the region

DA-10, CMU launch hybrid rice derby and techno demo to enhance rice productivity amid COVID-19

May 28, 2020

MUSUAN, MARAMAG, BUKIDNON, May 26 – The Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) in partnership with Central Mindanao University (CMU) and nine seed companies launched the 50 hectares hybrid rice derby and technology demonstration in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon to boost rice productivity to attain rice sufficiency. DA-10 OIC-Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado and CMU President Jose Antonio G. Derije led the event in support to DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program or Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) kontra sa COVID-19 program. President Derije acknowledges the strengthened partnership between CMU and DA in the agri development of the university. “The hybrid rice derby and techno demo aims to increase national agri-fishery output through intensified use of quality seeds, appropriate inputs, modern technologies to increase levels of productivity across all commodities to ensure food productivity, availability, accessibility and affordability amidst the threat of COVID-19 pandemic,” said RED Collado. He further explained, through DA’s Rice Resiliency Project (RRP), a quick response measure that addresses food security concerns amid the pandemic, focuses to intensify campaign for the adoption of hybrid rice technology among local farmers, which intends to produce more rice to increase the national sufficiency level from 87 percent to 93 percent. Region 10 targeted for 94 percent sufficiency level, a 12 percent increase from its preceding year target with various mitigating programs implemented to boost rice production. RED Collado further shared, the project pursues to convince farmers to plant hybrid rice by showcasing the best farming technologies and practices through the collective efforts of DA, CMU, PLGU and the private sector. Through the best farming practices, farmers can feasibly adopt to increase their efficiency and productivity. The techno demo will demonstrate the effect of various planting approaches which include mechanical, manual and direct seeding to yield using top hybrid rice varieties provided by participating companies. The techno demo will cover 45 hectares, giving each seed company five hectares, to be planted with their most leading varieties, using their own cultural practices protocol. The remaining five hectares will be utilized for the one common protocol for all cultural practices which will be adopted to all entry varieties. Machineries and equipment will be provided by DA-10, while seed companies will provide the seeds, fertilizers and labor in each farming activities, including technical assistance. The preparation of the techno the demo area will be handled by CMU.# (ATCabig)

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No commemoration of Marawi siege due to COVID pandemic

May 28, 2020

ILIGAN CITY ----- Unlike the past two years, the Marawi siege will not push through because of the coronavirus pandemic.  In the last two years, the local government units of Marawi and Lanao del Sur and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) have led the commemoration of the siege with various activities. National government officials attended the events bringing with them assistance for the internally displaced persons.  In fact, the Marawi Week of Peace is officially celebrated starting a week before May 23.  This year, only 25 soldiers attended the wreath laying at 8:00AM, including the two flag bearers and a priest, with their face masks on.  This year, COVID-19 crisis made the third year commemoration of Marawi siege different.  Marawi City is still under general community quarantine which greatly limits people’s freedom of movement. Mass gatherings are still prohibited.  Last year, the wreath laying ceremony took about 30 minutes including  prayers for the dead but this year, it only took the Army soldiers of 103rd Infantry Brigade 10 minutes to lay wreath and flowers, and say prayers at the ‘Heroes Wall’ inside the brigade headquarters in Kampo Ranao.  Colonel Jose Maria Cuerpo, 103rd Brigade commander, led the troops as they recalled “the sacrifices of the fallen heroes who fought hard to liberate Marawi City from the clutches of the violent extremists Dawlah Islamiyah - Maute Group who attempted to establish a caliphate in the country”.  Cuerpo was the deputy brigade commander during the siege.  "Despite this novel coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19), we have not and will never forget the heroism displayed by our soldiers during the 2017 Marawi siege. I call on the patriotic spirit of all Meranaos to do their part and help maintain the peace we are enjoying today. We were one in this fight, one in the fight against the terror threat in the province," Cuerpo said.  Some 168 soldiers, police officers and civilians who died in the fight against terrorists during the 153 days of the Marawi Siege.  "Unity is a critical consideration in these trying times as manifested during the Marawi siege where the people and the security sector joined hands in fighting the common enemy. Peace and development can be attained. Nothing is impossible if there is cooperation, understanding, and discipline among us," Cuerpo stressed.  "Let the Marawi siege be a reminder to every one of the terror and tragedy caused by the terrorists. Rest assured that your Haribon Brigade will do its best and exert all effort to prevent such tragedy to reoccur, and to promote peace and development in the City of Marawi and the province of Lanao del Sur," he added.  Last year, a banquet was served after the wreath laying but this year, the soldiers immediately dispersed.  “We went back to the office and proceed with our regular office works,” Cuerpo said.  

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Aggie dept lauds food security frontliners, launches Kadiwa online market

May 28, 2020

Cagayan de Oro City, May 26 – Anchored on the theme, “Pagpupugay sa Magsasaka at Mangingisda Natin, Tungo sa Sapat na Pagkain”, the agriculture department in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) joined the simultaneous nationwide celebration of the Farmers and Fisherfolk Month, during the kickoff of its weeklong conduct of Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita until this Friday at the agency grounds. For almost three months operation, the direct marketing scheme under DA has assisted 38 exhibitors, comprising of farmer-associations, individual farmers, merchandisers and partner government agencies and served an estimated 26,718 households in the region. Over the period, the Kadiwa has been held in 52 sites, generating sales amounting to about Php7 million. “We are happy to note that our Kadiwa has served a two-pronged goal of providing fresh, safe, nutritious and affordable products to our consumers at the same time help producers and growers directly link their products to the market,“ Carlota S. Madriaga, Regional Technical Director for Operations of DA-10, in a recognition program dedicated for food security frontliners. This employed marketing approach has eliminated middlemen, which pads the costs of agri-fishery products being bought by consumers, the assistant executive added. Kadiwa, now institutionalized within CdeO City, will be heading out to the different barangays for the week, including Macabalan, Gusa, Macasandig, Kauswagan, Indahag, Patag, Agusan and Iponan. Highlight of the activity include the signing of Memorandum of Agreement between DA-10 and the Department of Agriculture Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DAMPC) for the Kadiwa online market, another marketing platform which paves much ease and convenience of bringing agri-fishery products right at the doorsteps of consumers. “We have partnered with DA-10 through its suppliers. Basically, we will deliver the orders of our consumers either thru call or Facebook, especially for those who cannot possibly go out of their homes to market,” Larry E. Paraluman, DAMPC chair explained. Likewise, a minimal delivery fee will be charged to cover reasonable costs for transportation of the goods, the DAMPC chair detailed, adding that food packages can be delivered on the same day orders are placed while bulk orders can take up about two to three days to be delivered. Citing such development, RTD Madriaga also recognized that this has been the result of the overwhelming response ranging from the consumers, the local governments across Region 10, especially the farmers and fisherfolk. “We would like to thank our suppliers, who have been with us in our Kadiwa from its inception until now. In the process, consumers have reaped benefits in availing agri-fishery products at farmgate prices while farmer- and fisher-producers can sell directly to their consumers, even some of whom have initially thought will be difficult to do amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” the DA-10 official remarked. On top of the agency’s assistance in terms of marketing endeavors via Kadiwa, she also assured the department’s continuous support to them, especially amid the ongoing health crisis such as the distribution of assorted vegetable and corn seeds under the Plant, Plant, Plant program, dispersal of livestock and poultry, provision of rice and fertilizers under the Rice Resiliency Project, farm machineries and equipment, among others. 

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Jocals688 beauty and wellness product soft launching held in Iligan City

May 28, 2020

ILIGAN CITY - Good news for Iliganons waiting for the coming of beauty and wellness products, as Jocals688 Beauty and Wellness Products Trading, Inc launched the other day in this progressive city of Northern Mindanao. The soft opening of its Iligan Branch would signal the company's commitment to serve the city in terms of beauty, wellness and prosperity. "We find that Iligan City is a very strategic place in Northern Mindanao," says Joshua A. Calderon, CEO and President of Jocals688. This year, the opening of Iligan Branch is part of the company's commitment and massive opening of branches since it opened in July 2019."Nalukop na nato sa pagbutang ug branches ang tibuok Pilipinas. We plan to invade Visayas soon," Calderon said. He said Jocals688 will not only help promote beauty and wellness but will also give opportunity to every Filipino to start their own business for only a very small capital.   HE'S THE MAN. Joshua Alforque Calderon, the man behind the tremendous success of Jocals688 multi-level marketing business is full of vision to make the company a byword all over the many continents of the globe.   DOING BUSINESS WITH JOCALS688 The CEO and President said for only a small capital of P3,998, anyone can start a small business and became agents of Jocals688. "Ang imong small capital worth na sa products, so if ibaligya nimo mobalik dayun ang imo capital, aside from the fact nga official agent ka na sa company. There are corresponding commissions nga imong dawaton sa matag baligya nimo sa Jocals688 products, " he explained. Calderon said many entrepreneurs at Jocals688 company are now enjoying the fruits of their sacrifices. "Many of my business partners have already experienced time and financial freedom and they are very thankful to the company. Dire nila nakita nga kung maningkamot lang gyud kita sa negosyo pinaagi sa usa ka sistema, dako kaayo ang pag asa nga makab ot gyud nato and atong mga damgo sa kinabuhi," Calderon pointed out. HUMBLE BEGINNING Started in June 2019 in the humble town of Molave, Zamboanga del Sur, Jocals688 has already established 29 branches nationwide plus two others in New York City and Papua New Guinea in less than a year of operations. "I was personally surprised because even when there were already community quarantines, taking place all over, still many people kept enrolling in our system. They put their thrust in us because they have witnessed the success of our business partners," Concludes Calderon.

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Gama Foods donates RT-PCR machine to NMMC

May 28, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City’s private sector stepped up to the plate and gave a much needed boost in the city’s fight against COVID-19 as one company turned over one reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing machine to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) during Thursday afternoon’s (May 28) press briefing at the mayor’s conference room.   ‘My heart is full of gratitude with the donation by Gama Foods Corp. of an RT-PCR testing machine to the NMMC. It is a heartwarming, reassuring and inspiring gesture on their part in helping the city and northern Mindanao. In these difficult times, there are opportunities for people to make a difference and I join the Department of Health regional office (DOH-10) and NMMC in profusely thanking Gama Foods Corp. for their donation which will augment NMMC’s testing capacity along with additional RT-PCR machines acquired by City Hall (two each) for DOH-10 and NMMC,’ Mayor Oscar Moreno said.   In a statement, Gama Foods Corp. chief operations officer Mark Chang said their company started and grew in Cagayan de Oro City and ‘it is their pleasure to be of service to the city (where they established themselves).’    ‘I hope that in this COVID-19 crisis , we in the private sector and the government can help each other in beating COVID-19. I hope this donation will boost our fighting chance (against COVID-19). We should also not be complacent and follow the government guidelines for community quarantine,’ Chang said.   NMMC chief Dr. Jose Chan and NMMC spokesman Bernard Julius Rocha agreed, saying the RT-PCR machine will augment the NMMC’s current testing capacity of 36 tests daily.    Dr. Ian Gonzales, chief of the DOH-10’s Infectious Diseases Cluster, said Gama Foods Corp.’s donation is a prime example of the private sector’s invaluable role in helping government find solutions to solve the COVID-19 crisis.    ‘Once we get the two RT-PCR machines lent by City Hall operational at DOH and four testing machines at NMMC, we may have the highest testing capacity for COVID-19 cases outside the National Capital Region,’ Dr. Gonzales said.   Dr. Gonzales also lauded Mayor Oscar Moreno and City Hall’s health officials and entire bureaucracy for spearheading efforts in northern Mindanao to bolster and capacitate both the NMMC and DOH-10’s frontliners in terms of testing and health care capacity in handling and caring for suspected COVID-19 cases.    ‘We in DOH-10 thank Gama Foods Corp. for their donation and are grateful to Mayor Oscar Moreno and Cagayan de Oro City Hall for being the leader that we need in these times and for being among the best cities in the country that prepared well for this crisis,’ Dr. Gonzales said. 

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IDPs of Marawi Siege saved by face masks

May 27, 2020

MARAWI CITY ----- Three years ago, they were displaced by the Marawi siege. They were vendors at Padian area in Marawi City before the siege. Though community is not oneof the city's 24 barangays (villages) and hardly affected by the five-month war, these 32 women fled Barangay Timbangalan since it is adjacent to the village where heavy fighting was happening. They were displaced and had to seek safe refuge in some parts of Lanao del Sur and neighboring provinces in Northern Mindanao. Some of them even stayed for a while in an evacuation center before finding a more comfortable place for their family. In March 2018, residents of the non-affected areas, including Barangay Timbangalan, were allowed to return to their homes. But life has not been the same for them. They struggled financially because their businesses were not operating like before. “We were told by our barangay chairman to organize ourselves into a cooperative so we could join a seminar for a livelihood. There were three groups who get listed for a seminar with the MARADECA, one group to train for farming, one for cooking and we are for dressmaking,” said Tahira Aragasi, the manager and master cutter of the group. A non-government organization the MARADECA (Maranao People Development Center, Inc.) organizes livelihood trainings and peace and conflict mapping analysis. Aragasi’s group, dubbed the Timbangalan Women’s Association, started with 20 members. Today, the association has over 30 members . Although many are already knowledgeable in dressmaking, they still accept members who needed a livelihood even if she has to start from zero. “May mga mananahi na talaga sa amin simula pa noong bago ang giyera sa Marawi, pero mayroon rin mga gusto pang matuto,” Aragasi said. (Most of us were dressmakers before before the war in Marawi, but still many more want to learn) The grant The group started a dressmaking cooperative selling traditional and artistic Muslim dresses through a P200,000( USD 3,941 ) grant from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the partner agency of MARADECA. This helped them to access technical trainings, buy sewing machines and fabrics to help kick-start their businesses. Demand for their dresses have start to steadily increase, with orders coming in from tourists staying at the local hotel helping them gain a significant profit. They specialize in ceremonial dresses for the enthronement of sultans and  princesses each of which sell for as much as P4,000-7,000 pesos. Still others make dresses for rent. The business has helped the women earn on their own, feel empowered, and improve the status of the whole household. Anisah Dima, 60, is a solo parent with four children, one of whom is already an adult. She has been a widow for 20 years. Of the four , only one was left alive, the three others died of various sicknesses when they were  small. Anisah joined the cooperative months after it started. Before she joined the cooperative as sewer, she was farming a small parcel of land some kilometers away from Timbangalan. “I only knew a little about sewing because I am more a farmer. Now that I am older, I asked them if I can join the group because my body can no longer endure  farming. She (Aragasi) taught me how to sew,” Dima said in Filipino. During the pandemic When the coronavirus pandemic hit the Philippines, the women’s livelihoods were greatly affected. Due to social distancing and the ‘no mass gathering’ protocols, the women were unable to keep their business like  before. The village that they live in is also quite isolated and they were unable to access the face masks and hand sanitizers they needed.  While they received cash aid from the government’s social amelioration program (SAP), it was not enough for most of the families with five to seven members . With a leftover inventory of  textiles that MARADECA gave them, the women decided to instead start stitching face masks. “May mga tulong na natanggap pero hindi sapat kasi kailangan pang bumili ng gatas at diaper ng anak. Lalo na at Ramadan, kailangan ng maraming pagkain,” Aragasi noted. (The food packs we received were not enough because we still have to buy other needs like milk and diapers for infants and we need more food for the Ramadan.) Orders coming The masks they made have been certified by the Department of Health (DOH).  Aragasi said the first batch of facemasks she made was for personal use. She posted it on social media and as a locally trusted business, orders for their masks started coming in. The first order they received was from the Army’s Civil Military Battalion who ordered 200 pieces which was distributed to their personnel. “Then the LGUs (local government units) in Lanao del Sur ordered for their frontliners. It was a big help for us to survive during the pandemic,” Aragasi said. MARADECA MARADECA’s chief executive officer Salic Ibrahim said Timbangalan is one of the eight barangays in Marawi City they support. When they consulted the beneficiaries on what kind of livelihood they preferred to engage in, MARADECA was already preparing them with trainings. “Before we give them projects, they should be trainef on how to sustain it. They must be prepared especially in terms of business to change their mindsets to be able to sustain their business,” Ibrahim said. MARADECA also trained youth volunteers who helped their beneficiaries in their various businesses as business consultants. But because of the pandemic, Ibrahim said he is apprehensive that the income they have before the community quarantine was spent for their daily needs. “Mao nay among gikabalak-an kay naa sa ilaha ang ilang income, Dili sila maka lihok og maayo, wala silay income, daghan nila ang wala naapil sa SAP, maong tan-aw namo nagastos nila ang ilang pondo. Hinaut nga duna pa mi maapsan,” Ibarahim said. (We are worried now because with movements curtailed they cannot earn, many of them are not beneficiaries of SAP, so we expect they spent their earnings, I hope we can still save their livelihood.)

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