Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bohol rice yield increase
By 10%, says DA-APC
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 7 (PIA) – Take it from the local experts.

National data may rate Bohol’s average rice yield an average per hectare basis but local authorities have seen a 9.5 to 10 percent increase its recorded average yield from January to June this year compared to the previous cropping.

According to the records from the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Promotion Center (DA-APC) in comparison to January to June in 2010, they have noted the promising increase to 2.58 tons per hectare over-all Bohol average yield.    

Even then, this has pegged an over-all rice sufficiency level of 112-115 percent.

This means that the total rice production here is more than enough for Boholanos even if we have groups in the private sector who involve themselves in rice trading outside Bohol, says Liza Quirog.

Citing data from the DA, the provincial agriculturist also added almost 70% of the total production of Central Visayas is in Bohol.

The problem however is that there is still a considerably low average harvest yield on a per hectare computation in Bohol compared to other provinces.

To that, the office of the Provincial Agriculture, through its assistant provincial agriculturist accounts the larger rain-fed areas which are much dependent on the rain and spring sources than those which are irrigated.

Larry Pamugas cited that only around 47% or our total rice area is irrigated while he 53% are rainfed.

Data shows that Bohol has 22,098 hectares of irrigated lands under National Irrigation Authority (NIA) control while 25, 280 hectares are rainfed.

Sources also disclosed that while irrigated farms are assured of a year round cropping, rain-fed lots would be dependent on the rains that come so that some of these farms would only get a single cropping on a year.

Over this, NIA has recommended that the general direction on irrigation in Bohol would focus on Small Farm Reservoir systems, small water impounding, pump irrigations and small concrete diversion dams, which are targeted for rain-fed areas.

Accessed through grants, these smaller reservoir projects are more economical and effective, costs much less and has a high impact as it reaches far flung areas, explains Engr. Eugene Cahiles.
The agriculture authorities here however said much could still be done to hit a 2.74 tons per hectare target within the next few croppings.

Certified seeds adoption still 
Consistent with nat’l policies 
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 7 (PIA) – Despite a relatively high yield characteristic of hybrid seeds, adopting the less costly certified and registered seeds is still consistent with the end goal of increasing harvests.

And the move in fact is more in line with Bohol’s adopted sustainable agriculture policy, says Provincial Agriculturist Liza Quirog at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.

Asked whether the option for the certified or registered seeds is consistent with the national policies, Quirog stressed that the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its local offices including the devolved Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) all push for these seeds.

The DA has an ongoing program on community seed banking and seed buffer stocking system where seeds of these kinds [certified and registered] are provided for farm adoption.

Both certified and registered seeds have proven themselves with the capacity to provide high yields similar to hybrid, and they cost about a third less than hybrid seeds, explained assistant provincial agriculturist Larry Pamugas, during the weekly forum aired live over DyTR.

The issue came as authorities explained anew the controversy roused by a statement that Bohol’s 2.5 ton average yield for every hectare of rice field is by far the lowest all over the country, as reported by a local paper.

The statement was accordingly quoted from a PhilRice executive who visited Bohol for a harvest festival which featured a hybrid seed demonstration farm, few weeks ago.

Earlier, Agricultural Promotion Center (APC) manager Engr. Eugene Cahiles said the option for the high yielding seed varieties alone could make the difference in harvests.

By high yielding seed varieties, Engr. Cahiles means hybrid seeds or certified seeds, which have been tested to provide equally huge harvests in demonstration farms and field tests in Bohol.

While the APC aggie expert talked of hybrid seeds, he was quick to clarify that in Bohol, the APC support for hybrid is for research purposes and that they assist farmers by providing them with alternative options for farmers.

As such, authorities said they would help private sectors going for hybrid only as far as the technology of fertilization, should they ask for assistance.

Bohol has since adopted a sustainable agriculture policy and the limiting cost of hybrid seeds can be its bane, farmers have disclosed.

Besides, hybrid, certified or registered seeds yields can always be dependent on the kind of soil it is planted, adds assistant provincial agriculturist Larry Pamugas at the forum.

Rice is location specific and so, farmer adoptors would rather seek the right information as to the kind of seed fro adoption from farm technicians and neighboring farms to be assured that the seeds he intends to adopt can provide the harvest he envisions. (30)

SEA-K’s P5K bingkahan 
Cooks a family’s future 
By: Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 7 (PIA) – A P5,000 no-interest livelihood loan from the government’s social service fund has now largely funded two college students, a high school and an elementary kid, all because of a family’s judicious spending and a sheer sense of entrepreneurship.

Seemingly set in a tight situation of economic hardship and with schooling children, Hermegias Perocho has to get moving or the vicious cycle of poverty and hopelessness takes a grip in his children too.

Accessing a Self Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) no-interest livelihood loan for a proposed Bingkahan Project as a primary means of livelihood, the Perochos have promised to work hard instead of sulk at their lot.

Now at 49 years old, and for the mild mannered father who has worked as a city blue guard, the decision has kept him from the grueling task of graveyard shifts and a pay that could hardly sustain a family of 6 kids in the city.

Finally deciding to come home to his town in Pilar for better chances of survival, Perocho has worked odd jobs, tended a garden and still faced a bleak like. Until a brother taught him how to bake oven bake ricecakes in 1997 when the futire started to make a decipherable shape.

A resident of Poblacion 7 which is also a beneficiary barangay of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) livelihood assistance funds under SEA-K, Perocho succeeded in tapping the cash boost to start off his family’s business with a new oven and some ingredients for the bingkahan.

Perocho is just one of the 25 SEA-K beneficiaries who each have tapped P5000.00 no interest loans for identified various livelihood projects aimed at conquering poverty and elevating their economic conditions.
At first, we were using crude tools to grind the rice as the main ingredient, now we have a small machine that performs two tasks at the same time. One grinds the rice and the other grates the coconut for our baking requirements, to save on the gas fuel, he excitedly shares.

Their improvement can best be pictured by the bicycle for deliveries they used then to a motorbike now, so they could serve five neighboring towns of Carmen, Sierra Bullones, Pilar, Alicia and Ubay.

“We now grind 10 kilos of rice daily for our baking requirement,” because it is not the peak season.

In peak times, and by that he means harvest season in this rice growing communities, the Perochos grind at least half a sack of rice for their cakes.

Once living on a small hut, Perochos have slowly started to repair their house using the meager income from the bingka, he shared.

Now working on repairs, he said a few more jobs and it will make the house fully comfortable.     

We have to stop working on the repairs due to our two college kids and a high school student who is graduating this year, he added.

Perocho’s bingkahan (rice cakes bakery using crude ovens) would need two tin ovens, which deteriorate after about 4 months of continuous daily baking, he said.

One oven is heated more to produce the tempting cracks in the cake, while the other is on a constant low fire, to make sure each cake of a dozen per feed cooks just right, according to him during a chance interview.

Contented now but seeing that he still has more problems to go when his senior high school student graduates this year, Perocho openly dreams of converting his fuel source to biogas.

If the government would listen to us and offer more help, we could use up more funds. We have shown we can be trusted, he said.

As far as I know, raising about six hogs can generate enough methane for the ovens and assure us another income source, he added.  (30)

Pantawid Caravan
Serves a thousand

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 8 (PIA) – Over a thousand Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (Pantawid) availed of the services from different government agencies on the recently conducted Pantawid Convergence Caravan at Ramon Magsaysay Gymnasium October 1, 2011.

According to Ubay Information Officer Virgie Dupa, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 7 initiated the program which highlights the different services offered by the National, Provincial and Local offices were offered at a one stop shop for Pantawid beneficiaries picked from the six(6) Metro Ubay  barangays.

The choosing of the six barangays was said to be a way to minimize their fare expenses.

Dupa, designated town media liaison said the event started early morning, as a huge but disciplined crowd-participants  milled at the gymnasium and quickly occupied the bleachers  according to the paged instructions by Aileen P. Lariba, Pantawid Information Officer.  

The event also was a perfect venue to remind Pantawid beneficiaries of the conditions they have to comply with to continue getting the benefits.

The event also gathered the four pillars of a successful program implementation in Bohol.

Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, 2nd District Congressman Erico Aumentado, Ubay Mayor Eutiquio Bernales and Shalaine Marie Lucero Regional Deputy Project Manager of DSWD R7 representing RD Evelyn Macapobre had at times been seen huddling to discuss some details and possibly hone the program implementation to perfection. 

All these leaders also resounded their calls for responsible citizenship and judicious use of the assistance as this was not to last forever. 

Chatto also urged the people to avail of the programs his office launched for livelihood, backyard gardening highlighting vegetables, herbal medicines and free range native chicken production, to help augment their pay-out benefits every month.

For his part, former governor and Congressman Erico Aumentado put up the challenge “Kaya Natong Taga Ubay, Ipadayon Ang Kalamboan while asking for his people the support and commitment needed for a sustainable development for Ubay.  

Bernales, meanwhile expressed his sincerest thanks to all partner agencies who were very supportive in the Caravan.  

Services offered during the day were vegetable seeds and seedlings distribution and farm technology demonstration.

These were done in coordination with MAO Ubay Nena Alangilan. (Rey Anthony Chiu with UBAYmpio)

Two monsignors on
Del Pilar Feastday
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

PILAR Bohol, Oct 8, (PIA) – Capping a weeklong novenario led by past priests who had stints in the Virgen del Pilar parish, two monsignors lead the feast day mass this Wednesday here.

This as the town becomes truly a hub of activity on Wednesday, when the whole Christian world celebrates the feast day of Virgen del Pilar.

No less than Talibon Diocese’s Bishop Christian Vincent Noel, DD with Msgr. Ignacio Reyes officiate the two masses on October 12, the feastday of the virgin who is depicted as standing on top of a pillar.

Msgr. Ignacio Reyes officiates the first mass at 6:00 AM mass on October 12, while Msgr. Christian Vincent Noel along with all visiting priests will be on the Pontifical mass at 9:30 Am, said parish priest Rev. Fr. Giuseppe Trabajo.

Earlier, the town devotees had a dawn novena and masses celebrated by priests formerly assigned in the town.

The Novenarios were led by Rev. Fr. Trabajo, Serelle Timoteo Reyes, Nazario Tiempo Jr., Raymond Estillore, Ariel Lantaca, Felix Tabigue, Cosme Damien Almedilla, jonas Redulla, Moisel Bernales on the last novena.

Virgen del Pilar, the patroness of Zaragosa, Spain is also the patron saint of at least six more towns all over the Philippines, which most likely, would also have big church activities in the day.

The virgin accordingly appeared to the distraught Saint James who had a rough time converting Christians in Zaragosa.

The virgin was said to have appeared to James in a dream and instructed him to build a church in her honor at the exact spot where she appeared.  

That time, the virgin Mary was still alive and was in Jerusalem, when angels carried her across the Mediterranean to the banks of Ebro River, where James and his 12 chosen disciples were at prayer. 

In Pilar, the river of Pamacsalan, which feeds the gigantic Malinao Dam could have pushed the missionary priests to consecrate the town to the virgin.

Pilar was accordingly closely integrated with its neighboring town Sierra Bullones and was the seat of power in 1863.
A church was accordingly built in 1890 by Rev. Fr. Jose Rada, a newly beatified in 199 for sainthood.

His efforts earned him a place in a bell, one of the three which was listed among the possessions of the church after the Americans razed the Christian structure to the ground in the early 1900.

The church accordingly had three bells dated 1895 named San Roque, San Isidro and San Jose.

The bell San Jose, now cracked when it fell off from its tower also bears the name Fr. Jose Rada, is now displayed inside the church along with an old post dug from the ashes where the old church once stood.

Local accounts say that the older church had a southeast orientation while the new structure erected in 1936 had a northeast orientation. (30)

PIA distributes PSR posters
Supportive of tax campaigns
By: Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 8 (PIA) – The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bohol, in an attempt to engage consumers into the habit of demanding receipts for any sales or service rendered by establishments, helps popularize the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Premyo sa Resibo promo by distributing information posters on the nationwide tax campaign.

To this, PIA distributes a customized tarpaulin poster on the Premyo sa Resibo (PSR) using the Cebuano dialect to help in the tax generation campaign of the government.

The posters are for every town in Bohol and are set for posting at the town markets, which is one of the most prominent locations in the town, said PIA sources.

The unmistakeable red and yellow poster disseminates the manner in which consumers can participate in the promotional activity which uses the Tax Identification Number of the establishment issuing the official receipts, sales invoice, cash register machines, point of sales or validated utility bills’ as a critical factor for one to get an entry number in the raffle draw that opens up a million pesos for the winners.

The text based promo, would then only allow receipts with the minimum P100 value, which should be texted to a BIR promo hotline which acknowledges the entry through a reply.

The draw however uses a specific syntax, and any mistake in the required format can invalidate the entry, said BIR representative during a press conference months ago.

The syntax should be: PSR Tax Identification Number Official Receipt Number of the establishment and the receipt whole rounded value excluding the centavos.

Text entries with a receipt value of more than P100 can be sent to 9777 or 9778, for P2.50 charge per text, the BIR said.

All entries sent to 9777 would get one single entry and would be on for a single draw.

Entries however that are sent to 9778 earns multiple entries depending on number of hundreds in the receipt value, BIR added.

Each draw is set every week, on Fridays where the winners can get P20,000 while a monthly draw can earn the lucky receipt sender a coo P1,000,000.

Winners of the promo get a notification from (632) 338-9777 or (638) 338-5599.

For more information, contact the PIA in Bohol at 501-8554 or your local BIR. (30)     

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