Tuesday, May 13, 2014

San Isidro innovates with 
copra for Brigada Eskwela
Rey Anthony Chiu

SAN ISIDRO, Bohol, May 9, 2014 (PIA) – When funding the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela has become a perennial problem, this town found an innovation during their participation at the Bayani Challenge. 

Landlocked town San Isidro, in Bohol is your usual town needing all the help the government and civil groups could give.

Physically separated from Bohol second district and placed in the middle of Bohol’s first district, the town lost almost a kilometer of newly paved road in the recent October 15 earthquake.

The quake also left most of its barangays affected and four of its barangays severely damaged, leaving hundreds of its people homeless. 

The quake also shook most schools, several of them being temporarily abandoned already for safety reasons. 

But, despite the town’s sorry state, local leaders intent on propping the town up and arise thought outside help may come, but they can’t afford to just wait and hope. 

When Bohol signed with Bayani Challenge in 2014, local officials found a perfect reason to innovate. 

The town, through Mayor Jacinto Naraga and its local officials also think social mobilization through volunteerism is just not enough. 

When they could engage their people and awaken in them the bayanihan spirit, why don’t they make one social mobilization that gets the communities a little bit of fund for the repair of most earthquake-damaged schools.

In probably an innovation in raising funds for their upcoming Brigada Eskwela, San Isidro residents, around 10,000 would each bring a dried coco-nut, for them to sell whole, sell the husk, cocnut shell and still have copra. 

Mayor Naraga said they estimated around 60% of the town’s residents would positively respond to the call, and true enough, by Friday, May 9, the over 2,000 residents from the town’s 12 barangays pooled around 6,000 coco nuts. 

We sought for a way where we can make our Bayani Challenge response unique, and we agreed to hit two birds with one stone, Naraga said. 

We asked the people to gather per barangays, coco nuts and bring them to the market for a simultaneous copra processing and sell other by products. 

Last Friday, 10 of the 12 barangays here actively participated, had contests and some sold the coconut for a hassle free money. 

For the more inclined however, residents gathered the husk, shell and coconut meat for immediate market.

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Beach tourism shuns 
mangroves planting? 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, May 9, 2014 (PIA) – Tourism or environment? Take your pick. 

In Bohol, where many people have seen the lure of easy money in tourism, environmentalists find it hard to convince communities about planting mangroves, it reducing the “come-on” of white sandy beaches. 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) sources hints the issue as communities into beach tourism accordingly turn away from the plusses of mangroves because it can make their beach fronts dirty. 

People do not want mangroves in their coastlines because it can make the sea muddy, Juliet Paler of DENR said over Kapihan sa PIA Thursday. 

The mud however, is an indication that the mangroves were able to stop the mud eroded from the mountains, she quickly added. 

Paler explained that the soil eroded from the hills due to unrestrained human activity tends to go downhill and cover the seagrass beds and reef areas which are the feeding grounds of fish and other marine resources. 

On the other hand, the same DENR source admit that people tend to look at the tourism added value of the mangroves in boardwalks as the better money source. 

This is over the benefits the mangroves can give to the communities. 

Mangroves, added Bohol Coastal Resource Management Coordinator Adlefa Salutan, are keys to maintain a healthy balance of marine resources. 

Aside from providing shelter to spawning fish, regulating water temperatures for the fry to grow and providing the detritus for the fingerlings to survive, mangroves are also hosts to wildlife, endemic and migratory birds, Salutan added. 

Also, mangroves have the most pollutant absorptive capacity among plants, considering their dark green leaves, quipped in Paler who went on to say that mangroves take in massive amounts of carbon dioxide and egests them out as oxygen. 

But the most people see in mangroves forest is a boardwalk where tourists can get a closer look at the ecosystem. 

In Bohol, functional mangrove boardwalks included in the tour packages are the San Vicente Mangrove Association (SAVIMA) and Abatan Lincod Maribojoc Nipa Growers Organization (ALIMANGO), Panadtaran Mangroves in Candijay, Panggangan Calape Causeway and the famed Banacon Mangoves Eco-Tours.

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Mangroves roles to communities 
take centerstage at Ocean Month 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 9, 2014 (PIA)—Ocean Month in May this year highlights the critical roles of the mangroves in protecting communities and giving them ample supply of food and resources enough to rally people to plant protect and conserve these crucial links in the marine ecosystem. 

The Ocean Month adopts Mangroves protect: Protect Mangroves as this year’s theme. 

At the kick-off activities last week, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Nestor Canda shared his observation that coastal communities with mangrove cover were spared from lashing waves and howling winds during the onset of typhoon Yolanda. 

Making his rounds and ocular inspection all over eastern and northwestern Bohol during the storm, Canda said communities without mangroves tend to have more damage, pounding waves threatening houses near the beaches while strong winds threatening to topple and crumple houses. 

Speaking during the opening program attended by members of the Bohol Coastal Resources Management Task Force and students from Bohol’s key fishery schools, Canda also said communities with mangrove covers were protected from the disaster which also ravaged islets north of Bohol. 

On the other hand, environment specialists Juliet Paler of the local environment office and Bohol coastal Resource Management Coordinator Adelfa Salutan agree that beyond the obvious role of mangroves as natural breakwaters stopping or of not, significantly dampening sea surges, mangroves hide a far more important role in balancing marine systems. 

At the Kapihan sa PIA last Thursday, Paler said mangroves here are not just home to wildlife but to human dwellers who settle within and near mangrove areas for their close proximity to food banks which mangroves provide. 

Meanwhile, Salutan explained that leaves falling from mangroves and into the water rote and form detritus which feeds millions of fingerlings, newly hatched fish eggs who take their refuge from the predators in the shallows of mangrove forests and tideflats. 

Fishes go to the mangroves to spawn, where their eggs are better protected by the shallows, and where food is abundant, the mater temperatures conditioned to be fitting for the hatchlings. 

Mangroves have been known to absorb carbon dioxides and other pollutants from the atmosphere and gives off oxygen that makes the nearby areas fresh, adds Paler, who then explained how the mangroves’ dark green leaves capture air pollutants.

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DENR/PIA firm up agreement 
On climate change campaign 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, May 8, 2014 (PIA) –The Department of Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) firm up an agreement to rationalize the implementation of a nationwide Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation programs in the hope of getting a dent on the apathy building in Philippine communities. 

The campaign would be the latest in the environment agency’s efforts to mitigate the effects of global warming by convincing people and communities to adopt climate change adaptations and insulate their communities from the impacts, which weather changes bring about. 

This too as the DENR admits that Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation campaigns have been implemented but there remains in the country, significant number of communities which are way too far from disaster preparedness and adaptation mitigations. 

During a recent PIA-DENR Visayas Mindanao Cluster Orientation on Climate Change held here at the Alona Kew Resort in Panglao May 6-8, authorities from both agencies relayed to the regions the urgency of cascading climate change concepts. 

The move is to counter and crumble the building indifference, a risky behavior among people in communities that are exposed to the dangers which the changes in climate, bring about. 

Environment Public Affairs Office OIC Director Maria Sabrina Cruz, in her message to DENR Regional Public Affairs Office personnel and PIA Regional Directors for Visayas and Mindanao urged government think-tanks to run better thought-of programs to finally make the campaign produce results. 

Earlier, PIA Director General Jose Mari Oquinena pointed out that there is a reason to suspect that environment campaigns need to change perspectives of people and communities. 

Oquinena said there is this belief that climate change is somebody else’s fault, that the main objective should be to weaken public apathy so adaptation can be pushed through effectively. 

After this, it would not be hard to inspire, motivate and the ask them to participate and foster partnerships and networks, he hinted. 

Climate Change has a wide environmental impact on different wide bases that mitigation and disaster resilience is the most desired response.

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