Sunday, September 16, 2012

NSO pleads cooperation as aggie 
Census on basic sectors run soon 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 14, 2012, (PIA) –Statistics Office authorities urge the Boholanos to cooperate with the enumerators in the data generation for the creation of a more thorough database on the basic sectors in agriculture running all over Bohol from September 17-Nov 7 this year. 

At the heat of training their enumerators and survey supervisor for the conduct of a reliable data generation for the basic registry, National Statistics Office Bohol statistics officer Jessamyn Anne Alcazaren assured that, contrary to popular perception of taxation in NSO surveys, again, this one isn’t. 

The data generated here is to prop up a national database of farmers, fishers and laborers and their specific information relative to their sectors, she said at the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. 

She said the questions for this round of survey for the basic agricultural sectors registry system are more into seeking out the farmers, fishermen and laborers in general and their profiles. 

But despite a pre-identified target audience, Alcazaren pointed out that enumerators also need to get to houses and talks to respondents, who may not necessarily be among the identified sectors. 

She said this manner allows them to personally check the lists provided in case a target sector member is among the household residents. 

Alcazaren also added that the survey teams however need to go through all households but would rather ask questions on to members who are into agriculture, fisheries and the general labor sector. 

To get to them, survey enumerators in the barangays are those who come from there, supervised by barangay captains and secretaries, following a list earlier prepared for the purpose. 

Always apprehensive that the enumerators may be given faulty information, NSO reiterated a familiar survey maxim: garbage in, garbage out. 

Moreover, statistician Edwina Carriaga, added that information needed only include basic data like names, ages, status, spouse’s name, kind of occupation, tenurial status, crops grown, area of farm and similar no harm questions. 

She also said the same questions are for fishermen and laborers. 

In addition, NSO information Officer Emmanuel Galab revealed that this year’s round of data gathering uses technology of the Global Positioning System where data gathered in pegged in a geographical information system database. 

This allows the government to precisely point out specific areas in the country where there is a thick congregation of farmers, fishers and laborers, for future government help and intervention. 

This national survey is led by the Department of Budget and Management and is participated ably by the Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, Interior and Local Governments and the NSO, with the local government units, Alcazaren said. (30/ed)

Hordes volunteered for 
2012 coastal clean up 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, September 15, 2012 (PIA) –If the volunteers on a 200 meter stretch of K of C Drive were a representation of what is generally happening in Bohol during the International Coastal Clean Up Day, there is apparently an increase in volunteers. 

But the main bulk of the garbage collected during the coastal clean-up event that started as early as 5:00 AM here, it could be quite a story to tell. 

According to Ocean Conservancy, the international convenor for the ICC activity, last year drew 600,000 volunteers and collected some nine million pounds of garbage. 

Last year’s clean up also covered 20,776 miles of the world’s coastlines. 

Bohol Environment Management Office also provided volunteer groups garbage collection data cards to come up with the data on this year’s local clean-up, said Adelfa Salutan, Bohol coastal resource management coordinator. 

Earlier, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto issued a memorandum advisory to all head of offices, bureaus and agencies, private academes, hospitals, non-government organizations and civic organizations rallying for support and participation in the clean-up activity. 

Chatto cited Presidential Proclamation No. 470 series of 2003 as reinforced by Executive Order No. 14 series of 2004 declaring every third Saturday of September as International Coastal Clean-Up Day. 

On this, and following the teme: Bayanihan para sa Karagatan, the Provincial Government picked the lead in the annual event September 15. 

That day, thousands of Boholanos, young and old, including government officials, community volunteers and interest groups carried sacks and garbage bags to pick plastics, cellophanes, discarded metal, broken fishing gears, rubber tires, household refuse and even baby diapers, in a bid to rid the seas of garbage which kills marine ecosystems including the animals that habituate in them.. 

Just as thousands donned on gloves, carried wooden sticks or tongs, others paddled themselves or revved engines to scour the seas for floating debris. 

In Bohol, even upland areas came up with volunteers who trooped to inland tributaries, rivers and streams; areas where garbage thrown could flow out to the deltas and out to sea. 

This, as scuba divers including Jagna Drift Divers conducted scubasurero sorties along the town coasts, said Jeremy Horowitz, who coordinated the teams scouring Jagna reefs in joining the nationwide underwater clean up. 

Reports also said that similar activities happened in Panglao, Cabilao, Bien Unido with the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy and interest groups organized by dive shops and local governments. 

Similar underwater clean up activities also happened in Anilao Batangas, Busuanga in Palawan, Dumaguete, Davao on the ICC Day. (30/CC)

“Dap-ag” fair game 
For “scubasureros” 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept. 14, 2012 (PIA)—Just as Boholanos, young and old, trooped to the coasts yesterday, tugging sacks, tongs and suited themselves for the International Coastal Clean-up, scuba and divers scoured the reefs close to the shores for the usual tangle of cellophanes, discarded nets, broken plastic implements, rubber tires and yes, crown-of-thorns starfish (dap-ag). 

That day when people from communities bent to pick up garbage that may one day flow out to sea, a different group volunteers for a reef clean-up, clad in wet suits and strapped in self contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) to scour the reefs, to pick these garbage and the unlucky stars. 

According to wikipedia, a crown of thorns starfish belongs to a family of large multi-armed sea-stars that prey upon hard or stony coral polyps. Called crown of thorns for the poisonous thorn-like spines that cover its upper surface, these sea-stars rate next in size to its biggest kin: sunflower sea stars. 

Looking innocent like a flower adorning reefs, these nasty sea creatures creep into hard corals, suck it dry and leave it colorless, bleaching and dead. And when divers or snorklers oblivious to them chance upon stepping or touching them, the poison in their spines would be enough reminder not to mess with these sea creatures. 

At its adult stage, these sea-stars are carnivorous predators that feed on hard coral polyps. Their spines also contain toxins, called asterosaponins, that produce a stinging burning pain, profuse bleeding and swelling when its spines perforate human flesh, data from the Australian Cooperative Research Center said in its publication. 

Said to consume as much as 65 square feet of live coral cover per year per, each adult and reproductive starfish is also capable of synchronously release gametes during its spawning season to achieve a high level of fertilization, releasing millions of fertile eggs in the process, CRC published material continued. 

Rumors have it that piercing or dismembering the sea noxious stars often trigger them to release more eggs or rejuvenate. 

While some areas use injecting the crown of thorns with dry acid, which is non dangerous to the reefs, the costs in maintaining an area free of these crawling voracious coral eaters is simply staggering, according to divers. 

Seemingly, researchers have also agreed that picking the starfish out of the water and leaving them drying in the sun is by far, the best inexpensive way to control their population. 

“When the starfish are removed from the water, they are left out in the sun and they die,” divers shared. 

On this, divers arm themselves with sticks as tongs and pick up the crown of thorns to collecting containers where they carry the sea stars and leave them out to dry in the sun. 

This way, they escape from the poisonous stings of the sea-stars, while avoiding the artificial spawning. 

Calling themselves scubasureros, these groups gathered in Panglao, Tagbilaran City and Jagna Bohol to simultaneously clean the reefs on that day. 

In Bohol where reef areas are becoming popular dive and snorkel attractions, a crown of thorns population outbreak can be disastrous to our coral cover and to divers or water sports enthusiasts who happen to touch them, warned Jeremy Horowitz, diver and researcher of Physalus. 

Marine biologists at Physalus, a non government organization doing research inn Bohol’s marine mammals and large cetaceans said the population increase of the crown of thorns may be accounted to the over-harvesting of giant triton shells, the crown of thorn’s nemesis. 

Scientists also believe humphead wrasse, a species of puffer fish and shrimp feeds on these sea-stars but over-fishing and habitat destruction has pushed these predators away from the reefs, making the sea stars unmolested in their wreaking havoc in the reefs. (30/cc)

San Miguel thrusts SPEAR 
for more rice productivity 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept. 14, 2012, (PIA) –In their ultimate goal of increasing rice harvests some more, San Miguel local officials and farmers, including non-government organizations hoist the spear. 

This time, the spear, or San Miguel Productivity Enhancement for Abundant Rice (SPEAR), is not the weapon of death but, of life. 

SPEAR is a medium by which farmers, local government officials and non government organizations here put up a common agreed monitoring system to literally allow every stakeholder in ride production to literally watch over each other shoulders to make sure everybody does its share in attaining the goal, explains Mayor Claudio Bonior. 

The system puts up communities bonding themselves in bayanihan to share information, technologies and monitor government as to their commitments in increasing production. It also puts up the correct environment for a healthy competition as farmers would also be hitting the incentive system while pegging increased harvests, said Menandro Pesquera, town information officer. 

An offshoot of a joint monitoring project earlier implemented by the Ateneo School of Government (AsoG) under its government watch program, SPEAR is now San Miguel’s hope after the town farmers and stakeholder proved they could increase harvest yields even by simply by monitoring that there are no wastes in production and that government resources are not spent elsewhere. 

The project with AsoG attempted to localize social accountability to the Local Government Unit level by implementing a multi-sector initiative to monitor agricultural services particularly ones which government has committed to deliver and then looking at the farmers and their system of production, taking note of details that contribute to the success or failure of the initiatives, according to Joy Acero, Asog Gwatch program Director. 

The results of the program implemented in 2010 put San Miguel in the national limelight with its being selected as among the AgriPinoy winners in 2011. This was for implementing rice productivity enhancement programs and significantly increasing harvests, said Felix Lucip, town agricultural officer. 

But with the Asog project done, Mayor Bonior said they believe a system has been set up which the town can implement. 

Then implemented with the national government’s rice seeds subsidy and plant and fertilize now, pay later scheme, the town now hopes with the little cash award they received with AgriPinoy, they can approximate a rice harvest that surpasses the previous achievements. 

It may be recalled that San Miguel received P1 million for their 2011 agricultural production feat. 

But still saddled with the tweaking details of perfecting the first program, San Miguel now owns an ace, their monitoring also unearthed issues which local legislation has ably instituted to put up production polices, according to Lucip. 

The previous project also allowed the LGU to see the possibility of putting up an incentive program to further engage most of the 90% residents in town into farming to focus on the goals, Pesquera said. (30/ED)

San Isidro opens cave 
As tourism destination 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 14, 2012 (PIA) –A small village in San Isidro Bohol seeks a way of generating extra resources it would need to bankroll its development projects, and by doing so, turns to it’s a cave neatly tucked in the barangay’s forested part as a tourism income generator. 

According to local government operations officer Adonis Damalerio, Cansague Sur local officials sought the government’s assistance in putting up the necessary steps to open up a cave for tourism activities. 

Himself new to the assignment, Damalerio and the municipal tourism council members inspected the cave, located some 7 kilometers from the Poblacion. 

Tourism Officer Eric Jinne Flor said the cave, commonly called Cantijong, is a double-tiered cave that has a stream running through it. 

He said navigating the cave is tricky as the water runs deep in some areas, and the explorers need to go through a mezzanine where they would have to squeeze through an intricate passage of stalactites and stalagmites. 

The cave’s ceilings also display a dazzling array of stone formations including chandeliers, cascades, columns, unusual tapers and its network of passages still contains unexplored chambers, the tourism officer who also doubles up as information officer shared. 

During the barangay’s foundation day, Governor Edgar Chatto personally launched the cave, in simple ceremonies at the Cansague Sur Barangay hall. 

Barangay Chairman Crispin Ompoy said the cave has been an endless amazement of barangay residents and the cave’s second-tier chamber, he said is possibly another rich source of income for the barangay. 

The second tier of the cave is a very rich deposit of guano and has shown some traces of looting already, Damalerio said. 

Exploring the cave puts one trekking through rice paddies, wading through a stream the leads to the cave and then when one survives that, he comes out on the other side of the hill, some 500 meters from the entrance, said Julie Tinaja, own SB secretary. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Jacinto Naraga said he is supporting the barangay’s opening of the cave as tourism destination noting that local governments must continually seek ways to generate other income. (30/ed)

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