Home     |      About Us       |       Services      |     Programs and Projects      |    Station's Profile    |  Business Opportunities    |    Contact Us    |    Sitemap

 YOU ARE HERE > > News/Events

Occidental Mindoro PRDP Stakeholders Consultative Meeting

           SAN JOSE, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO – Mr. Alex Ronquillo, (upper photo) Regional PRDP Focal Person – DA IV - MIMAROPA and Mr. Patrick Belisario (inset), PRDP VCA consultant give details on Planning Processes during the PRDP Stakeholders Consultative Meeting held at Sikatuna Beach Hotel on January 8, 2015. It was also on the said occasion where the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) was presented by Mr. Elmer Velacruz (lower photo) for possible comments, suggestions and recommendations. A total of 69.61 kms proposed Farm-to-Market Road (FMRs) project linking to onion producing barangays amounting to P696.1 million distributed in four major onion producing municipalities; San Jose, Magsaysay, Rizal and Paluan. The province of Occidental Mindoro is one of the leading onion producers in the country. In fact in 2014 alone, the province produced 28,526.25 metric tons (Mt) of onion planted in 1,958.64 hectares. During the workshop, the participants were grouped accordingly and tasked to identify possible priority government interventions needed for the project. The three groups unanimously identified and recommended the establishment of storage facilities (hanger and cold storage), small scale irrigation facilities, and market linkages. (DA MIMAROPA)

National Organic Agriculture Congress 2014

           Davao City - DA-RFO 4B Staff, together with selected organic farmers and practitioners (inset), posed for a souvenir photo during the 11th National Organic Agriculture Congress (NOAC) held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang, Davao City on November 11-13, 2014. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala graced the occasion and led the ribbon cutting ceremony together with Senator Cynthia Villar who was the guest speaker. Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warmly welcomes the delegates. Around 1,600 participants, mostly farmers and organic enthusiasts, from all over the country attended the gathering. There was also product exhibits showcasing organic goods from all the regions in Mindanao. Likewise, products from private agricultural companies were also made available to farmers who desired to buy the products. Furthermore, various lectures on organic related areas were conducted wherein participants had options to choose on the topics that are appropriate to the purposes and needs in their locality. The highlight of the congress was the presentation of awards to the outstanding organic farmers who had showed exemplary performance in the field of organic agriculture. (DEBentoy)


           Narra, Palawan – Mr. Antonio R. Gonzales (inset), DA-MIMAROPA Operations Division Chief, and Regional Corn and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) coordinator congratulates the combined graduates of a season-long Farmers Field School (FFS) for rice and corn held at Narra, Palawan on October 23, 2014 during the 13th Annual Palay Festival celebration. Farmers from five barangays of Narra have completed the six-month course on Rice and Corn production conducted by the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 4-B in collaboration with the Local Government Unit (LGU) through the initiative of the Regional Corn and Cassava Report Officer Engr. Christine Inting. Each graduate has received a certificate of completion signed by Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, and a medal courtesy of Mayor Lucena D. Demaala and the Sangguniang Bayan of Narra. Top five performers in each barangay were also recognized and awarded with medals handed to them by their loved ones. Same activity was also conducted in barangay Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa City where 25 farmers were have been conferred with graduate certificates for a season-long FFS exclusively on corn. The organizers have also invited experts from UP Los Baños for a cooking demonstration to encourage people to use corn products in cooking corn grits and corn flour as alternatives for rice and wheat flour in food preparation. To prove that corn dishes are easy to prepare, palatable and nutritious, participants were encouraged to take part in cooking and in food tasting of different corn-inspired dishes like corngee, steamed rice-corn mixed, fried rice-corn mixed, champorado rice-corn mixed, cornballs and pulvoron. (DEBentoy)

Marinduque joins PRDP

           Boac, Marinduque - Mr. Alex Ronquillo (inset), DA MIMAROPA Regional Focal Person for the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) explain to Local Government Unit (LGU) staff from the six municipalities of the province who attended the Orientation on PRDP Provincial Commodity Prioritization at Boac Hotel on September 25, 2014. Several commodities were identified and presented such as native pig, cassava, arrowroot, root crops and coconut. After thorough prioritization, coconut emerged as the priority commodity in Marinduque and recommended for PRDP in crafting the Value Chain Analysis for coconut. It was also agreed that all projects related to PRDP will be established and implemented in Boac and Sta. Cruz since these municipalities are considered top coconut producers in the province.

RPAB Business Meeting

           Puerto Princesa City, Palawan - Engr. Haidei Mendoza (inset) staff from the office of the Provincial Agriculturist presented the Palawan Cashew Processing Center (PCPC) business plan to the members of the MIMAROPA Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) at Asturias Hotel, Puerto Princesa City on October 2, 2014. The project worth P37 million was unanimously approved and will be endorsed by the RPCO to the PSO South Luzon Cluster for the issuance of No Objection Letter (NOL) 1. Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago, DA-MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director (1st right) called for a special RPAB business meeting specifically for PCPC Business Plan. Seven (7) RPAB members/representatives attend the special RPAB business meeting are: (L-R) Mr. Armando F. Aleo - DSWD; Dir. Joel Valera - DTI; Ms. Carol F. Nalus - DILG; Engr. Arthur Torillo - DPWH; Ms. Marilyn R. Limpiada - DENR; Dir. Ma. Josepina P. Abilay - DOST; Mr. Bert Duff - PCCI; and Mr. Alex Ronquillo - PRDP Focal Person.

The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP)

           Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro-The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) MIMAROPA Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) members chaired by DA-RFO 4 MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago (center), convene for a business meeting at Tamaraw Beach Resort, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro on August 28, 2014. Four (4) Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) were approved and endorsed by the board to the Project Support Office (PSO) Luzon B are; Upgrading and construction of Antonino -Taradungan FMR project with 30 linear meter concrete bridge at Roxas, Palawan; Construction and concreting of 2.8 km Bual-bualan FMR at Brgy. Simpokan, Puerto. Princesa City; Upgrading of Junction Sablan-Culasian-Magsaysay FMR at Dumaran, Palawan; and, Mabuhay II-Lapog-Matulatula FMR at Socorro and Pola, Oriental Mindoro. RPAB members present during the business meeting are (upper left counter clockwise): Ms. Mary June Maypa - DENR; Dir. James Fadrilan - DILG; Mr. Roniel Macatol - DTI; Dir. Ma. Josefina Abilay - DOST; Ms. Florete Dimaala - DSWD; Ms. Marilyn Limpiada - DENR; and Ms. Gina Almonte - DAR.##danilo bentoy##


           DA REGION 4-MIMAROPA TURNS OVER P 90.7M OF AGRI-MACHINERIES AND OTHER AGRI-GOODS IN OCCIDENTAL MINDORO STA. CRUZ, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO. Secretary Proceso Alcala of the Department of Agriculture, assisted by the Regional Executive Director Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago of RFO-MiMaRoPa, Senator Cynthia Villar and Asec Edilberto de Luna, have turned over the P 90.7- million worth of agri-machineries and other agricultural goods to the Provincial Government of Occidental Mindoro, represented by its Gov. Gene Mendiola, the Office of Congresswoman Josephine R. Sato, Farmers Associations, Irrigators Associations, Cooperatives, and Fisherfolk. The turnover ceremony was held at the Sta. Cruz Gymnasium.

          Said agri-machineries/goods were given to the recipients based on their submitted requests and their willingness to pay for the goods under the 85%-15% counterparting scheme as per agreement between the Department and the requisitioners. The regional engineering staff had conducted an evaluation particularly on registration of the association to the Security & Exchange Commission (SEC) or to the Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA) and their capacity to go with the counterparting and their capability to take care of the machineries that will be very useful to its members.

          The attendance during the said working visits had reached up to more than 3,000 farmers and fisherfolk as against the expected attendees of only 1,000 to 1,500. These came from the 11 municipalities of Occidental Mindoro.

          Secretary Alcala said, in his message, that the Occidental Mindoro should plant additional fruit trees and rice, while the fisherfolk should increase their catch and must do away with the illegal fishi ng. The province is also good for agro-tourism and can invite foreign students, he said further. He instructed the PHILRICE Executive Director to add rice-fish and rice-duck projects into their program. He urged the PHILRICE to also conduct a research on electricity generation using rice hull.

          He also extended his gratitude to the family of Judge Jesus Abeleda for donating the land where the seat of PHILRICE Integrated Rice-Based Agricultural Systems (IRBAS) station will be constructed. The station will focus on the production of high-quality inbred and hydrid rice seeds that would cater to the needs of the farmers and growers not only in the Province of Mindoro but the whole MIMAROPA region. It will highlight scientific rice production system and will showcase modern rice-based farming and bio-diversified farming system. He explained that Mindoro is the preferred site of PHILRICE because of the recognition that it is fast-becoming food basket and food provider of the three (3) critical growth regions in the country, namely, NCR, CALABARZON and MIMAROPA, while Mr Jason Abeleda, who represented the Abeleda Clan had been requested for the use of the area in conducting the researches. Inaasahan namin na malaking tulong ito sa buong probinsya ng Occidental Mindoro, Sec. Alcala stressed. The Secretary informed the public that the Abeleda family had requested the center to be named Judge Jesus Villar Abeleda Sr. Rice and RD Training Center.

          Under the Fishery Sector, Sec. Alcala said that the emerging business now in the province is Tuna. But he requested to look into the processing of Talaba, Abalone and seaweeds. BFAR will conduct special trainings for the fisherfolk. He also challenged the garlic farmers to double their produce by using greenhouses and seedling trays. Production period may start in September and ends in January instead of the usual production period of October to December.

          In her message, Senator Cynthia Villar said that 2/3 of Filipinos are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture (to include traders, processors, etc). She went on to say that the cost of rice production in the Philippines is higher than in Thailand. In order to lower the production costs, theres a need to mechanize as this will make Filipinos more competitive. Farmers can form associations and can provide services to the farming industry in the form of labor/contracts. She added that the by-products of rice can also give additional income, like rice straw which can be used for mushrooms production and vermiculture wherein its vermicast product can be used as fertilizer. The lady Senator had instructed the wives of the fisherfolk to think of products or projects in their locality and find where to market the products. They must consider the raw materials available in the area. She asked them to send her a letter of request and she will send people to conduct trainings. She will also provide equipments to be used, like for instance, in basket making or organic farming.

          After the program, certificates were distributed together with the keys for farm tractors, combine harvesters and other machineries to the recipients. This was followed by a forum, and a raffle with tractor, thresher, corn seeds, laminated sacks, carabao with farm implements, banca with farm implements as prizes. The farmers and other LGU staff had a photo op with Sec. Alcala and Senator Villar


           ODIONGAN, ROMBLON DA MIMAROPA Regional Technical Director Ronie F. Panoy (seated 4rd left) and Romblon Governor Eduardo C. Firmalo (seated 3rd left) posed for a picture with the participants of the Regional Orientation and Planning Workshop for the Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Program on June 26, 2014. This orientation and planning workshop is a joint undertaking of DA thru the initiative of AMAD Chief Ms. Nida M. San Juan (seated far right), and Director Norman William Kraft (seated 2nd left) of the Agriculture Credit and Policy Council (ACPC). ##danilo bentoy##

Turnover of BUB Projects

           PTO. PRINCESA CITY DA MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago (4th from left), turned over checks amounting to P8, 772,250.00 to the City Government of Pto. Princesa under the Bottoms-Up-Budgeting (BUB) funds at the city mayors office on May 22, 2014. PPC Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron (3rd from left) received the checks and certificates of planting materials and farm inputs e.g. rubber and calamansi seedlings, banana plantlets, commercial fertilizers for farmer beneficiaries of Puerto Princesa. Witnessing the ceremonial turnover was: (L-R) Melissa Macasaet, City Agriculturist; Mayor Marcito M. Acoy of Sofronio Espanola; Dr. Santiago; and APCO Leonardo Enriquez, team leader BUB Southern Palawan. ##danilo bentoy##

           Pto. Princesa City – DA MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago (9th - R), and PPC Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron (center) pose for photo opportunity during the turnover ceremonies of projects held at the mayor’s office on May 22, 2014. Checks amounting to P8,772,250.00, and a certificate of planting materials and farm inputs e.g. rubber and calamansi seedlings, banana plantlets, commercial fertilizers are under the Bottoms-Up-Budgeting (BUB) funds. Also in the picture: Mayor Marcito M. Acoy of Sofronio Española; BUB Southern Palawan team; DA Region 4B staff; and PPC LGU staff.



          Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro. Ang kooperatibang magtatanim ng Bawang sa pangunguna ng Mindoro Allium Growers MPC (MAGRO MPC), San Jose Onion growers Association, Camsikat Onion and garlic Growers MPC at Lubang Island garlic growers MPC ay nagsagawa ng simple at makasaysayang "paghahatid Kalakal " (send-Off ceremony) noong Mayo 16, 2014 sa MAGRO compound Food Terminal Magsaysay, Kanlurang Mindoro.

         Naglalayong palakasin and industriya at pag ibayuhin ang palitan ng kalakalan ng produktong bawang (BARTER TRADE) sa ibang produkto ng mga kaugnay na kooperatiba at ang nabanggit na paghahatid kalakal ng bawang ay nakatalaga na dadalahain sa Divisioria, Quezon, Batangas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Koronadal, General Santos at Zamboanga.

          May temang "Bawang Katutubo, masarap at garantisado, maipagkakapuring totoo, langhap-sarap katangian nito. Hahanap-hanapin lagi ito, saan mang panig ng mundo, kaya't tangkilikin natin ito, bawang ng Mina de Oro, buhat sa Isla ng Mindoro", kabalikat ng programang ito ang VIEVA Phils., Inc. ang PUM3P (Pambansang Ugnayan ng Magsasaka, mangingisda at Manggagawang Pilipino) na may layuning isulong at palaguin ang tripartite Public-Private Partnership.

Higit sa lahat ang mithiing pag-ibayuhin ang pagpaparami, pagtangkilik at pagpapalago sa Industriya ng Bawang na lubhang napag iwanan at nanamlay nitong makaraang dekada dahil sa pagpasok sa bansa ng dayuhang kalakal na bawang.
Dinaluhan ang send-off ceremony nina Corazon Sinnung, program coordinator ng HVCDP ng Department of Agriculture-RFO-IV-MiMaRoPa, Rizal Occidental Mindoro Mayor Jesus Valdez at Kasama ang Sangguniang Bayan members, Former Bulalacao Mindoro Mayor Villas at mga miyembro ng organisasyon ng mga magtatanim ng bawang. ### CMSANFELIPE-DA-4B

Greenhouses and a Nursery, turned over

About three (3) units of Greenhouse worth Php 725,846.31 and one (1) unit of Nursery worth Php293,656.02 had been turned over to Mellenium Organic Agriculture Farm located at Brgy. San Antonio, Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. Said facilities, funded by the Organic Agriculture Program, will be utilized for the Organic Farm Production project of the said farm.

The Mellenium Organic Agriculture Farm was organized to motivate the people to work in unity for the purpose of producing safe and healthy food through the use of modern technology, in an organic way. The Association supervising it aims to provide job opportunities not only to their own members but also those from nearby barangays who wanted to join the group after witnessing the successful project of the association.

The establishment of Greenhouses and Nursery will be used for the training of the farm workers on Organic Agriculture under the Special Vegetable Production project of the Association. The value of using modern facilities like the greenhouses in order to enhance farmers' productivity will be demonstrated during the training under the supervision of Agricultural Technicians who have been specializing on Organic Agriculture. Moreso, the participants to the training will also be trained on off-season vegetable production methods. The farm produce will be marketed by the members of the Association to different places. The project would provide additional income to farm families in order to sustain their basic necessities. /allolivar

DA-4- Research Staff Attended the 1ST National CPAR Congress

The Bureau of Agricultural Research conducted the 1st Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) National Congress on February 20-21, 2014 at the Manila Hotel with the theme of CPAR : "Pagtutulungan ng mga Mananaliksik, Magsasakat MangingisdaTungo Sa Malawakang Pag-unlad ng Pamayanan". The event aims to recognize CPAR success stories and showcase its significant accomplishments in the different regions of the country. The event was participated by key officials and representatives from the DA -Regional Field Units (RIARCs), LGUs, private sectors and two (2) successful CPAR farmer beneficiaries.

Headed by OIC RTD Louella Rowena, J. Lorenzano, Marissa Luna Carmen Honrade, Ellen Marasigan CPAR Farmer Cooperative Gloria Cruzat & Florida Misuit from Bansud, Oriental Mindoro from DA MiMaRoPa attended the said congress.

Welcoming the participants was DA-BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar. In his message he cited that CPAR program is one of the flagship programs of the DA-BAR and is geared towards verifying the technical and economic feasibility of mature technologies in specific locations prior to widespread adoption.The program uses the community-based participatory approach,which means that the community members are actively involved in the testing and application of the new farming systems and technologies.

DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala was impressed by the testimonies of the farmers. "Puntahan natin ang mga magsasaka't mangingisda at alamin ang pangangailangan nila". At may bago daw theme song ang mga magsasaka "For the First Time" kasi karamihan sa mga beneficiaries natin ay ngayon lamang naka attend ng ganitong congress na sila ang bida," Sec Alcala said.

To spice up the event successful CPAR beneficiaries shared their experiences on how CPAR projects were implemented and how these projects changed their lives. Here are some testimonies of the farmers:
"The implementation of the CPAR project has changed the community's situation for the better".
"We are happy with how our lives have improved because of the CPAR project"
"We are no longer dependent on private lending individuals or institutions for the inputs"
"Lumaki ang ani,nakapagaral ang mga anak, nakabili ng motorcycle,na improved ang bahay, nakadagdag ng employment.

Another highlight of the event were the CPAR poster competition where the representative from region 8 won the 1st prize and display of sample products developed from CPAR projects.

BAR distributed a coffee table book to the participants " Channels of Progress: Bringing Innovations Closer to the people, a compilation showing R&D efforts of the DA & the technologies resulting from them have helped farmers & fisher folks produce more with less resource. (cbhonrade)


Tagaytay City. Occidental Mindoro is one of the five (5) provinces hailed as Top Quality Corn producers. Others were Pangasinan, Isabela, Misamis Oriental and Agusan del Sur. Each province received P3 million pesos worth of project of their choice. Governor Mario Gene Mendiola received the plaque from Cong. Leandro Mendoza and Secretary Processo J. Alcala. They were likewise surprised by Sec Alcala that the top five provinces will be given a 4wheel drive tractor, 90 HP for their respective provinces.

On the municipal level, the Municipalities of Sablayan and Mamburao were among the 24 recognized winners and awarded half million pesos each worth of projects . Mayors Eduardo B. Gadiano and Voltaire Villarosa of sablayan and mamburao respectively received the plaques. Other winners are Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, San Carlos, Bautista, Mangatarem, Malasiqui and Bayambang in Pangasinan, Solana, Cauayan, Ilagan City Diadi and Villa verde in Nuvea Viscaya, Magalang in Pampanga, San Miguel, Tarlac, Calamba City, Ligao City, Naga and Tigaon, Bicol, Malaybalay, Bukidnon, Tangub City, Occidental Mindoro, Claveria, Misamis Oriental, Las Nievas, Agusan del Norte and Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

The top 71 Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) each received P10,000 pesos in cash. Awardees as AEWs in Sablayan were Lolita Tapia, Evelyn Cabalbag, Whilma Sagun and Elsa Reyes from Mamburao. Corn Coordinators Jupiter Tividad, Ms. Elma Tamo, and Evelyn Flores reveiced P20,000 and P15,000 in cash as incentives.

Other officials graced the occasion were ASEC Edilberto De Luna, Usec Dante Delima, Usec Segfredo Serrano, Mr. Philip Shull, Agricultural Counselor and the Regional Executive Directors and Regional Corn Coordinators from the different regional offices of DA.

P14-7 M farm machinery for Mindoro farmers

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (4thfrom right) congratulates Nick Salongsong,   chairman of Magbay Farmers' Association (MFA) in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, whose group   received a hand tractor worth P130,000 under the Department of Agriculture's farm   mechanization   program, during a forum at the Occidental Mindoro State College (OMSC), on   September 30, 2013.

Secretary Alcala handed over P14.7-million worth of farm machinery and equipment to  several farmers' groups and local government units in Occidental Mindoro to help them   increase their   productivity   and incomes. Also shown (from left) are: OMSC President Dr. Arnold Venturina, Occidental Mindoro Vice Governor Peter J. Alfaro, Representative Josephine R. Sato, Governor Mario Gene J. Mendiola, San Jose Mayor Romulo Festin, Genaro Multi-Purpose Cooperative representative, and DA-Region 4-B Director Cipriano Santiago. (Photo by DA-4-B Info Div.)






20th Meeting of the Joint Committee on ASEAN Cooperation in Agriculture and Forest Products Promotion Scheme
Delegates pose with the officials of the Department of Agriculture and Palawan LGUs during the 20th meeting of the Joint Committee on ASEAN Cooperation in Agriculture and Forest Products Promotion Scheme held at Hotel Centro, Puerto Princesa City on July 10-12, 2013. With them are: (seated from left) DA 4-B RTD Yvonne G. Viñas,(5th) DA-AMAS Director Leandro H. Gazmin (6th), PPC Vice-Mayor Luis Marcaida III (7th), and Engr. Teresita Guian, Prov'l Agriculturis (2nd far right).

Puerto Princesa City, Palawan - The Philippine government through the united effort of the Department of Agriculture Central Office and DA Region 4-B (MIMAROPA) hosted the 20th Joint Committee meeting of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) member countries on July 10-12, 2013 at Hotel Centro, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The meeting aimed to strengthen further the existing cooperation of the 10 member countries in promoting Agriculture and Forest Products in the ASEAN region.

Seven out of 10 ASEAN member countries have participated, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the host country Philippines, while Brunei, Myanmar and Singapore were not able to send any representatives to the meeting.
During the opening program, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) Director Leandro H. Gazmin gave his opening remarks. He said that when Myanmar signified that they cannot host the meeting, the Philippines decided to accept the offer of the ASEAN Secretariat to take over because of its commitment to the Joint Committee to achieve its goal. "Hopefully, we can explore activities that will strengthen trade promotion and negotiation of the 11 commodities not only in the ASEAN market but also in the international arena. We hope to see a strong partnership between and among ASEAN countries towards strengthening the agricultural export performance of these 11 commodities" Gazmin said.

DA RFU 4-B Regional Technical Director and designated OIC-RED Yvonne G. Viñas delivered the message of Secretary Proceso J. Alcala who was not able to attend because of prior commitments he had. In the part of the LGU, Puerto Princesa City Vice-Mayor Luis Marcaida III welcomes the delegates in behalf of Mayor Lucito R. Bayron, while Governor Jose C. Alvarez was represented by Engr. Teresita Guian, the Provincial Agriculturist of Palawan.

The plenary session started with the election of new committee chairman among the heads of delegation. It was unanimously agreed and approved Dir. Gazmin as the committee chair of the 20th ASEAN joint committee meeting. This was followed by the adoption of agenda and ASEAN community roadmap (2009-2015).

The whole duration of the meeting is too hectic for the delegates. Several topics were tackled comprising the status report of the different agricultural products of the lead countries. Among those products are Carrageenan and other seaweeds, Cocoa, Coconut, Coffee, Forest products (timber and non-timber), Palm Oil, Peas and Beans, Pepper, Tapioca, Tea and Tuna.
A status report of the products was also presented by the lead countries including the emerging issues identified by the industry clubs. After the status presentation and thorough deliberation, the body adopts the report.

On the last day, DA Assistant Secretary Romeo S. Recide closed the three-day meeting. He thanked the foreign and local delegates for the support extended to the success of the meeting. "We look forward to continue collaboration with the member state and strengthened partnership with private sector to ensure the trade promotion in the international market", Reside added.
The host country also able to show the culture and traditions of the Filipinos through the nightly cultural presentation from the provincial and city tourism dance troupe that delighted the participants.


Last May 6, 2013 DA Secretary Proceso Alcala together with AMAS Director Leonardo Gazmin and Regional Executive Directors Atty. Cipriano Santiago and Engr. Abelardo Bragas of Regions 4B and 5 for the Partnership Launch of the Green Initiative Program spearheaded by Ms. Gina Lopez of the ABS-CBN Foundation's (AFI) Bantay Kalikasan.

The Green Initiative is a program between and among AFI, Department of Agriculture (DA), Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau - Department of Environment and Natural Resources (PAWB-DENR), Department of Tourism (DOT), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation. These key players will carry individual key strategic capabilities that when joined together for the benefit of a chosen area, can result in a significant improvement in the quality of life for the community. PAWB-DENR shall plan and create the necessary infrastructure and systems needed to protect the chosen projects in such a way that the communities in the area may benefit while protecting the chosen locality. DOT will take lead in promoting the projects as leading tourist destinations in the country. The DA shall provide the agricultural sectors needed to uplift the project's agricultural production. For their part, ADMU shall handle and work with the academic community to monitor, evaluate and continue to hone and refine the operational strategies of the Green Initiative.

Sibuyan Island, specifically the municipalities of San Fernando and Cajidiocan, Romblon are chosen to be two of the Green Initiative's chosen areas. The municipalities will be receiving agricultural livelihood projects from the DA-RFU 4B where different banner programs of the regional office took parts in contributing to program's livelihood projects. Livestock, Organic Agriculture, High Value Development Program (HVCDP), Rice, Corn and Post Harvest Programs committed funds for the program. In addition, funds for abaca planting materials will also be made available for the Haguimit IP community. The regional office has committed a total amount of P13,605178.00 for the Green Initiative Program in Sibuyan Island, Romblon.

During the MOA signing, Ms. Gina Lopez thanked the national agencies and the academe that have joined her cause in environmental and natural heritage conservation and upliftment of local communities through eco-tourism. Spreading her excitement, she announced that the event is only the beginning of many more partnerships to come. DENR Secretary Ramon Paje explained the importance of taking care of our natural resources where he discussed the cycle of poverty. "When nature is exploited because of poverty, he said, this results to degradation of soil or any other natural resources which in turn results in low production and then the poor becomes more and more impoverished." DOT Secretary Mon Jimenez, on the other hand, was excited to push for eco-tourism. Secretary Alcala, in a short message affirmed the agency's support for the program. "Dalhin na ninyo ng dalhin ang mga turista at kami naman ang bahalang magpapakain sa kanila," he said. Dr. Bautista of ADMU and Ms. Charo Santos-Concio both expressed support for the Green Initiative Project.

Also present during the partnership launch were the Ms. Earth beauties. The Miss Earth Foundation earlier inked a MOA with the Green Initiative Project. ###

2012 Rice Achievers' Awards
The city of Calapan in Oriental Mindoro and the municipalities of Rizal and Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro are among the top 50 municipalities and cities that were awarded each with 500,000 worth of agricultural project grants by the Department of Agriculture during the 2012 Rice Achievers' Awarding ceremonies held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on March 15, 2013. In MIMAROPA region, twenty-eight (28) Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) from the municipalities of Rizal, Sablayan, San Jose and Calapan City are among the top 500 awardees who received a trophy and P20,000 cash incentive each.

The contest is being conducted, in recognition to the hard work done by the farmers, farm technicians and to the support of local government leaders in increasing rice production to attain food sufficiency in the country.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala handed over the awards assisted by Undersecretary for Operations Joel S. Rudinas and Asst. Secretary Dante S. Delima.
This year's top 10 provinces include Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Bulacan, Kalinga, La Union, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley and Zamboanga del Sur. The province of Occidental Mindoro ranked 11th placer so the provincial government will receive P200,000- worth of projects as incentive.

Other winners included 10 irrigators' associations (IAs), with P1-million worth of project grant each; three small water impounding system farmers' associations (SWISAs), with P500,000 each of project grant and 500 agricultural extension workers (AEWs). All of the awardees also got an Agri-Pinoy trophy.

Mindoro Organic Agriculture Program, in progress
Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro - Dr. Chito Medina, member of the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and Ms. Marites Dimaculangan, NOAB Secretariat member together with the DA 4-B Organic team had visited some organic farms in the provinces of Mindoro to assess the progress and accomplishments with regard to the implementation of Organic Agriculture Program. The NOAB, a policy-making body, provides directions and guidelines for the implementation of the National Organic Agricultural Program (NOAP), which will help promote organic agriculture in the country. The Organic Agriculture Act, otherwise known as R.A. 10068, was signed into law on April 2010 to boost the country's organic farming sector.

In MIMAROPA, there are already several organic demo farms established in all the provinces of the region. Each qualified applicant had already received cash assistance from DA Region 4-B as grant in establishing organic farming in their locality. Some of these farms are already producing organic products while others are just starting to produce. In Oriental Mindoro alone, there are about four or five coops and institutions that engaged in organic farming and convincing more people to venture in it.
For instance, the Mindoro Kabuhayan Foundation Inc. (MKFI) in Calapan City is a non-government organization with 5,000 members and 80,000 beneficiaries. They produce assorted organic vegetables which they sell in the city and nearby municipalities. The Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT), an academic institution is now adopting the program and is currently producing organic vegetables in their green houses. They also allotted hectares of land adjacent to the campus devoted to organic rice program.

The Victoria Organic Farmers Assn. (VOFA) in the municipality of Victoria which is composed of several farmers are now in full blast with regard to project implementation. They are now opening more spaces for their vegetable area expansion to meet the demands for the organic produce.
Meanwhile, the Oriental Mindoro Agricultural Experiment Station (ORMAES), is also a recipient of the program where hectares of land are also planted to organic rice. They have also a spacious area for raising several heads of native hogs both for fattening and breeding purposes. They adopt the profitable, innovative growing system known as odorless piggery.

On the other hand, Occidental Mindoro is also implemented the Organic Farming program. The Mindoro Allium Growers' Multi-Purpose Cooperative in the municipality of Magsaysay is in the process of producing vermi-compost, while the LGU of San Jose is developing an area for Organic products. They have a plan of making the area a one-stop mini park where organic enthusiasts, students and visitors can have a tour and could unwind during holidays.


SABLAYAN, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO. The National Year of Rice (NYR) 2013 was launched in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro last January 27 during the celebration of their "Dugoy Festival" held at Sablayan Sports Complex. The activities kicked off with a parade and street dancing participated by 22 barangays and high school students under DepEd.

From the Sports Complex, the launching ceremony started with the entrance of colors led by the Sablayan National Comprehensive High School (SABNAHIS) students, followed by the unveiling of the NYR tarpaulin led by Hon. Mayor Eduardo B. Gadiano, Vice Mayor Andres D. Dangeros, Municipal Agriculturist Lina T. de Leon and Ms. Theresa Aguilar, DA-4B Rice Focal Person. Ms. Sheeren Razon and Mr. Joy Bartolome Duldulao, both from PhilRice, discussed the Overview of NYR and the Farmers' Policy Makers and the Public Role focusing on not wasting rice and eating rice. Another highlight of the launching was an intermission number regarding Rice Festival which was interpreted by the SABNAHIS students followed by the pledge of Panatang MakaPalay led by Mayor Gadiano. After reciting the pledge, almost everyone was one in saying that they will limit their rice consumption from now on. And to seal a promise like this, the LGU-Sablayan even had created a policy for the school canteen and restaurant operators to include a half-cup rice instead of the usual one cup in their food menu.

"Ang bayan ng Sablayan ay malaki ang kontribusyon sa pagpapanatili ng kasapatan sa bigas sa Pilipinas. Makilahok ang lahat sa Panatang MakaPlay at ipakita ang pagmamahal sa ating Palay at bigas at isa puso ang ibig sabihin sa nasasaad sa Panatang MakaPalay", Mayor Gadiano said. While Vice Mayor Dangeros told the crowd - " isulong at ating suportahan ang lahat ng programang pangsakahan".

The NYR 2013 was declared by the President Benigno S. Aquino III under Proclamation No. 494 dated October 18, 2012 to enjoin everyone in the achievement of rice self-sufficiency in the country. The NYR aims to help achieve rice self-sufficiency to ensure that there is enough rice in the table of every Filipino, promote better health among all Filipinos, and increase the income of Filipino rice farmers.

The launching of NYR in the Municipality of Sablayan was one of the highlights in the celebration of their "Dugoy Festival. Thousands of students, farmers, government employees, cooperatives members, local press group, and people from all walks of life had witnessed the celebration. Tarpaulins were installed at the lamp posts and at the entry and exit of the municipality. The activities were joint undertakings of the DA-4B, LGU of Sablayan and the Department of Education and Culture headed by Mr. Arnaldo Ventura of SABNAHIS.

The DA-4B distributed t-shirts, caps and calendars during the parade. Slogan contests were also done in the schools then has it printed and shown during the parade. Certificates of Appreciation were given to the barangays and LGU for their time and participation during the launching of NYR.(CMSANFELIPE-RAFID-DA-4B)

2012 Regional Food Terminal Lakbay-aral MIMAROPA Cluster
Food Terminal operators, officers and members (MIMAROPA Cluster) posed for a souvenir picture with AMAD 4-B personnel during the Lakbay-aral in Sariaya, Quezon on September 25, 2012. The main goal of the activity is to observe and study the secret of success of the Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agricultura sa Quezon as one of the successful Food Terminal in the country today.

About one hundred (100) persons mostly Food Terminal (FT) operators, officers and members from the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan, joined the one-day Regional Food Terminal tour at the Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura sa Quezon, one of the most successful FTs in Quezon province and in the country as well.

Mr. Carlo Cena, FT Administrator briefed the group on the history and different activities of the center from the managerial aspect to the technical and marketing aspects of the center. All queries and clarifications were satisfactorily answered by Mr. Cena.

After the briefing, they were able to roam around the facilities and observed the daily activities and some practices involved in the operation of the FT, including the transport and selling of goods. Also they were able to interview the operators and traders on how the center operates and what the secret of its success is.

With their short stay in the center, the group has learned a lot. The knowledge they achieved would serve as guide in improving their respective food terminals. They were hoping that few years from now, their respected FTs will be as successful as the Sentrong Pamilihan sa Quezon. With this viewpoint, they may able to help improve farmers' lives in their localities.

DA-Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Service (AMAD) Director Engr. Leandro H. Gazmin in red t-shirt, posed for souvenir picture with the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) Chiefs during its Mid-Year Assessment Workshop held in Coron, Palawan on August 27-29, 2012. Seated from left: Evelyn Mionda-Reg. 8, Biadido Samama-Reg. 12, Nida M. San Juan-Reg 4B, Ma. Christine de Leon-Reg. 1, Mirepe Lansem-Reg 10. Standing (L-R) Ferdinand Gamorot-Reg. 9, Teofista Garcia-Reg. 4A, Patrocinio Ananayo-CAR, Tess Solis-Reg. 6, William Valdez-Reg. 3, Vivien delos Santos-Reg. 2, Servilla Balaan-Reg. 13, and Gerry Avila-Reg. 7. Not in photo: Nene Losa-Reg. 5, Honey Gladys Valledor- Reg. 11, and Felix Mosne-ARMM.

Coron, Palawan - The Agribusiness Marketing and Assistance Service (AMAS) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) convened in this tiny island of Busuanga for the AMAS-AMAD Mid-Year Assessment and Catch-Up Plan Workshop held at Coron Village Lodge, Coron, Palawan on August 27-30, 2012. Hosted by AMAD-MIMAROPA, about seventy (70) participants holding key positions in the AMAS-AMAD family from all over the country took part on the said occasion and presented their accomplished work for the first half of the year and their plans for the next six months.

At the opening day, Coron Vice-Mayor and Acting Mayor Ajerrico Barracoso welcomed the participants and thanked the organizers in choosing their town as the venue of the said activity. He said that Coron is just a small town but it offers plenty of tourist destinations. And to ensure a memorable stay for the participants, he offered a free tour and a farewell dinner together with some of the Sanggunian Bayan members.

On the other hand, AMAS Director Engr. Leandro H. Gazmin gave his message before the AMAD Chiefs and Staff presents their respective accomplishment reports. He reminded them on some issues such as market matching with consolidated order and agreement, suggested retail price (SRP) before and after the calamity, and the prescribed layout of tarpaulin to be displayed at the food terminals including those congratulatory tarp for Gawad Saka nominees.

The three-day workshop was a huge success not only on the part of the host Region but on the participants as well. They successfully presented their accomplishments and plans for the year. Aside from the rigid day-to-day activities, the participants reserved enough time and energy to roam around the different tourist spots so when they go home they will bring with them the good memories of Coron.

Palawan Food Terminal Operators Enhanced their Marketing Skills

Puerto Princesa City - The Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), DA 4-B conducted a Management Strengthening and Enhancement Workshop/Exercise
for Food Terminal (FT) Operators in the province of Palawan on July 10-12, 2012. It was held at the Palawan Agriculture and Experimental Station (PAES) Function Hall. It aim was to strengthen further the managerial ability of the Food Terminal operators in handling and marketing agricultural produce. About sixty (60) personnel from the sixteen (16) FTs in the province attended the activity. They had gone through accounting workshops and other related activities during the 3-day activity.

Ms. Nida M. San Juan, OIC-Chief AMAD, and Mr. Ramon Policarpio, FT focal person were the speakers during the training. They tackled several topics that are useful in the operation of the FTs in the province like cashering, merchandising, basic accounting, standardizing and reporting system. Participants were very enthusiastic to learn especially during the accounting workshop where had they actively participated. They tried to cope with the lessons based on the data provided by the speakers, while others were equipped with records of their Food Terminals. The workshop is very significant to the participants because they were required to accomplish the accounting works in their respective FTs, as requisite for additional trading fund and a unit of multi-cab to be used in hauling agricultural goods from those areas with limited access to transportation.

They also planned to have an educational tour to successful food processors in Region 4-A particularly at the Sentrong Pamilihan of Sariaya, Quezon for them to conduct interview and witness actual food handling, processing and FT operation. They may duplicate what they were going to see during the tour when they go back to their respective barangays. This may develop and improve the current processing practices in their locality which will benefit not only the processor and operators but their clienteles as well. ##debentoy##

HACCP, GMP training for Banana, Calamansi processors in Or. Mindoro

Naujan, Or. Mindoro - Banana and calamansi processors in Oriental Mindoro gathered at Barangay Barcenaga in this municipality for a four-day training workshop at the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) on June 26-29, 2012. It aimed to update the technical know-how of local processors on the latest processing and packaging technique to maximize employee's productivity and job satisfaction, and to make products "export ready".

The said training was organized and facilitated by the DA 4-B Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) headed by Ms, Nida M. San Juan, with the assistance from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAG). The organizer tapped the expertise of two speakers from major government lending institutions like Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) who discussed the requirements and procedures of loan application for farmer processors.

On the other hand, a representative from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) talked about the correct and appropriate packaging materials in processing agricultural goods, whereas a representative from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discussed the requirements for product licensing. Both speakers assured that their office will provide technical assistance to those farmer processors who are willing to avail their services.

The province of Oriental Mindoro is known as the major producer of Saba Banana and Calamansi products. During its peak seasons, market prices of these commodities declined to its lowest point because of oversupply, hence, there's a need to process the products.

To date, there are several processed banana and calamansi products that are available in the market like banana chips and calamansi juice, calamansi concentrate and puree. However, packaging and labeling of these products need more improvement so it can compete with the leading brands in the local and global market. To address the problem, the AMAD 4-B and DOST 4-B have joined forces and opted to pour in more interventions for processed product improvement to benefit the farmers in the region. ##debentoy##

AMAD launched Coron BFT

Coron, Palawan - The Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 4-B launched a Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) in Brgy 6, Coron, Palawan on April 26, 2012. Food Terminal in the barangays will not only enhance the marketing system of agricultural goods but it will also showcase the produce of farmers in the locality which is more affordable and accessible to consumers.

Farm products from the adjacent barangays of Tagumpay, Guadalupe, Salvacion, and Barangays 4 and 5 will be accommodated and sold in the BFTs at a much lower price compared to those found in the public market. In this case, both farmers and consumers will benefit because of the accessibility and availability of fresh and cheaper commodities in the neighborhood.

Coron Vice-Mayor and Acting Mayor Ajerrico Barracoso was the guest of honor during the launching. He pledged to support and promote the BFT by plugging it in their local TV station so the people of Coron will know the advantages of having a BFT in the area. He also encouraged his constituents to cultivate their backyards and plant vegetables for their consumption but if there is surplus, it can be sold at the BFT during market day which falls every Saturday.

Vegetable seeds are provided by DA, while the LGU reserves fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) annually for seed procurement, according to Acting Mayor Barracoso. "This time, seeds will be directly distributed to the Barangay Captains so farmers could have fast access on it, and it should be with corresponding information materials" the Vice-Mayor said. He stressed that the LGU has also some programs for other crops such as rice and some fruits like pineapple which is proven to be adaptable in the locality. The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, thru Mr. Gerry Gevela is also giving free seeds to farmers.

Ms. Nida San Juan, OIC-AMAD, explained the importance of the BFT as well as the benefits derive from it. She also mentioned that an additional trading fund of not less than seventy-five thousand pesos (P75,000) will be granted to them on a condition that the BFT will operate continuously. But if it will be non-operational for three (3) consecutive months, AMAD will have the right to interfere. Such condition will also be applied to one-unit multi-cab from DA which is intended for hauling the produce from the farm so farmers could save hauling expenses of their agricultural products. And to ensure that the BFT could be effectively handled, AMAD is willing to assist the operators by conducting free trainings to BFT officers such as management training, bookkeeping, and processing technology.

Mr. Ramon Policarpio, Food Terminal Focal Person, also mentioned the mechanics and procedure on how to operate the Food terminal.

The highlight of the program was the turnover and acceptance of the BFT certificate. Ms Nida San Juan handed the certificate to Vice-Mayor Barracoso as BFT recipient, and turned over the same to Brgy, Captain of Poblacion 6, who also handed it to Mrs. Florida M. Arsioga, President of the Samahan ng Kababaihan ng Poblacion 6, as operator of the terminal.

Seminar on Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (RA 10068)

         Boac, Marinduque - The Regulatory Division of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 4-B headed by OIC- Chief Mr. Ronie F. Panoy, Organic Agriculture Focal Person, conducted a seminar on Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 (RA 10068) and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). It was held at Goodchow Dining & Function Hall on March 7-8, 2012. The two-day seminar aims to educate people on the importance of a chemical-free environment by simply adopting the organic way of farming instead of using synthetically-compounded fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives that can affect the health of the consumers. To attain its objective, an organic demo and training farms should be established in the locality that will serve as show-window, where farming aficionados could see and learn the proper way of organic farming.

        The group also organized a field trip for an actual site evaluation of a private farm in the municipality of Buenavista which will serve as the first organic demo and training farm in the province. The site will have to undergo a thorough evaluation based on the outcome of the ocular assessment, interview and photo documentation using the specific criteria and guidelines in the site selection process. The participants also went to the Sama-sama sa Ikauunlad ng Kinabukasan ng Ating Pamumuhay (SIKAP), a coco sugar processing center and the only farmers' cooperative that produces coco sugar in the province. According to the center caretaker, all the members are coco sap collectors so the center has the capacity to produce 20 kilos of coco sugar daily, depending on the demand of the product.

The training was attended by more than fifty (50) participants coming from the six (6) municipalities of the province, mostly LGUs, Agricultural Technicians, farmers and even Sangguniang Bayan officials who are already venturing on organic farming and very much willing to cooperate with DA for the success of the program. #deb#


Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala arrived in San Jose, Occidental Airport together with Occidental Mindoro Congresswoman Ma.Amelita Villarosa, selected directors from the Bureaus and Attached agencies under the Department of Agriculture. He was welcomed by Governor Josephine R. Sato and Mayors, employees of the Local Governments units, officers and members from the farmers, fisher folks and irrigators associations.

Aboard from the bus, Secretary and party proceeded in four (4) four activity sites - Sablayan Penal Farm (SPF), Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro where he met the waiting 1000 plus from 22 farmers and cooperatives organizations in Sablayan. Others came from Mamburao, Sta. Cruz, Paluan and Abra de Ilog and other local officials. NIA Provincial Manager Engr. Rey Calusin presented the Phase I plan for the construction of Diversion works and canal structures for SPF with the total budget of P35M and will irrigate around 200 hectares, benefiting 125 farmers. Secretary Alcala happily announced that the Phase I project will start on April 2012. Memorandum of Agreement for the DA-NIA-PGLU-SPF was signed by Secretary Alcala, Gen. Romeo Fajardo BuCor Asst. Director, and Governor Sato. It was witnessed by thousands of farmers in Penal Farm.

Second stop was in Calintaan where the graduation of 12 batches of FFS under rice program with collaborative effort conducted by DA-RFU- 4B, PhilRice and LGUs. Secretary Alcala acknowledged the support of DepEd in cooperating with the DA for the "Gulayan sa Paaralan Projects" where 26 schools received sets of garden tools. Third place visited was in Magsaysay where the Annual General assembly of the Onion Growers was being held and likewise blessing and inauguration of the Hanger-Type Onion Dryer worth P1.3M and turned over to the Magsaysay Allium Growers Multi-purpose Cooperative. Fourth stop was in National Food Authority (NFA) wherein the warehouse was inaugurated led by DA Secretary with Governor Sato and Cong. Villarosa and NFA officials and staff at San Roque, San Jose. The last leg was a Press Conference with 14 media people for print and broadcast held at Seacost Hotel and Restaurant. Agri-related even personal questions were directly answered by the secretary with no hesitations.

On his message, Alcala said that the activity he is doing - projects visitations in the different provinces is part of the directions of President Noynoy Aquino to give proper feedback and deliver the proper services to the farmers to feel the presence of the government's effort in helping them uplift their everyday living. "Kami sa Kagawaran ay tulungan kayong humanap ng mapagbebentahan ng inyong mga produkto. Partnership ito walang iwanan. Natutuwa po ang Pangulo sa convergence ng DA at Bureau of Corrections kasi pagsama- sama mas madali ang asenso ng buhay". Alcala gave emphasis on the Indigeous people to give them projects. "Bigyan nating sila ng proyekto tulad ng pagtatanim ng mga fruit bearing trees para maiwasan nila ng paglipat lipat ng lugar at yung tiyak na meron silang babalikan.

While Governor Sato challenged the Agriculture Secretary to assist the province in irrigation, post harvest, FMR, STW projects and trainings "kung ano ibibigay tatapatan namin, sa amin ang huli" she said. Gov. Sato also thanked the Department of Agriculture for continuous support given for her province and to the farmers as well as encouraged everyone to continue working for the agricultural development of Occidental Mindoro. She said that the time of Occidental Mindoro to shine in terms of agriculture has finally come through the secretary of the Department of Agriculture - you have touch our lives made a difference, Gov. Sato said.

Also highlighting the event was giving of P72.2M certificates of turned-over for Flat Bed Dryers, Multi-purpose Drying Pavement, Village type- dryers, knapsack sprayers, pH meters, coconut seeds, garden tools, polyethylene pipes, cassava graters, trading funds for the food terminals, 4-wheel tractor and combine harvester, aquasilvi culture, tilapia hatchery and lambaklad projects for fisheries, cattle projects for livestock and for irrigation projects.

Sec Alcala surprisingly announced raffles who attended the farmers' forum. These includes 100 bags of open pollinated white corn, 100 bags of CS palay, 5 Saanin Breed Goat, 2 draft animals 2 units of rice threshers, one unit of Hand tractor with trailer, 50 laminated sacks. In Calintaan-Rizal the secretary will sponsors agri-related courses scholarship 3 from Rizal and 3 from Calintaan.

Also attending the event were Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, Sanggunian Bayan of Sablayan, officers and members from IAs and cooperatives, millers, fisherfolks, mayors and other municipal, provincial and national officials and officers and civilian employees from Bureau of Corrections and Penal Farm.###(CMSANFELIPE-DA-RFU-4B)

RICE ACHIEVERS - Ten outstanding rice-producing provinces in the country were proclaimed winners and each received P4-M worth of agricultural projects from the Department of Agriculture (DA) through Sec. Proceso J. Alcala (left), during the 2011 Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers' Awarding Ceremonies held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila on February 10, 2012.

Governors Josephine Ramirez-Sato, (3rd left) and Alfonso V. Umali Jr. (4th left) of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, respectively, received the awards together with the governors from the other provinces. The municipalities of San Jose, Rizal, and Sablayan, Occ. Mindoro also won in the municipal level category and each received P1-M worth of similar projects, while sixteen (16) Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) from these municipalities received P20,000 each.

This is the first time that DA allotted more than P100-M to reward high performing individuals in the field of rice production that would contribute in the attainment of food sufficiency program of the government. Other winning provinces include Ilocos Norte, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Southern Leyte, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, and Surigao del Sur.







MAKINARYANG PANSAKAHAN - Isinalin ni Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago, Regional Executive Director ng DA 4-B (2nd kaliwa) ang symbolic key ng mga makinaryang pansakahan sa mga miyembro ng San Miguel Multi-purpose Cooperative (SAMUCO) ng Brgy. Claudio Salgado, kaalinsabay sa pagdiriwang ng ika-110 taong anibarsaryo ng pagkakatatag ng bayan ng Sablayan noong ika-26 ng Enero 2012.

Iba't ibang samahan at kooperatiba ang nabiyayaan ng mga kagamitang pansakahan na kailangan sa pagsasaka bilang tulong ng pamahalaan sa mga magbubukid upang mapaunlad ang industriya ng pagsasaka, tumaas ang ani at matamo ang minimithing Food Sufficiency sa darating na mga taon. Nasa larawan sina Occidental Mindoro Gov. Josephine "Nene" Sato (dulong kaliwa), Sablayan Mayor Eduardo Gadiano, (3rd kanan) at si Pastor Ariel Gonzales, pinuno ng SAMUCO (dulong kanan).








FARM EQUIPMENTS - Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (4th left) handover the symbolic key for the farm tractors to Aborlan Mayor Jaime M. Ortega during the turnover rites of agri-machineries and equipments in Aborlan, Palawan on January 16, 2012.

Sec. Alcala also turnover several units of same equipments during the opening of dam gate in Balsahan Small Reservoir Irrigation Project (SRIP) in Iwahig Penal Colony, Pto. Princesa City, on the following day. A total of P42 million worth of projects and equipments were turned over to farmer organizations, cooperatives, and LGU's in the province of Palawan. Also in photo are (L-R) MAO Clemente Cacatian, Palawan Gov. Abraham Khalil B. Mitra, DA 4-B RED Cipriano G. Santiago and NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel. (DA 4-B)








Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala handed over the symbolic key of the combine harvester worth P2.0M to Naujan municipal Mayor Maria Angeles C. Casubuan and Municipal Agriculturist Ely Vargas as part of the P25M worth of farm machineries, green houses, fishing paraphernalias and livestock (piglets, quails pullets, layer chicken, slaughtering equipments) that was awarded to various Farmers Associations, Cooperatives, and Local Government Units (LGU) during the 61st Foundation Day Celebration of Oriental Mindoro held in Calapan City on November 15, 2011.

He also distributed checks amounting to P2.09M in the municipality of San Teodoro as part of the livelihood support project of the government to 209 farm households. In photos (from left) are Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso V. Umali, MAO Ely Vargas, Naujan Mayor Maria Angeles C. Casubuan, DA Sec. Proceso J. Alcala, and DA 4-B Regional Executive Director Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago.






DA turnover P25M worth of agri-equipments and projects

Calapan City - About P25M worth of farm machineries and equipments were turn-over by the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU) 4-B to the province of Oriental Mindoro during its 61st Foundation Day Celebration. The turnover was done by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala on November 15, 2011 at JJ Leido Memorial National High School oval in Calapan City.

Assorted units of farm machineries and equipments were turned-over to various Farmers Associations (FAs) and Cooperatives, Local Government Units (LGUs) as the recipients of the program. The municipality of Naujan thru its Mayor Maria Angeles C. Casubuan with her Municipal Agricultural Officer (MAO) Ely Vargas received the symbolic key for the combine harvester, while one unit of 4-wheel tractor was handed over to the Naujan Farmers Association.

Four (4) units of hand tractor were turned-over to FAs in the municipalities of Naujan, Baco, San Teodoro and Calapan City. Another two (2) units of thresher were received by the farmer organizations in Victoria and Calapan City, while the Mina de Oro Agrarian Reform MPC (MAREBEMCO) is the recipient of the rice milling machine worth P3.4M.

Eight (8) units of green houses were granted to FAs in San Teodoro, Puerto Galera, Gloria and Victoria with one (1) unit each, while Naujan and Mansalay received two (2) units each from the High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP). The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) provided 200 units of 6.5 Hp motor engine and fishing paraphernalia for fisher folks in the province, while the Livestock

Division also turned-over 50 heads of piglets for 25 recipients members of the Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative and 1,200 heads of quail pullets for the Community Multipurpose Cooperative Inc. in the municipalities of Pinamalayan and Gloria respectively.

Meanwhile, the Mary Help of Christian School (Mindoro) Inc. in Calapan Ciry received 100 heads of layer chicken, P500 thousand for the expansion of its piggery farm, and P200 thousand for the procurement of slaughtering equipment for the benefits of their Mangyan students.

Other DA attached agencies such as the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) provided seednuts and fertilizers for farmers, whereas the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) will implement an Expanded Modified Rural Composting (EMRC) about 100 hectares in Pinamalayan and Calapan City; while the Fiber Industry and Development Authority (FIDA) provided 10,000 pieces of abaca plantlets as planting materials worth P50 thousand..

Sec. Alcala also handed a check worth P2.09M to the municipality of San Teodoro for its 209 households as a livelihood support project from the Agrikultura Kaagapay ng Bagong Pinoy (AKBay).

After the turn-over ceremony, Sec, Alcala graced the Strategic Intervention and Community-Focused Action Towards Development (SIKAD) partnership forum held in Filipiniana Hotel. As guest of honor, he stand as witness on the MOA and MOU signing by the different partner agencies with the Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Sec. Neric Acosta. (DA RAFID 4-B)

DA-AMAD launches 3 Food Terminals in Oriental Mindoro

Oriental Mindoro - Three (3) Food Terminals (FTs) were launched by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Agribusiness, Marketing and Assistance Division (AMAD) in Oriental Mindoro last September 6-7, 2011 in the municipalities of Naujan and Pola. Food Terminals will cater the agri-fishery products of our farmers and fisherfolks to minimize or eliminate the activities of traders and middlemen.

The municipality of Naujan through the effort of its Municipal Agriculturist Mr. Elly Vargas is a recipient of two (2) Food Terminals, a Municipal Food Terminal (MFT) located beside the town's public market, and a Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) in Brgy. Barcenaga built near its Barangay Hall.

Launching of both MFT and BFT in Naujan was attended by Gov. Alfonso Umali and by the local official of Naujan headed by Mayor Maria Angeles Casubuan and some of the Sangguniang Bayan members, Barangay Captains, market vendors in the locality and Mrs Rosalinda Leido, the Agricultural Production Coordinating Officer (APCO) of Oriental Mindoro.

Food Terminals in Naujan, Barcenaga and Pola are situated in strategic areas where farmers/producers can directly market their products in a whole sale basis without the intervention of middlemen, thus, higher income for farmers.

The Local Government Units (LGUs) of Naujan and Pola and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro has assured support for the project. For instance, Gov. Alfonso V. Umali promised to provide hauling equipments if producers can prove to him that it is badly needed and if they can guarantee him that there are enough goods to be hauled to the MFTs/BFTs. He also advice the farmers to practice crop rotation and observe proper scheduling of planting of crops so to avoid over supply of goods.

Mayor Casubuan of Naujan on her part said that expansion of MFT in Naujan and BFT in Barcenaga will be her concerns. She added that improving the BFT facilities in Barcenaga is her priority because she herself is a residence of the said barangay and she thinks it is a common way of thanking her constituents.
On the other hand, Pola Vice-Mayor Raul Pagcaliwagan said that the presence of BFT in their town is beneficial to the residents of the Barangay Bayanan and its adjacent barangays. He said that the farmers have to practice sorting or grading their products in the BFT so it can command high price in the market, but reminded them to maintain honesty in sorting since it is the most important values among Filipino.

Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago, Regional Executive Director, DA RFU 4-B agreed what Vice-Mayor Pagcaliwagan said. He gave emphasis on the importance of honesty for the business to prosper. He further assured the people who attended the launching that the department will continue to extend its assistance but the people must also do their share.

Ms Nida San Juan, AMAD OIC-Chief said, the regional office will be granting cash assistance to each Food Terminal as an additional trading fund amounting to P50,000.00 but the release will be done in two-equal installment basis.

Two BFTs were launched in Palawan

Puerto Princesa City - Another set of Barangay Food Terminals (BFTs) were successfully launched and turned-over in the two municipalities of the province on September 22, 2011.

One BFT is situated in Barangay Tabon in Quezon, Palawan and attended by the Baranagay and some Sangguniang Bayan officials headed by Mayor Ronilo Caputilla. The Mayor highly appreciated the presence of BFT because farmers produce will be catered in, thus improving their lives particularly residents of Brgy Tabon and its nearby barangays.

Another BFT was also launched in the Municapility of Narra with former Mayor Lucy Demaala who welcomed the Staff from the DA Central and Regional Office headed by Ms. Nida M San Juan, OIC-Chief, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) Regional Field Unit (RFU) 4-B. in her statement, Mrs. Demaala said that the office of Mayor is in full support of the BFT. She is hoping that later on all barangays of Narra will have its own BFT so farmers will have a certain market for their produce. And besides, residents need not go to the public market, instead may patronize the BFT because of its proximity to their houses, the former mayor said.

Mrs. Trinidad Dela Cruz from the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) DA Central Office who is the representative of Director Leandro H. Gazmin said that the major beneficiaries of BFTs are farmers and fisherfolk whose agri-fishery products can be sold in BFTs. She added that DA is willing to extend it assistance but the people must work together because the presence of BFT is a commitment of everyone.

Governor Abraham Khalil Mitra was represented by his Chief Executive former Aborlan Mayor Celsa Adier who was very enthusiastic about the project. She said that the office of the governor is very supportive in all the undertakings of the Department of Agriculture. The Chief Executive added that because of the presence of BFT, the barangays of Tabon and Malatgao will be known not only in their respective municipalities but in the adjacent towns as well. Lastly, she added further that her dream is to make all the municipalities in Southern Palawan more progressive someday.

The certificate of turn-over was handed on by Ms Nida M. San Juan to the Mayors who passed it on to the Brgy. Captains, and accepted by their respective BFT Operators as the final recipients.
In return, the operators assured the public that they will manage the BFT properly, with the guidance of the LGUs and the support of DA-AMAS-AMAD officials.

Food Terminal Summit in Palawan

Puerto Princesa City - The third and final leg of the Provincial Cluster Food Terminal Summit in MIMAROPA Region was held in the VJR Multi-Purpose Hall, Capitol Compound, Puerto Princesa City on September 20-21, 2011. Food Terminals in Region 4-B were divided into three clusters based on its geographical location to facilitate monitoring system. Two Mindoro provinces belong to cluster 1, while cluster 3 comprises the provinces of Marinduque and Romblon.

Palawan falls under Cluster 2 which was composed of fourteen (14) Food Terminals distributed in the nine (9) municipalities and one city in the province. Out of the said number, three (3) of these are Municipal Food Terminals (MFTs) and eleven (11) Barangay Food Terminals (BFTs) scattered in the municipalities of Roxas, El Nido, Coron, Aborlan, Narra, Quezon, Sofronio Española, Brookes Point, Rizal and Puerto Princesa City.

The summit were participated by the producers, operators, technicians and some Municipal Agriculturists and their staff and officers of the Provincial Agriculturist. Its main purpose is to identify problems concerning the management of Food Terminals and how to address it. The participants were divided into four (4) groups namely; Northern Palawan, Southern Palawan, Local Government Units, and the Producers Group.

Several issues and concerns were discussed during the summit including the supply and demand of some commodities. The Producers Group reported that Palawan produces 300 metric tons of Saba banana, and 5 metric tons of Cassava per month throughout the year. At the same time, the fishery sector in Northern Palawan can supply 20 tons of fish per day but reported zero production of poultry products.

During the output presentation, Dr. Romeo Cabungcal the Asst. Provincial Agriculturist (APA) observes that data presented by suppliers were inconsistent with that of the MAOs group. He advised both party to sit and consolidate for them to have a synchronized data. He also gave emphasis on eliminating illegal activities of traders in Food Terminals.

Regional Executive Director Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago on the other hand said that the producers play a vital role in the success of Food Terminals operations. There must be a proper programming in the production of goods, and to consult other FTs so business will prosper. He stress on the importance of proper recording system as one of the requisite when an FT is nominated for the Gawad Saka Award.

Director Engr. Leandro H. Gazmin of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) said that the DA Central Office is very much willing to support the needs of the Food Terminals but the operators must also do their share by strengthening further their strength and eliminate its weaknesses. He added the if ever there are surplus products in Palawan, the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of DA 4-B through its OIC-Chief Ms. Nida San Juan and her Staff is ready to assist the producers in selling their products in other Food Terminals not only in the MIMAROPA region but in the NCR as well.

At the last day of the summit, the participants have chosen among them selves' two (2) focal persons and their members. These persons will be the official representative for the Northern and Southern Palawan and the contact persons for FTs concerned activities. Before the two-day summit ended, the participants who are willing to go with the Lakbay Aral at Ugayan (LAKARAN) were listed, for them to observe successful FTs in Regions I, III and CAR to be held in November 14-17, 2011.


Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. The Department of Agriculture conducted the 1st Luzon AGRIMAC or Agricultural Farm Machinery and Equipment Roadshow held in PHilMec compound last August 23-24, 2011. Attended by 1,126 participants where original expected participants is 600 to 800 only compost of Irrigators Association and Farmers Association Presidents, officers and members, LGUs, Rice, Corn, HVCDP program coordinators from Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5 and CAR.

The theme " Aangat ang Ani at Kita sa Paggamit ng Tamang Makinarya" was spearheaded by the Rice Program gathered all manufacturers, suppliers, importers, and dealers of Agricultural Machinery and Equipments and exhibited to the farmers their products for the farmers to be aware, to choose from the different products/brands in the country appropriate for their farming activities and for them to acquire needed farm machinery through counter parting scheme.

Secretary Proceso j. Alcala was glad to announce the reduction fee under the counter parting scheme from the original 70% to 30% to 85% - 15% for the qualified group of farmers or LGUs so they can acquire needed farm machinery through counter parting. Alcala also announced that the road show will be now be done or schedule annually.

Ten (10) units of hand tractors and one unit moisture meter were raffled after the open forum with the Secretary. The seven (7) units hand tractors were raffle on a basis - one per region. Then the remaining units were raffled by putting all together the names of IAs, and FAs. The raffles were sponsored by the rice program and the one (1) unit hand tractor from P.I. Farm Machinery.

Every manufacturing company had given away different types of freebies from bags, raincoat, mugs, key chain, ref holders, umbrella, t-shirts, jackets, and caps for every participant who visited their booth.

Other officials who graced also the occasion were Rice Program Director Dante de Lima, PhilMec Director Ricardo L. Cachuela, Regional Executive Directors Andrew Villacorta and Jose Dayao of Regions 3 and 5 respectively and Regional Technical Directors from RFU-3. Ms. Paz Mones, Ms. Vilma Dimaculangan of RFU-4A and Mr. Antonio R. Creencia of RFU-4B and Vice Mayor Ester A. Lazaro of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.###

St. Benedictine House of Prayer
Brgy. Salong, Calapan City
August 16-17, 2011

Calapan City - The Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD), of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 4-B headed by Ms. Nida San Juan conducted its first ever Food Terminal Summit for Cluster 1 held at Saint Benedictine House of Prayer in Brgy. Salong, Calapan City on August 16-17, 2011. The said activity aims to know the current situation of the Municipal Food Terminals (MFTs) and Barangay Food Terminals (BFTs) in the region through proper evaluation and report validation.

Presently Oriental Mindoro has eight (8) MFTs and seven (7) BFTs. Out of this figure, two (2) MFTs and two (2) BFTs are about to be launched on September and October of this year. On the other hand, Occidental Mindoro has a total of six (6) Food Terminals, three (3) MFTs in the municipalities of Mamburao, Abra de Ilog and Lubang, while three (3) BFTs located in the barangays of the municipalities of Magsaysay, San Jose, and Abra de Ilog.

To facilitate movement and easy monitoring, MFTs and BFTs in the entire region were divided into clusters; Cluster 1 composed of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro, while Romblon and Marinduque provinces belongs to Cluster 2, whereas the lone province of Palawan fall under Cluster 3.
Mr Ramon Policarpio of AMAD said that the establishment of new MFTs and BFTs is not the priority of the region instead, the focus will be on the strengthening, enhancement, and rehabilitation of all existing projects for any assistance that the department can extend to them. He added that after the series of summit in the region, there will be a "Lakbay Aral sa Karunungan" (LAKARAN) so that the participants will be able to witness and may acquire information in some of the successful MFTs and BFTs in the country, probably in Regions I, III and CAR.

The two day summit considered successful. The participants were able to make their own SWOT analysis, a 3rd quarter catch-up plan for 2011, followed by presentation for comments and recommendations.

Most of the Food Terminals were represented in the forum both from the government and private sectors. On the side of the government, most of them are Agricultural Technicians, MAO/MAs, City Agriculturist of Calapan, the Provincial Agriculturist of the two Mindoro provinces, and a few barangay captains, while the private sector was represented by BFT operators/officers and selected vegetable growers.

Iwahig rice hectarage to double via irrigation

      The Department of Agriculture recently forged a partnership with the Iwahig Penal Colony that will restore and repair irrigation to double existing rice areas to about 700 hectares, and thus produce additional rice supply for Palawan.

     Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and Iwahig Penal Colony Superintendent Mario Trasmonte forged the agreement, and witnessed by Palawan Governor Abraham Khalil Mitraa and National Irrigation Administion (NIA) region 4B manager Conrado Cardenas Jr.

     Cardenas said there are still some 1,500 hectares of rainfed areas that could be irrigated and provide additional rice harvest to supply the demand of Palawan and nearby provinces.

     To which, Sec. Alcala instructed Cardenas to validate the potential expansion areas and submit his recommendations soonest to speed up restoration and repair of irrigation systems.

     For this part, Transmonte said Iwahig farm has manpower to transform idle lands into productive rice farms, and all it needs are funding support and technical supervision from DA and NIA. " These effort will contribute in part to attaining the government's target of rice self-sufficient by 2013," Alcala said.

     While in Palawan , Sec. Alcala distributed more than P2-million worth farm macheniry and equipment-a four-wheel drive hand tractor, low lift pumps, shallow tube wells, and shredders to farmer's group and Palawan municipal LGUs.

     Incentives where also given to farmer under the Participatory Coconut Planting program, while certificates of entitlements under the Salt Fertilization Program and the Philippine Coconut Authority were distributed.

     Alcala assured the farmers and fishers that the DA will continue to craft policies and implement sustainable programs to enhance Palawan's agri-fishery sector.

" We have to work together to attain the goal of rice self-sufficiency". He added urging everyone to take part in the main agenda of the Aquino government geared at sustainable food production.

Alcala said the DA will also put up community seed banks in Palawan, and other parts of the country, to empower rice seed growers and enabled them to produce quality seeds in sustainable basis.

DA help expand Iwahig rice areas. Secretary Alcala (right) instruct NIA 4B regional officer Conrado Cardenas, Jr. (left) to validate potential expansion areas of the Iwahig Penal Farm in Palawan, and speed up the restoration and repair of irrigation systems that double rice hectarage.

A May 11, 2011 press release by the Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala recently approved a P4.27-million project for the conduct of a sustainable agriculture training program for children of indigenous Mangyans and out-of-school youth (OSY) in Oriental Mindoro. The P4.27 million will bankroll the "Mangyoung Entrepinoys Organic Farming sa Mindoro" training project spearheaded by the Salesian Sisters of St. Bosco, who since 2002 have been operating the Mary Help of Christians School (Mindoro), Inc., in Barangay Parang, Calapan City.

School directress Sister Phebe G. Lacse said the fund will be used to continue the integrated formal and informal education program on organic farming and sustainable agriculture technologies, which has trained an average of 50 to 60 students per year since the school began in 2002.

Aside from hands-on farming chores-growing rice, vegetables, cassava and fruit trees-the students likewise learn entrepreneurial skills. They also undergo on-the-job training in private and DA techno-demonstration farms.

Secretary Alcala personally visited the students, who performed for him an emotional song and dance number. They said they pin their hopes on agriculture to become productive and responsible citizens, and to contribute their share in uplifting their respective communities.

Sister Lacse said about 40 percent of out-of-school youth in Calapan City and Puerto Galera, aged 13 to 23 years old, work as helpers, vendors, porters, fishermen, or entertainers. Others are idle or help in household, farming, or fishing chores.
She said the school has an existing tie-up

with local government units in Mindoro, which sponsor or shoulder one-half of the P20,000-per-student for tuition and miscellaneous fees. The rest is shouldered by private individuals and groups as benefactors.

In this regard, Sec. Alcala commended the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro for sharing a counterpart of roughly P1.8 million to complement the P4.27- million fund given by the DA.
Sister Lacse said under their one-year program, graduates are required to share and transfer their acquired knowledge and skills in agriculture and other enterprises to family members and others in their community.

DA Chief visits Mangyans, farm youth in Oriental Mindoro.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso 'Procy' J. Alcala (right, top photo) listens intently as Sister Phoebe G. Lacse-directress of the Mary of Help Christians School, in Parang, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro-shares with him various livelihood projects undertaken by the school that include the production of wood vinegar (foreground, left). Sec. Alcala approved the school's proposed P4.2-million project, called "Mangyoung Entrepinoys Organic Farming sa Mindoro." Below, students perform a song and dance number during his visit, along with DA Region 4B Director Cipriano Santiago, (2nd from right, top photo) and other guests.

DA grants P4-M project for Mangyan, Mindoro farm youth

Calapan City. Touched by the transformation of children of indigenous Mangyans and out-of-school youth (OSY) in Oriental Mindoro who are now profitably engaged in agriculture, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala recently approved a P4.27-million project for the conduct of a sustainable agriculture training program for other batches.

The training - aptly called "Mangyoung Entrepinoys Organic Farming sa Mindoro" - is spearheaded by the Salesian Sisters of St. Bosco, who since 2002 have been operating the Mary Help of Christians School (Mindoro), Inc., in Barangay Parang, Calapan City,

School directress Sister Phoebe G. Lacse said the fund will be used to continue bankrolling their training program in organic farming and sustainable agriculture technologies, where they have trained an average of 50 to 60 students per year since the school began in 2002.

Sister Lacse said the one-year training per batch is an integrated formal and informal agricultural education program. Aside from hands-on farming chores - growing rice, vegetables, cassava and fruit trees - the students likewise learn entrepreneurial skills. They also undergo on-the-job training in private and DA techno-demonstration farms.

Secretary Alcala was personally gratified mingling with the students, who performed an emotional song and dance number during his visit. The students said they pin their hopes on agriculture to become productive and responsible, God-fearing citizens, and contribute their share in uplifting their respective communities.

Sister Lacse said about 40 percent of out-of-school youth in Calapan City and Puerto Galera aged 13 to 23 years old work as helpers, vendors, porters, fishermen, or entertainers. Others are idle or help in household, farming or fishing chores.

She said the school has an existing tie-up with local government units in Mindoro that sponsor or shoulder one-half of the P20,000-worth of tuition and miscellaneous fees of the students. The rest is shouldered by private individuals and groups as benefactors.

In this regard, Sec. Alcala commended the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro for sharing a counterpart of roughly P1.8 million to complement the P4.27-M fund given by the DA.

Sister Lacse said under their one-year program, graduates are required to share and transfer their acquired knowledge and skills in agriculture and other enterprises to family members and others in their community. ###

Romblon agriculture gets a boost from Secretary Alcala

Romblon's mainly agriculture-based economy got a boost from Department of AgricultureSecretary Proceso Alcala who visited the province last April 4 and 5.

The visit was made possible through the efforts of Romblon Governor Eduardo "Lolong" Firmalo. The Governor said, "Secretary Alcala's visit provided a clearer roadmap in harnessing Romblon's potentials in agriculture.""Romblon has a great potential in agriculture," declared Alcala upon arrival at the Port in Looc, Romblon where a well-protected fish sanctuary is also located.

In a short arrival speech before the crowd of Bantay Dagat and town officials led by LoocMayor Leila Arboleda, Alcala pledged to provide the town's small fishermen 18 new fish cages (payao) on a rent-to-own basis to boost their income thru aqua-culture.

He also encouraged the fishermen to apply a "bibingka strategy" by growing abalones and sea cucumbers underneath those payaos. "Para may kita na sa itaas, may kita pa sa ibaba," the jovial cabinet secretary explained.

Locally known as "balat", "sabra-sobra", "lapas" or "kapinan", abalones command high price in Chinese restaurants and especially when exported to Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Australia, USA, Canada, Spain and, Netherlands. The same is true with sea cucumbers (with 23 local names) which price ranges from PhP 180 to PhP 850 per kilo depending on size and the kind of specie.
Alcala had lunch at the popular Aglicay beach in another town, Alcantara, where he met with Mayor Eddie Lota to discuss the town's needs for agriculture.

Odiongan fiesta
After Alcantara, the Secretary proceeded to Odiongan where he graced the town's Agro Fair and a turn over ceremony of a newly-built food terminal warehouse. His visit also coincided with Odiongan's 164th foundation day and town fiesta.

In his speech at the food terminal's turnover ceremony, he assured Governor Firmalo, Odiongan Mayor Boy Firmalo and other town officials that his department will do all it can to provide Romblon the necessary assistance to develop its agriculture, including the idea of putting up a trading post which he pioneered in Quezon.

"Kung anong maitutulong ng national government, ating pangungunahan," he told the euphoric crowd of Odionganons who appreciated the secretary's down-to-earth style in dealing with the people.
In a public forum that followed, he responded positively to the request that liquid freeze facilities be provided in Odiongan, Romblon, and for other towns if possible, to prolong and broaden the marketability of the province's fish catch. The liquid freeze facilities, which he had been discussing with Governor Firmalo prior to his visit, will come in two weeks time. He likewise offered Odiongan the rent-to-own scheme for payaos that he offered to fishermen in Looc.

He also instructed the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) regional director to evaluate the province's irrigation and water impounding systems to see if there is a need to rehabilitate them or if necessary build new ones; the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to upgrade the animal culture in the province; and for other agencies under the DA to make additional farm to market roads and other facilities such as flatbed driers, shallow tube wells, as well as supplies of seedlings.
The DA also handed down checks representing tuition fee subsidies for the province's Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) scholars.

After the turnover ceremony, Governor Firmalo showed Secretary Alcala the Farmers and Youth Training Center at Barangay Rizal which needs additional funding support to become operational.
Boracay as market

Throughout his visit, Secretary Alcala kept stressing on the importance of making Boracay Island as Romblon's main market owing to its proximity to the province and the island resort's ever growing need for high value agricultural products such as seafoods, vegetables and fruits. Boracay is host to almost a million tourists every year.

He told the town officials and the crowd that a DA team is going back as soon as possible to formulate a master development plan for the whole province of Romblon and integrating it to the national plan.
He also recognized the inexhaustible energy of Governor Firmalo in trying to make Romblon a great province. Alcala and Firmalo became friends as they were both members of the 13th Congress. On his part Firmalo thanked Alcala for taking the time out to visit Romblon.
With Miss Gina Lopez

A dinner hosted by the provincial government on the night of April 4 had Secretary Alcala and ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director Ms. Gina Lopez as main guests. Lopez was also in town advocating the rejection of mining operations in the whole province of Romblon.
Speaking before the ecumenical gathering jointly organized by the Aglipayan and theRoman Catholic churches, Alcala echoed Gina Lopez's view that by experience mining does not necessarily bring development to host communities. He told the faithful that the real alternative rests on the development of Romblon's agriculture and that the national government is willing to help the province achieve this goal.

Meeting with local leaders
On the morning of April 5, Alcala was accompanied by Firmalo to Barangay Canduyong where a possible site for the PhP 15 million marine breeding station is to be built. Once implemented, the project is expected to enhance the development of aqua culture industry in the province.
Before proceeding to the town of Calatrava to join local officials led by Mayor Bong Fabella in inaugurating the new fishport terminal, Alcala went back to a resort in Odiongan to meet with top local leaders from Romblon's 17 municipalities.

In Calatrava, he instructed his aides to evaluate the possibility of expanding the fishport terminal and putting up a coco coir facility.

And before catching up a flight back to Manila, Alcala led the release of baby sea turtles in the beautiful coastal barangay of Bunsoran in Ferrol town where he also met with local officials led by Mayor Jason

8 April 2011
Office of the Governor
Province of Romblon
Contact: Wilson Fortaleza
Information Officer
@ 09173732185

Sektor ng magsasaka at mangingisda nagkaroon ng bagong pag-asa

Sa pagdalaw ni Secretary Proceso J. Alcala ng Department of Agriculture nitong nakaraang lingo dito sa lalawigan, nagkaroon ng panibagong pag-asa ang sector ng magsasaka at mangingisda dahilipinangako nito na bibigyan nya ng prioridad na tulungan ang mga ito upang mapaangat ang kasalukuyang kalagayan nila sa buhay.

Dahil dito, inasahan ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda na mabigyan na sila ng sapat na atensyon kung saan, sa mga nakalipas na panahon, ay ginawa lamang sangkalan, upang kumita ang ilang mga ganid na opisyal ng ating lalawigan.

Katunayan, madalas nag awing rason ng ating mga opisyal, partikular nung nakalipas na administrasyon, ang paglaan ng pondo para sa magsasaka at mangingisda bilang suporta umano sa mga ito lalo na noong tumama ang bagyong Undoy, ngunit hanggang sa mga oras na ito, hindi maramdaman ng nasabing sector ang tulong na kanilang ipinangako.

Kung may ipinamigay man silang tulong sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda, ito ay noong kasagsagan ng kampanya noong nakalipas na Mayo 10 local at national na election kung saan, bumuhos ang sako-sakong bigas ng NFA galing sa kapitolyo na may nakalagay na litrato nina Budoy Madrona, Jojo Beltran, at DE Perez sa plastic na supot na lalagyan nito.Lumabas na hindi ito bilang ayuda sa kahirapan ngmga tao kundi, ito ay malinaw na pamumulitika lamang!

Sa kasalukuyang administrasyon ni Governor Lolong Firmalo at sa pangakong binitiwan ni Secretary Alcala, muling nakabanaag ng panibagong pag-asa ang ating magsasaka at mangingisda dahil sa prioridad ni Gov. Firmalo ang agrikultura at napatunayan na rin ni dating congressman at kasalukuyang Agriculture Secretary Alcala na sa pamamagitan ng pagsasaka at pangingisda ay nabago nila muli sa dating mahirap na lalawigan ang Quezon patungo sa isang maulnlad na pamayanan sa ngayon.

Sana lang, sa lalong medaling panahon ay magkaroon ng realidad ang mga programang ito ng ating gobyerno upang sa ganun, hindi tuluyang mawala ang tiwala ng sector ng magsasaka at mangingisda sa ating mga opisyal sa pamahalaan.

Government allots P2-M funding for stalled Marine Breeding Research Center in Romblon

Thursday, 07 April 2011 19:59 Cai U. Ordinario / Reporter

DESPITE being put on hold in the last four years, the Department of Agriculture (DA) disclosed that it is keen on developing a Marine Breeding and Research Center (MBRC) in Romblon and has already set aside P2 million of its budget for the project.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said finding a location that is "typhoon and pollution-free" was the key factor in pushing through with the project. The MBRC will be in a two-hectare coastal area in Canduyong, Odiongan, Romblon.

The establishment of the MBRC is an offshoot of Republic Act 9460 establishing the MBRC in Odiongan, Romblon which was passed in 2007. The law provides that the DA shall set aside funds for the development of the MBRC.

"This is part of the directives of President Aquino for us to go to the farthest barangay and extend government assistance. We want the people to feel the assistance of the government," Alcala said.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director Malcolm Sarmiento said the operation of the MBRC will include research and experimentation as well as breeding, propagation and distribution of spawners, fry and fingerlings.

The project will be supervised by the BFAR in close coordination with the provincial government. Alcala also instructed BFAR to coordinate closely with the provincial government of Romblon to fast track the release of funds.?

"We will also seek the assistance of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center because of their expertise in aqua research and development," Sarmiento said.

Alcala added that under the Master Development Program of the government, a team of experts from the DA will visit the province to assess and look into possible agricultural projects for the residents.
Aside from job generation, the MBRC seeks to improve existing fishery technologies and maximize potentials of the fishing industry.

"We will encourage the culture of a variety of marine species native to Romblon, thereby attracting investments. These combined efforts aim to improve the lives of the local fishers and their families," Gov. Edgardo Firmalo said.

IN PHOTO -- Fish aplenty During his recent visit to one of the country's most fertile fishing grounds, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala expressed optimism that Romblon has the potential to supply fish products to Boracay and other nearby tourist destinations during his visit at the Looc Fish Sanctuary and Fish Pen recently. The sanctuary, located at the center of Looc Bay, serves as a refuge for various high-value marine species. With Alcala is Romblon Gov. Edgardo Firmalo.

Multispecies breeding station to aid Romblon fishers

An April 7, 2011 press release by the Department of Agriculture
The Agriculture Department is setting aside P2 million in funds for the development of the Marine Breeding and Research Center (MBRC), which will rise in the island province of Romblon soon.

The Center, which will be established in a two-hectare portion of coastal land in barangay Canduyong in Odiongan, is an offshoot of Republic Act No. 9460, which was passed in 2007.

"The project will finally push through after four years, as we have found a suitable area that is typhoon and pollution free," Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.

"Ito po ay bahagi ng utos ng Pangulong Aquino, na kami ay pumunta sa mga malalayong barangay upang maipaabot ang tulong ng pamahalaan [This is part of the directives of President Aquino for us to go to the farthest barangay and extend government assistance]," he added.

"Gusto po naming iparamdam sa mga mamamayan ang tulong ng gobyerno [We want the people to feel the assistance of the government]."

During a site visitation, Alcala instructed Dir. Malcolm Sarmiento of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to closely coordinate with the provincial government of Romblon and fast track the release of the funds.

Dir. Sarmiento stressed that the operation of the Center, which will include research and experimentation as well as breeding, propagation and distribution of spawners, fry and fingerlings, will be supervised by BFAR in close coordination with the provincial government.

"We will also seek the assistance of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center because of their expertise in aqua research and development," Sarmiento said.

Aside from job generation, the MBRC seeks to improve existing fishery technologies and maximize potentials of the fishing industry.

"We will encourage the culture of a variety of marine species native to Romblon, thereby attracting investments," Governor Edgardo Firmalo said. "These combined efforts aim to improve the lives of the local fishers and their families."

Alcala added that under the Master Development Program of the government a team of experts from the DA will visit the province to assess and look into possible agricultural projects for the residents.

Agriculture dept. allots P2M for Romblon mariculture

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala expressed optimism that Romblon has the potential to supply fish products to Boracay and other nearby tourist destinations during his visit at the Looc Fish Sanctuary and Fish Pen.

THE Department of Agriculture has earmarked P2 million for the development of a multispecies breeding station to improve existing fishery technologies and maximize potentials of the fishing industry in Romblon province.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the Marine Breeding and Research Center would be established in a 2-hectare coastal land in barangay Canduyong, Odiongan.
The coastal area of Canduyong was the most suitable place to put up the project since it was typhoon and pollution-free, Alcala said.

"This is part of President [Benigno] Aquino [3rd]'s directives for us to go to the farthest barangay and extend government assistance. We want the people to feel the assistance of the government," he added.

Alcala added that under the Master Development Program of the government a team of experts from Agriculture department would visit the province to assess and look into possible agricultural projects for the residents.

During a site visitation, Alcala instructed Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director Malcolm Sarmiento to closely coordinate with the provincial government of Romblon and fast track the release of the funds.

Sarmiento said that the operation of the Center would be supervised by the bureau in close coordination with the provincial government-the operations would include research and experimentation as well as breeding, propagation and distribution of spawners, fry and fingerlings.

"We will also seek the assistance of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center because of their expertise in aqua research and development," Sarmiento said.
Besides job generation, the center seeks to improve existing fishery technologies and maximize potentials of the fishing industry.
James Konstantin Galvez

Fisheries center going up in Romblon

April 7, 2011, 5:04pm
ROMBLON, Philippines -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) has earmarked P2 million for the Marine Breeding and Research Center (MBRC) in Romblon.

The center will be established in a two-hectare coastal area in Barangay Canduyong in Odiongan in compliance with Republic Act 9460 passed in 2007.

"The project will finally push through after four years, as we have found an area that is typhoon- and pollution-free," Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.

"Ito po ay bahagi ng utos ng Pangulong Aquino na kami ay pumunta sa mga malalayong barangay upang maipaabot ang tulong ng pamahalaan (This is part of the directive of President Aquino for us to go to the farthest barangay and extend government assistance)," Alcala said.

Alcala stressed the need to establish the MBRC in Romblon to do research and experimentation as well as breed, propagate and distribution spawners, fry and fingerlings to boost fish production in the island-province.

The center's operation will be supervised by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in close coordination with the provincial government.

Briefing and Turn-over of incoming & outgoing Regional Executive Director
March 29, 2011

Incoming DA-RFU 4-B Regional Executive Director (RED) Atty. Cipriano G. Santiago (left) accepts the duties and responsibilities from Outgoing RED Antonio G. Gerundio (right) during the turn-over ceremonies on March 29, 2011. The simple rites had been witnessed by the DA-IV B regional officials and staff.

Atty. Santiago is a former Regional Executive Director of Region I, while RED Gerundio who served the region for three years will be assigned in Region VIII.







FMR Turn-over in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro
Roxas Municipal Vice-Mayor Bolet Dimapilis together with Mr Alex Ronquillo of DA- RFU 4B and some LGU staff led the ribbon cutting during the inauguration and turn-over ceremony of the Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) on January 18, 2010. The length of the project is about 5.02 km interconnecting the 6 barangays of the municipality with a total cost of P12.4 M benefiting 3,783 households. Marketing of agricultural produce in these remote areas are now made easy because of vehicle accessibility, thus, increasing farmers profit and income.

Turn-over of InfRES Project in Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro
Bongabong Municipal Mayor Hercules A. Umali, Vice-Mayor Alfonso A. Montalbo, and Mrs. Umali, wife of Congressman Umali together with Mr. Alex Ronquillo led the ribbon cutting during the inauguration and turn-over ceremony of the P24.3M rehabilitated Bongabong Rural Water Supply System comprising 36.4 km water pipeline on January 19, 2010. Package 1 benefited around 9,344 individuals in six barangays while package 2 served 1,099 households of the other six barangays. Project beneficiaries have improved their health conditions specially the children because of the clean and potable water that the project brought to them.

Cassava Project Proposal for Occidental Mindoro
Gov. Josephine Ramirez-Sato and Mr. Roger Wong, a Chinese-American discuss the possibility of establishing a cassava ethanol industry in Occidental Mindoro on January 25, 2011 at the DA-RFU 4B Conference Room. The proposal is significant since the bulk requirements of cassava needed by the feed manufacturers in the country were imported from the neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.
DA 4-B key officials attended the meeting are RTD Antonio R. Creencia, Admin Chief Ms. Lucille E. Odejar, and Dr. Candido Damo, D.A. National Cassava Project Coordinator.

Alcala Oathtaking dadad

Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala is sworn into office by President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang on July 1, 2010. The newly appointed Agriculture chief hopes for zero rice importation by 2013 by propping up rice production in the country. Joining him in this momentous ceremony are members of his family (L-R) son-in-law Joseph Lucentales, grandson Jeff, youngest daughter Ivy Alcala, eldest daughter Ingrid Alcala-Lucentales, wife Corazon Alcala, grandson Josh, daughter-in-law Mimilanie, grandson Theoden, only son Congressman Irvin Alcala, and grandson Thor. ###

 Alcala is New Department of Agriculture Chief

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala receives from outgoing Agri chief Bernie G. Fondevilla the Department of Agriculture (DA) flag symbolizing the turnover of leadership and responsibility of overseeing the development and modernization of the Philippine agriculture and fishery sectors, during simple ceremonies held at the DA Central Office, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City, Monday, July 5, 2010. Alcala vows to maintain a transparent leadership and enjoins DA officials and employees to provide efficient service and adequate support to small farmers and fishers so they can earn profitable income and produce enough food for all. ###


With just a few days before their town fiesta, farmers of Coron, Palawan willingly shared their time to meet with other farmers and the staff of the Department of Agriculture's Corn Program with the optimism of increasing corn production and strengthening the corn farming industry thru the Training on Corn and Vegetable Production with Emphasis on IPM.

Dr. Romeo Cabungcal, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist, in his welcome message emphasized the need to strengthen agriculture in Coron since the town is considered as the gateway to tourism in Northern Palawan. Dr. Cabungcal added that an event such as this is timely because of Gov. Mitra's slogan - "The HEAT is on!" which pertains to strengthening the province by improving the Health, Education, Agriculture and Tourism sectors.

Municipal Agriculturist Antonio Mendez urged the farmers to actively participate in discussions based on the speakers' lectures and Mr. Arnold Centeno, Municipal Planning & Development Officer, said that the training will be helpful for the upliftment of Coron farmers and added that Coron has plenty of lands waiting for cultivation.

Mr. Celso Olido, Agriculturist from the DA RFU 4B, told the participants that Agriculture will be pushed towards the island provinces since the mainland is geared towards urbanization. He discussed topics about vegetables, its production and pest management.

Engr. Christine Inting, Regional Corn Program Report Officer, explained that the training hopes to encourage locals of Coron to venture into corn farming. She explained programs lined up by the Regional Corn Program among these are acquiring post-harvest facilities and the balik-binhi program. The group established ways on how to increase the demand in corn: (1) livestock industry - backed up with the proposal to submit a resolution to SB for no importation of corn & corn by-products; (2) invite potential investors i.e. contract growing; (3) invite feed millers.

With the help of Mr. Milo delos Reyes from the DA National Corn Program, the participants were clustered into five groups. One cluster consists of group of farmers with physical land area of at least 200 hectares expandable to 400 hectares. Mr. delos Reyes advised them to know the demand first to determine the amount of production. "Ayaw naming magpatanim ng mais kung walang demand," he stressed. He added that it would be better as an island town that corn products leaves the island in the form of processed meat. Exercises were done by the clusters such as mission and vision formulation and setting of plan for the next six years. Other topics discussed were Pest & Diseases of Corn by Mr. Edmar Mendoza and Management of Corn using Trichogramma and Earwigs by Ms. Elsie Ricablanca.
Engr. Teresita Guian, Palawan Provincial Agriculturist and former Aborlan Municipal Mayor Celsa Adier graced the last day of training and congratulated the participants and the DA's Corn Program for spearheading such activity that will help in uplifting Coron farmers' livelihood.
### tanitullano

Coron farmers took the part in strengthening their corn industry through active participation in the recently conducted training/seminar by the Regional Office's Corn Program.


Cassava varietal trial in Romblon

Odiongan, Romblon - The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU) 4-B Research Division in collaboration with the Romblon State University (RSU) has propagated about forty (40) varieties of cassava obtained from the Philippine Root Crop Research and Training Center (PhilRootcrops) based in Leyte State University, Baybay, Leyte. Said root crops were planted in a hectare research station of RSU in Brgy. Agpudlus, San Andres, Romblon to determine the variety suited in the province current soil and climatic condition. Its main objective is to determine the possible highest yielding variety of cassava that suits the needs of the region either for human consumption and industrial purposes.
On July 22, 2010 harvesting of these cassava varieties were witnessed by people coming from the different provinces of MIMAROPA region who are also interested on the outcome of the project. They want to replicate the activity in their respective provinces to find out the right cassava variety that would produce high yield in their locality.
Cassava production is highly encouraged nowadays because of the problem that the country is experiencing, the effect of "Climate Change". Cassava plant is known to be tolerable to drought or when there is a scarcity of water especially during El Niño. And besides, it needs less cultural attention compared to other crops.
Marketing of this root crop is not a problem since the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the leading livestock feed manufacturer in the country, gave an assurance of accommodating bulk supply of this commodity as their commitment made during the regional cassava stakeholders meeting held in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro recently. The only requisite they need so far is for the farmers to organize an assembler so the company will negotiate only to one group.
At present, the province of Occidental Mindoro has already an existing cassava plantation in Brgy Canturoy in the municipality of Rizal. The crop is scheduled to be harvested in October. The local government is planning to double or even triple the area if there are enough planting materials, said Ms. Dominga U. Españo, head of the General Service Office (GSO) and project in-charge for cassava production in the municipality of San Jose. She added that some of their planting materials were even purchased from Antipolo City just to compensate for the necessary planting materials needed in establishing a cassava plantation.
However, the participants are interested in acquiring new varieties from Romblon but unfortunately, the planting materials coming from the newly harvested cassava under the varietal program are insufficient even for Romblon province alone. It requires large areas for propagation before the proponent can distribute planting materials to the interested farmers within the locality and even in the entire province. It will take more time before the appropriate variety can be allocated outside the province for the benefit of cassava farmers in MIMAROPA.
Those who attended the harvest festival were Dr. Candido Damo, National Cassava Project Coordinator; Antonio R. Gonzales, Regional Corn and Cassava Coordinator; Engr. Christine Inting, Corn and Cassava Focal person; representatives from Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, RSU Officials, DA regional staff, and the proponents from the Research Division of DA and RSU, respectively.


Puerto Princesa City. The Department of Agriculture- Regional Field Unit No. 4-B through the AMAD and the City Agriculturist Office of Puerto Princesa City has launched another Bagsakan Center (BC) near the New San Jose Market last July 15, 2010. The first BC is located in Abo-Abo, Sofronio Española.

"The Bagsakan Center was established to bring producers closer to buyers and consumers and to enable the farmers to earn more profits and the consumers to enjoy cheaper but quality agricultural products and create employment opportunities," says Ms. Nida M. San Juan, AMAD chief.

The displayed and ready for sell products are produced by 25 farmers from the different barangays in Puerto Princessa City. Mr. Bienvinido Dayao, a farmer in his message during the launching said that "lubos po ang pasasalamat namin sa pagkakaroon ng Bagsakan Center na ito dahil kami po ay minsan ay walang mapagdalhan at mapagsilungan ng aming mga kalakal, malaking tulong po sa aming mga magsasaka at mamimili ang Bagsakan Center na ito".

The Bagsakan Center is worth P 1 million and turned-over to the City Government by Director Antonio G. Gerundio, Regional Executive Director of DA-RFU-4B to Vice Mayor Cecil Bayron.

"The Bagsakan Center is the vehicle where you can integrate produced and served as an alternative market. You must study your production schedule to get a good price. Kung magaling kayong sa timing madali kayong yayaman sa pagtatanim ng vegetables", RED Gerundio, told to the farmers. While Vice-Mayor Bayron announced that the collection fees for "arkabala" is suspended and he is glad and thankful to the Department of Agriculture for giving such BC structure to the City of Puerto Princesa and most especially to the farmers and fishermen. "Umaasa ako na di ninyo pababayaan ang facility na ito kasi ito ay para sa inyong mga magsasaka," Vice Mayor Bayron told to the farmers.

The launching ceremony was attended also by SB Mark Hagedorn, City Agriculturist Ms. Melissa Macasaet and Agricultural Technicians from Puerto Princesa City, farmers, Mr. Ramon Policarpio, BCs and BBs Focal Person and Ms. Ludivina Rueda of DA-AMAS among others.(cmsanfelipe)

Cassava Stake Holders Meeting

San Jose, Occ. Mindoro - The first regional meeting for cassava stake holders of MIMAROPA was held in Sikatuna Beach Hotel in this municipality on July 8-10, 2010. Issues regarding on the improvement of the current variety of cassava being planted by the farmers in the region together with the expansion of area planted were the main concern during the meeting.

The said meeting was organized by the GMA Corn and Cassava Program Regional Coordinator Mr. Antonio R. Gonzales who is represented on the said occasion by Engr. Chritine Inting, regional corn report officer and cassava focal person of the Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU) 4-B. It was attended by the provincial corn coordinators and report officers representing the five provinces of the region, since cassava crop is a commodity being integrated under the program. Because the crop is quite familiar to them, everyone is interested about the project. They said that the planting of cassava is very much timely since it will not need much attention compared to other crops. It can be also propagated even during dry season or when water supply is insufficient, hence it can also defy the effect of climate change.

Several varieties of cassava were introduced during the power point presentation of Mr. Hernani Lapid, researcher of Department of Agriculture - Research Outreach Station (DA-ROS) and the current in-charge of the cassava varietal trial in Romblon State University. About 40 varieties are now planted in a hectare research farm of the university and scheduled to be harvested on the third week of July. The woody matured cassava stems after harvest will be distributed to interested farmers in Romblon or even in other provinces with in the region for rapid propagation of this plant.

At present, the provincial government of Occidental Mindoro has already planted about 30 has of cassava in Brgy Canturoy in the municipality of Rizal. They planned to double or even triple the area by the next cropping season as they recruit more farmers to plant cassava since marketing of the produce is not a problem.

Mr. Raymond Britanico area representative of San Miguel Corporation assured that dried cassava products will be absorb by the company since they have 3 mixing plant in the south Luzon alone that can handle bulk produce. He encouraged the participants to organize first an assembler before encouraging farmers to plant cassava since the company will just negotiate only to one group.

After the meeting, the group visited the cassava plantation in Brgy Canturoy, in the municipality of Rizal where the 30 has of cassava plantation of the province is situated. They also conducted a side trip in the Calumpit Multipurpose Cooperative to observe the department's three-million pesos grant village type corn-on-cob dryer in Brgy Calumpit in the municipality of Sablayan.

Launching of Bagsakan Center in Roxas

Roxas, Palawan - Another Bagsakan Center (BC) in the province of Palawan was launched by the Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU) 4-B in this municipality on June 3, 2010. The BC was second of its kind in the province next to the Tabuan Center in Brgy Abo-abo, in the municipality of Sofronio Española.

There are same projects including Barangay Bagsakan (BB) are now being processed by the Department thru the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) to be implemented in the northern municipalities of the province before the year ends.

During the open forum, some of the market vendors are timid regarding the presence of BC near the public market and worried that this may affect on their source of living. But at the end, they were enlightened and appreciated the positive effect of it as explained by Mr. Ramon Policarpio, BC and BB focal person, and Ms. Nida San Juan AMAD OIC-Chief.
As agreed upon, BC will operate only beyond market hours in a whole sale basis so there's no effect on the livelihood of the market vendors.

The launching and turn-over ceremonies were attended and witnessed by Roxas municipal Mayor Dennis M. Sabando with some of his Sangguniang Bayan members, Agriculture Production Coordinating Officer (APCO) for northern Palawan Vicente Binasahan, Ms. Ludivina Rueda of DA Central Office, Regional and Local DA Staff, farmers, officers and members of the Market Vendors Association of Roxas.

4-H Municipal Congress

Quezon, Palawan - The 4-H Club of Quezon in the province of Palawan conducted their local 4-H Congress held in the municipal gymnasium on June 5-7, 2010. It was participated by the 4-members coming from the different barangays in this remote town of the province in preparation for the forth coming provincial, regional and even for the national 4-H congress to be held sometime next year.

Ms. Guadalupe Laylo the Regional Farm Youth Coordinator together with her provincial counterpart Ms. Mila Veneranda graced the occasion and served as resource speakers for the gathering. They encouraged the participants especially the out-of-school youth to actively join the different activities of the organization to further develop their talents. Ms. Laylo said, among the municipalities of Palawan, only two (2) had conducted such activity; admiring the towns of Quezon and Brooke's Point for the leadership they showed. She also encouraged the out-of-school youth 4-H members to organize theme selves and form a group of not less than 15 members for them to avail a livelihood program from the government.
Several activities were lined during the congress such as poster making contest, quiz bee, seed identification, and a search for Miss 4-H was also conducted.

Turn-over of Village type corn dryer

Mamburao, Occ. Mindoro - The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit (DA-RFU) 4-B had turned-over two (2) units of Village Type Corn Postharvest Processing Facilities (Corn on Cob Dryer and Recirculating Dryer with Biomas-Fired Furnace) to the Calumpit Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CAMPCO) in Brgy. San Vicente, and Mindoro Progresive Multi-Purpose Cooperative, (MPMPC) in Brgy. Tangkalan, in the municipalities of Sablayan and Mamburao, respectively.

These P3 million worth facility is a grant under the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani- Corn Program and will be used to ensure a safe and quality grains toward increased productivity, reduce losses, improved food and feed quality and maximize the benefits to the stake holders. It has a capacity of 10 tons wet corn on cobs equivalent to an output of about 5.3 tons dry shelled corn per day. More so, corn cobs or rice hull can be used as fuel for the two bio-mass furnaces to minimize expenses. Such facility is first of its kind in the province of Occidental Mindoro and in the entire MIMAROPA region as well.

Dir. Antonio G. Gerundio of DA 4-B led the ribbon cutting and the turn-over ceremony on May 28, 2010 in two different venues. He congratulated the recipients of the facilities particularly the officials and members of the Board of Directors (BOD) for the effort exerted in providing building structures and for the clustering of not less than 200 has. of corn areas as the basic requirements for granting a Village Type Dryer. He also lauded the contribution of rice farmers because of the high percentage (42%) of the total NFA rice purchased came from the province which is equivalent to P2 billion, a huge amount for Occidental Mindoro.

With so, he urged the coop officials to organize a crop insurance policy system as farmer's assurance during calamities since 80% of the people particularly in Sablayan are farmers. He added that federating all the coops in the region may also have a good chance for a seat in the congress in the form of party list for the benefits of coop farmers in MIMAROPA.

Witnessing the ribbon cutting and turn-over ceremony are PA Rommel Yngson, OIC PA for Mamburao, Paluan, Sta. Cruz and Abra de Ilog (MAPSA) area Nonoy Baranda, Provincial Board Member and the Chairman Committee on Agriculture Antonio Rebong, DA 4-B Operations Division OIC-Chief and Regional Corn Coordinator Antonio Gonzales, Asst. Regional Corn Coordinator Marietta Alvis and someregional and local DA officials and coop members.

Regional Farm Family Congress

Odiongan, Romblon - The municipality of Odiongan in the island of Tablas played as host for this year's Regional Farm Family Congress participated by the different Rural Based Organizations (RBOs) such as the 4-H Club, Rural Improvement Club (RIC), and the Farmers Association (FA) coming from the four (4) provinces of MIMAROPA region which was held at the newly converted Romblon State University in Odiongan, Romblon. This year's theme "Sama-Samang Pagtataguyod ng Pansakahang Kabuhayan sa Gitna ng Pagbabago ng Klima" is so significant because it coincides with the problems that the country is facing which is associated with the effect of climate changed.

The organizer headed by Ms. Maria Guadalupe Laylo, Regional FYDP coordinator has tapped the expertise of former Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Director Dr. Rogelio Concepcion who tackled the topic on the "Effect of Climate Change on Crop Production and Adaptation" to enhance further the knowledge of the participants on the ill effect of El Niño and so with the climate change.

Dir. Antonio G. Gerundio, Regional Executive Director on the other hand gave his words of inspiration to boost the morale of the participants especially the youths whose views in agriculture were weakened due to the promising demands and opportunity in the field of information and computer technology.

In this regards, several activities were incorporated in the three-day activities not only to combat the effect of climate change but also to train the youth on different livelihood programs and projects for them to be able to cope up with the poverty problems that most of the people are experiencing today.

Contests in fruit/vegetable carving for RICs were integrated and so with the corn-husk based handicraft making and cooking competitions for the 4-Hers were also included. Such activities will serve as their training grounds; provide additional income for the family before translating this into a real business someday.

Puerto Galera's Barangay Bagsakan

Puerto Galera, Or. Mindoro - The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 4-B thru the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) have launched another Barangay Bagsakan project in Oriental Mindoro's tourism capital on April 13 2010. The Barangay Bagsakan was located near the Balatero Port in barangay Balatero in this municipality for better access of farmers and fisherman's produce. This will cater not only the agriculture products of farmers and fisher folk of the municipality of Puerto Galera but also those surplus goods coming from the other municipalities of northern Oriental Mindoro.

The official launching and ribbon cutting was headed by Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio (left, upper left photo) and Mayor Hubbert Christopher A. Dolor, ( 2nd from right, upper left photo) assisted by the AMAD Chief Ms. Nida San Juan and Barangay Captain Wilbert Candava of Brgy. Balatero (upper left photo).

Residents of Puerto Galera will directly benefit the existence of the bagsakan project in the area, since agricultural produce found in the Barangay Bagsakan was sold in much lower price compared to those goods available in the local market.



         Around 800 vegetable stakeholders all over the Philippines, private suppliers of seeds and equipments, farmers, representatives from the national local government agencies private processors, buyers and traders attended the 8th National Vegetable Congress which was held in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on February 23-25, 2010 with the theme "Refocusing the Philippines Vegetable Industry Amidst the Challenges of Climate Change". It aims to raise the productivity, quality standards and profitability of farmers despite the effect of climate change and to serve as an avenue for knowledge sharing and networking.

The three-day activities were highlighted by lecture-forum, farm visits and city tour. There were also exhibits showcasing the produced of the selected municipalities in the province and product display from seed growers and agricultural manufacturers.

Topics discussed during the congress are: Vegetable Industry Updates; Overview and Climate Change Act; Impact and Effects of Climate Change in the Philippines Vegetable Industry, Regional Gainers and Losers as Affected by Climate Change, ASEAN Standards on Horticultural Produce, DA's Plans and Programs for Vegetable Industry, Export Market Opportunities for Fresh & Frozen Vegetables, and Climate Change Mitigation Through Organic Agriculture. Speakers were Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan, Drs. Rodel Maghirang, Ma. Victoria Espaldon and Florencia Pulhin from UPLB, Ms. Rusy G. Abastilla, Weather Specialist from PAG-ASA, BAFPS Dir. Gilbert Leyese, HVCC Program Director Dr. Rene Rafael Espino, Dr. Wilfredo Sanidad from BSWM and Mr. Philippo San Luis from NABCOR were among the speakers.

On the message of OIC, Secretary Bernie G. Fondevilla read by Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio that the congress theme is very apt and timely as there no better time to address the adverse effects of weather extreme to agriculture. Climate change on vegetables brings about lower yields and low quality produce. Vegetables have to adapt to the environment/ change in planting patterns. "Mas madali nating matutugunan ang climate change dahil maganda ang ugnayan sa pagitan ninyo at ng DA". We welcome your efforts in bringing forth concerns in the industry, and act on those. We are also fortunate for the support given by private associations and companies and local officials. Looking at the industry now, we plan to continue pouring in investments, particularly in infrastructures, putting up and rehabilitating irrigation facilities, provide shallow tube wells and pumps. We will also work on reducing post harvest losses by continuous training on post harvest practices for farmers. Let me assure you that the DA will continue to extend support to the industry.

The others who graced the occasions were Congressman Baham Mitra, Mon Mitra, Jr. and AGAP part list representative Nicanor Briones.

The 8th National vegetables Congress was be led by a private sector - the Palawan Vegetable Growers, Inc. in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Palawan City Government of Puerto Princesa City, the National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC), the National Vegetable Council and the Department of Agriculture -Regional Field Unit No. IV-B (MiMaRoPa).