and corals.

Leyson said the city’s most successful sanctuary where one can see a variety of

big and small fish is the Talima Marine Sanctuary, formerly managed by the barangay but now taken over by the City, with the City and barangay sharing in the sanctuary’s revenues, such as the P50 entrance fee, P100 diving fee, and other fees for using underwater cameras and the like.

With MPAs, fishermen turn into guides of the divers. Some help the collectors, and they are paid the same as the City’s job-order employees, he said.

Registration

The LGU has registered some 600 fishermen, but Leyson said this may not even be half yet of the actual number of fishermen in the city.

“We need to go to the islets like Pangan-an, Caohagan and Caubian to get more of the fishermen there to register,” he said.

RA 8550 requires the LGU to maintain a registry of municipal fisherfolk to determine priorities, limit entry into municipal waters, and monitor fishing activities.

Fishing without a license, lease or permit is prohibited unless it is for one’s daily food sustenance or leisure only.

To register, Lapu-Lapu fishermen must present a barangay residence certificate and pay P20/year as fee, plus the fishing boat registration fee of P150/year if the boat is below one ton, P200/year if above a ton but less than two tons, and P250/year for two to less than three tons.

Leyson said many fishermen put off registering, saying they can’t afford it. But when they hear of apprehensions of unregistered fishermen, they quickly register.

With registration, if their boat is hit by another, they can collect payment from the offending party because their registration papers will prove their ownership of the

vessel, he said.
If someone steals their engine, which is not uncommon, they could also reclaim it

from the government if it is found, as engine numbers are listed during registration.

Can afford

In Talisay City, Cebu, Greg dela Torre, head of the Fishermen Sea and Ecological Care (Fiseca), the city’s Bantay Dagat office, said the city has a similar problem with not even half of its fishermen registered.

Bantay Dagat is composed of deputized fishery wardens who go after illegal fishers at the local level.

But he said the fee of P50/year for a boat below 10 horsepower and P75/year if above 10 hp could not possibly be a hindrance to registration because “they can even afford the motorbanca.”

Fiseca uses a speedboat and a pumpboat to conduct patrols in three shifts, and a delineation map and GPS (Global Positioning System) to detect illegal fishers in its waters.

Talisay has problems with fishermen from Carcar City and San Fernando town fishing in its waters. Commercial fishermen from Bohol province and Mindanao have also reached Talisay, he said.

Lenient ordinance?

Under the city’s ordinance, the penalty of jail is meted only when the offender has violated the law for the third time, during which his boat and gear will also be confiscated.

This may be a reason why there are repeat offenders.

But he says that with the painful penalty for the third offense, most repeat offenders stop at the second offense.

In the Fisheries Code, “there is no first offense,” he admitted.

But he said the local ordinance made provisions for the first, second and third offense so the city could earn from the fines meted violators.

Like in Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay does not restrict the amount of fish that fishermen can catch in municipal waters, so long as they use legal methods to catch the fish.

However, it has designated a restricted area, the Lagundi Marine Sanctuary in Poblacion Talisay, where fishing is not allowed but where there are violators.

Last July, Fiseca personnel could not apprehend fishermen observed to be dynamite fishing in the sanctuary because their boats were not in working condition.

To prevent illegal fishing, Dela Torre said, there are plans to teach fishermen to use fish cages or fish pens (bungsod), but he said this would need a lot of members.

Fishermen also want to earn on the same day. But with a fish pen, they would still have to raise the fingerlings provided to them.

He said there already was a fish cage in front of the Fiseca headquarters in Barangay Cansojong operated by the city’s fisherfolk federation headed by Eda Cabusas.

Put up last year, it fell apart even before super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) came in November. It was restored after that storm.

With few livelihood alternatives for fishermen, it will be hard to prevent illegal fishing.

Best practice

But in Bantayan town, one of the three towns on Bantayan Island (the others being Sta. Fe and Madridejos), the law is enforced with an iron will and a focus.

Full government support that has included addressing the root causes of illegal fishing has earned the town plaudits from Cebu’s environmental advocates, who cite it as a model for marine resource protection.

Asked its successful formula for thwarting overfishing, the first thing Marlon Marande, the town’s fishery technician and Bantay Dagat task force team leader, said was: “Dakop (Arrests).”

“Our target is to arrest the commercial fishermen who enter our municipal waters,” he said.

Since 2012, they have apprehended 32 commercial fishing boats, whose operators were from Cadiz City and Sagay City in Negros Occidental, and other parts of Bantayan Island. Some boats carried up to 40 banyera (tubs) of fish.

At the first offense, a case is immediately filed against violators.

The town throws the book at them, filing as many cases as possible for violating both RA 8550, which has harsher penalties because these involve jail terms, and the municipal ordinance, which prescribes fines and makes no allowance for a first offense.

“We file a lot of cases so we can raise money (from the fines) for our expenses,” he said.

He said the commercial fishermen they apprehended were millionaires, making their job dangerous. Powerful figures included the secretary of a Negros governor,

arrested just last May 26.
He said “no anomalies” occur during arrests. The Bantay Dagat team leader and

three pumpboat operators don’t accept bribes from violators.
“Hadlok mi sa among mayor. Isog kaayo. Isog siya sa magtinonto (We’re afraid of

our mayor. He is fierce and doesn’t tolerate wrongdoing),” he said.
The Bantay Dagat normally conducts patrols using two pumpboats. But with both

under repair, it is now using the municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s pumpboat.

Sanctuary

Many commercial fishermen enter Bantayan’s territorial waters because the area teems with fish owing to its marine sanctuaries.

Of the town’s 20 coastal barangays, 17 have marine sanctuaries. Each sanctuary occupies 20 hectares.

Marande said the town provides support—15 liters of gasoline a month to each barangay, so it can patrol its own sanctuary.

“We also give materials, like rope, nylon and buoys for marking the boundaries of the sanctuary, so fishermen know where not to enter,” he said.

The fine for fishing in the sanctuary is P200 to P500, depending on the barangay ordinance.

He said Bantayan Mayor Ian Christopher Escario also gives marine project assistance of P50,000/year, which can be used for maintaining the barangay sanctuary and patrol boat or making a floating guardhouse.

In the Tañon Strait, four barangays integrated their areas into one sanctuary. The

177-hectare sanctuary, Bsita Isla, gets assistance of P500,000/year. Visitors can swim and dive there for a fee.

Livelihood projects

Since the 1990s, livelihood projects by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) have also enabled residents to earn from growing high-value fish species like grouper, red snapper and sweet lips in fish cages. These are supplied live to restaurants in Cebu and Lapu-Lapu City.

“Bantayan is also the biggest producer of seaweed in Cebu,” Marande said. “It supplies Shemberg,” a leading producer and supplier of refined carrageenan in the world.

Bantayan has 800 hectares of seaweed farms, begun also in the 1990s, but by the residents themselves, he said. Today, 1,400 fisherman-planters grow seaweed in five islets.

“Before, Bantayan was known for illegal fishing and dynamite fishing, but now no more. It’s because of seaweed,” he said.

After typhoon Yolanda wiped out the farms, the Bfar provided seedlings. NGOs and other sponsors helped, and operations are now back to normal.

Bfar has also had a mangrove project in the town since 2012. It pays residents P6 per seedling planted, 80 percent of which is released on planting and the balance after the mangroves have grown.

Five barangays have mangrove areas. They survived Yolanda’s fury. Mangroves and seaweeds serve as nurseries and feeding grounds for fish and crustaceans.

Registration

Even in registration, the town tries its best.

“Bantayan Island is number one in the online registration of fishermen with the Bfar for the province of Cebu,” Marande said.

In May 2013, the Bfar had launched its National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration to help speed up the registration of municipal fisherfolk by LGUs. The program aimed to serve fishermen better by giving them medical and health insurance.

Before Yolanda, he admitted that few registered.

“But after Yolanda, when they saw that those who had registered received pumpboats, fishing gear, and accident and boat insurance from Bfar, the number of registrants tripled,” Marande said.

Aside from the mayor’s support, he credits the town’s success in marine resource protection to the bravery of the Bantay Dagat crew, who are job-order employees, and the hard work of the Philippine National Police and the local FARMC led by chairman Louie Revamonte.

“We love our job,” he said. “We can help the local fishermen, who are the most pitiful because they can no longer catch any fish if the commercial fishermen can get in.”

Where the poor are

Among the basic sectors, fishermen had the highest poverty incidence of 41.4 percent in 2009, way above the 26.5 percent poverty incidence for the whole country, said Dr. Jose Ramon Albert, Philippine Statistics Authority-National Statistical Coordination Board secretary general.

They received the country’s third lowest average daily basic wage of P178.43 in

2011, after domestic helpers’ P138.99 and farmers’ P156.81.
And despite Central Visayas being surrounded by seven major marine aquatic

ecosystems, including the Visayan Sea, Bohol Sea and East Sulu Sea, the region had the country’s fourth highest poverty incidence for fishermen at 48 percent in 2009, after Caraga’s 59.2 percent, Northern Mindanao’s 51.5 percent and Zamboanga Peninsula’s 48.2 percent.

To halve the proportion of people in extreme poverty from 1990 to 2015 to meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, the Philippines will have to look into the plight of fishermen, which means looking into the plight of the seas from which they derive their living.

To save the seas from overexploitation, consumers can also do their part. They can refuse to buy juveniles, fish roe (bihod), endangered species, and dynamited fish apparent, Bfar says, from their damaged fins, lack of scales, bulging and reddish eyes, and skin blood clots.

Ensuring that the ocean’s bounty will be there for years to come will hinge on giving the fish a break.
TOBACCO STORY OF THE YEAR
“PANGASINAN FARMERS PIN HOPES ON TOBACCO”
BY GABRIEL CARDINOZA
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
A feature story that narrates the devotion and labor the Pangasinan farmers put in each tobacco farming season to have a good harvest. For decades, they planted tobacco after every rice cropping season. It tells the story of hope especially after the government’s recent pronouncement that tobacco farmers should directly benefit from the excise tax collected from cigarette manufacturers.
FULL STORY
2014 TOBACCO STORY OF THE YEAR
"Pangasinan farmers pin hopes on tobacco"

By Gabriel Cardinoza

Philippine Daily Inquirer



VILLASIS, Pangasinan—If they had a choice, farmers Alejandra Lavarias and her husband, Nicanor, would not have planted tobacco almost 50 years ago.

This is because tobacco farming at that time did not pay much and it was a backbreaking job.

But they had no choice. They were tenants when they moved to Barangay (village) Amamperez here in 1966 and at that time, they had nothing else to plant after the rice season but “batek” (native tobacco). Besides, there were no irrigation facilities then, preventing them from planting rice for the second cropping season.

Today, the Lavariases, like other tobacco farmers in their village, still wake up at 3 a.m. to tend their tobacco plants until noon. “This is really a hard job,” said Alejandra, now 74. “But we don’t have any other source of livelihood.”

Tobacco season begins in September just when the rainy season is about to end and when palay (unhusked rice) have all been harvested. It is in this month when Alejandra and her husband begin plowing and harrowing the field before sowing tobacco seeds in time for transplanting by November.

“Every day, we have to see to it that there are no weeds, that they are watered and that they are free from pests,” Alejandra said.

By January, they gather the primings, locally called “liso” or the leaves near the bottom of the stalk. The following month, the larger upper leaves are harvested.

The leaves are then put one by one into a 2-foot bamboo stick and then hung in a sunlit area until the leaves turn golden brown. Then these are stacked and covered in a dry place until they are completely dried and ready to be sold by May.

Production cost

Elmer Godoy, another farmer in the village, said that these days, a tobacco farmer spends at least P50,000 from planting to harvesting in a hectare of farm.

The money is spent for fertilizers, pesticides, tractor rentals and hiring of farm hands, especially during transplanting and harvesting seasons.

“On a good year, our money becomes double,” Godoy said. “But after paying all your debts, there’s just little money left for you and your family,” he added.

Most tobacco farmers in the village borrow money from traders at the start of the season. “It’s easier to borrow from them. All they need is your signature and you have instant cash for your farm needs,” Godoy said.

But the downside, he said, is that traders demand that they be paid with the tobacco the farmers have produced.

“What is not good about this is that the traders dictate the price, leaving the tobacco farmers with very little money,” Godoy said.

For instance, if the prevailing price of a “pardo” (120 sticks of dried tobacco leaves) is P6,000, the trader’s price is lowered to P5,000.

“The ones getting rich are the traders. They get rich at the expense of tobacco farmers. They make money more than the farmers,” Alejandra said.

Bank collateral

She said borrowing money from banks would have been an option, but tobacco farmers are also helpless because banks need collateral. “We are just tenants. What collateral could we produce?” she said.

Despite their situation, the Lavariases and Godoy were able to send their children to college. But the money they used for their tuition came partly from their production of rice and onion, crops that they planted after the tobacco season.

Alejandra said tenants like her and her husband would always remain poor despite the booming tobacco industry. Their share, she said, is only a third of the total farm produce while the rest goes to the landowner.

Godoy, who started farming as a tenant in 1968, is luckier. In 1980, he was able to buy the 1-hectare farm he was tilling. Seventeen years later, he bought 2 ha more and built a two-story house near his farm.

But like many tobacco farmers, Godoy and the Lavariases hoped the government would help them ease their burden every tobacco season.

Godoy said the government should provide them with easy, low-interest loans, fertilizer subsidy and farm implements to make their farming less expensive.

Their wish may just be granted.

Excise taxes

Last month, Edgardo Zaragoza, administrator of the National Tobacco Administration, told tobacco farmers in La Union province that his office, together with the Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management, was working on the revised implementing rules and regulations on the use of the increased excise taxes imposed on cigarettes.

Zaragoza said that this time, they wanted to ensure that the excise taxes would directly benefit tobacco farmers.

In 2013, he said, excise tax collection more than doubled, increasing to P67 billion from only P32 billion in 2012.

The increase was triggered by the enactment in December 2012 of Republic Act No. 10351, or the sin tax law, which took effect in January 2013.

But Zaragoza said the higher collection from sin taxes in 2013 would be felt only in 2015 because in a given year, the amount of excise tax collections that have to be divided among beneficiaries is based on the collections two years ago.

He also said that under the law, a province and a congressional district get a 30-percent share each, while a town gets 40 percent.

Alejandra said she had not heard yet about the excise tax. In her village, she said, she did not seem to have felt its impact.

But she hoped that when the time comes, she and her husband would be among the tobacco farmers who would benefit from the law.

For now, Alejandra said, her only wish is a good price for the native tobacco that she and her husband had grown.
BEST AGRICULTURE TV PROGRAM/SEGMENT
"FATHER’S DAY EPISODE"
AGRI TAYO DITO PRODUCED BY KARREN VERONA
ABS-CBN DAVAO.
This is an episode of the show Agri Tayo Dito that puts focus on Fathers and their sons. Mr. Emmanuel Belviz, Durian King of Davao together with his son Severino share the secrets to growing durian. In another special segment entitled “Agri-Bida ang Tatay ko,” Cirilo Gapuz is featured. Needing to find ways to supplement his measly P130/month salary, Mr. Gapuz turned to grape farming. Through trial and error and a lot of hardwork, Mr. Gapuz was able to build a home and put his kids through school. Now their grape farm is considered one of La Union’s finest.
FULL STORY
2014 BEST AGRICULTURE TV PROGRAM/SEGMENT
"Father's Day Episode"

Agri Tayo Dito

Produced by Karren Verona

ABS-CBN Davao



RUBEN: GOOD MORNING, MGA KA-AGRING KAPAMILYANG PINOY! ARE YOU READY FOR A MORNING FILLED WITH AGRI-KWENTO’S THAT ARE A SURE HIT THIS SUMMER? THIS IS RUBEN GONZAGA, AGRI TAYO DITO!

PRIMER:
KID: PAPA
KID: DADDY/div>
KID: DAD…
KID: FATHER…

VO: ALTHOUGH THEY’RE CALLED BY DIFFERENT NAMES, THESE ALL MEAN ONE THING: THEY REFER TO THE ONE WHO STANDS AS THE PILLAR OF THE FAMILY, THEY ARE OUR “PAPA”, “DADDY”, “DAD” AND “FATHER” WHO WERE OUR VERY FIRST…

TALENT: CARPENTER
TALENT: FISHERMAN
TALENT: MANAGER
TALENT: LEADER

VO: AND ALL OTHER ROLES THAT THEY PERFORM JUST SO THEY COULD SUPPORT THE FAMILY THEY LOVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY. THEY UPHOLD THE DIFFERENT FIELDS OF WORK, ESPECIALLY IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR THAT WE ALL GREW UP IN.

WELCOME SPIELS:
RUBEN: THAT’S WHY ON THIS FATHER’S DAY… LET’S GIVE A TRIBUTE TO ALL THE FATHERS IN THE WHOLE WORLD. GOOD MORNING, KA-AGRING, KAPAMILYANG PINOY! ARE YOU READY FOR A MORNING FILLED WITH AGRI-STORIES ESPECIALLY MADE FOR OUR GREAT FATHERS? THIS IS RUBEN GONZAGA, AGRI TAYO DITO!

HYPE SEGMENTS:
VO: THIS MORNING
SARAP KITA-ALL WE NEED TO MAKE A GRANOLA BAR IS… WHAT IS THIS FOOD THAT’S NOT ONLY ENERGY-GIVING, BUT ALSO INCOME-GENERATING…?

HANEP BABOY- IN OUR DISCUSSION ABOUT QUICK PROGRESS… THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO CONSIDER IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE LIVES OF OUR PIGLETS… WATCH OUT FOR THAT LATER ON… HANEP BABOY…

AGRI BIDA- WHO WILL BE CHOSEN AS THE WINNER FOR “MY FATHER’S AN AGRI BIDA”? HIS SUCCESS STORY… WATCH LATER!

ITANIM- BUT BEFORE THAT, THE FRUIT REGARDED AS KING, HOW IS IT GROWN? DURIAN FRUIT… ITANIM NA YAN!

VO: “SMELLS LIKE HELL BUT TASTES LIKE HEAVEN…REGARDED AS THE KING, IT’S TASTE IS INCOMPARABLE… IT’S THE “KING OF ALL FRUITS” IN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES... DURIAN!
VO: THORNY ON THE OUTSIDE, IT’S INSIDE IS RICH IN VITAMINS LIKE POTASSIUM, FIBER, AMINO ACID AND IRON, ALL OF WHICH IS NEEDED BY OURBODY.
VO: PUYAT…COB…ARANCILLO… MON-THONG…AND MANY MORE… THESE ARE DURIAN VARIETIES WE COULD CHOOSE FROM. AND THESE ARE WHAT WE WILL LEARN TO GROW THIS MORNING.
VO: AND, OF COURSE, IT IS HERE IN DAVAO CITY, ALSO KNOWN AS THE “DURIAN REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES”, WHERE WE WILL PLANT!
VO: AND OUR TEACHER? THE REKNOWNED DURIAN KING! MR. SEVERINO BELVIZ TOGETHER WITH HIS SON, EMMANUEL BELVIZ.
VO: OH, FATHER AND SON TANDEM... OKAY, HOW DO WE START, SIR SEVERINO AND NHEL?
NHEL: TO PLANT DURIAN, FROM THE FRESH FRUIT.. WE WASH AND SEGREGATE THE SEEDS…AFTER THAT, WE PRE-GERMINATE THEM USING A WET RUCKSACK AND WAIT FOR 2-3 DAYS UNTIL THE TOP ROOT SHOWS..
VO: WHEN THE TOPROOT SHOWS...WASH IT AGAIN AND WHEN IT GROWS A BIT MORE...
NHEL: PAGKATAPOS NIYAN AY TINATANIM NAMIN DITO SA MGA SEEDLING BAG NA MAY MEDIA NA 1/3 RICE HULL AT CHICKEN DUNG AT 2/3 GARDEN SOIL.NGAYON READY NA ITONG ITANIM AT ILALAGAY NATIN DITO..GUMAWA MUNA NG MALIIT NA BUTAS..SIGURADUHIN LANG NA NASA BABANG PARTE ANG UGAT PARA DIRETSO SIYANG KUMAPIT SA MEDIA NATIN…
NHEL: AFTER THAT, WE PLANT IT IN A SEEDLING BAG WITH A MEDIA COMPOSED OF 1/3 RICE HULL AND CHICKEN DUNG AND 2/3 GARDEN SOIL. NOW, IT IS READY TO BE PLANTED AND WE’LL JUST PUT IT HERE… WE FIRST HAVE TO MAKE A SMALL HOLE... MAKE SURE THAT THE ROOT IS PLACED AT THE BOTTOM PART SO THAT IT WILL HAVE DIRECT ACCESS TO OUR MEDIA…
VO: OH, IT’S SURPRISINGLY EASY TO PLANT, KA-AGRI... ANYONE CAN DO IT... HOWEVER... ACCORDING TO NHEL, THERE’S SOMETHING WE MUST ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND...
NHEL: DON’T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON THE PLANT FOR US NOT TO ACCIDENTALLY CUT THE ROOTS.
VO: AFTER PLANTING THE DURIAN SEEDS, WE HAVE TO PUT FUNGICIDE ON IT TO GET RID OF THE FUNGUS ON THE SEEDS. AND THEN WE HAVE TO COVER IT TO PROTECT IT FROM THE HEAT OF THE SUN.
VO: WHEN IT GROWS... THIS WILL BECOME THE ROOTSTOCK WHICH WE WILL USE TO CREATE DURIAN GRAFTED SEEDLINGS.
VO: THE NATIVE VARIETY IS BEST OT USE AS ROOTSTOCK BECAUSE IT’S DOESN’T EASILY ATTRACT DISEASES. ONLY THEN CAN WE GRAFT IT TO THE SCION OF YOUR PREFERRED VARIETY.BUT WHAT IS THIS “SCION”, SIR NHEL?
NHEL: IN CHOOSING A SCION, WE SHOULD CHOOSE BRANCHES THAT HAVE ACTIVE BUDS LIKE THIS ONE, IT’S BUDS ARE ACTIVE… WE MUST CUT OFF 6-8 INCHES.
VO: THERE! THEY’RE READY FOR GRAFTING... SO WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED ASIDE FROM THE ROOTSTOCK AND SCION?
NHEL: WHAT WE NEED IN REJOINING THE PARTS OF THE DURIAN IS A CELLOPHANE AND A KNIFE. WE MUST CLEAN THE SCION BY CUTTING OFF THE LEAVES. BE CAREFUL NOT TO CUT THE BUDSNEAR THE LEAVES.AFTER THIS, CUT A LITTLE BIT OFF OF THE ROOTSTOCK AND CREATE A WEDGE-SHAPED OPENING ON IT.CREATE A V-SHAPED OPENING ON THE SCION, TOO. THEN, JOIN THE TWO OPENINGS AND REJOIN BOTH AT THE WEDGE WE’VE CREATED…AFTER THAT, WE’LL WRAP IT WITH CELLOPHANE. MAKE SURE THE TIE IS TIGHT SO THAT THE WATER CANNOT ENTER.
VO: AFTER TYING IT, WRAP THE BUDS WITH CELLOPHANE AND…
NHEL: AFTER ONE WEEK, IF YOU SEE THE FLASH ALIVE AND GROWING, YOU CAN ALREADY TAKE OFF THE CELLOPHANE.…
VO: AFTER 2-3 MONTHS...THIS CAN ALREADY BE TRANSPLANTED.
VO: DAGDAG PA NILA…KUNG MAGLILIPAT TANIM...SIGURADUHING NASA 1000 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL ANG ELEVATION NG LUPANG PAGTATANIMAN… ITO YUNG NASA MGA MATATAAS NA BAHAGI DAHIL ITO ANG NAAYONG LUPA PARA SA MGA DURIAN.
VO: IN TRANSPLANTING, MAKE A HOLE WITH A SIZE OF A FOOT.
VO: MIX CHICKEN DUNG INTO THE SOIL. THIS WILL SERVE AS OUR FERTILIZER.
VO: IN ADDITION, ACCORDING TO SIR NHEL AND SIR SEVERINO, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN EACH TREE TO PLANT DEPENDS ON THE VARIETY YOU’RE USING... IF YOU’RE USING A VARIETY WITH A WIDE CANOPY, MUCH LIKE THE ARANCILLO, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN EACH PLANT SHOULD BE 10X10. SIMILARLY, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN VARIETIES WITHOUT OVERLY THICK LEAVES SHOULD BE 8X8, LIKE THE PUYAT VARIETY.
VO: ALSO, ACCORDING TO THEM, AYON DIN SA KANILA, IT WOULD TAKE FIVE YEARS FOR YOU TO HARVEST FRUITS FROM THE NEWLY PLANTED DURIAN TREE.
VO: SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, MGA KA-AGRI...THE NEXT TIME YOU EAT DURIAN, DON’T THROW THE SEEDS AWAY, BECAUSE THOSE SEEDS ARE THE SOURCE OF THE NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS TASTE OF THE “KING OF FRUITS”… DURIAN!
SEVERINO/NHEL: THAT IS WHY DURIAN FRUIT… ITANIM NA YAN!

AND LATER… ALL THAT WITH THE RETURN OF THE SHOW THAT SALUTES ALL THE FATHERS IN THE WORLD… AGRI TAYO DITO!


BODY 2

REJOINDER VO: EARLIER, WE LEARNED HOW TO PLANT DURIAN. NOW, WHAT IS THIS FRUIT THAT GIVES ENERGY TO OUR BODY? FIND OUT ON… SARAP KITA!

SARAP KITA: (ONE NETWORK BANK OBB)
VO: STRONG AND RELIABLE… THEY’RE OUR FATHERS! BECAUSE OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES, IT IS ONLY NATURAL THAT THEY MAINTAIN A TOUGH BODY.
VO: AND EXCERCISING REGULARLY IS ONE OF THE EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MAINTAIN A STRONG AND A WELL-CONDITIONED BODY.
ON CAM:ASIDE FROM EXCERCISING, IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO EAT FOODS THAT ARE RICH IN VITAMINS, MINERALS, AND CARBOHYDRATES IN ORDER FOR OUR FATHERS TO STAY HEALTHY. ONE EXAMPLE IS GRANOLA THAT’S MADE INTO A BAR! HMM.. IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE?
VO: THE GRANOLA BAR IS A FOOD USUALLY EATEN DURING BREAKFAST OR SNACKTIME. ITS INGREDIENTS: OATS, NUTS, AND HONEY ARE RICH IN VITAMIN E AND B WHICH HELP KEEP THE HEART AND NERVOUS SYSTEM HEALTHY.
ON CAM: THIS MORNING, MGA KA-AGRI, WE WILL BE JOINED BY SIR JOJO AND HE WILL TEACH US HOW TO MAKE A GRANOLA BAR… GOOD MORNING, SIR JOJO!
JOJO: GOOD MORNING, RUBEN… GOOD MORNING, MGA KA-AGRI… I WILL TEACH YOU ALL HOW TO MAKE THIS GRANOLA BAR.
RUBEN: SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO MAKE GRANOLA BAR?

ALL WE NEED ARE:
2 CUPS INSTANT OATS, 1 CUP GRATED COCONUT, 1 CUP BROWN SUGAR, ½ CUP OF BUTTER, 3 TABLESPOONS OF HONEY, ½ TEASPOON OF SALT, ½ TO 1 CUP OF NUTS, AND 1 TEASPOON OF VANILLA
ON CAM RUBEN: NOW, WHAT SHOULD WE DO FIRST, SIR JOJO?
ON CAM GUEST: WE MIX THE GRATED COCONUT AND OATS… THERE…
GUEST VO: IN A SMALL BOWL, MIX THE NUTS AND THE SALT. THEN, IN A FRYING PAN, MELT THE BUTTER AND POUR IN THE HONEY. MIX WELL.
ON CAM GUEST: AFTER THAT, WE MIX OUR…
ON CAM RUBEN: THE OATMEAL AND GRATED COCONUT THAT WE MIXED EARLIER
ON CAM GUEST: AFTER WE MIX THE HONEY AND THE OATS, LET’S ADD IN THE NUTS
ON CAM RUBEN: OKAY
ON CAM GUEST: THERE, THEN LET’S ADD…
VO GUEST: POUR IN THE VANILLA AND MIX WELL FOR 20 MINUTES. WHEN THE OATS TURN GOLDEN BROWN, TAKE IT OUT AND PUT IT IN A BIG BOWL.
ON CAM GUEST: WE NEED TO CARAMELIZE THE SUGAR. THIS BROWN SUGAR WILL BE USED AS OUR BINDER. WHAT WE’LL DO, RUBEN, IS TO COOK THE SUGAR UNTIL IT BOILS IN ORDER TO MAKE A SUGAR SOLUTION.
VO GUEST: WHEN THE SUGAR MELTS, POUR IN THE GRANOLA. MIX WELL UNTIL IT SOFTENS. THEN, IT’S READY TO BE TRANSFERRED ONTO A PLATE FOR US TO BE ABLE TO SHAPE IT.
OUT OF YOUR 100 PESO CAPITAL, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE 15 GRANOLA BARS WHICH YOU CAN SELL AT A PRICE OF 12.00 PESOS EACH. FROM THIS, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO EARN 80 PESOS.
ON CAM RUBEN: MGA KA-AGRING FATHERS, A STRONG AND HEALTHY BODY IS SURELY OBTAINABLE WITH THE HELP OF PRODUCTS THAT NOT ONLY REINFORCE GOOD HEALTH, BUT WILL ALSO GIVE YOU…
SARAP KITA: (ONE NETWORK BANK CBB)

UPNEXT: AND STAY TUNED… THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS WE MUST CONSIDER TO ENDURE THE LIVES OF OUR PIGLETS… ALL THAT WITH THE RETURN OF THE SHOW THAT SALUTES ALL THE FATHERS IN THE WORLD… AGRI TAYO DITO!

BODY 3

REJOINDER VO: FROM THE FOOD THAT NOT ONLY GIVES ENERGY BUT ALSO ADDITIONAL INCOME, NOW LET’S TURN TO OUR DISCUSSION ON QUICK SUCCESS… HERE ON HANEP BABOY!
HANEP BABOY: (BMEG OBB)
VO: AFTER DISCUSSING THE RIGHT FOOD FOR THE FAST GROWTH OF OUR NEWLY BORN PIGLETS, NOW WE WILL SHARE TO YOU THE RIGHT MEDICATIONS FOR THE PIGLETS BEFORE SEPARATING THEM FROM THE SOW.
ON CAM RUBEN: ONE “HANEP” MORNING TO YOU, MGA KA-AGRI, AND WE’RE HERE TOGETHER WITH OUR SAN MIGUEL ANIMAL HEALTH CARE VETERINARIAN, DOC. NILO CABARDO. GOOD MORNING, DOC.
ON CAM GUEST: GOOD MORNING, RUBEN, AND TO YOU, TOO, “HANEP NA KA-AGRI”, ONE BEAUTIFUL MORNING TO YOU ALL.
ON CAM RUBEN: DOC, AFTER WE GIVE THE RIGHT FOOD TO OUR PIGLETS BEFORE WE SEPARATE THEM FROM THE SOW, OF COURSE IT’S IMPORTANT THAT THEY BE GIVEN THE RIGHT MEDICATION.
ON CAM GUEST: YES, RUBEN, BECAUSE IT IS IN THESE TIMES THAT THERE’S A LOT THAT WE HAVE TO CONSIDER TO ENSURE THAT THE PIGLETS WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE AFTER BEING SEPARATED FROM THEIR SOW.
VO: KEEP IN MIND THAT THE BREASTFEEDING PIGLETS BEFORE THE SEPARATION USUALLY WEAKENS AND DIES BECAUSE OF SCOURING. AND THE TARGETED PRE-WEANING MORTALITY RATE SHOULD NOT EXCEED 10%
ON CAM RUBEN: DOC, WHAT IS THIS PRE-WEANING MORTALITY?
ON CAM GUEST: THE PRE-WEANING MORTALITY, RUBEN AND MGA KA-AGRI, IS THE NUMBER OR QUANTITY OF PIGLETS THAT DO NOT SURVIVE OR DIE EVEN BEFORE THEY GET SEPARATED FROM THEIR SOW.
VO: THE PRE-WEANING MORTALITY MAY BE A RESULT OF CONTAGIOUS AND NON-CONTAGIOUS ILLNESSES THAT BECOME THE CAUSE OF THE DEATH OF THE PIGLETS. THE NON-INFECTIOUS CAUSES THAT RESULT TO THESE DEATHS INCLUDE: WHEN THEY GET ACCIDENTALLY PINNED DOWN UNDER THEIR SOW, STARVATION, EXCESSIVELY HIGH TEMPERATURE, AND STRESS; WHEREAS THE COMMON INFECTIOUS OR CONTAGIOUS DISEASES THAT THE PIGLETS ACQUIRE DURING THESE TIMES ARE SCOURING OR DIARRHEA, PNEUMONIA, AND OTHER DISEASES.

IF THAT’S THE CASE, DOC, IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE MAKE SURE THE PRE-WEANING MORTALITY RATE STAYS LOW. BUT WHAT CAN OUR KA-AGRI DO SO THAT THE PRE-WEANING MORTALITY RATE WON’T EXCEED 10%?

ON CAM GUEST: MGA KA-AGRI, LET US KEEP IN MIND THAT PROCESSING IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST FACTORS HOW THE BACTERIA CAN ENTER THE BODIES OF THE PIGLETS UNDER OUR CARE.

VO: LIKE E.COLI, CLOSTRIDIUM, SALMONELLA, STREPTOCOCCUS AND STAPHYLOCOCCUS IN OUR BREASTFEEDING PIGLETS. THAT’S WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO PUT IODIN ON THE WOUNDS OF THE PROCESSING; STARTING FROM THE CUTTING OF THE TAIL, CASTRATING, AND EVEN WITH THE EAR MARKING OR NOTCHING. THIS IS BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF BACTERIAS WAITING FOR THE PIGLETS WHEN THEY GET BORN, WHICH IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO ENSURE THAT THEIR PENS ARE PROPERLY DISINFECTED EVEN BEFORE THE PARTURIENT SOW IS TRANSFERRED TO THE FARROWING PENS.

JUST MIX 5ML OR ONE TEASPOON OF PROTECT PLUS IN ONE GALLON OF WATER. USE THIS TO CLEAN THE BIRTHING PEN ONE WEEK OR AT LEAST THREE DAYS BEFORE YOU TRANSFER THE SOW.

ON CAM RUBEN: DOC, ABOUT THE CONTAGIOUS DISEASES YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT COULD CAUSE THE DEATH OF THE PIGLETS, HOW COULD THAT BE AVOIDED?
DOC: IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE GIVE EFFECTIVE MEDICATION TO THE ANIMALS UNDER OUR CARE TO HELP THEM FIGHT OFF DISEASES.

VO: SAN MIGUEL HEALTH CARE HAS DIFFERENT EFFECTIVE PRODUCTS THAT HELP YOUR ANIMALS AVOID DIESEASES.

AT THE FIRST SIGNS OF SCOURING, ARTHRITIS, MENINGITIS OR SKIN INFECTION IN BREASFFEEDING PIGLETS, INJECT THEM IMMEDIATELY WITH ALAMYCIN L.A. FROM SAN MIGUEL ANIMAL HEALTHCARE. BECAUSE THE PIGLETS DON’T DRINK THAT MUCH WATER YET, IT’S BEST TO ADMINISTER THE MEDICATION THROUGH INJECTION.

THE ALAMYCIN L.A. IS EFFECTIVE AGAINST BACTERIAL SCOURING AND SEPTICEMIA. JUST INJECT 1ML OF THE SOLUTION FOR EVERY 10KG WEIGHT MEASUREMENT OF A PIG.
IT WOULD ALSO BE OF GREAT HELP TO MIX MULTIVITAMINS AND ELECTROLYTES WSP FROM SAN MIGUEL ANIMAL HEALTH CARE IN THE PIGLETS’ DRINKING WATER TO SERVE AS SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP THEM RECOVER FROM INFECTION.

THE MULTIVITAMINS WILL HELP STRENGTHEN THE BODY TO PROTECT IT AGAINST DISEASES AND HELP INCREASE THE PIGLETS’ APPETITE.

IN TURN, THE ELECTROLYTES HELP PREVENT DEHYDRATION CAUSED BY DIARRHEA AND EXCESSIVE HEAT.

JUST MIX 1 SACHET IN 1 GALLON OF DRINKING WATER PER PIG. THIS IS TO BE GIVEN DAILY FOR 5-7 DAYS.

ON CAM RUBEN: DOC, WE’VE ALREADY DISCUSSED THE FACT THAT OVERTIME, THE NUTRIENTS IN THE SOW’S BREASTMILK LESSENS AND WEAKENS. THAT SAID, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE PIGLETS BE TRAINED TO EAT FEEDS.

RIGHT YOU ARE, RUBEN. ANS, OF COURSE, HIGH-QUALITY FEEDS SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE PIGLETS.

VO: GIVE THEM B-MEG’S BOOSTER FEED.
BOOSTER FEEDS WILL SUPPLEMENT THE NUTRIENTS IN THE BREASTMILK AND WILL TRAIN THE PIGLETS TO EAT SOLID FEEDS.

SO FROM 7-10 DAYS OLD, IT IS BEST TO INTRODUCE BMEG BOOSTER FEEDS TO THE PIGLETS UNDER YOUR CARE. DISSOLVE THE FEEDS IN LUKEWARM WATER TO MATCH THE TEMPERATURE AND CONDITION OF THE SOW’S BREASTMILK. PUT SOME ON THE SOW’S BREAST AREA OR ON THE PIGLET’S SNOUT FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO TASTE IT. BECAUSE THIS IS DELICIOUS, THE PIGLETS WILL CONTINUE TO SEEK IT. JUST PUT A GRADUALLY INCREASING AMOUNT OF BMEG PREMIUM BOOSTER FEEDS IN BROODER FEEDERS SO IT WILL ALWAYS STAY FRESH.

BMEG PREMIUM BOOSTER FEEDS WITH ZERO SCOURING FORMULA WILL HELP PREVENT DIARRHEA IN PIGLETS. THIS IS FORMULATED WITH HIGHLY DIGESTABLE RAW MATERIALS SO IT IS EASY FOR THEM TO DIGEST. IT ALSO HAS ACIDIFIERS WHICH WILL HELP LOWER BACTERIAL REPLICATION. IN ADDITION, IT HAS PRE-BIOTIC FIBERS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTESTINAL VILLI AND HAS CHOICE ANTIBIOTICS TO HELP LESSESN COMMENSAL AND CONTAMINANT BACTERIA.


ON CAM RUBEN: THAT SAID, DOC, NOW, WE OUR KA-AGRIS CAN BE SURE THAT THE PRE-WEANING MORTALITY OF THEIR PIGLETS WILL NOT EXCEED 10%. AND FOR THAT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DOC!

SPEAKER: IT WAS NOTHING, RUBEN. AND JUST CONTINUE TO WATCH ON, KA-AGRIS.

RUBEN: RIGHT! AND DON’T GO AWAY BECAUSE NEXT SUNDAY, WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN IT COMES TO SEPARATING SOWS AND PIGLETS. OF, COURSE, ALL THAT AND MORE ONLY HERE ON…

BOTH: HANEP BABOY!

HANEP BABOY: (BMEG CBB)

UPNEXT: AND LATER… “ALL OF OUR INCOME IS 100% TAKEN FROM THE INCOME WE MAKE OUT OF GRAPES.”
ALL THAT WITH THE RETURN OF THE SHOW THAT SALUTES ALL THE FATHERS IN THE WORLD… AGRI TAYO DITO!


BODY 4
REJOINDER VO: FROM OUR DISCUSSION ABOUT SPEEDY SUCCESS, WHO IS THIS FATHER WHOM WE SHALL KNOW AS “AGRI BIDA ANG TATAY KO” (MY DAD IS AN AGRI BIDA)? KNOW HIS STORY HERE ON… AGRI BIDA!

VO: TO COMMEMORATE OUR FATHERS WHO HAVE IMMEASURABLY HUGE ROLES IN OUR LIVES, AGRI TAYO DITO LAUNCHED “AGRI BIDA ANG TATAY KO” (MY DAD IS AN AGRI BIDA), AN ONLINE PROMO WHERE ALL OUR KA-AGRIS WERE INVITED TO POST ON OUR FACEBOOK FAN PAGE ACCOUNT A PICTURE OF THEIR FATHER TOGETHER WITH A MESSAGE WHY HE DESREVES TO BE THE AGRI BIDA ON OUR VERY SPECIAL FATHER’S DAY EPISODE.

AND BECAUSE OF ALL THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF THOSE WHO POSTED, IT TRULY FEELS SPECIAL TO BE PART OF THE COLORFUL AGRI-KWENTO (AGRI-STORIES) OF YOUR DADS, KA-AGRIS!

WE ARE SINCERELY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR FERVENT PARTICIPATION AND POSTING!

AND BECAUSE OF THEIR FATHER’S ENORMOUS CONTRIBUTION IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR, MOST ESPECIALLY IN THE GRAPE INDUSTRY, THE LUCKY CHOSEN ONE IS A POST MADE BY JOE GAPUZ FROM THE PROVINCE OF LA UNION.

NAT SOT INTERVIEW OF GUEST: MY FATHER, CIRILO GAPUZ, IS AN AGRI BIDA BECAUSE HE SUPPORTED OUR FAMILY JUST BY GROWING GRAPES IN THE FARM.

ON CAM GUEST: LIFE WAS HARD IN THE PAST, THAT’S WHY MY FATHER THOUGHT OF PLANTING GRAPES. THE MONEY HE MAKES FROM HIS DAY JOB DIDN’T SUFFICE. AND MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS WERE GROWING UP AND STARTED GOING TO SCHOOL. HIS SALARY OF 130 PESOS PER MONTH FROM HIS WORK IN THE MUNICIPAL OFFICE WASN’T ENOUGH TO SUPPORT OUR FAMILY. HE PLANTED 100 GRAPE SEEDLINGS ON OUR 500 SQM BACKYARD. HE CONTINUED CARING FOR THE PLANTS UNTIL THEY WERE ABLE TO SAVE ENOUGH MONEY. THEY SAVED UP THE MONEY THEY MADE UNTIL THEY WERE ABLE TO BUY THIS LAND FOR EXPANSION.

THIS AREA BEFORE WAS REALLY LOW. HALF OF IT WAS USED AS A TILAPIA FISHPOND. THEY COVERED IT WITH SOIL THEY GOT FROM THE MOUNTAINS. EVENTUALLY, THEY CONVERTED THE TILAPIA FISHPOND AND RICE PLANTATION INTO A VINEYARD. AND IT IS SAID THAT THIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST FEW LOTS CONVERTED USING THAT TECHNIQUE. IT WAS IN THE 1980S BACK THEN AND MY OLDER BROTHER DANNY WAS ONE OF THE FEW WHO SPEARHEADED THE PROJECT.

VO: AND WITHOUT ANY BACKGROUND OR KNOWLEDGE IN GROWING GRAPES, ACCORDING TO OUR FRIEND JOE, ALL THEIR METHODS AND TECHNIQUES WERE FORMED OUT OF TRIAL AND ERROR.

HE ADDS THAT EVEN WHEN THEY WERE STILL STARTING TO PLANT IN THE 1980S, HIS FATHER’S RIGHT HAND AND HELPER AT THE FARM WAS HIS BROTHER DANNY.

HE (DANNY) WAS ONE OF THE FIRST FEW ONES WHO PLANTED GRAPES IN LA UNION.

VO GUEST: ALL OF [OUR DAD’S] TECHNIQUES IN PLANTING GRAPES, HE HANDED IT DOWN TO DANNY. HE (DANNY) WAS THE ONE WHO INHERRITED HIS PASSION WITH GRAPES.

VO: BECAUSE OF THE HUGE INTEREST IN PLANTING GRAPES WHICH HE INHERRITED FROM THEIR FATHER, DANNY STOPPED TAKING UP ENGINEERING IN COLLEGE TO POUR ALL HIS TIME AND EFFORT IN LEARNING THE METHODS AND TECHNOLOGY THEY COULD USE IN PLANTING GRAPES.

AND BECAUSE OF ALL DANNY LEARNED, HE WAS THE ONE WHO STOOD AS THE LEAD TECHNICIAN IN THEIR FARM.

ON CAM GUEST: WHEN OUR FATHER PASSED AWAY IN 2006, DANNY TOOK CARE OF ALL THE LAND AND PROPERTIES HE LEFT BEHIND AND HE (DANNY) CONTINUED TO MANAGE AND RUN THE VINEYEARD.

HE WAS THE ONE WHO SAVED OUR GRAPES, HE HUMBLY ACCEPTED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING THE FATHER IN OUR VINEYARD.

VO: SINCE THEN, DANNY CONTINUED TO CULTIVATE AND DEVELOP THEIR GRAPEFARM. ALTHOUGH IT WAS NO EASY FEAT BECAUSE OF ALL THE STRUGGLES THEY HAD TO GO THROUGH, SUCH AS THE HUGE TYPHOON THAT DESTROYED THEIR FARM BACK IN 2007, THEY STOOD THEIR GROUND AND REMAINED UNSHAKEABLE.
THEY CONTINUED TO PLANT GRAPES BECAUSE ACCODRING TO THEM, THIS IS NOT MERELY THEIR SOURCE OF LIVING…

ON CAM GUEST: ALL OUR INCOME COMES 100% FROM THE MONEY WE MAKE OUR OF OUR GRAPES. THIS IS WHAT BUILT OUR HOUSE, WHAT SENT MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO SCHOOL, AND ALL OF THAT WHICH SUPPLIES OUR DAILY NEEDS WERE MADE POSSIBLE BY OUR GRAPES.

VO: IT IS ALSO HERE IN GROWING GRAPES THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO FIND THE GOOD MEMORIES OF THEIR LATE FATHER.

ACCORDING TO THEM, THEY ALSO CONTINUED TO GROW GRAPES IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THE LEGACY ESTABLISHED BY THEIR LATE FATHER IN THE 80S: THE REPUTATION OF THEIR FAMILY AS ONE OF THE FIRST FEW WHO PLANTED GRAPES IN THE PROVINCE OF LA UNION AND EVEN IN THE WHOLE PHILIPPINES.

NOW, BECAUSE OF THE DILIGENCE AND THE COURAGE TO CONTINUE WHAT THEIR FATHER STARTED, THEY WERE ABLE TO DEVELOP AND EXPAND THEIR VINEYARD. AND THEY’RE NOW ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED GRAPE FARMS HERE IN LA UNION.
IN TRUTH, VISITORS, DISTINGUISHED GUESTS AND TOURISTS ALIKE, FLOCK TO THEIR VINEYARD TO SEE AND WITNESS IT’S BEAUTY AND TAKE PART IN THE BOUNTIFUL HARVEST OF THEIR PRIZED GRAPES.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, THEY WANT TO SHARE A LITTLE MORE…

ON CAM GUEST: (SPEAKING IN ILOCANO)

IT’S GOOD TO PLANT GRAPES IF YOU KNOW HOW. JUST TAKE GOOD CARE OF IT EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO SPEND A LOT, BECAUSE THE INCOME IT WILL GIVE BACK WILL SURPRISE YOU.

VO: ACCORDING TO SIR DANNY, IT’S NOT THAT EASY TO GROW GRAPES, BUT IF YOU STRIVE REAL HEARD TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF IT, THE FRUITS YOU’LL HARVEST WILL TRULY TASTE SWEET.

ON CAM RUBEN: AS SYMBOLS OF UNWAVERING ENDURANCE, INNER STRENGTH, DILIGENCE AND PERSEVERANCE, FATHERS MUCH LIKE SIR CIRILO AND SIR DANNY BECOME HEROES IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. NOT ONLY IN OUR LIVES ARE THEY HEROES, THEY’RE ALSO HEROES IN THE SECTOR OF AGRICULTURE.

THAT IS WHY SIR DANNY AND SIR CIRILO, YOU TRULY ARE… AGRI BIDA!

TMSK VO: LEARN, HAVE FUN, EARN PROFIT, AND WIN LOAD FROM AGRI TAYO DITO!
AND FOR LAST WEEK’S QUESTION
OUR LUCKY KA-AGRI WINNERS ARE…

VO: AND FOR OUR QUESTION OF THE WEEK
JUST TEXT THE CORRECT LETTER OF THE ANSWER NAME ADDRESS
AND SEND IT TO THE AGRI TAYO DITO TEXT LINE
TWO OF OUR KA-AGRIS WILL HARVEST 500 WORTH OF CELLPHONE LOAD WEEKLY!
SO, KA-AGRI, SEND YOUR TEXTS HERE

ON CAM RUBEN: NOT ONLY ARE THEY SYMBOLS OF UNWAVERING ENDURANCE, DILIGENCE, AND DETERMINATION, THEY’RE ALSO OUR SOURCE OF GUIDANCE, STRENGTH, AND INSPIRATION. TO ALL THE FATHERS IN THE WHOLE WORLD: THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND WE SALUTE YOU! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL DADS OUT THERE!

AND, OF COURSE, SEE YOU NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER BRAND NEW AGRI-KWENTO WE’LL BE SHARING WITH YOU! SO DON’T GO ANYWHERE!

AND TOGETHER WE’LL ALL LEARN, HAVE FUN, AND EARN MORE IN AGRICULTURE! DO YOU AGRI? (AGREE WORDPLAY)

OF COURSE! AGRI TAYO DITO!

AGRI TAYO DITO (SINGING)… WOW! CAKE! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! THANKS TO SWEET ADVOCATE AND TO MA’AM CHARISSE DAGOHOY! TO ALL THE FATHERS OUT THERE, THIS IS FOR YOU! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! AGRI TAYO DITO…


END OF BODY 4
BEST AGRICULTURE RADIO PROGRAM/SEGMENT
“PANAHON”
BIDA SPECIALS 
MALU CADELINA MANAR DXND KIDAPAWAN CITY
An episode of Bida Specials that reports on how the B’laans and the Moro people in the towns of Columbio and Esperanza in Sultan Kudarat cope with disasters using traditional knowledge and practices. It also addresses global warming and its impact on the environment and in the lives of the indigenous people of this area.
FULL STORY
2014 BEST AGRICULTURE RADIO PROGRAM/SEGMENT
"Panahon"

Bida Specials

Malu Cadelina Manar

DXND Kidapawan City



BIDA SPECIALS: Climate Resiliency Field School and Integrated Diversified Farming System as means to mitigate disasters in IP and Moro-dominated villages in Sultan Kudarat province

Episode title: ‘Panahon’

Dec 21, 2013



Part 1

Intro



MUSIC: Up and Under



VOICE OVER: PATULOY sa pag-init ang mundo.

Di na raw ito mapipigilan pa.

At ang epekto nito, matindi.

Nariyan ang matitinding bagyo (SFX: Storm)… at mga pagbaha (SFX: floods)

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: The Earth continues to get hotter.

Nobody could stop it.

And its effects are getting worse.

There are typhoons (SFX: Storm)… and floods (SFX: Raging waters).



MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: PABAGU-BAGO na rin ang panahon.

Nariyang iinit, bigla namang uulan.

Kaya nga ba’t ang B’laan na si Aling Lory Balilid na taga-Columbio, Sultan

Kudarat nalilito na sa takbo ng panahon.

SOT: BALILID 1

“Sa ngayon unti-unting umiiba ang panahon, kung minsan, mainit masyado ang panahon, tapos, biglang umulan”

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: The climate is also changing.

There are times it gets hot, then, suddenly it rains.

This is why Aling Lory Balilid, a B’laan (native) from Columbio,

Sultan Kudarat, is in quandary as to the climate change.

SOT (SOUND ON TAPE): BALILID 1

“Today, the climate is changing. Sometimes, the weather is too

hot, then, suddenly it rains.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: ANG Columbio ay isang bulubunduking bayan sa lalawigan ng Sultan

Kudarat.

Pero ang malawak na bahagi nito halos kalbo na.

SOT: BALILID 2

“Siyempre, yung kalikasan, yan ang source ng ating tubig.

Pero sa panahon ngayon sa nakikita ko, wala na ang kalikasan. Sinisira

na. ang aming kakahuyan, wala na, kasi pinuputol nila.”

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: Columbio is a hinterland town in the province of Sultan

Kudarat.

But the largest part of it is already deforested.

SOT: BALILID 2

“There is no more forest. It’s already destroyed.

We have no more trees because they cut them down.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: MADALAS mga lumad ang nagiging biktima ng mga trahedya.

Katulad ng nangyari noong 1986, kwento ni Aling Lory.

SOT: BALILID 3

“Yun ang pinaka-last na binaha masyado ang Barangay Sinapulan,

pati na ang Columbio. Ang nangyari noon, may mga bahay

na naanod, may mga kalabaw, baka, then, naanod sila.”

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: The lumads are the usual victims of these tragedies.

Just like what happened in 1986, according to the story

of Aling Lory.

SOT: BALILID 3

“That was the worst flood that happened in Barangay

Sinapulan, also in the Poblacion of Columbio. What

happened then, there were houses that were destroyed

by floods, also our carabaos, cows got drowned.”



MUSIC: Indigenous (UP and Under)

VOICE OVER: PERO may mga paraan ang mga lumad para kayanin ang

hagupit ng kalikasan.

At alam n’yo ba na may naiibang sistemang ginagamit ang mga

B’laan upang malaman kung kelan darating ang mga kalamidad?

Alamin ang mga katutubong kaalaman at mga paraan para maiwasan

ang mga kalamidad at kung paano nila nalalaman ang pagdating

nito dito sa BIDA SPECIALS na may pamagat na –

“PANAHON”

Ako si Malu Cadelina Manar at ito ang BIDA SPECIALS.

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: But the lumads have ways in coping with the

disasters.

Did you know that the B’laans have a unique system of

knowing when would the calamity strike?

Let’s all find out these indigenous knowledge and ways

to prevent disasters and their way of knowing the coming of

a calamity here in BIDA SPECIALS with the episode -

“THE CLIMATE”

This is MALU CADELINA MANAR and this is BIDA SPECIALS.





Part 2

The B’laan Experience

MUSIC: Indigenous (Up and Under)

VOICE OVER: SI LORY BALILID, edad 36, ay B’laan mula sa Barangay

Sinapulan sa bayan ng Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.

Sa kultura raw ng mga B’laan, tuwing buwan ng Abril sila

nagtatanim ng mais at palay.

Ito raw kasi ang panahon na maganda ang klima.

Pero sa ngayon, nagbago na raw ito.

Dahil madalas sa Abril dumarating ang malalakas na mga pag-ulan

at mga pagbaha.

SOT: BALILID 4

“Sa kultura po naming na mga Blaan, sa IP, sa buwan kasi ng April at May, buwan kasi yan ng pagtatanim. Yan ang panahon na magtatanim kami.

Pero sa ngayon, yan ang dahilan kung bakit nahirapan kami, tungkol sa

aming hanapbuhay, dahil oras ng pagtatanim, yan sana ang oras ng uulan

yan.

Pero sa panahon ngayon, hindi mo masyado ma-fix kung uulan siya o

hindi, kasi ang panahon natin, pabagu-bago, yan ang nakapagtataka kung

bakit pabagu-bago ang panahon.

Sa buwan ng July o August, dapat sa panahon na yan, harvest time.

Pero sa panahon ngayon, iba. Imbis harvest time, panahon na kami ay

nagtatanim, kung baga.”

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: The 36-year old Lory Balilid is a B’laan from Barangay

Sinapulan, Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.

According to the culture of the B’laan, it’s during the month of April that they plant corn and rice.

This is the time where the climate is good.

But today, it has already changed.

Because it is during April that they experience heavy rains and floods.

SOT: BALILID 4

“In our B’laan culture, as IP, it’s during the months of April and

May that we start to plant. This is the time where we plant.

But today, this is the reason why we’re having difficulty in our

work. Because at the time we plant crops, that’s the time it

rains.

Today, you could no longer fix if it’s going to rain or not. Our

weather is changing. This is surprising.

During months of July and August, this is already harvest time.

But today, it’s different. It was during harvest time that we

start to plant crops.”

MUSIC: Indigenous (UP and Under)

VOICE OVER: MAY dahilan raw ito, ayon kay Aling Lory.

At sinisi nya ang pag-uuling ng ilan niya’ng mga kababayan sa lugar.

Maging ang pagka-kaingin nakadagdag raw sa pagkakalbo ng gubat sa

Columbio.

SOT: BALILID 5

“Yung hangin, kung baga, nasa presko pa. at saka marami ka pang puno na nakikita. Pero sa ngayon, mukhang pambihira na makakakita ka ng forest. Kasi, inubos ng kaingin, kasi, yan ang ginagawa naming farm. Magkakaingin muna kami, ta-transfer sa isang bundok, taniman naman ng isang beses, at ililipat kasi sa isang erya na po.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: At pinangangambahan na ang pagpasok ng isang malaking

mining firm sa Columbio na lalo pang sisira sa kalikasan ng probinsiya.

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: There is a reason for this, according to Aling Lory.

And she blames the coal making of some of the lumads in the

area.

Even the Kaingin is contributing to the deforestation of Columbio.

SOT: BALILID 5

“The air was then fresh. And you could find so many trees then. But today, it’s seldom you would find a forest. It’s already destroyed by the kaingin. This has been our way. We do kaingin. We made that as our farm.

We do kaingin, then we transferred to another mountain. Then we will plant crops and then we transfer to other area.”

MUSIC: Kulintang (Up and Under)

VOICE OVER: ANG BAYAN ng Columbio ay pinamamahayan din ng mga Moro na

nagmula sa kalapit-bayan sa lalawigan ng Maguindanao.

Katunayan, higit kalahati ng populasyon nito ay mga Moro.

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: The town of Columbio is also inhabited by the Moro who came

from nearby province of Maguindanao.

In fact, almost half of the population of the place are Moro people.





Part 3

The Moro Experience



MUSIC: UP AND UNDER

VOICE OVER: ANG pabagu-bagong klima ng panahon sa Columbio walang pinipili.

Apektado lahat ng tao, anuman ang lahi nya o antas ng pamumuhay.

MUSIC (Kulintang): Up and under

VOICE OVER: NOONG taong 1998, isa ang Moro na si Baimen Simpal at pamilya nya

sa apektado ng 10 buwang tagtuyot na tumama sa Mindanao.

Matinding krisis raw ang tumama sa kanila dahil sa tuluy-tuloy na tag-init.

Nangamatay ang kanilang mga tanim.

Halos natuyo ang tubig sa mga ilog kaya’t apektado ang pinagkukuhanan nila ng tubig-maiinom.

SOT: SIMPAL 1

“Sobrang krisis po kasi noon. Apat ang ate ko na babae. Ang ginagawa ng ate ko, siya ang nagluluto sa amin. Na yung kalahating gantang sa apat na pamilya.

Una na ginagawa ng ate ko, nagluluto siya ng dahon-dahon ng gabi, as in gulay, tapos, saging.

Tapos, saka siya magluto ng kanin, tapos, gulayan niya uli. Kaya naka-survive ang mga pamilya, kasi busog na.”

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: The changes in the weather in Columbio affect everybody.

It affects all the people, whatever race or status in the society

they belong.

In 1998, Baimen Simpal and her family who are Moro are among

those affected in the drought that hit Mindanao, which lasted for 10 months.

They were hit by a crisis because of the severe drought.

Their plants died.

When their rivers dried up, their source of drinking water was affected.

SOT: SIMPAL 1

“The crisis then was severe. I have four sisters. One of them cooked for us. A ganta ( a measurement of dry content equivalent to three liters) was already enough for four families.

What she did first, she cooked the leaves of gabi (taro), then included bananas.

Then she cooked rice and she will cook vegetables. This was how we survived the crisis.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: SA KABILA ng matinding kalamidad, hindi iniwan ni Baimen at mga

kaanak nya, lalo na ng kanyang ama, ang barangay Datal Blao sa

Columbio.

SOT: Simpal 2

“1998, dalawa na ang anak ko e. Kasi sa panahon ng 1998 na tag-init, parang nag-survive ang mga pamilya. Yung tatay ko, hindi bumitaw sa Datal Blao. Kasi, kahit saan ka pupunta sa panahon na yun, tag-init talaga. Sabi ng tatay ko, kung lalayas tayo dito, wala tayong magagawa. Kasi may tanim siya dati na saging.”

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: Despite these calamities, Baimen and her relatives, most

especially his father, did not leave Barangay Datal Blao in Columbio.

SOT: SIMPAL 2

“In 1998, I already have two children. It was in 1998 that we experience the drought. But our families survived. My father did not leave Datal Blao. He told us, wherever you go during that time, it was drought. So he said, if we leave this place, we can’t do anything. He has banana plants.”





Part 4

Indigenous knowledge and Moro ways on agriculture in disaster mitigation



MUSIC: INDIGENOUS (UP AND UNDER)

VOICE OVER: GAMIT ang mga katutubong kaalaman, nagtatanim ang mga B’laan

tuwing Abril.

Tinitingnan din nila ang Takbo ng buwan.

SOT: BALILID 3

“Yung full moon sa Blaan dalawang uri. Ang full moon yan ang panahon ng pagtatanim ng mga kamoteng kahoy, gabi, at saka panahon din ng pagsisimba ng mga Lumad.

Yung matatanda namin, alam nila ang panahon ng full moon at alam nila kung walang full moon. Kahit bumagyo o umulan, kahit hindi nila makita sa ulap ang full moon, pero sa kanila, alam nila ang panahon. Kung ngayong gabi full moon o sa susunod na gabi.”

TRANSLATION: IN ENGLISH

VOICE OVER: Using the indigenous knowledge, the B’laans plant crops during

the month of April.

They also look at the weather.

SOT: BALILID 3

Full moon, for B’laan, has two types. The full moon, this is the time that we plant camote tops, tora, and this is also the time where the Lumads pray.

Our elders knew the time there’s full moon and when there’s none. Even if it storms or rains, even if they don’t see the moon on the clouds, they still know it.”

MUSIC (Indigenous Kulintang): Up and Under

VOICE OVER: KWENTO ni Aling Lory tumitigil lamang sila sa pagtatanim pagsapit ng

Agosto.

Ito, aniya, ay dahil dito na pumapasok ang tag-ulan.

Kaya’t ang mga buwan ng Agosto hanggang Setyembre ay panahon na r rin ng mga pagbaha.

Pero noon yun.

Iba na sa ngayon.

Dahil kahit buwan ng Enero umuulan, at bigla rin namang iinit.

SOT: BALILID 4

“Sa amin kasi sa buwan ng Agosto, dyan dumarating ang baha, then sa panahon ng tag-init, sa January to February, panahon ng tag-init.

Sa panahon ng tagulan, April to may.

Sa unang panahon, August to September, yan ang panahon ng baha.

Sa ngayong…. Takbo ng panahon ngayon.”

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: According to Aling Lory, they only stop planting during August.

This was because during August until September was the time of flooding.

But that was before.

Today is different.

It is during January that rains, then, all of a sudden, it gets hot.

SOT: BALILID 4

“For us, it was during the month of August that floods usually came, then, from January to February, it was dry season.

During the rainy season, April to May.

In the past, from August to September, this was the time of floods.

But today, the weather has changed.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: SA KADA TAON, dalawa o tatlong beses na dumarating ang baha sa

barangay ni Aling Lory.

SOT: BALILID 5

“Sa amin doon kung madalas ang malaking baha.

Question: SA ISANG TAON, GAANO KADALAS?

Dalawa o tatlong beses sa isang taon.”

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: Floods usually came twice or thrice a year in Aling Lory’s

barangay.

SOT: BALILID 5

“In our village, we usually experience floods.

Question: How many times in a year?

Twice or thrice a year.”

MUSIC (Kulintang): Up and Under

VOICE OVER: SA MGA Moro, ang tinitingnan nila kung darating ang tagtuyot o tag-

ulan ay ang tanim na kung tawagin nila ay, TIGBAW.

Pyogaw ang tawag rito ng mga Moro.

Makikita ang mga tanim na TIGBAW o PYOGAW malapit sa kalsada.

SOT: SIMPAL 3

“Ang pagkakaalam ko, ang ginagawa na dingding, yung namumulaklak ng puti. Basta yung sa highway. Kung mamulaklak yan, tag-init. Kung mawala ang mga bulaklak, tag-ulan na yan.

QUESTION: ANO’NG KLASE’NG KAHOY YAN?

Parang Tigbaw.

QUESTION: SA MGA MUSLIM, ANO YAN?

Pyogaw.

QUESTION: PAG NAMULAKLAK?

Ibig sabihin, tag-init.

QUESTION: PAG WALA NA?

May ulan na yan. Pero nagkakatotoo yan, Ma’am. Yung tatay ko, pag bilog ang buwan or full moon, magtatanim kayo dyan. Ang full moon, sabi nya, todo-suporta yan, so walang mangyayari sa farm nyo.”

TRANSLATION: In English

V0ICE OVER: For the Moro people, they would know if rainy or dry season is

coming from the plant they call, “Tigbaw.”

To some, it’s called Pyogaw.

You would find Tigbaw or Pyogaw near the roads.

SOT: SIMPAL 3

“As far as I know, it’s the shrub that we use as materials for making a wall. Its flowers are colored white. You can find them along the road. If you see their flowers, then, its rainy season. But if the flowers started to die, then, it’s dry season.

QUESTION: WHAT KIND OF TREE IS THAT?

It’s like Tigbaw.

QUESTION: FOR THE MORO, HOW DO YOU CALL THAT?

Pyogaw.

QUESTION: IF IT’S ALREADY FLOWERING?

That means, it’s dry season.

QUESTION: IF THE FLOWERS ARE GONE?

It means, rains are coming. There’s truth to that, Ma’am.

My father, if it’s full moon, is planting. He told us we must plant if it’s full moon.

If it’s full moon, there would be no problem with our plants.”





Part 5

How do the lumads and Moro cope with the effects of the disasters?

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: SADYANG matiisin ang mga Pinoy.

Ang katangiang ito kita sa mga Moro at Blaan sa Columbio, lalo na sa

panahon ng kalamidad.

Pero paano nga ba kinakaya nila ang hagupit ng kalikasan?

Sa mga Moro, matibay ang BAYANIHAN sa kanila.

Tawag nila rito ay, BETAL MAL.

Napatunayan raw ito ni Baimen kapag dumarating ang matinding tagtuyot sa kanilang bayan.

SOT: SIMPAL 4

“Opo, may zakat… ang ano kasi, parang Betal Man po yan, Ma’am. It’s charity sa Christians. Ang Zakat, halimbawa, yung farm po namin. Pag maka-harvest kami, halimbawa, makakuha kami ng P5 thousand, net income naming. Magbibigay ka dun sa amin.”

TRANSLATION (In English):

VOICE OVER: Filipinos are able to endure disasters.

This trait can be seen from the Moro and B’laans in Columbio.

But how do they cope with the ‘beating’ or ‘strokes’ of nature?

The ‘Bayanihan’ (cooperation) is very strong among the Moro people.

They call it, “Betal Mal.”

Baimen has proven that when drought hit their town.

SOT: SIMPAL 4

“Yes, there is what we call, ‘Zakat’ (tithes). We call that Betal Mal. It’s like charity to Christians. The Zakat (tithes), we cite as an example our farm. If we earn P5 thousand, we give a part of our income as Zakat (tithes).”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: NAPATUNAYAN din ni Baimen na mas maige’ng hindi lamang palay at

mais ang kanilang itatanim para umagapay sa kanila sa panahon ng kalamidad.

Kaya nga ba’t isa ang saging sa mga itinanim nila sa bukid.

Ito, ayon kay Baimen, ay dahil ang saging ay kayang mabuhay kahit panahon ng tagtuyot.

SOT: SIMPAL 5

“Ako, Ma’am, sa panahon ng tag-init kasi nga malawak ang sagingan ng father ko. Para bang lahat ng anak nya doon nakaka-survive sa tanim na saging ng tatay ko. Kada three months puwede siya i-harvest. Ang ginagawa ng tatay ko, halimbawa, ito’ng linya na ito, ito lang ang iha-harvest. In-alternate nya yung saging nya para hindi agad maubos, kasi nga, tag-init na. masasaktan nyan. Baka matagal na naman magbunga.”

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: Baimen has also proven that it’s okay to plant not only rice and

corn for them to survive, especially during the time of calamity.

This is why they plant banana in their farm.

For Baimen, bananas can endure even during dry season.

SOT: SIMPAL 5

“During the dry season, my father’s land was so wide. All of his children depended much on the bananas for survival. You can harvest bananas every three months. So what my father did was, this line of bananas would be harvested during this time, and next was the second. He rotated the harvesting. If he did not do that, the bananas might die and it would take years before they bear fruits.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: MALIBAN sa saging, nagtanim rin sila ng gulay tulad ng kamoteng

kahoy na puwede’ng mabuhay kahit walang tubig.

May mga tanim din sila’ng nyog na nakakatulong umagapay sa pangangailangan nila, ayon pa kay Baimen.

SOT: SIMPAL 6

“Yung kamoteng kahoy, kasi kapag itinamin mo, hindi mamamatay yan… kahit walang tubig.”

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: Aside from bananas, they also plant vegetables like camote

tops that can grow even if there is no rain.

They also have plants like coconut, which help them survive from their daily needs, according to Baimen.

SOT: SIMPAL 6

“It’s the camote tops. If you plant camote tops, they would not die even if there is no water.”





Part 6

The Climate Resiliency Field School and Integrated Diversified Farming as means to cope with disasters

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: ISA ang Rural Development Institute sa Sultan Kudarat o RDI-SK sa

mga non-government organizations o NGO sa mga tumutulong sa mga katutubong tulad ni Aling Lory at mga Moro na tulad ni Baimen.

Ang bayan ng Columbio ay isa sa dalawang mga bayan sa Sultan Kudarat na target ng kanilang proyektong, “Building Resilient and Adaptive Communities and Institutions in Sultan Kudarat” o BINDS.

Nakapaloob sa BINDS ang UNA, Climate Resiliency Field School o CRFS kung saan tinuturuan ang mga magsasaka na isulong ang organic farming.

At PANGALAWA, ang Integrated Diversified Farming System o IDFS kung saan ipinakikilala sa mga magsasaka ang multiple cropping.

INAMIN ni Anne Granada, ang communications officer ng RDI-SK, na

nahirapan sila’ng ituro sa mga magsasaka ang organikong paraan ng pagsasaka.

Pero sa kalaunan, unti-unti na raw nakikita ng mga magsasaka ang mga benepisyong makukuha nila sa paggamit ng naturang teknolohiya.

SOT: GRANADA 1

“Sa CRFS naming tinuturuan sila sa pagbasa ng climate. And then tinuturuan naming ng technology kung paano ito’ng mga crops nyo maka-survive sa climatic change.

Isa sa mga itinuturo namin ang SRI o System of Rice and Classirifcation. Sa isang ektarya, maliit na seeds lang ang kailangan. At maliit na inputs. Di na gagamit ng synthetic chemicals kundi organic.

Tinuturuan naming sila na gumawa ng sariling pestisidyo o fertilizers.

HOW ARE THEY ACCEPTING THE SYSTEM

Sa una, mahirap, kasi ang mga farmers naming, mahirap daw mag-GO into organic farming. Kasi gagawa pa sila ng sariling fertilizers at pesticides as compared na bibili na lang sila.

Pinapaintindi naming sa kanila yung kahalagahan ng pag=o-organic, and then, yung benefits na makukuha, halimbawa, kundi lang ang inputs pero ang harvest, mas marami.

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: The Rural Development Institute in Sultan Kudarat or the RDI-

SK is one of the non-government organizations or NGOs that help B’laans like Aling Lory and the Moro like Baimen.

The town of Columbio is one of the two towns in Sultan Kudarat that the RDI-SK is targeted as among its beneficiaries of its project, Building Resilient and Adaptive Communities and Institutions in Sultan Kudarat or BINDS.

Under BINDS are first, the Climate Resiliency Field School or CRFS where farmers are taught of organic farming.

And second, the Integrated Diversified Farming System or IDFS where the concept of multiple cropping is introduced to the farmers.

Anne Granada, communications officer of the RDI-SK, admits they have a hard time teaching the farmers the organic farming.

But as months go by, they learn to appreciate the benefits they get from using this technology.

SOT: GRANADA 1

“In CRFS, we teach farmers to read the climate. And then, we teach them the technology where their crops could survive climatic changes.

One of the things we teach them is the SRI or the System of Rice and Classification. A hectare needs only few seeds. And small inputs. They no longer use synthetic chemicals but only organic.

We teach them how to make their own pesticides and fertilizers.

QUESTION: HOW ARE THEY ACCEPTING THE SYSTEM

At first, it’s very difficult. Our farmers would tell us it’s so difficult to go into organic farming. They say they have to make their own fertilizers and pesticides as compared if they buy them.

We try to explain to them the benefits of organic farming, like, they only need small inputs but their harvests are many.”





Part 7

Organic Farming: Way to Mitigate Disaster

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: ISA ang agriculture engineer na si Christopher Dable sa mga unang

yumakap sa ganito’ng sistema sa higit dalawang ektaryang palayan niya sa Barangay Nomo sa bayan ng Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.

Inamin ni Dable na hindi itinuro sa kanilang kursong, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Engineering, ang tungkol sa organic farming.

Kaya naman hirap siya’ng yakapin ito no’ng una.

Pero kalaunan, tinanggap nya ang naturang teknolohiya kahit maging tampulan man siya ng tukso ng kapwa niya Magsasaka.

SOT: DABLE 1

“At saka bilang agriculture engineer, kailangan kong maintindihan yan. Kasi ang alam ko, hanggang chemical lang ang alam naming. Kaya tanong, bakit may ganito’ng school? So why not na pumunta ako? Kaya marami ako’ng natutunan na less inputs ang ilagay puwede nap ala makapag-harvest ng ganito kalaki.

Sa return of investments mo, ang layo.

Kaya tested na talaga ito’ng CRFS,.

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: Christopher Dable is an agriculture engineer who embraced the

system.

He used it on his two-hectare rice field in Barangay Nomo in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.

Dable admitted that he did not learn organic farming when he took up the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Engineering.

This is why it was difficult for him to embrace the technology.

But he has learned to accept it even if it makes him a laughing stock among his peers.

SOT: DABLE 1

“As an agriculture engineer, I need to understand it. We were only taught of chemicals.

I was surprised there are schools like that. So I joined them. And I learned so many things… that less inputs you can harvest this much.

As to return return of investments, it’s a lot different,

This CRFS is already tested and proven to be effective.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: ANIM na buwan ding nag-aral sa ilalim ng Climate Resiliency Field

School ng RDI-SK si Engineer Dable.

Habang nag-aaral, agad din naman niya’ng in-apply sa kanyang palayan ang mga natutunan nya sa field school.

At heto ang naging resulta.

SOT: DABLE 2

“QUESTION: YUNG NA-STRESS NA PALAY, ANO ANG NANGYARI?

After ng one week, bumalik ang green. Ang ganda. Mag-walk n asana yung maintainer ko kasi ang pangit na, nag-yellow na, hindi pantay ang laki, tinira na ng mga insekto, like stem borer, tamasok.

Pag spray, OK na, ang ganda. One application lang.

WHAT ABOUT THE STEM BORER?

Ang mga stem borers, nawala din. No’ng nag-start ako, from land preparation pati pag-bedding ng Binhi, walang insekto. Ang ganda.”

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: Engineer Dable learned under the Climate Resiliency Field

School of the RDI-SK for six months.

While he’s into schooling, he applied what he learned in his own rice fileds.

And this is the result.

SOT: DABLE 2

“QUESTION: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE RICE FIELD?

After one week, it turned into green. It was beautiful. My maintainer was about to walk out. The rice field was not good. It turned already into yellow. It was infested by stem borers.

But when we sprayed it with organic, it’s OK, beautiful. One application only.”

WHAT ABOUT THE STEM BORER?

The stem borers are gone. When I started – from land preparation up to the bedding of seedlings. No insects. It is beautiful.

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: MATIPID raw ang organic farming, ayon kay Engineer Dable.

Simple lamang at madaling gawin ang spray para pataba at pestisidyo na kailangan ng palayan.

Dahil ang mga ito puwede’ng makuha sa kahit na saan.

SOT: DABLE 3

“A, hindi… yung hasang, mga lamang-loob

YUNG TINATAPON?

Oo, tinatapon na lang yun e.

TAPOS KINUKUHA NYO?

Opo, sabi ko, magdala lang ako ng balde doon. O, mga friendship, pahingi. Sabi nila, bili ka muna sa amin ng isda. So, bili ako. Lalo na pag market day. Isang balde dala-dala mo sa bahay mo. Libre nay un,

TAPOS, IPI-FERMENT MO?

Yes, at lalagyan ng sugar. Kung ilang kilo ng isda, ganoon din ang ilalagay na sugar. Ang juice noon, yun ang i-spray mo.

SA ISANG BALDE, ILANG EKTARYA NA ANG PUWEDE’NG MA-ISPREYAN?

Sa isang knapsack kasi, ginagamit namin isang tinapa, yung fermented juice, Then haluan ng tubig, 16 liters isang tinapa lang ang kapital.

Tapos lagyan ng Tanduay. May halong kemikal. Depende kung ano’ng klase ng insekto yan.

Identify mo dapat. Sa CRFS kailangan mo identify kung ano’ng klase’ng insekto.



TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: You can save much when you do organic farming, according to

Engineer Dable.

It is so simple and easy to do the spraying as fertilizers and pesticides that rice fields need.

You can get them just anywhere.

SOT: DABLE 3

“No… you just used the wastes from fish.

THE ONES BEING THROWN AWAY IN THE MARKET AS WASTES?

Yes, that’s it. They throw them away.

THEN YOU GOT THEM?

Yes, I would just bring a pail there. I told my friends that I need their wastes from fish. But they would tell me, please buy us fish first. So I would buy from them, I do this during market day. I would bring a pail of fish wastes to my house. That’s already free.

THEN YOU WOULD FERMENT IT?

Yes. I would put sugar. The sugar you would put depends on the kilos of fish. You use the fermented juice as spray.

IN ONE PAIL, HOW MANY HECTARES?

In one knapsack, we use a can of sardines of fermented juice. Then you would add 16 liters of water.

Then we put in Tanduay (a brand of alcohol). It depends on the kinds of insects.

In CRFS, it’s important that we identify the insects that are destroying your crops.”

MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: MALIBAN sa field school, namamahagi rin ng mga climate-resistant

seedlings ang grupo ni Granada sa kanilang mga farmer-beneficiaries.

SOT: GRANADA 3

“Yan yung tinuturuan namin ang mga farmers sa upland area sa Columbio at Esperanza na hindi lang mag-focus sa mono-cropping. Dahil ito yung practice nila. Kung palay, palay lang. kung mais, mais lang.

Halimbawa kung may disaster na darating, like bagyo or drought, kung naka-IDFS ka na, kung namatay man ang crop mo, may isang crop ka pa na ma-harvest.

Naging experience ito sa bagyong Pablo.

Kasi, yung sa ComVal, is mono-cropping. Plantation ng saging. So pagdating ni Pablo, wala, ubos lahat. Yung livelihood nila, walang naiwan.

And then sa Davao Oriental, niyog. Pagdating ni Pablo, lahat ng mga nyog, tumba.

So mag-wait ka na naman ng ilang years before ka mag-harvest.

Tinuturuan namin ang mga farmers na mag-integrated farming. Nag-provide kami ng coffee seedlings, rubber, coconut. Nagbigay kami ng cash crops, like vegetables, lalo na sa kababiahan, while they are waiting for high-value crops.

May other options sila ng kanilang livelihood.

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: ASIDE from field school, the group of Granada is also

distributing climate-resilient seedlings to their farmer-

beneficiaries.

SOT: GRANADA 3

“We teach our farmers in Columbio and Esperanza not to focus on one crop alone or this mono-cropping. This is already their practice. If they plant palay, then it’s all palay, or if it’s corn, then it’s all corn.

For example, if a disaster comes, like storms or drought, if you’re into IDFS, when a crop dies, there are still other crops that you could harvest.

Just like what we experience during Typhoon Pablo.

In ComVal, they practice mono-cropping. The plantation-type of banans. When Pablo came, everything’s gone. Nothing was left for their livelihood.

And in Davao Oriental, coconuts. When Pablo came, all the coconuts fell down.

So they have to wait for another cropping season.

We teach the farmers about integrated farming. We provided them coffee seedling, rubber, coconut. We also gave them cash crops like vegetables, especially to women, while they’re waiting for their high-value crops.

At least, they have options for their livelihood.”



MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: AYON kay Granada ng RDI, ang organic farming at ang multiple

cropping ang ilan lamang sa mga paraan para makaagapay sa mga Magsasaka sa hagupit ng kalikasan.

Ito raw ay tumutulong sa kanila para maging climate-resilient.

SOT: GRANADA 4

“Sa sitwasyon NATIN ngayon, hindi na natin mapigilan ang pabagu-bagong panahon dahil sa sobrang init, at yan na nga yung climatic changes.

Pero puwede tayo mag-adopt as tao.

Yun nga, yung mga activities natin under BINDS, ito ay puwede – kung hindi naman puwede’ng pigilan, pero nag-a-adopt tayo sa climatic changes.



TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: According to Granada of RDI, the organic farming and the

multiple cropping are only few of the ways for the farmers to

survive the strokes of nature.

These help them become climate-resilient.

SOT: GRANADA 4

“In our situation today, we could no longer prevent the abrupt changes in the climate because of too much heat. These are climatic changes.

But we can adopt to changes as humans.

That’s why under BINDS, we have too many activities, which will help us adopt to climatic changes.”



Part 8

Conclusion



MUSIC: Up and Under

VOICE OVER: SA SITWASYON ngayon, hindi na nga mapipigilan ang pabagu-bagong

klima o pag-init ng panahon.

At hindi lang naman Pilipinas ang apektado nito.

Alam n’yo ba na ang bansang Vietnam na isang tropical country na tulad ng Pilipinas nakaranas ng pag-ulan ng snow nito lamang Disyembre?

Kauna-unahan raw ito sa kasaysayan ng Vietnam sa nakalipas na ilang dekada.

Patunay raw ito na nagbabago na nga ang panahon.

At dahil hindi na ito maiiwasan, napapanahong ituro sa tao kung paano sila maging resilient o paano nila kayanin ang hagupit ng kalamidad na tulad ng mga bagyo at tagtuyot.

Sa mga magsasakang Blaan at Moro sa Columbio at mga Ilonggo sa Esperanza, itinuturo ng isang NGO ang pagiging resilient nila kapag panahon ng kalamidad.

Pinagyaman lamang nila ang mga katutubong pamamaraan o sistemang pinairal noon na binago ng mga nakaraang dekada.

Sabi nga nila, kung sana pinananatili ng mga Pinoy ang tradisyunal na sistema ng pagtatanim at hindi yaong teknolohiyang nakadepende sa sintetikong mga pataba at pestisidyo, e, di sana ay kinaya nila ang hagupit ng mga bagyo at tagtuyot na dumarating sa kanila.

Ako si MALU CADELINA MANAR at ito ang BIDA SPECIALS.

OUTRO: SPECIAL REPORTS

TRANSLATION: In English

VOICE OVER: In our situation today, indeed, we could no longer prevent

climatic changes.

And this affects not only the Philippines.

Did you know that Vietnam which is a tropical country like the Philippines has experienced snow last December?

This was the first in the history of Vietnam.

This showed the changes in the weather.

And because we could no longer prevent it, it’s high time that we teach our people to become resilient for them to cope with the strokes of nature, like the storms and drought.

For B’laan and Moro farmers of Columbio and the Ilonggos in Esperanza, an NGO teaches them to become resilient, especially in times of calamities.

They use the traditional way or system, which were altered in the past decades.

They said, if only Filipinos have used the traditional system of planting and did not embrace the technology that depended so much on the synthetic fertilizers and pesticides; it could have helped them become resilient when nature strikes, especially when typhoons and drought come.



THIS IS MALU CADELINA MANAR AND THIS IS BIDA SPECIALS.



OUTRO: SPECIAL REPORT
BEST AGRICULTURE NEWS STORY (NATIONAL)
“CARABAO VANISHING IN PANGASINAN”
BY GABRIEL CARDINOZA
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER.
A news report on the fast-dwindling carabao population in Pangasinan and how the government is dealing with it. The carabao population was going down because the animals were being butchered for meat and meat products. To stop the threat, the provincial board enacted an ordinance regulating the sale and slaughter of female carabaos in the province. And the Philippine Carabao Center distributed foreign-bred carabaos to cooperatives and embarked on an information caravan.
FULL STORY
2014 BEST AGRICULTURE NEWS STORY (NATIONAL)
"Carabao vanishing in Pangasinan"

By Gabriel Cardinoza

Philippine Daily Inquirer



LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—The carabao, the country’s national animal, is fast vanishing in Pangasinan province, according to an official of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in the Ilocos region.

“At the rate carabaos are being slaughtered for meat and meat products, the animal will completely vanish in 10 years,” said Gloria de la Cruz, director of the PCC based at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in La Union province.

Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed that the number of carabaos slaughtered in Pangasinan increased from 9,502 in 2010 to 11,252 in 2012.

“You know, carabao meat is cheaper than beef. But, ironically, the nutritional value of carabao meat is higher than that of beef and goat meat,” De la Cruz said at a news conference on Wednesday.

As a result, the province’s carabao population decreased from 110,268 in 2010 to 77,609 in 2012.

Pangasinan’s carabao population in 2010 accounted for 60 percent of the carabao population in the Ilocos region. In 2012, it was down to about 50 percent.

“I told a group of meat processors in Mangaldan [town], ‘If we continue to slaughter, OK, we have business today. How about in 10 years? Will we still have business? I think we will no longer have tapa (dried meat) and even pigar-pigar (deep-fried carabao meat) because, by then, we no longer have carabaos,’” De la Cruz said.

Only 14 towns and Alaminos City have a “good” number of carabaos in the province, said Dr. Eric Jose Perez, provincial veterinarian.

He said that last year, meat and meat products produced from carabao were about 6,685 metric tons, below the Pangasinan consumers’ demand of 8,867 MT.

Crossbreed also slaughtered

De la Cruz said the PCC started crossbreeding carabaos in the province with foreign-bred Murrah buffaloes through artificial and natural insemination in 1999.

“But based on our findings, the offspring, which were improved breeds, were slaughtered, [negating] our efforts,” she said.

Protecting females

To arrest the dwindling carabao population in Pangasinan, De la Cruz said she met with Perez last year and together, they lobbied the provincial board for the enactment of an ordinance that would regulate the sale or slaughter of female carabaos in the province. The ordinance was passed.

“This is the first ordinance of its kind in the country that will hopefully help stop the downswing of the carabao population in Pangasinan,” De la Cruz said.

Under the ordinance, anyone caught selling and slaughtering a “quality” carabao will be punished. First offenders will be reprimanded and will be required to attend a one-hour orientation on the ordinance. Second offenders will lose their license to transport livestock.

Buy-back plan

The ordinance also established a buy-back plan in which the provincial government buys breedable female carabaos to be distributed as additional stocks to dairy cooperatives in the province.

De la Cruz thanked Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr. for approving the initial allocation of P1.5 million, and P500,000 in the succeeding years, for the buy-back scheme.

She said the PCC had also intensified its upgrading activities in the province to produce better quality carabaos.

“I will not give up, despite the decreasing population of our carabaos. We are doing our best to have more carabaos in the province,” De la Cruz said.

Nationwide trend

At the news conference, De la Cruz announced that the PCC was giving two cooperatives 30 Bulgarian Murrah buffaloes each for their dairy project.

She said her office and local governments would conduct an information caravan to educate farmers about carabao raising.

De la Cruz said that although the decreasing carabao population was more visible in Pangasinan, it was also a nationwide trend.

“This is why in other provinces, we also conduct crossbreeding activities and encourage farmers not to slaughter their carabaos,” she said.

According to the PCC website, the carabao population in the country in the last decade was characterized by a “period of decline” from 1991 to 1994 and a period of “erratic growth” from 1995 to 2010.

“The dramatic decline in population in 1991–1994 coincided with a clear rise in the slaughter rate, pointing to an obvious direct cause and effect relationship between these two variables,” the PCC website said.

Carabao Act

De la Cruz said that aside from the Philippine Carabao Act of 1992 (Republic Act No. 7307), which was authored by then Sen. Joseph Estrada, there should be a law banning the slaughter of carabaos.

“I really hope a law concerning the preservation of our carabaos will be passed. In the entire country, the carabao population continues to go down,” De la Cruz said.

She said the late Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III had filed a bill that would ban the slaughtering of carabaos. This was approved by the House of Representatives but the measure remained pending in the Senate.

“I hope they will revive the bill, or better still adopt the Pangasinan ordinance,” De la Cruz said.

“I do not want us to be in a situation where we no longer have any carabao left. When that time comes, the next generation will just be seeing carabaos as figurines or statues in museums,” she said.
BEST AGRICULTURE NEWS STORY (REGIONAL)
“COLD WEATHER’S TOLL NOW P26MILLION”
BY FLORNISA GITGANO
SUN STAR CEBU.
The recounting of the events last January when the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration recorded the coldest temperature in Cebu this year, at 21.8 degrees Celsius. As a result, at least P26 million worth of crops and livestock were lost in the Province including Cebu City. The Provincial veterinarian and agriculturist immediately did measures to address the losses. The Cebu Capitol distributed high-valued crops and advised livestock owners to provide shelter to the animals.
FULL STORY
2014 BEST AGRICULTURE NEWS STORY (REGIONAL)
"Cold weather's toll now P26M"

By Flornisa Gitgano

Sun Star Cebu



AT LEAST P26 million worth of crops and livestock have been lost in the Province of Cebu, including Cebu City, because of the cold weather, officials said.

In Cebu City, a total of 354 hectares of vegetable plantations were damaged and 134 heads of livestock have died, with an estimate value of P22.24 million.

“Financial assistance for the affected farmers and animal owners is being considered. The provincial veterinarian, Dr. Rose Vincoy, recommends restocking animals, subject to guidelines,” said
Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera in a text message.

Cebu City Hall’s agriculture and veterinarian’s offices will work with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Oplan Kabukiran, which is tasked with addressing the needs of farmers.

Tests by the DA showed that one cause of the upland animals’ deaths is pseudomonas SPP, a bacterial infection that strikes creatures whose immune systems have been compromised by stress, such
as that caused by prolonged exposure to cold weather.

Veterinarian Dr. Ted Dabocol of the DA 7 diagnostic laboratory, in a press statement from the agency, said the infection causes fever, chills and general weakness among animals subjected to stress such as prolonged cold, rain or warm weather.

“Animals can build resistance against such bacteria through proper nutrition and

shelter from the elements that cause them stress and lower resistance to diseases,” the statement added. It said antibiotics and vitamins had been distributed to the livestock owners.

Crops affected

The cold spell has recently prompted the Cebu City Council to declare 17 barangays under a state of calamity.

It sent a damage assessment report to the Provincial Agriculturist Office, where it identified some of the affected barangays as Lusaran, Adlaon, Sirao, Tagba-o, Taptap, Bonbon, Guba, Cambinocot, Paril, Budlaan, Pung-ol Sibugay, Sudlon II, Sudlon I, Sinsin and Tabunan.

The damage to crops in 15 of the affected barangays has reportedly reached P1.745 million. Barangay Tagba-o reported the highest estimate, at P579,800 worth of crops lost. It also reported the loss of 22 heads of cattle, eight goats, 30 chicks and a sheep.

Among the crops affected are sweet corn, eggplant, bitter gourd, tomato, string beans, baguio beans, lettuce, cucumber, peppers, spring onion and cabbage.

Fruits like bananas and mangoes, and some orchids have also been affected.

Last Jan. 21, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) in Mactan recorded the coldest temperature in Cebu so far this year, at 21.8 degrees Celsius.

Prep time

Pag-asa chief Oscar Tabada said that in Cebu’s mountain barangays, the temperature probably reached 18.2 degrees Celsius.

Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena pointed out that the weather in recent days was no longer as cold as last week, so the residents may plant soon the high- value vegetable seeds that the Capitol will distribute.

Saragena said that a month after the seeds are planted, some crops like kangkong, pechay and other leafy vegetables can then be harvested.

“Gradually mawa na ning kabugnaw. Timing pud kaayo maprepare pud nila pagbalik ang ilang umahan (The weather will get warmer soon. Farmers can use this time to prepare their fields),” said Saragena.

In Balamban town, the cold weather has been blamed for the deaths of 43 cows, 11 goats, two horses and two carabaos, with an estimate value of P995,000.

About 93 hectares of vegetables, estimated at P2.904 million, were also damaged, according to an initial assessment by municipal agriculturist Felojyn Sundo. The 11 barangays affected in Balamban are Gaas, Sunog, Cabasiangan,

Nangka, Hingatmonan, Cansomoroy, Vito, Cabagdalan, Liki, Biasong and Singsing.

Seeds, fertilizers

Danao City Agriculturist Mario Gorre reported, for his part, that nine hectares of crops were damaged in three barangays, causing the loss of some P710,000.

These are Barangays Sacsac, Lawaan and Dungga.

Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena said the Province will initially purchase P100,000 worth of vegetable seeds and organic fertilizers for the affected local governments.

The Provincial Agriculture Office has yet to receive the damage assessment in Dalaguete and Toledo City.

A team from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) was sent last week and took blood samples from the affected animals to find out what killed them.

Based on the Provincial Information Office’s (PIO) press statement, the PVO is conducting a two-day mission in Balamban, which started yesterday.

The team brought feeds, vitamins, antibiotics and Betadine solution for the animals.

A monitoring team was also assigned in the area.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he plans to visit the affected barangays in Balamban.

24-hour office

In Cebu City, Joel Elumba, OIC-regional director for regulations of the DA, met with Cebu City Veterinarian Pilar Romero and City Agriculturist Joey Baclayon yesterday afternoon.

They decided to implement Oplan Kabukiran, a task force to address the needs of farmers affected by the extreme weather.

Elumba said they established an extension office in Barangay Taptap with staff from the city agriculturist and veterinarian’s offices, so any farmer’s call for help can be responded to 24 hours a day.

Romero will head Oplan Kabukiran’s unit for health concerns, while Baclayon will lead the task force on crop health.

DA 7 assists by providing vitamin supplements and antibiotics and by collecting blood for lab tests, when needed.

Elumba added that supplements, such as vitamins A, D and E, will be

administered to animals in the affected areas.
Another activity of Oplan Kabukiran will be teaching farmers in affected areas

about the proper care of livestock and crop management in extreme weather conditions.
BEST AGRICULTURE FEATURE STORY (NATIONAL)
“THE PROSPECTS OF SWINE INDUSTRY IN THE PHILIPPINES”
BY HENRYLITO TACIO
MARID AGRIBUSINESS MAGAZINE.
This is an article about the success of the swine industry in the Philippines. Backyard swine raising can be a profitable venture due to the growing domestic market. However, there can also be some difficulties such as diseases, inadequate price control as well as flooding of cheap meat products from other countries. There are programs available that can help solve existing issues and secure the income potential of swine raising.
FULL STORY
2014 BEST AGRICULTURE FEATURE STORY (NATIONAL)
"The prospects of swine industry in the Philippines"

By Henrylito Tacio

Marid Agribusiness Magazine



“Swine producers who use sound practices of breeding, feeding, and management usually make a profit.” – United States Department of Agriculture

***

Pork, the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig, is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide. It is eaten both freshly cooked and preserved. Curing extends the shelf life of the pork products. Hams, smoked pork, gammon, bacon and sausage are examples of preserved pork.

In the Philippines, like in other Asian countries, the pork is preferred over beef for economic and aesthetic reasons; the pig is easy to feed and is not used for labor. The colors of the meat and the fat of pork are regarded as more appetizing, while the taste and smell are described as sweeter and cleaner. It is also considered easier to digest. In rural provinces, lechon (roasted pig) is a popular tradition shared to celebrate important occasion and to form bonding.

Despite being almost exclusively without government subsidy, the swine industry is the second leading contributor to Philippine agriculture – after rice. “The strong growth in demand for pork has the potential to increase income opportunities and alleviate poverty among rural and agricultural households in the Philippines, where rural poverty remains high,” notes a position paper.

About 71% of the swine population are raised in backyard farms while 29% are in commercial farms. “In almost every rural household in the Philippines, swine raising is a very popular enterprise,” says Roy C. Alimoane, the director of the Davao-based Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation, Inc.

After all, no other backyard animal has the same versatility as the swine. In the past, a farm family almost always invested their wealth in a pig. After all, out from pigs you can get pork, bacon, and sausage. They also acted as refuse bin, eating all the scraps and family’s leftovers. When asked if the head of the family has any money, the usual reply is: “I don’t have. All my money is in the pig.”

When people stopped raising pigs, they made a replica where they could “put their money in.” In the time, the practice of saving money in a pig came into existence and was called as “piggy bank.”

There are several breeds of swine available in the market today that can be raised in the backyard or commercially. If you intend to sell pigs within the reach of the buying public, then crossbreeds should be produced or perhaps, grades (using local or native pigs) ranging from 50-90 purity.

“Pure breeds usually command a high price in the local market circles for reason of carrying desirable characters having high commercial value,” wrote Benjamin J. Samala in Profitable Swine Management Practices.

“Characters like rapid and economical gains or growth rate, early maturity, carcass quality, litter size, etc., have been fixed in the various breeds of pigs. Local or native pigs do not carry or possess of such good characters, hence their commercial values are much lower by way of comparison with the improved pigs,” Samala wrote.

Among the common pure breeds raised in the country are: Large White (Yorkshire), Landrace, Duroc, and Pietrain. Large White is known for its good mothering ability and large litter size. Landrace is also noted for its mothering ability and prolificacy.

Duroc is considered a superior breed in terms of growth and feed efficiency. Pietrain is known for its good muscle development in the ham, loin, and shoulder with very thin backfat.

On the other hand, farmers raising tilapia can optimize production in their fishponds by incorporating pigs. “The raising of pigs can profitably be blended with fish culture by constructing animal housing units on the pond embankment or over the pond in such a way that the wastes are directly drained into the pond,” explains Alimoane.

By the way, swine is not only for eating and a possible solution to financial woes. In fact, pigs are very important in medicine. Their heart valves, especially treated and preserved, can be surgically implanted into humans to replace heart valves weakened by disease and injury. Pig pancreas glands are an important source of insulin hormone used in the treatment of diabetes.

Raising swine is a profitable venture. After all, there is a growing domestic market, increasing demand to meet increasing per capita consumption of a continuously growing human population.

The Philippines Recommends for Pork Production enumerates several strengths of the country’s swine industry. These are: relatively large, stable and continuously increasing pig population that is well distributed throughout the country, large and continuously increasing domestic market for pork, high utilization of pork relative to other animal products, and well-organized private industry players.

Other strengths of swine industry include easy access to good genetics and state-of-the-art technologies on swine production, feed milling, and other related activities from both local and foreign sources. Likewise, entrepreneurs, farm managers, and practitioners are technically equipped.

Meanwhile, “backyard swine raising is a good way to augment your income,” says John Paul Pangilinan, feeds marketing manager of Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation (Pilmico). “It takes very little effort to put up a backyard piggery. In fact, people in the rural areas can raise a pig or two in a small space.”

The increasing meat consumption, particularly pork, has driven Pilmico to scale up backyard swine raising in the country. “Seventy percent of hog raisers in the Philippines are backyard,” notes Hendel Cabral, Pilmico vice president for sales and sales support.

Based on the company’s assessment, they found out that most of those who raise livestock are deterred by lack of capital and technical knowledge. “We are here to change that,” points out Pilmico president Sabin M. Aboitiz.

Pilmico launched the Diamond Program to help its customers’ partner for growth by educating them on proper livestock backyard raising. “The program is an integrated approach towards successful swine farming anchored on the four pillars of complete health care, breeding and genetics, sound management and excellent nutrition,” explains Pangilinan.

According to Pangilinan, Pilmico specifically provides solutions related to excellent nutrition “although we can never stress enough the importance of the three other pillars since we also maintain our swine farm operations,” he says. “Thus, we also translate our best practices into small-scale backyard versions.”

Feeds constitute almost 80 percent of the production expenses of swine raising. “For this reason, it is highly important that economical as well as nutritionally balanced diets are provided during all phase of the life cycle,” wrote W.G. Pond and J.H. Maner, authors of Swine Production in Temperate and Tropical Environments.

“The pigs should be given rations appropriate for their ages and their physiological conditions,” says Alimoane. “If these are considered, good animal performance is ensured and unnecessary expenses are avoided. In addition, punctuality and regularity of feeding will have to be observed strictly.”

Hog concentrates – which provide protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals – are given as a major feed. Sweet potato tops, kangkong, and other green leafy feeds are to be given only as supplements. Fresh leftover from the kitchen are good food for the pigs. They may be rice or corn, gills and entrails of fish, papaya and banana peelings, and other scraps.

Although pork consumption in the country has gone up, the number of backyard swine raisers has gone down. Statistics show an 8% decline from 9.8 million backyard raisers in 2008 to only eight million in 2013.

“We have noticed that a lot of backyard raisers have the capacity and the facility to raise pigs but a substantial number are vacant,” noted Cabral. “Then tend to get discouraged once their backyard farms do not yield.”

During the recent Pilmico Poultry and Livestock Expo held in Lingayen, Pangasinan, it was discovered that most backyard raisers don’t have proper knowledge and skill about nutrition and management – even the maintenance of their facilities.

Under the upcoming Swine Project’s trial period, the company will choose a number of livestock backyard raisers who will qualify as recipients of financing for both feeds and piglets, which they will raise into full-sized market hogs.

“Once ready, these will be sold together with more than 6,000 marketable hogs from Pilmico's own farm that it sells monthly,” Cabral said.

He said the pilot study will run for about six months to a year to give the feeds producer enough time to assess the performance parameters of the pigs on a backyard level and identify areas for improvement.

According to Cabral, only 300 pigs monthly will be disseminated for growing to produce the market and a minimum of about 100 to 200 on the sow level for breeding.

Pilmico, a subsidiary of Pilmico Foods Corp., hopes that through this project and its Diamond Program, it can contribute to propping up hog production and pork supply in the country. Currently, it produces 430,000 metric tons (MT) of feeds annually (240,000 MT from its factory in Iligan and another 190,000 MT from Tarlac).

“As long as we continue to consume pork and poultry and as long as Filipinos with sufficient disposable income remain to be entrepreneurial and perceive backyard hog raising as a viable source of extra income, the feeds industry will do just fine,” concludes Pangilinan.

Unknowingly, the swine industry is facing some weaknesses. For instance, there is an inadequate national program for disease prevention.

“About 20% of the value of swine production is due to diseases, estimated at P107.6 billion, of which about 19% is lost due to gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases,” wrote Dr. Aleli A. Collado in an article.

Other weaknesses include: inefficient and inadequate technical and market information services, high overhead costs both in swine production and in feed milling, and presence of foot-and-mouth disease in some major swine-producing regions.

The country’s swine industry is also facing some threats. There is currently flooding or dumping of cheap pork and other meat products from other countries. There is also an increase control of traders and butchers on pricing of live slaughter pigs.

Other threats are: irrational implementation of rules and policies on environmental protection and industrialization and urbanization of current swine-production areas.

The domestic pig is usually given the scientific name Sus scrofa, although some authors call it S. domesticus, reserving S. scrofa for the wild boar. History records showed that swine was domesticated approximately 5,000 to 7,000 years ago.

Pigs appear in the traditional art and literature of many societies, where they sometimes carry religious symbolism. In Asia the wild boar is one of twelve animal images comprising the Chinese zodiac, while in Europe the boar represents a standard charge in heraldry.

Pigs are frequently alluded to in proverbs, metaphors, idioms, and folk art. Sir Winston Churchill once said: “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” American president Bill Clinton also said: “You can put wings on a pig, but you don’t make it an eagle.”
BEST AGRICULTURE FEATURE STORY (REGIONAL)
“BUG SLAY, NATURE’S WAY”
BY CHERRY ANN T. LIM
SUN STAR CEBU.
A special two-part report on farming and pesticides. The first part discusses the growing availability of alternatives to chemical pesticides but farmers are still resistant to its use or are not using it properly. The second part of the report is about the how the town of Dalaguete in Cebu is experiencing success in using natural pesticides on their crops. Dalaguete supplies 80 percent of the vegetables sold in Carbon Market, Cebu City’s largest public market.
FULL STORY
2014 BEST AGRICULTURE FEATURE STORY (REGIONAL)
"Bug slay, nature's way"

By Cherry Ann T. Lim

Sun Star Cebu



'Bug slay, nature's way" (FIRST OF TWO PARTS)

Farm drills and parasites

Chemical pesticide-free farming possible, but farmers don’t want it Special Report

AT THE supermarket, health-conscious consumers study the flawless fruits and vegetables on display, fearful that the unblemished produce may have been untouched by pests because it was heavily sprayed with pesticides harmful to humans.

Recognizing these risks, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has joined a global effort to provide alternatives to the use of chemical pesticides. But the uptake by farmers has been slow. This two-part special report explains why.

From 1950 to 2000, the Philippines added 55.7 million people to its population, placing tenth among the countries with the largest population increases over the 50- year period, said the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division.

As rapidly growing nations increased food production, global dependence on pesticides led to environmental pollution, degradation of soil fertility, and higher costs to manage pests, said Uma Shankar and Dharam P. Abrol in the 2012 publication “Integrated Pest Management: Principles and Practice” produced for Cab International, an inter-governmental, non-profit organization set up by a United Nations treaty to undertake research and development in agriculture and the environment. They called for the wider use of biological methods to control agricultural pests.

At the DA 7, Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) chief Bert Castillo said, “We’re now promoting an integrated pest management strategy,” which includes using

field sanitation and the natural enemies of pests, instead of synthetic pesticides, to control the pests.

He said the switch came also after “researchers noted that pesticide alone was not very effective as a pest management strategy.”

But with the agricultural ecosystem disturbed by decades of pesticide use, the natural enemies of pests have dwindled in number, so the RCPC has to grow them.

“Most of our pesticides are broad spectrum, like Thiodan (generic name endosulfan),” said Castillo. “Almost all organisms were killed because they are non- selective. (But) now we have selective pesticides.”

Synthetic

Synthetic pesticides were first used in 1940. Organochlorine pesticides (OCP) like DDT and endosulfan have since been found to resist environmental breakdown and accumulate in fish, wildlife and human tissues, raising concern about endocrine and developmental effects in children, said the World Health Organization in 2008.

As a result, all OCPs are now banned worldwide, except for endosulfan, said Abrol and Shankar. They said endosulfan is banned in some nations and “parts of the Philippines.”

“Thiodan is now restricted to plantations in Mindanao,” Castillo confirmed. But he said enforcement of the restriction was hampered by the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority’s (FPA) limited manpower and lack of police power.

Selective pesticides, less harmful to the environment, are now available, he said, the most commonly used being cypermethrin, cyfluthrin and deltamethrin.

These have low pre-harvest intervals—the time between the last application of

the pesticide and the safe harvesting of the crops for immediate consumption—of two to seven days. Any chemical residue on the crop at harvest would no longer be hazardous to humans, he said.

In its website, the FPA lists 28 banned and restricted pesticides in the country. It also lists the agricultural pesticides more than 150 firms registered with the authority.

Growing enemies

The RCPC in Barangay Maguikay, Mandaue City, grows natural enemies of pests that ravage rice, corn and vegetable fields in Central Visayas.

“In the lab, we mass produce parasitoids for rice and corn. This is given free to farmers,” said Castillo.

Trichogramma, a tiny wasp about 0.5-1.0 mm long, is produced in different strains for rice, corn and vegetables to control the stem borer moth. (See table on next page.)

In rice, stem borers attack at any stage of the plant, causing “dead heart” or drying of the tillers (side shoots), and “whiteheads,” where the emerging panicles are white and empty, said the International Rice Research Institute.

An egg parasitoid, the Trichogramma lays its egg inside the stem borer’s egg, using it as nourishment for the developing wasp larva. “No more worm of the stem borer will emerge. In one or two days, what will emerge will be the Trichogramma,” Castillo said.

Trichogramma has been used in rice fields in Cebu for some five years and corn fields for 10 years. The RCPC distributes Trichogramma parasitized eggs on hollowed- out cards about double the size of a calling card.

One hectare needs 50 cards. Each card has 1,000-1,500 individuals, he said. Trichogramma should be applied in the field three weeks after planting.

Their own labs

“We’re encouraging local government units (LGUs) to put up their own laboratories because the problem is the transport of the Trichogramma. If you don’t refrigerate it, it will emerge in two days’ time because it is already alive,” he said.

He said the parasitized eggs in the refrigerator should not be exposed to too much cold either or they will water.

Castillo said the Dumaguete City LGU, through the Provincial Agriculturist, has a lab, but Trichogramma production there is low. “Maybe it’s not their priority,” he said.

In Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, village-type Trichogramma production in a hut was not sustained, while efforts by municipal agriculturists in Jagna and Duero, Bohol to put up labs have been stymied by changes in local executives and delays in the processing of papers, he said.

To produce Trichogramma, one must produce the host, which is the stem borer. But the RCPC instead uses the rice moth, a post-harvest pest, as host for all its Trichogramma strains. “The stem borer is hard to grow because you need a live plant,” Castillo said.

Black bug

The RCPC also produces microbes. For the sap-feeding rice black bug, which is about nine mm in length and 4-5 mm in width, it produces the fungus Metarhizium.

“You spray this fungus instead of a pesticide,” Castillo said. “This will grow inside the body of the pest, and the pest will die of dehydration.”

A hectare of rice will need four one-kilo packs of the DA’s Metarhizium. Each kilo contains “millions of individual spores,” he said. There are different strains of Metarhizium for rice and coconut.

Or one could just catch the light-seeking black bugs. Lure them with bright light during a full moon, hit them as they approach, and shovel them into sacks when they fall.

Castillo said the rice bug population in Central Visayas is now normal, or below the economically damaging level of 10 individuals per rice plant. The DA does not aim to eradicate the bug, originally from Malaysia.

“They are already part of the system. We just manage them to a level that’s not damaging,” he said.

Production problems

At one time, the RCPC also reared the Diadegma parasitoid to control the diamondback moth (DBM), whose larva feeds on the leaves of cabbage and other crucifers (leafy vegetables) like cauliflower, broccoli and bok choy (pechay), causing defoliation and malformation of heads.

From 1995 to 2000, the Diadegma wasp, which parasitizes DBM larvae, was released in Dalaguete town, home to Barangay Mantalongon, Cebu’s vegetable basket.

But Diadegma production stopped at the DA 7 due to the lack of space and the departure of the person in charge of the production.

The DA sought to shift production to Mantalongon. But Dalaguete agricultural technician Macario Moya said a lab in the village run by the farmers’ association met

problems with the tedious Diadegma production that required expertise and spending on a caretaker and materials.

Rearing the Diadegma requires first rearing the diamondback moth on which the Diadegma feeds; rearing the DBM in turn means rearing the cabbage it feeds on.

Dalaguete Municipal Agriculture and Natural Resources Office head Expedizitas Lenares said the LGU was to contribute 10-15 percent of the lab’s cost, but in 2000, the Solid Waste Management Act was passed, and the funds were diverted to a project involving a cover for the town’s sanitary landfill and vermicomposting.

Sanitation

Castillo said in integrated pest management, one can also avoid pesticides by enforcing “sanitation,” which means removing shoots and fruits damaged by borers and burning them in a hole in the ground so the pests don’t emerge.

“A female moth can lay 50-200 eggs,” he said. The stem borer’s life stages are egg, the destructive stage larva (worm), pupa (cocoon), and moth (adult).

But he said farmers just leave damaged fruits and shoots on plants, finding it tedious to do sanitation.

Rotten plants infested with fungi should also be removed. He said too much nitrogen, which fertilizers contain, makes plants soft and easy for worms and fungi to attack.

Synchronous planting will also deprive pests of food. “Plant in all areas at the same time, so there is a (common) fallow period,” he said.

In Bohol, because of synchronous planting, black bugs are no longer too much of a problem.

But in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, planting is overlapping, so the bugs always have a food source. “We cannot dictate to the farmer when to plant. And they can plant all the time because water there is abundant,” he said.

Short cut

Asked why farmers don’t use the Trichogramma and other natural pest control methods when they are free, Castillo said farmers want a quick solution.

“When they use (chemical) sprays, they like seeing the pests fall right away. You won’t see that with Trichogramma,” Castillo said.

It takes a year to establish the Trichogramma population in the field, said Dr. Roldan Saragena, chief of the Cebu Provincial Agriculture Office.

The low cost of chemical pesticides compared to other farm inputs may also be a reason farmers don’t rush to avail themselves of the free alternatives.

Bureau of Agricultural Statistics figures show that when the cash, non-cash and imputed costs of seeds, fertilizer, mulching materials, labor, land tax, rentals, fuel and oil, electricity, transport, irrigation, food, depreciation and interest on crop loans were added up, pesticides accounted for just three percent of the costs of growing rice, corn and carrots in 2012.

For cabbage, it was five percent; eggplant and tomato, over nine percent; mango, almost 11 percent. Fertilizers cost more than the pesticides, and labor more than the fertilizers.

Local agriculture officials also say farm yields are the same whether chemical sprays or Trichogramma is used.

Manpower

In Argao, Cebu, municipal rice technician Larie Baricuatro said Trichogramma use helps the environment.

“With Trichogramma, you control before the stem borers hatch. With chemicals, you kill the adults, but it’s possible they were already able to lay eggs,” she said.

But she said only 10 percent of farms with stem borers in the town use the wasp because their distance from the town office contributes to their lack of awareness of or access to it.

“Farmers won’t have access to the Trichogramma if we don’t bring it to them. They won’t spend time looking for bio-control methods themselves,” she said.

But her office lacks the manpower to attend to all the farms. “There are only four technicians—one for rice, corn, livestock and high-value crops. But on a regular basis, there are only two of us because the one for livestock is now also our head of office,” said Baricuatro, who travels three hours from Argao to Mandaue City, six hours both ways, four times a year to get Trichogramma cards from the RCPC.

Argao farmer Jorge Omboy confirmed that the local agriculture office was too far from his farm to go to for bio-control products. His friend said they couldn’t call the office either because “wa man mi (we have no) cell phone.”

Besides, Omboy isn’t sold on bio-control. He argued with those conducting a Trichogramma demonstration in his farm, saying, “Di ra man borer ang kontra sa humay (the borer is not the only pest of rice).”

Trichogramma use would mean not spraying chemicals for two weeks (to prevent the sprays from killing the Trichogramma). This means the farmers wouldn’t be able to kill the other insects on the farm either.

Farm visit

In Toledo City, Cebu, rice technician Libertine Bucao said farmers use Trichogramma in combination with chemicals. But they wouldn’t need the chemicals if they just visited their farms. “After planting, farmers should visit their farms daily. Once they see insects flying, they should look for the eggs right away and crush them. The stem borer’s egg is usually hidden under the leaves,” she said.

For corn pests, Toledo City corn coordinator Salvador Lorica Jr. said the city’s farmers use the RCPC’s Trichogramma and earwig.

The earwig insect preys on the eggs, larvae and pupae of corn borers and other lepidopterous pests (which are pests with four membranous wings covered with small scales like the diamondback moth). “What the Trichogramma did not eat, the earwig will,” he said.

His focus is Barangay Sangi, where planting is continuous at three croppings a year, resulting in yearlong infestation. Farmers hit the borers with the chemical Furadan, though the DA discourages its use, he said.

Maggots

In Balamban town, Cebu, municipal agriculturist and corn coordinator Felogyn Sundo said their problem is the whorl maggots on the sweet corn along the Transcentral Highway that attack the young leaves of seedlings, delaying plant growth. Farmers control these also with Furadan.

“But this (Furadan use) is regulated. We discourage this because it is systemic. Ang hilo moabot sa dahon (The poison reaches the leaves), stem, much more sa bunga (the fruit),” he said.

The chemical stays in the corn for 30 days, he said.

In its website, Furadan maker FMC Corp. said Furadan (carbofuran) is used in more than 80 countries commonly to protect rice and corn crops. It also said it was in a court battle with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the continued use of carbofuran after the EPA cited ecological, occupational and dietary risks of using the product.

To reduce pesticide use, Sundo said, some farmers just plant native varieties of corn because these have resistance to native pests.

Balancing act

Even if all Cebu farmers were to use natural enemies to fight pests, however, with the environment open, synthetic pesticide use still could not be eliminated.

For instance, Dr. Saragena said, the diamondback moth was already controlled in Cebu in 1995-1996 using Diadegma semiclausum. But it returned because another pest came—the whitefly, which attacked cabbage, eggplant, tomato, beans and other vegetables.

“The farmers resorted to chemical sprays, killing the Diadegma with the whiteflies,” he said.

He said the DA tried spraying the Metarhizium fungus on the whitefly, and it worked, but distribution of the Metarhizium was limited.

Without chemical sprays, he said, whiteflies can wipe out 90 percent of a farm.

He said it is easy for new pests to arrive, as they can come with cuttings of plants; or through insect eggs that stick to people’s clothes when they visit farms, or with seeds of exotic (non-indigenous) plants smuggled in by some farmers.

He said the Philippine cobra reached Bohol province after some of its eggs were inadvertently brought there with the food for horses sent from Davao.

Resist change

Saragena’s office has been training farmers on natural pest control methods, but farmers resist them because they require time, money or a change in habits.

He cited crop rotation. “If you plant this vegetable this season, you should plant another vegetable next season to break the cycle of growth of the pest population” because pests are usually plant specific, he said.

But he said some farmers don’t do this because they have already established expertise and a market for a particular type of plant.

“You should have a wide market,” he said, offering the services of his office to link farmers with buyers.

Saragena said farmers could also buy pest-resistant varieties from seed firms. But some don’t because they prefer the open-pollinated variety of plants, whose seeds for the next cropping season they can get from the field, unlike with hybrid varieties where they have to keep buying new seeds.

“There’s also consumer preference. They like the Casino 901 variety of eggplant, a locally produced hybrid. This is long, shiny and purple, unlike the native eggplant that is short, and has white strips and thick skin,” he said.

A study by M.T. Caasi-Lit of UP Los Baños et al. showed, however, that Casino 901 has only intermediate resistance to the leafhopper and eggplant borer, which means there is a greater need to use pesticides on it.

But Saragena said effective natural pest management begins with proper land

preparation.
Pests at the cocoon stage can usually be found under the soil. Plowing will

unearth them, and the exposure to sunlight will dry them up and kill them, he said.

Chemical misuse

Saragena said the reason chemical sprays are not always effective in managing pests is farmers don’t follow the dosage and usage instructions, changing the effect of the chemicals on the pest. “The pest no longer dies,” he said.

Some chemicals should also not be mixed together, but farmers do “cocktailing” or apply different chemicals at the same time, to get their work over and done with.

With the low acceptance of bio-control methods to manage pests, he said tougher action may be needed against farmers. “In other countries, they are forced to use biocon because their products won’t be accepted if these have high chemical residue. Here, we can’t even monitor if the farmer will not follow the pre-harvest interval.”

He cited the case of Cebu clients with vegetable suppliers from Mindanao. “If the boat arrives late, the client here will ask the local farmers for vegetables. Even if they sprayed the plants yesterday, the farmers will sell the produce to the client because the client says he needs it because the supply from his regular supplier did not arrive.”

Monitoring the safety of produce at the farm gate, however, will require manpower and a budget that the government doesn’t even have today to produce and promote bio-control products in the quantities and varieties needed. (Tomorrow: Dalaguete’s natural pesticide champions)

Biological control methods to control pests available

at Department of Agriculture 7

◘ Metarhizium anisopliae (fungus) – to control rice black bug, Brontispa beetle (in coconut), and termites (in homes)
◘ Earwig (insect) – for corn borer and other lepidopterous pests ◘ Trichogramma japonicum (wasp) – for rice stem borers
◘ Trichogramma evanescens (wasp) – for corn stem borers
◘ Trichogramma chilonis (wasp) – for borers of vegetables, like eggplant, tomato, cabbage

"Bug slay, nature's way" (LAST OF TWO PARTS)

Saying it with flowers and formulations

Dalaguete’s natural pesticide champions show results, resolve to convert non-believers

Special Report

By Cherry Ann T. Lim

Sun.Star Cebu, August 28, 2014 Others Section, Page 10

YEARS ago, the foul odor of chemical pesticides signaled one’s arrival in Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete town, Cebu.

Today, the stench is gone in Cebu’s vegetable basket because wasps, flowers

and other gifts of nature help rein in pests that harm the village’s crops, enabling farmers to reduce their use of chemical pesticides.

Vegetables require more chemical sprays than rice and corn, said Cebu Provincial Agriculture Office chief Dr. Roldan Saragena, making Dalaguete a focal point for natural pest control strategies.

Of Dalaguete’s 33 barangays, 16 produce vegetables, with Mantalongon being the biggest village, said Expedizitas Lenares, head of Dalaguete’s Municipal Agriculture and Natural Resources Office (Manro).

“Eighty percent of vegetables in Carbon Market, Cebu City’s largest public market, comes from Dalaguete. And some of the vegetables sent to Carbon are sold to neighboring provinces like Bohol and Leyte,” said Lenares, a 2013 Dangal ng Bayan awardee of the Civil Service Commission for providing sustainable programs and technologies to the town’s farmers and fishermen.

Dalaguete agricultural technician Macario Moya said from 1995 to 2000, the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7’s Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) released the Diadegma wasp in 11 of the town’s villages to control the diamondback moth (DBM), the top pest of cabbage, pechay, broccoli and cauliflower plants, resulting in the Diadegma now naturally occurring in the area.

The Diadegma, whose larva parasitizes the DBM’s larva, has enabled farmers in the area to cut chemical pesticide application by 25 percent, he said. And he expects a further drop in chemical use with the expected increase in population of the earwig, an insect released two years ago for the control of corn borers and other lepidopterous pests.

Astro (permethrin), DuPont Prevathon (chlorantraniliprole) and Voliam Flexi are the chemical sprays used to control the DBM, but Moya said these were not very strong chemicals. Other farmers, he said, had gone organic and tried to shun synthetic pesticides altogether.

Labels

Moya said Mantalongon’s foul smell came from its use of “red label pesticides,” which leave chemical residue on plants up to 30 days after application and are “poisonous” to people. He said such pesticides are now banned in the market. He cited the chemical Methamidophos as systemic and having harmful effects, causing vegetable farmers’ wives to suffer miscarriages or produce special children.

Other classifications of pesticide, Moya said, were yellow label, which are “still poisonous, but have a lower pre-harvest interval (PHI) of 14-15 days,” and blue and green label pesticides with PHIs of one week and two days, respectively. PHI is the time between the last application of the pesticide and the safe harvesting of the crops for immediate consumption.

Aggressive sellers

Pesticides are very accessible to farmers. They are sold in agricultural supply stores, and at the Mantalongon farming and trading center and the town’s six satellite markets.

So Lenares plans to recommend to the Sangguniang Bayan the accreditation of pesticide suppliers to enable the local government unit (LGU) to indicate the products the suppliers can sell. Manro would ensure compliance with random checks on sellers’ shelves. “This can be conducted by the Business Permit and Licensing Office,” she

said.
At present, commercial suppliers of pesticides can reach farmers faster than the

town’s agricultural technicians. “They also offer promos and incentives like jackets, boots, gear, sprayers, hats and samples,” which entice farmers to buy their products, she said.

Moya said aggressive sales tactics by company technicians included encouraging the misuse of their products. He cited a foreign firm’s fungicide intended for foliar application on mango trees now used by farmers on vegetables.

The PHI of 55 days, he said, is all right for mango trees, since it is applied only on their leaves and it takes long to harvest mangoes, but not for vegetables.

He said when he confronted the company’s technicians, telling them, “You have no social concern,” they replied that they were just following their employers’ orders.

Even with accreditation, though, chemical pesticide use would still not be completely controlled. Some of the town’s farmers sell their produce directly to buyers in Carbon Market, so when they go there to sell their produce, they might buy their pesticides there, Lenares said.

To encourage the farmers to reduce their synthetic pesticide use, the Manro proposes to spare farmers using organic pesticides or fertilizers from paying the user’s tax in the satellite markets. The tax is for the use of the market facilities, like the weighing scale. It is 10 percent of the value of the crops they bring.

Mitigating measures

On the field, Dalaguete is showing the power of the natural environment to protect crops from pests.

Where before chemical sprays were used to control the sap-sucking whiteflies that plagued vegetable fields, today, Lenares said, “mitigating measures” involve just planting yellow flowering plants on the boundaries and contours or in the middle of crops to repel them.

Moya said plants like marigold and iring-iring are smelly and glaring, repelling whiteflies and other pests, except for the diamondback moth.

For the DBM, he said, Brgy. Babayongan had found a weapon in weeds that grew tall, spurting yellow flowers that the DBM prefers, sparing the farmers’ vegetables. Such plants, which take attention away from the target crops of pests, are called “trap crops.”

In the 2013 book “Weed and Pest Control - Conventional and New Challenges,” Joyce E. Parker et al. suggest that instead of repelling pests with their odor, marigolds intercropped with broccoli, the target crop of pests, may be masking the odor of the broccoli or visually camouflaging the vegetable to make it less apparent to the pests.

Moya said since the DBM (which attacks cabbage) also doesn’t like the smell of sibuyas (spring onions) and the tomato, one can plant these beside the cabbage.

Demo farm

A good example of the use of nature to produce chemical-free vegetables is the Cang-ibang Nucleus Farm in Mantalongon developed by the LGU through an agreement with the Centino family, owners of the lot, Moya said.

In the LGU-funded farm, farmers paid by the town tend to 1.8 hectares planted to spring onions, Chinese cabbage (ombok pechay), cabbage, beans and carrots. In charge of the plot is farm manager Gregorio Fajardo.

The farm, two years old this November, has yellow boundaries of wild sunflower to distract whiteflies from the vegetable cash crops. The madre de cacao in the interior of the farm is used for a botanical spray. The leaves are ground, then diluted in water and sprayed to repel insects like whiteflies and the DBM. Tanglad (lemongrass) also repels insects with its pungent smell.

And across the road from the farm is the iring-iring (also called kanding-kanding or baho-baho), whose nectar attracts the Diadegma beneficial to cruciferous vegetables.

Concoctions

Fajardo has his own farm where his spring onions are attacked by leaf miners, army worms and the golden Japanese snail. To control them, he makes the “Oriental herbal nutrient,” which is a kilo of molasses and a kilo of ginger fermented in a bottle of beer for 15-30 days. After diluting this, putting two tablespoons of the concentrate into a liter of water makes it ready to spray on the spring onions.

He learned about this alternative to chemical sprays during an RCPC 7 seminar last year. The concoction, costing just P185, can be used for more than a year on a 1,000-square-meter lot, compared to a regular chemical spray at P500/kilo that may last for only half a year.

His formula

In the private sector, Dalaguete’s natural pesticide champions have an ally in James Aguilar, 33, a farmer tireless in spreading the gospel of chemical pesticide-free farming.

In Mantalongon, Aguilar has five farms where he plants lettuce, cabbage and

gabi (taro).
To combat the DBM, whitefly and army worm that hit his lettuce and cabbage, he

uses the roots of the tubli vine (Derris elliptica). He first buries them for a week in fresh mud, then extracts the juice, to which he adds water for a spray that can be used as a green label natural pesticide.

Pests that get hit by the spray or eat the plant sprayed with the spray die, said Aguilar of the tubli, which is also used to poison unwanted fish species.

Wilma Dichoso, in a 2000 Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) report, cited tubli as effective in killing “pea aphids, corn borers, bean beetles” and even mosquitoes, household flies and pet pests without harming their hosts.

Aguilar said it has been hard to convince farmers, used to applying chemicals, to use his formulation, but he now has a few buyers in barangays Mantalongon, Manlapay and Langkas.

Aguilar has also formulated a fungicide made from dried tobacco leaves. From the Internet, he learned to dry the leaf without the sun. He puts it in a shaded area until it dies, which is about two weeks. Then he dilutes 1/4 kilo of tobacco leaves in a liter of water to make a concentrate. From this concentrate, the farmer can get 10 tablespoons and dilute them in 16 liters of water for a ready-to-spray solution.

“The fungicide can be used for rice, corn, vegetables, even bonsai, and costs just 1/3 of the price of a chemical spray,” he said.

Few, good men

Aguilar and Moya are part of a group of only 15 organic farming advocates in barangays Mantalongon and Tabon. The group employs the natural farming system,

and Aguilar regularly sends his concoctions to them for efficacy tests in various settings, like upland and midland, which have different climates and terrains.

Aguilar also created a fungicide using the imported Habanero chili, said to be the world’s hottest chili. A seed from Mexico was given to Moya and a friend by a German they met at an organic congress in Palawan in 2009. They gave the seed to Aguilar to plant. Aguilar now sells the chili to Mexican restaurants in Cebu.

To make the fungicide, he puts the chili in a blender and dilutes it in water. Very potent, just a small amount is used.

A Leyte native, Aguilar studied agriculture there before moving to Cebu six years ago because his wife hails from Mantalongon.

He lamented that while still in Leyte 10 years ago, no one believed in him, and the organic products he processed found no takers. After finding a kindred spirit in Moya in Cebu, the two are now partners in producing an organic soil enhancer product that they have begun exporting to Mexico.

Edible

Despite his support for natural farming, Aguilar draws the line at eating pests to control their numbers, recoiling at the suggestion when faced with a garden snail (Helix aspersa).

Dr. Saragena said some pests are edible, like the exotic golden kuhol (Pomacea canalicuta or golden apple snail), a rice pest originally from South America, and taklong (forest snail), a vegetable pest.

But he did not consider the smelly giant African land snails (Achatina fulica) that ravaged corn, guyabano and vegetable fields in Samboan and Oslob towns last April

edible, even if Capitol consultant Dr. Romulo Davide said they were brought to the country during World War 2 for food. He advised killing and burying them to serve as organic fertilizer.

In Pampanga, locusts are cooked adobo style. But in Cebu, no one eats them, Saragena said. Rather, “stand-by chemicals” are used to address the locusts that appear in San Remigio and Medellin towns in northern Cebu.

DA 7 information officer Marilyn Talagon said one reason eating field pests is not popular is that it is not known where a pest that appears in one’s farm came from. It could have been exposed to toxic chemical sprays in other areas.

Budget and effort

Aguilar estimates that organic farms comprise only three percent of farms in Mantalongon, with organic farm meaning they are still using synthetic fertilizer but less of the synthetic pesticide.

Farmers don’t use natural pest management, he said, because organic farming requires more effort, as one would still have to make his own pesticide.

He said the government also probably lacks the budget to give more of the natural enemies of pests to the farmers for free, so a subsidy program may be in order.

He said municipal technicians had no budget to do training in different areas. “Maybe only 30 percent of farmers in Mantalongon are aware of the GAP standard,” he said.

GAP certification

GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) are specific methods in agriculture to address food quality, safety and security concerns. For the Food and Agriculture Organization

(FAO) of the United Nations, it involves principles, first presented in 2003, to protect the food chain while promoting environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Citing the slow progress in reducing world hunger by half by 2015—a commitment governments made under the World Food Summit Plan of Action and the Millennium Development Goals—the 2003 17th Session on the Development of a Framework for GAP by the FAO Committee on Agriculture in Rome prescribed voluntary steps by governments, the private sector, non-government organizations and civil society “to promote sustainable agriculture and natural resources management” to bring about food security and improved livelihoods.

Moya said that with GAP, for example, crop areas must be cordoned off to prevent animals from defecating on the produce; there should be a stockroom to separate fertilizers and chemicals from the medicine kit for farmers; there should be toilets for farm workers; and there should be a cleaning area for vegetables, so these are not placed on the ground and contaminated.

He said GAP is a move toward organic farming, and there is already a national standard developed by the DA’s Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards that is being harmonized with the international standard.

The Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 defines organic agriculture as “ecologically sound, socially acceptable, economically viable and technically feasible” food production that “reduces external inputs by refraining from the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.”

The Philippine GAP standards were developed in 2005 to improve the marketability of Philippine fruits and vegetables. In the same year, DA Administrative

Order 25 set guidelines on the granting of GAP certification in the fruit and vegetable sector to individual growers or farms, and the organizations that market and trade their produce.

Certified farms may use the Good Agriculture Practice for Fruits and Vegetables Farming mark on their produce, in advertising and in letterheads.

But going pesticide free is not that easy. Aguilar cites the problems of early adoption.

“If you’re the only one using organic, while other farmers around you use chemicals, the pests will transfer to the organic farm. That’s why everyone will just use chemicals, making the pests immune (to the chemicals),” he said.

Moya said the solution is a protective covering called a tunnel, which is like a small greenhouse forming an arch rising one meter from the ground to cover the plants. But he said one roll of this UV-treated transparent plastic or solarplex tunnel costs P12,000 at 2.5 meters by 100 meters. It will cover only eight plots of 10 meters each.

The Manro is undeterred. “This year, we hope to have testing of chemical residue of products in the market. Before harvesting, the farmer will bring a sample to the market for the mini lab to examine,” said Moya. The presence of chemical residue will be determined in five minutes.

This is a project of the Manro and the German Foundation Apos-OurFood.

“Farms will be clustered. The first batch will have 200 farmers taken from the 16 barangays. They will be trained in GAP this year. One manager will be assigned per 10 farms to do recordkeeping to monitor which farms bring crops with heavy residue to market and which don’t,” he said.

If the product is found to have high residue, the farmer will be advised to harvest it in one to two days yet, he said.

The Dalaguete Vegetable Grower Association will conduct the pesticide testing using the rapid-testing kit given by the foundation. The foundation’s program will run until 2017, assuring supply of the kits at least until then.

In the first three-year phase of the program, they trained farmers and stakeholders, from production to marketing to retailers, on the importance of GAP, Moya said. They are now in the second three-year phase of the program.

Health

But whether the effort to reduce chemical pesticide use in Dalaguete has resulted in fewer health problems for its residents at least, remains a question.

Dr. Renan Cimafranca, head of the Department of Health (DOH) 7’s Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit, said depending on the pesticide, skin contact may cause cancer, inhalation may bring respiratory problems, and anomalies may occur in pregnancies. But he said toxicology tests on blood samples would be needed to establish exposure.

Dr. Jose Edgar Alonso, head of Dalaguete’s Rural Health Unit 1, said that while theoretically speaking, the widespread use of chemical pesticides could lead to chronic poisoning, the signs of which include dizziness and sweating as the pesticides are released from fatty issues, and that these have been noted in some farmers, it “can’t be proven that pesticides were the cause” or even that the pesticides are “tied to cancer.”

In the early 1980s, he said, a study was made on congenital birth defects in the town, but no studies were done on the soil and water to establish a link with pesticide

use. He said while there continue to be many cases of unintended abortions of pregnant women and birth defects today, without such studies, they could not be linked to pesticides.

Two years ago, the DOH 7 studied pesticide use and neonatal deaths in Dalaguete, but the doctor behind the study left Cebu without leaving the results, if any, with the DOH.

Without a clear idea whether the reduction in chemical pesticide use has reduced the risks on their health, Dalaguete’s farmers will rely mainly on government regulation, and not personal or consumer benefit, to guide them in their decision to adopt natural pest management.
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