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EDITORIAL BOARD Executive Editor …….. EFREN F. ELBANBUENA Cluster Head, Southern, Western and Central Mindanao Regional Director, PIA Region XI Managing Editor …….. ABNER M. CAGA Cluster Head, Northern & Northeastern Mindanao Regional Director - PIA Caraga Region OIC Regional Director - PIA Region X Associate Editors …… NOEMI B. EDAGA Regional Director, PIA Region IX

OLIVIA T. SUDARIA Regional Director, PIA Region XII

ELAINE O. RATUNIL Officer-in-charge, PIA Region X

Regional Desk Editors

Franklin P. Gumapon, PIA Region IX Jorie C. Valcorza, PIA Region X Rudolph Ian G. Alama, PIA Region XI Danny E. Doguiles, PIA Region XII Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region

Copy Editor ............... Robert E. Roperos, PIA Caraga Region Layout Artists ……… Victoriano B. Villacruz, Jr., PIA Region IX Retchie Tolinero, PIA Region X

Senior Layout Artists : Gerie Mae G. Coco, PIA Caraga Region Richard D. Atillo, PIA Caraga Region Editorial Advisers :

JOSE MARI M. OQUIÑENA Philippine Information Agency Director General

SEC. HERMINIO “Sonny” B. COLOMA Presidential Communications Operations Office

PIA REGIONAL OFFICES Western Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula) P. Urro Street, San Francisco District Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur 7016 Telephone no. (062) 215-1480 / 925-0038 Cellphone no. 0908-8843404 E-mail: Blogspot: Facebook: PIA WesMin Info Bliz Twitter:

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Today’s issue...


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

10 26


Vol. 2 No. 180

12 30

Cover Story

KASAMAKA bats for sustainable organic farming page 4

8 13 14 18

Gideon C. Corgue Western Mindanao

Malacanang assures the public of government’s readiness in responding to the needs of those affected by Mayon Volcano’s eruption DILG 10 enjoins LCEs to form transition teams Ana Celeste W. Felisilda, Northern Mindanao

COMELEC presents voting process for 2013 Elections Jennica Rojas, Northern Mindanao

All systems go for Comelec-Butuan on election day Robert E. Roperos, Caraga Region

20 28 32 34

Comelec to local candidates in Butuan: “Don’t harass our volunteers, partner agencies” Robert E. Roperos, Caraga Region

DOST-9 holds orientation, contract signing with new scholars in ZamPen Western Mindanao

Bio-N boosts rice farmer’s yield Danilo E. Doguiles, Central Mindanao

PNP in N. Cotabato town intensifies monitoring of conflict

Shahana Joy E. Duerme, Central Mindanao

CoVer StoRy KASAMAKA bats for sustainable organic farming By Gideon C. Corgue


ho one would think that a group of women can help conserve and restore soil and turn it into a fertile farmland given their very limited knowledge and capacities in doing farm work?

In Zamboanga del Sur, a group of women-farmers dubbed “Kahugpungan sa Mag-uumang Kababayen-an” (KASAMAKA) was established in Barangay Tigbao in 2006 purposely to promote organic farming.

about organics not only among fellow members but the public as well. “We ventured into organic agriculture because most farmers have engaged in various kinds of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides which cause severe health Organic agriculture and environmental impacts,” said KASAMAKA project coordinator Suano who has been working with the Teodolita Suano said the organization organization for seven years. is responsible for raising awareness Suano said KASAMAKA members engaged in organic agriculture because it enables farmers to adapt to climate change and provide plausible solution to end hunger and ensure food security. “We have expanded our goal to also help promote environmental protection, sustainable agriculture and healthy life by eating organic foods,” 4

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she stressed. “Organic agriculture has become the fastest growing segment of the industry and the public has become very aware of organic products,” she explained. Demo farm KASAMAKA has three-hectare demonstration farm for organic rice, vegetables and root crops production and livestock production as well as upland farming and seed banking. It has also an organic fertilizer processing and production center. Suano said it is on this farm where women-farmers do organic agriculture. “We have already sold organically grown crops in the market such as rice, corn and vegetables,” Suano said. Increased agricultural productivity Suano said they had noticed that with organic farming, their production increased leaps and bounds, as organic farming would build long-term soil fertility. “All our crops such as rice, corn,

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vegetables and root crops planted in the demo farm were all “organic” and we successfully sold them in the market,” Suano declared. Funding organizations Impressed by its success, KASAMAKA received financial assistance from Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID), a Dutch Catholic Development Organization which caters to all aspects of development cooperation: emergency aid, structural poverty alleviation and health care. CORDAID granted financial assistance in the amount of P5.3 million including a budget for the fertilizer center worth P300 thousand. The assistance, which was granted in 2006, had terminated in 2011 upon seeing improvement in production efficiency. In 2009, KASAMAKA’s nongovernment organization (NGO)partners such as Entraide Et Fraternite, Luxembourg-Phils., Action for Development and WEGA Aide Humanitaire in Luxembourg donated 5

solar power package worth P600 thousand, while the Belgian government donated one unit of thresher. In July 2012, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) granted a loan of P258 thousand for the purchase of rice mill while the Department of Agriculture (DA) provided a shredder. The Convergence of NGOs/POs in Zamboanga del Sur on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (CONZARRD), Inc., another NGO-partner responsible in providing assistance on technology transfer to farmers, came to assist the


organization. ”The farm implements that we had received from our partners from government and NGOs have greatly helped in the successful operation of our demo farm,” said the KASAMAKA project coordinator. Extends financial assistance In its seven years of existence, the KASAMAKA has 32 barangay chapters that received financial assistance from their mother organization. “We have extended P30 thousand to each chapter which is engaged in organic agriculture,” Suano said. Suano said 20 out of the 32 barangay chapters have improved economically. Their seed money grew to more than P100 thousand as a result of a successful implementation of organic agriculture in their respective barangays.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ACROSS THE NATION Malacanang announces election liquor ban from May 9 to 13


he Aquino government has released in the internet an infographic regarding the election liquor ban for the May 13 national and local elections, a Palace official said on Tuesday.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday that the government encouraged the people to visit the Official Gazette website through to get information regarding the election liquor ban that will take effect on May 9 (12 a.m.) Wednesday, May 8, 2013

until May 13 (11:59 p.m.) this year. “It’s a short public service information that can be found on the Official Gazette about certain things that everybody should know about the liquor ban, which is in place in connection with the elections on Monday,” Valte said. The Philippine National Police will be


strictly implementing the nationwide liquor ban imposed by the Commission on Elections. Under Section 261 of the Omnibus Election Code, it is prohibited for any person to sell, furnish, offer, buy, serve or take intoxicating liquor during the liquor ban period, but hotels and

other establishments certified by the government as “tourist-oriented” may be exempted from the ban. The law also provides that drinking alcoholic beverages within private property is allowed. Foreign tourists may take alcoholic beverages in exempted establishments. PND (js)

Malacanang assures the public of government’s readiness in responding to the needs of those affected by Mayon Volcano’s eruption


alacanang assured the public of the concerned government agencies’ readiness to respond to the needs of the people affected by Mayon Volcano’s eruption on Tuesday morning, a Palace official said. Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte issued the statement during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday after Mayon Volcano spewed ash and smoke in Albay province in the Bicol region. Latest reports said four foreigners and a Filipino were killed by falling rocks. Valte said President Benigno S. Aquino III has instructed the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to ensure that the system and the available facilities and resources are in place in retrieving the casualties and attending to the injured victims. “There are already two airforce choppers that have been deployed to retrieve the casualties. The focus now is attending to the injured and, of course, facilitating the repatriation of the fatalities,” Valte said. The Chief Executive told the NDRRMC to brief him of the circumstances behind the incident and update him on the progress of the contingency operations. Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) appealed to the public not to enter Mayon Volcano’s sixkilometer permanent danger zone. “What we understand is the local government has restricted activity and, precisely, the President wanted to know kung ano ‘yung mga parameters because the sixkilometer danger zone is something that is enforced by the local government. So sila po ‘yung toka doon sa pag-enforce to make sure that nobody gets hurt,” Valte said. President Aquino told the NDRRMC to update him on how the concerned government agencies will proceed with the evacuation of the people living near the volcano. The government earlier urged all the residents near the Mayon Volcano to follow the directives of the NDRRMC and local government authorities for them to evacuate to a safer place. PND (js)


More than 200 cops now in ARMM to serve as BEIs

A on Monday.

bout 200 policemen from Northern Mindanao have arrived in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police regional office to serve as board of election inspectors in Lanao del Sur

ARMM police regional director Chief Supt. Noel delos Reyes said the more than 200 police trainees have undergone training on the operation of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) and administrative functions in the conduct of elections on Monday. 10

Delos Reyes said aside from three Lanao del Sur towns, Maguindanao also needs police trainees to act as BEIs. Under Commission on Elections (Comelec) resolution, the police may serve as BEIs if the teachers in a Wednesday, May 8, 2013

particular voting center refused to serve for various reasons. Delos Reyes added that most of the teachers in three Lanao del Sur towns opted not to serve because they were related by blood and by affinity to most of the candidates in the local positions. Others refuse to serve for security reasons. Solaiman Abunawas, president of Alliance of Teachers for Change in the ARMM, welcomed the police move saying it will save the teachers from unnecessary harassment from rival political groups in Lanao del Sur. “With the police acting as BEIs, we see a peaceful elections in Lanao del Sur and nearby provinces,” Abonawas said. ARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, all categorized by

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the Comelec as “areas of immediate concern.” Abnonawas said about 35 percent of the more than 15,000 public school teachers in the region are not serving due to valid reasons. Meanwhile, an election watchdog in the ARMM vowed on Wednesday to intensify campaign against cheating in the May 13 polls. Salic Ibrahim, chair of the Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reforms (Citizens CARE), said final arrangements and strategy will be finalized Wednesday during the conduct of the Regional Election Security Summit. The group will present the security situation ahead of the balloting and find strategies how to prevent cheating in the ARMM, previously known as “the country’s cheating capital.”


DOE gives tips on conserving energy by Jennica Rojas

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The Department of Energy (DOE) on May 6 conducted an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Seminar that provided information on household energy saving concepts and tips here. In order to extend supply of fossil fuels, save the environment, contribute to a sustainable future, boost limited government resources and save money, Norita Froilan, Senior Science Research Specialist of Department 12

of Energy Manila, shared some household energy saving concepts and tips especially on lighting, cooking, laundry/washing/ironing, refrigerators, cooling and ventilation and entertainment. Wednesday, May 8, 2013

For such electrical appliances mentioned above, similar tips for energy saving were basically to choose the right size of the unit that the consumer’s need, limit or shorten use since energy consumption is dependent on the wattage/rating/ size of the appliances or equipment, to only use such appliances when needed and as much as possible, turn off any appliance when not in use. In cooking, Froilan mentioned that a consumer must prepare everything like thawing meat and getting ingredients on time for continuous cooking. The heat must be turned to low or medium when it is already boiling and pans or cookware should match with the heating plate. In washing clothes, consumers should find time soaking clothes overnight before using their washing machine. When using iron, consumers must select the appropriate heat level for clothes and avoid doing other things while ironing such as watching television because ironing alone already uses up so much energy.

In addition, consumers can actually skip ironing of clothes and save both time and money by using fabric conditioners and by using a hanger upon drying them. For lights and cooling/ventilation, consumers should always remember to only illuminate the corner of the house that needs lighting, replace incandescent bulb with a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL), clean the tubes of the lamp regularly and use natural lighting when feasible. Froilan also shared that consumers must set a timer for air conditioner to make sure that it will not be left turned on while deeply asleep and avoid electric fan oscillation because the pressure consumes more energy. To cap up the topic, Froilan left the participants with the basic parameters in electricity conservation such as reducing the number of units being used, making use of low rating smaller unit appliance/equipment and to find other alternative way of doing things.

DILG 10 enjoins LCEs to form transition teams by Ana Celeste W. Felisilda

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) – 10 directed all local chief executives (LCEs) to create their respective transition teams that will ensure an orderly and smooth turnover to the incoming local officials. The regional directive to mayors was a reiteration of DILG provincial governors, city and town Memorandum Circular No. 2013Wednesday, May 8, 2013


33 issued by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to create a Local Governance Transition Team that shall be chaired by the LCE, with all department heads in the Local Government Unit (LGU), representatives in from the DILG, Commission on Audit (COA) and a non-government or people’s organization as members, said Atty. Rene K. Burdeos, Regional Director, DILG, region 10. Burdeos said the transition team is responsible to conduct an inventory of all local government real or immovable properties such as lands, buildings, infrastructure facilities and improvements and machinery, as well as movable properties such as vehicles, office equipment, furniture, fixtures and supply stocks. They shall also assemble all documents or records, such as contracts and loan agreement, outstanding loan obligations and accounts payable, inventory of

personnel by, organizational structure, and Executive Orders. Significant reports and documents that should be turned over include the latest COA and Financial Performance Reports, 2013 State of Local Governance Performance and State of Local Development, CY 2013 Annual and Supplemental Budget, Annual Investment Plan, Comprehensive Development Plan, Local Development Investment Plan, Comprehensive Land Use or Physical Framework Plan, Capability Development Agenda, ExecutiveLegislative Agenda, and Full Disclosure Policy documents. Each transition team has the additional task of organizing a turnover ceremony that will include a briefing of the State of Performance and State of Development of the LGU, as well as financial and key challenges to incoming officials.

COMELEC presents voting process for 2013 Elections by Jennica Rojas

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Elections Officer Rainero Niese of Opol in Misamis Oriental introduced the new voting process for the May 13 elections this year during the “Ang Rehiyon Karon” radio program last April 26. According to Niese, Comelec is by implementing a new voting process hoping for a more organized election to avoid any chaos similar to last year 14

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one which was caused by giving out of priority numbers to voters. This time it will be a first come, first serve basis in a so called holding room adjacent to the voting room wherein voters get to seat on chairs with numbers which will serve as the priority number. In order to officially vote, the voter’s index finger should be free of indelible ink so it will not be presumed that the person has already voted. Upon verifying that the person is a registered voter, his or her ballot will be checked and should pass the standards before placing it to a folder where the voter can then officially cast a vote. Niese also stated that a ballot must be free from any writings or crumpled before the Chairman signs it. While a voter shades the corresponding number of his or her candidate of choice to preserve the sanctity of the ballot, each voter should secure that nobody else sees it. In connection to this, no voter will be allowed to turn on their cellular phone inside the voting room to avoid taking pictures of the filled in ballots. In case the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine rejects the ballot when the voter feeds it, a third member or a support staff will be available to check what error from the ballot the PCOS machine sees. If the same error happens, the ballot will be fed to the machine four more times in different directions until the ballot is Wednesday, May 8, 2013

finally accepted. If the machine still rejects the ballot for the fifth time, it will be marked rejected and the vote is considered invalid. When it comes to security, Niese said that the machines are designed to accept ballots which are only designated in their respective precincts. For illiterate voters, a trusted relative or person or even the members of the board in the precinct can assist in voting. Voting will start and end at 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. but if there will still be any voters who would like to vote after voting hours, COMELEC can extend until 12 midnight just to make sure everyone gets to vote. When voting day adjourns, the PCOS machine will automatically generate results and prints eight (8) copies for national results and the same for local results. Through a transmission device, the results are sent in a text message form to the Municipal Board or City Board of Canvasses. To answer the questions about security of the PCOS machine, Niese assures that the PCOS machine is a secured device and the one billion combination of encryption code that still needs to be interpreted will make it impossible for anybody to guess the password and try to copy or edit the results. 15

Comelec Central hails Butuan City’s “Operation Baklas” by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY -- National officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) hailed the “Operation Baklas” conducted in this city spearheaded by the local Comelec office.


h t t p : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . Wednesday, May 8, 2013

providing communication support by covering the activity, sending blowby-blow Short Messaging Service (SMS) to text blast recipients including the local tri-media in realtime. On Saturday, the team conducted the activity along the main streets here and still found election campaign materials such as posters, tarpaulins, and billboards that are not properly posted in designated According to Comelec-Caraga areas by the Comelec. Regional Director Atty. Michael Abas, during the commission’s recent Command Conference, the local Comelec office was specially mentioned by Comelec Commissioners for converging stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors to participate and witness the activity. Lawyer Ernie Palanan, local Comelec head, said he is thankful to some government agencies and private organizations who have a c t i v e l y participated in the conduct of the activity which showed that if there is cooperation, any activities will succeed. The official also recognized the effort of PIA-Caraga personnel for Wednesday, May 8, 2013


All systems go for Comelec-Butuan on election day

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY -- It’s all systems go for the Commission on Elections office here. According to City Election Officer Atty. Ernie Palanan during the “City Comelec Hour on Friday,” the Comelec, together with officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) have already conducted ocular inspection in schools designated with voting precincts. The official said majority of the schools in the Division of Butuan have already put in place directional 18

arrows informing the voters of the location of the voting precincts. Also, action centers were already designated within the vicinity of the school. He explained the action center is a venue for the voters to ask assistance or inquiry. Personnel from the National Movement for Free Election, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and other volunteer organizations will man the action centers. Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Palanan added they have also coordinated with the security forces of the city particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure safety and security of all the voting precincts here. “We can assure the public that we are protecting the sanctity of the votes of the people, that’swhy we have been regularly coordinating with the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Today, the final testing and sealing of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines was already conducted at the Bishop Carmelo Morelos Campus of Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) in Brgy. Libertad here. The official further said foods such as coffee and noodles were already packed by the Comelec staff to be distributed to the Board of Election Inspectors who will report on the election day.


Comelec to local candidates in Butuan: “Don’t harass our volunteers, partner agencies”

by Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY -- Lawyer Ernie Palanan, City Election Officer has warned the local candidates here not to harass their partner agencies and volunteers. In a press statement, Palanan roadside of this city. reminded the local candidates not to The local Comelec official also intimidate those who are helping the said if these candidates choose not Commission on Elections (Comelec) to adhere to commission’s rules on in achieving Honest, Orderly campaigning, they will implement and Peaceful Elections (HOPE), the full force of the law. “There should particularly during the conduct of be no reason for the candidates not “Operation Langkat” or removal of to be aware of campaign rules as we political advertisement nailed on have already informed them of all the trees and posts alongside the these,” Palanan said. 20

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Palanan also urged the public to report any complaints and violations committed by local candidates and their supporters directly to the City Comelec Office, and assured that their office will not leave any complaints unattended. “I urged the public to report to us any violations committed by these local candidates vying for various positions from congressman, Wednesday, May 8, 2013

mayor, vice mayor to councilors in the local polls. I assure you that the office of the City Comelec Butuan will not leave any complaints unattended,� Palanan said.


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GSIS launches 2013 art tilt By Alma L. Tingcang

PAGADIAN CITY - In celebrating its 76th anniversary, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has officially opened the 2013 GSIS Art Competition. In a press statement, GSIS Robert G. Vergara said all veteran President and General Manager and aspiring artists aged 18 years

Want Want to to publish publish your your photo, photo, news and feature news and feature release release just just email email

26 Wednesday, May 8, 2013

old and above are invited to join the contest. It has retained the three art categories: representational (any style), nonrepresentational (abstract), and sculpture. Vergara said the competition has an “open” theme this year, so participating artists should consider in their work Museum visitors who will also view their entries. According to Engr. Leoncito S. Manuel, GSIS branch head here, the nationwide art tilt offers cash prizes ranging from P15 thousand to P300 thousand, subject to 20 percent valueadded tax. The lucky winners will be announced during the awarding ceremonies at the GSIS Theater on June 21, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. The winning artworks will be displayed from June 21 to Aug. 3, 2013 in various GSIS areas - Museum’s Upper Gallery, Pensioner’s Lounge, and Level 2. Entry forms and competition guidelines are now available at all GSIS offices nationwide; in Kanlungan ng Sining of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP); and in GSIS Museum galleries in Pasay City. Entries will be accepted only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 1, 2013, at the GSIS Museum, GSIS Central Office, Financial Center, Pasay City. Additional queries on the competition may be directed to 859-0395 and 4793588, or emailed to ph or ow on its ninth year, the GSIS art competition has paid tribute to local artists from all over the country with their winning artworks becoming part of the GSIS Art Collection. Wednesday, May 8, 2013


DOST-9 holds orientation, contract signing with new scholars in ZamPen

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – IX recently concluded its Scholarship Orientation and Signing of the Scholarship Agreement of new undergraduate scholars in Zamboanga Peninsula.

A total of 205 participants all over the region attended the series of orientation and contract signing with thirty eight (38) attendees, including the qualifiers and respective parents or legal guardians, inked to avail of the Science & Technology scholarship program funded by the DOST – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) last April 19 at the Grand Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City; thirty three (33) participants joined the Zamboanga Sibugay leg - scholarship session in Ipil last April 22; sixty eight (68) qualifiers and parents attended in Zamboanga del Norte on April 23 in Dipolog City; and finally, 66 from Zamboanga del Sur signed contracts during the conclusive orientation in Pagadian City last April 25. The session was aimed to brief the Science & Technology scholarship qualifiers and their parents on the terms and conditions of the contract, emphasizing mainly on the nature of the scholarship, benefits and scholar’s obligations. The lined up events were facilitated by DOST-9, in coordination with the designated Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTCs) in Ipil, Dipolog City and Pagadian City. Mr. Martin A. Wee, Assistant Regional Director for Finance, Administrative


and S & T Services (ARD-FASTS), and Ms. Josephine B. Nohay, Center Manager for Scholarship, served as the resource persons for the said orientation. Qualifiers of the S&T undergraduate scholarships may pursue a four or five-year college degree in priority science and technology fields. As benefits, RA 7687 scholars will receive tuition subsidy, monthly stipend, book allowance and many more. Scholars under the Merit scholarship program will likewise receive the same benefits except for the pro-rated monthly stipend based on the family’s socio-economic status. The scholarship qualifiers can enroll in state universities and colleges and other higher education institutions recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as Centers of Excellence or Centers of Development. DOST-9 hopes that this year’s batch of qualifiers will ultimately add to the pool of scientists and engineers who will actively lead in S&T activities, research and development, and innovation. Through DOST’s scholarship program, the scholars are a step closer to success during and after college. Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


DA upgrades soil laboratories in Region 12 By Danilo E. Doguiles KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato -- In an effort to hasten conduct of soil and water analyses and bring these services closer to the farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) 12 here has upgraded its regional soils laboratory.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

These laboratories are situated in Cotabato City at the Central Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CEMIARC) in Amas, Kidapawan City in North Cotabato. A report from DA 12 said, the improvement was carried out with the purchase of several sets of equipment complete with different tools for soil and water analyses as well as equipment or mobile soils laboratory. These laboratories have also been capacitated to conduct micro-analysis with the aid of Atomic Absorption and Total Assay on fertilizer analysis. The mobile soils lab is also gearing towards faster soil analysis with the upcoming installation of atomic absorption spectrometry(AAS), microwave digester, and UV-VIS spectrophotometer. Kjeldahl digestion and distillation set-up, water purification system, analytical balance and other laboratory apparatuses are also arriving soon to complete the present upgrading. Engineer Nadia Gayanandang, OIC chief of DA 12’s Regulatory Division said with this mobile soils lab farmers who had to do away with soils analysis because of their distance to the laboratories where this is being conducted could soon be served in communities where they reside because DA 12 will be bringing the services to them. These equipment will be of big help since faster analysis is now at Wednesday, May 8, 2013

their hand, she said. Conventionally, soil analyses are done to determine the nutrients available in a specific area or farm. Results of these activities could mean increase in the efficiency of use resource inputs such as fertilizers and prediction of nutritional values needed for effective crop production. Moreover, Gayanandang said, both soil laboratories have also established their respective Trichoderma laboratory for the massive production of Trichoderma harzianum or compost fungus activator (CFA). Gayanandang said products will be distributed to farmers for them to use in the composting agricultural wastes such as rice straws, corn cobs, vegetable peelings and other cellulistic materials. Trichoderma harzianum can also be used to speed up the decomposition of organic materials or substrates in vermi-composting for the production of vermi-compost or vermicast, she explained further. Also in the offing are the proposed establishments of additional room intended for the storage of Trichoderma and one anteroom for Bio-N Mixing Plant in Barrio 2 in Tacurong City. Another anteroom for Bio-N and one room for mushroom Laboratory is also set for construction at CEMIARC. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with RHDumaraog/LMSalvo-DA 12) 31

Bio-N boosts rice farmer’s yield By Danilo E. Doguiles KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato-- Applying organic fertilizer Bio-N has proven beneficial to a farmer, who was skeptic over trying a low-cost noncommercial fertilizer.

Nasser Mandas of Barangay Panicupan in Pikit, North Cotabato said while relying mostly on the traditional costly inorganic commercial fertilizers, production from his rice farm had been very meager, at times not even enough to carry out farm activities for the next cropping season. After trying Bio-N, he said yield from his rice farm has almost doubles. “Previously, I could only harvest 70 to 80 cavans out of my 0.9 hectare land, but my recent harvest increased to 106 cavans,” he happily testified. Besides increased yield, he added, shifting to Bio-N has reduced his production cost for fertilization. Before using Bio-N, he had to apply at least two sacks of Urea, one sack of Ammonium Sulfate and one sack of complete fertilizer plus organic materials and composts. With Bio-N he only needed to apply one sack each of Urea and sack of complete fertilizer, only as supplement to achieve the required 32

nutrients of his palay. Although a first time user of the organic fertilizer, Mandas has welcomed Bio-N for the immediate and good benefits he has gained. “Using Bio-N is a real advantage. Income from my farm lot has widely increased,” he said. “ Bio-N has provided farmers like me much help and opportunity to earn from our farm.” Bio-N (short for Bio-Nitrogen) is an organic or microbial inoculant fertilizer for rice corn and other agricultural crops. It was developed in the 1980’s by Dr. Mercedes Umali-Garcia in an effort to find a “low cost, high yield” method of boosting agricultural

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production. Garcia isolated two strains from the resilient talahib (cogon) grass, namely: Azospirillum lipoferum and Azospirillum brasilense, and transferred their resiliency to the traits of rice and corn. These bacteria promote shoot growth and root development in crops and increase plant resistance to wind, insect infestation, as well as to certain plant diseases. More importantly, Bio-N hastens better consumptionofnitrogen by converting airborne nitrogen into ammonia, which penetrates the root zone of the plant and provides 50% nitrogen required by the plant. The microbial fertilizer is mixed to the seeds to be used for planting. A hectare of palay needs about four packets of Bio-N. A flyer from the Department of Agriculture indicated that with Bio-N the usual 10 to 20 sacks of inorganic fertilizer can be reduced to only two sacks. In Soccssksargen region, massive production of Bio-N is being carried out by Wednesday, May 8, 2013

the Bio-N Mixing Plant in Barrio 2, Tacurong City and at the Central Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CEMIARC) in Amas, Kidapawan City in North Cotabato. Mandas’ farm is part of the 430hectare pilot area of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) 12, which also serve as demonstration project of DA 12. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12 with RHDumaraog/LMSalvo-DA 12)


PNP in N. Cotabato town intensifies monitoring of conflict

By Shahana Joy E. Duerme KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato-- Police force from Matalam PNP strengthens its monitoring and other security measures to secure the safety of the residents of Barangay Marbel from the conflicting lawless elements in the area which started on Sunday.

Based on the report from the office of Matalam PNP, at least 200 families have evacuated since Sunday night and are now temporarily residing in the barangay halls of Barangay Kibudok and Salvacion. Police groups are now on full alert as exchange of gun fires between lawless groups raged the village since last night until this morning. The conflict started when a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was found carrying a gun in an area in Barangay Marbel which the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) claims as their territory. A member of the MNLF said that their group and the MILF have agreed that members from the latter group have the freedom to conduct information drive with regards to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) as long as their members 34

are prohibited from carrying guns. Meanwhile, Cotabato Police Provincial Director S/Supt. Danilo Peralta said that there office deployed additional police force in Matalam to assist the PNP in the said town and to ensure the safety of the evacuees. He emphasized that the PNP has joined forces with the military by securing the place and by putting barricades in major streets to hamper the entry of motorists in the affected place. Currently, Local Monitoring Team led by Jabib Guiabar and Datu Edris, the deputy governor for Muslims in North Cotabato have mediated to help resolve the conflict. On the other hand, the PNP and the military have not yet issued a notice for the evacuees to return to their homes. (SJDuermePIA12/RBe単ez-DXVL) Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ARMM, Lanao del Sur bets share platforms in Candidates Forum by Apipa P. Bagumbaran

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - Candidates vying for posts in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional government and congressional seats in the province shared their respective platforms of governance in a candidates’ forum held here on weekend. Candidates present during the forum were mostly from the Liberal Party. They were incumbent ARMM governor Mujiv Hataman for regional gubernatorial position, Haroun Alrashid Lucman for regional vicegubernatorial, and Ziaur-Rahman Adiong for the regional the legislative assembly post. Also present were Mesug Mitchell Manalocon, independent candidate for Wednesday, May 8, 2013

regional vice-gubernatorial position; Monaoray Saripada, independent candidate for the congressional post in the first district of the province; and Salih Benito, OMPIA party candidate for the congressional post in the second district. Hataman intends to continue 35

the reform initiatives implemented by his administration in the region focusing on open governance and accountability, peace and security, and socio-economic development. His running mate, Lucman, expressed support to his programs and also underscored the need for competent vice governor who can step in whenever the governor is not available. Manalocon, on the other hand, plans for an ‘industrialized ARMM’ where more income and more job opportunity will be generated for the Bangsamoro. He also wants to develop halal foods and maximize the development of natural resources in the region. Adiong talked about 36

strengthening the Madaris system saying that every public school in the region should have Ustadz who will be receiving salaries not allowances. Meanwhile, Saripada said she decided to run so that she can help and support the Framework on

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

while Benito said he will promote and improve Islamic education system should he be elected. The two-day forum, held at Social Hall of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Kampo Ranao, was spearheaded by Citizens CARE in partnership with Task Force Kasalimbago. Salic Ibrahim, provincial chairperson of the Citizens-Care, said the forum was aimed to help the public choose the right and responsible

leaders. We have observed in the previous elections that voters choose their leaders based on the influence of their friends and families, as well as clan votes and candidates money. He said the Citizens-CARE and the Task Force Kasalimbago wanted this scenario to change by helping the voters decide based on the platforms of the candidates and through continuous voters education.

Haribon Brigade readies for May 13 elections in Lanao del Sur by Apipa P. Bagumbaran

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - The 103rd Infantry (Haribon) Brigade is finetuning its security preparations to ensure the successful conduct of elections in the province.

“We are already in the final phase of our preparations for electionrelated security requirements in the entire province,� Col. Glenn Macasero, commanding officer of the Haribon Brigade, said during the Electoral Security Summit held at the Mamitua Saber Research Center in Mindanao State University Main Campus here Wednesday, May 8, 2013

last May 3. According to him, they are expecting human barricades and other forms of destructions to delay the deployment of Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs), election forms, supplies, and equipments, As such, they have intensified the establishments of check and choke 37

points operations as well as closely monitored the activities of partisan armed groups in the area. We also conducted mobile patrols to prevent any escalation of fightings among political contenders, he said. The Brigade Commander further that they will be allocating more personnel in areas considered as immediate concerns or where there

are intense political rivalries. With regards to the issue of BEIs, he disclosed that more than 300 police personnel are reserved for the province to act as BEIs and be deployed to areas with no BEIs, or in cases where BEIs will not report to their assigned areas. Macasero also said that the AFP and PNP communication facilities will

Election reform summit highlights role of poll monitors, observers by Apipa P. Bagumbaran

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - Poll monitors and observers play a vital role in ensuring the credibility of the upcoming May 13 elections.


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This was highlighted during the Election Reform Summit held on Thursday at the Mamitua Research Center in Mindanao State University here. Police Supt. John Roderick Morales, deputy for administration of the Lanao del Sur Police Office, said the help and cooperation of all election stakeholders, especially poll monitors and observers, are needed to ensure the conduct of secure and fair elections. He said even if numerous security personnel are deployed in the polling places, it will still be hard to achieve secure and fair elections without the eyes and the voice of monitors and observers. He thus hopes for more monitors and observers from nongovernment organizations and private organizations during the elections. Assemblywoman Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) legislative assembly women sector representative, reiterated the same sentiment, saying that the gains of the electoral reforms Wednesday, May 8, 2013

implemented in the region will be re-echoed during the elections through the help of poll watchdogs and international monitors. She said the 103rd Infantry Brigade will also place closedcircuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic places to monitor polling areas. Gutoc-Tomawis added that the reformed ARMM will be tested with the coming elections. Lawyer Michael Ignes, acting election officer of Marawi City, meanwhile reminded the Citizens CARE or the Citizens Coalition for ARMM Electoral Reform to immediately submit a list of monitors to his office for authentication and issuance of identification cards. 39

103rd Bde to set-up election monitoring center in Marawi City by Apipa P. Bagumbaran

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - The 103rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army will set-up a Provincial Election Monitoring Action Center (PEMAC) in Kampo Ranao, here, to facilitate issues and concerns regarding election-related incidents. 103rd Bde Commander Col. Glenn Macasero said the PEMAC will be manned by personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Commission on Elections (Comelec). He said the PEMAC will serve as the central monitoring unit where information relative to the conduct of elections in the province including security coverage can be accessed. Aside from the AFP, PNP and Comelec personnel, Macasero said a representative from the Moro Islamic


Liberation Front (MILF) will also be present at the PEMAC. He said the MILF representative will be a big help to the PEMAC since he can easily coordinate and communicate with their elements in the field. The 103rd Infantry Brigade is also inviting radio communications groups in the province to set-up a base at the PEMAC. Macasero said they can assist in the verification of information because have various members deployed in the ground. Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Comelec clarifies poll issues in Marawi City by Apipa P. Bagumbaran

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) here clarified some of the election issues raised by multi-sectoral stakeholders during the Electoral Reform Summit on Thursday. Atty. Michael Ignes, acting city election officer (EO), assured the stakeholders that the sanctity of the ballots will be protected while in transit from the airport to the province, saying the ballots are sealed and protected with serial numbers. He said they will also give notice so that poll watchers will be aware when the ballots have arrived. Ignes further gave assurance that there’s no possibilty of hacking the PCOS machines. He also explained why the PCOS machines will be stored in one place upon arrival in the city. Due to scarcity of security personnel, Ignes said the PCOS machines will be stored at the Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School. The machines will then be distributed throughout the polling centers in the city on May 10 for final testing and Wednesday, May 8, 2013

sealing. After that, they will be brought back to the school and distributed again to the polling centers for May 13. Ignes said electoral reforms have also been instituted by the Comelec such as the conduct of automated fingerprint identification system and cleansing of the list of registered voters as well as reshuffling of EOs. The reshuffling was done to eliminate or erase suspicion of connivance between EOs and local government units. 41

Police to strictly enforce 5-day liquor ban by Joey Dalumpines

DAVAO CITY-The police urged residents to cooperate in the fiveday-liquor ban from May 9 to May 13 to ensure clarity of mind and peace before and on the Election Day. Senior Superintendent Ronald 42

de la Rosa, director of the Davao City Police Office said the local police will monitor compliance of the liquor immediately at 1:00 am, Thursday, May 9 around the city. He said the police will peer on Wednesday, May 8, 2013

street-stores, drinking holes, bars, night clubs and big hotels which might sell alcoholic drinks to residents. De la Rosa urged residents to inform them about any violation by calling the Emergency Response Center Central 911, police hotlines 166 and 091770PULIS, so that the authorities can respond accordingly. “We urge the public to cooperate in the implementation of the liquor ban. Five days of liquor means five days of peace in Davao City as it reduces incidents ranging from petty quarrels, stabbing and other crimes related to intoxication from alcoholic drinks. It is for our own good,� he said. De la Rosa assured that the police will strictly impose the liquor ban despite performing other election duties like guarding the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines in place in the polling centers. Based on the resolution 9582 of the Commission on Elections, violating the liquor ban is an election offense punishable with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than six years and shall not be subject to probation, and in addition, the guilty party shall suffer disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of the right of suffrage. It penalizes any person who sells, furnishes, offers, buys, serves or takes intoxicating liquor on the Wednesday, May 8, 2013

days fixed by law for the registration of voters in the polling place, or on the day before the election or on the Election Day. The law provides that hotels and other establishments, duly certified by the Department of Tourism as tourist-oriented and habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourists may be exempted for justifiable reasons upon prior authority of the poll body, consequently excluding foreigners taking intoxicating liquor in the said authorized hotel and establishment exempted from the ban. The Section 5 of the Comelec Resolution 9582 states that exemption can be granted only upon compliance and submission of the following: the request/petition/ application for exemption must be under oath and must contain a .) A statement that the hotel/ establishment operators/owners have not been convicted for an election offense; b.) A certification by the Department of Tourism shall state that the requesting hotel or establishment is: 1) tourist-oriented; and 2) habitually in the business of catering to foreign tourist; c.) Currently licensed to do business; and d.) Has paid the required taxes and/or fees imposed by the government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities. (PIA XI-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines) 43

eARThfest participants plant 300 trees in Tagum

TAGUM CITY- As part of the culminating activities of the 5th eARThfest in Tagum City, about 300 seedlings were planted in the accretion area in Barangay Magdum by an approximately 63 participating children and their parents last May 5, 2013.

Lucio Jamero, focal person of the City of Tagum Tourism Council which spearheaded the month-long summer workshop for kids along with the City Government of Tagum, said this activity is a continuation of the tradition of the workshop were children are taught on the importance 44

for caring for the environment. The eARThfest, which is now on its fifth year, gathers children for summer workshops in visual arts, theater, music and dance—all anchored in the vision of making the children as stewards of nature. The festival follows the theme of this year’s Earth Day celebrations around the world: “The Face of Climate Change.” In the afternoon, the highlyanticipated recital of the 54 participants for the music and movement and theater held at the Gaisano Grand Mall Atrium. (Louie Lapat of CIO Tagum) Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One Mindanao - May 8, 2013