Sunday, October 2, 2011

Irrigating rain-fed areas
to solve low Bohol yields
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct. 2 (PIA) – A key agriculture official admits that irrigating Bohol’s vast rain-fed rice farms can increase the average harvest in Bohol.

This as a PhilRice executive director revealed that Bohol’s 2.5 tons average is the smallest production yield in the country, a fact that local aggie authorities point to factors contributing to the low yields.

The 2.5 tons per hectare roughly translates to 50 bags of 50 kilos per hectare, explained Engr. Eugene Cahiles of the Agricultural Promotion Center (APC).

Bohol Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) head Engr. Maximino Servillon said that Bohol has about 30,000 rainfed farms producing much lesser compared to the 19,000 irrigated rice fields averaging a little more than the 2.5 tons per hectare yield.

This is also despite Bohol boasting of about three mega irrigation dams, a good number of small-scale irrigation systems and small water impounding projects (SWIP).

APC manager Engr. Eugene Cahiles bared that of the about 50,000 hectares of rainfed and irrigated ricefields, only about 15,000 hectares are planted with hybrid and certified rice seeds.

According to Cahiles, certified rice seed adoptors easily make 4 tons per hectare while hybrid adoptors could make much more.

He cited that in Lila for example, hybrid adopters harvest 11 tons per hectare while the least yield still wen as high as 4 tons.

Here, other farmers do not follow the recommendations of the DA, use the right fertilizer and follow the schedules when to apply the fertilizer, according to him.

Independent analysts have also assumed that the increase in rice sufficiency recorded in Bohol could be attributed to the government subsidy on hybrid and certified rice seeds.

The past agriculture department leaders have subsidized fertilizers at half the cost, a huge reason why adoption has increased.

Since then, with hybrid and certified rice seeds not suited for replanting, adoption dropped which may have resulted in even lower harvests, analysts assumed.

Engr. Cahiles also said aside from low adoption rate for better yielding seeds, farmers also do away with the right fertilizers and applying them at the right time.

Because of this, Cahiles said that a government support on building small farm reservoirs for small-scale irrigation projects instead of building new dams is a better and faster, less expensive option to increase the yields.

We would rather fund the rehabilitation and restoration of old irrigations systems over building new one while the move for the more logical small water impounding systems could be pursued, said Cahiles.

A small water impounding system costs about 20,000 per unit and this can irrigate about 10 hectares, he said.

Even then, Cahiles still challenged private sector investors in making certified or hybrid rice seeds available for the farmers, while urging for more available services from financial institutions. (30)

Sardines price increase 
Still w/in SRP, says DTI 
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol Oct 1 (PIA) – Department of Trade and Industry Bohol (DTI) has noticed prices of some canned sardines brands slightly going up.

But that is no cause for worry, according to Jose Hibaya, DTI consumer division chief.

He said the prices of some few brands may have risen but these are still within the suggested retail prices (SRP) as agreed by national processed food manufacturers and consumer networks.

Canned sardines, also considered a daily fare for the urban dwellers and the working class is among the DTI monitored prime commodities in as much as the agency assures consumers that the prices of these commodities are regulated.

The increase, which was monitored within a few days before the minimum daily wage increase effected here, was not connected to possible prospecting, hints DTI who said that there are some brands of processed food which programmed their increases after a few months.

Those that we monitored as increased have not done so in quite a long time, thus their increase could be justifiable.

These products come from different companies which do not have similar price movement timetable, said Hibaya at the recent Kapihan sa PIA.

Cursory look at the display shelves of a major grocery here revealed that Swan Sardines Bulilit sells their products at 10.50, Swan regular at P11.00, 555 sell their products at 12.20 while Mariko, Family and Sallenas sells their sardines at P12.25.

Youngstown sells at P12.60 while Mega and Unipak sells their products at P12.75.

Ligo is by far the priciest at P13.00.

At these developments, the working class, who make the canned sardines as among the easily within the budget fastfood has been troubled by the reported increase.

This came over reports that there have been an implemented closed fishing season for the fish made into sardines in the Zamboanga and Sulu seas until December.

Reports monitored bared that the closed season is hoped to allow the dwindling population of fish in the region to recover, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources there.

The reports also come in time when the price increase was monitored prompting speculations that the prospect of low supply of sardines in the near future could have pushed the increase.

The DTI however assured that they have been constantly monitoring the price of basic commodities as part of their mandates.

Any violations of overpricing and possible hoarding of basic commodities can be reported to DTI, the office assured that they would act on opportunistic businessmen who use the situation make hefty profits.  (30)  


Bohol raffia sells big
At Nat’l OTOP Fair
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 30 (PIA) – A woven raffia products producer comes home to Bohol with P21M in cash and booked sales bagging the biggest sales generated in the five day national crafts fair held last week.

For that feat, P1 Handicraft, from Inabanga, Bohol won the Top Seller Award for Non-Food Category during the recently concluded 2011 National One-Town-One Product (OTOP) Fair held at Mega Trade Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bohol.

P1 Handicrafts manufactures of loom-woven raffia rolls, placemats, table runners and coasters, wall frames, hanging curtains, buntals, nito and wickers baskets as well as other indigenous-material made souvenir items and novelties.

Over the achievement, DTI-Bohol Provincial Office said its is more than happy with the results of the National OTOP Fair.

“Our loom-wovens, gift items, home decors, fashion accessories and souvenir items gained interest from both local buyers and exporters”, said DTI Bohol’s Marisol Balistoy, Chief of the DTI’s Business Development Division here.

Negotiations on the possible supply of the said products especially the loom-wovens are now on-going, she said hinting the realization of the project goals.

This project aims to promote entrepreneurship and job creation, DTI said.

The Fair was aimed to bring to local and international buyers the country’s provinces showcasing their best Philippine-made products, according to sources from the DTI.

The fair also brought to the taste buds and fashion senses of Filipinos and internationals various delicacies, fresh and processed foods, health and wellness products, fashionable bags, unique handcraft, accessories, all given the shelves to officially display them as the best in their towns, according to DTI.

Products under the OTOP banner went through skills, knowledge, and labor of local folk in creative use of easily available indigenous materials, DTI said.

The agency also pointed out that the OTOP national expo is a convergence of the OTOP Island fairs conducted during the last three years in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Aside from P1 Handicrafts, other Bohol exhibitors include Tubigon Loomweavers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc. with total sales of P0.350M and FM Gems Collection with total sales of P0.058M. (30)

Ubay implements
Helmet law Oct 3
By: Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Oct 1 (PIA) – Beginning Monday, October 3, Ubay police would be accosting motorcyclists who default in the wearing of crash helmets while driving.

And while some other towns had difficulties explaining to target motorists about the necessity of wearing body protection while driving motorcycles found an easy way too get Ubayanons into the drift.

Exactly a week before the full implementation of the law in the town, the newly installed police chief led an information caravan to popularize road safety by wearing the crash helmet at a time most people would know.

PSInspector Homobono Sayon and his men roamed around the Ubay market vicinity on a market day, to pass the word about the full implementation of the law on helmets starting October 3.

But even before that, PSinp Sayon aggressively made sure his men are with him in the campaign.

In a move to assure the people that road accidents can hit the police too, the newly installed police chief inspected his men who own motorcycles to make sure the campaign does not boomerang on the police.

From there, he lad his men to an information dissemination sortie on the observance of motorcycle helmets by motorists at the vicinity of the town public market last September 26, 2011.

This is in relation to the full implementation of the mandatory helmet law and the national transportation and traffic codes.

During the sortie, cops told motorists that a weeklong time-span is given for motorcycle operators to equip themselves before the local police would start apprehending violators.

Sayon further stressed that the law should be carried out and as law enforcer and an implementing arm of the government, they would spare no one in implementing the law by October 3.

According to Land Transportation Office Information Officer Aloy Balazuela, there have been many road fatalities owing to motorists failing to protect themselves by wearing helmets.

Alarmed with the incidents, LTO said they are just as happy that the police has joined them in keeping road safety measures.

Absent the implementing rules and regulations of the New Mandatory Helmet Law, deputized agents of the LTO would be using Republic Act 4136.

He also explained that since a department administrative order has been issued on the penalties of violators, anybody who defaults wearing the helmet while operating a motorcycle would be fined according to the order plus administrative fees, which would total P1,776.00. (with Virgie DUPA/MPIO)

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