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Sen. Jinggoy, kinastigo si Alcala Posted by Online Balita on Mar 16th, 2013 // No Comment Kinastigo ni Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Jinggoy Estrada ang Department of Agriculture na pinamumunuan ni Sec. Proceso Alcala dahil sa umano’y pagbibigay ng pondo sa mga pekeng non-government organization (NGO). Sinabi ni Estrada na nagtiwala siya sa DA na totoong NGO ang pinaglaanan ng pondo ng kanilang Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) matapos umanong magbigay ng sertipikasyon ang tanggapan ni Sec. Alcala. Inamin ni Estrada na nagalit siya dahil hindi pala nakarating sa mga magsasaka ang pondo na dapat gamitin sa kanilang pagsasaka. Lumabas sa isang report ng Commission on Audit (COA) na ang tatlong senador na kinabibilangan ni Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile at Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. ay naglaan ng pondo na umaabot sa P195 milyon sa mga kuwestiyonableng NGO noong 2011. Kasama din umano sa naglaan ng pondo sa umano’y pekeng NGO si dating Buhay party-list Rep. Rene Velarde na umabot sa P206 milyon. Sinisisi ngayon ng tatlong senador si Sec. Alcala kung paano nakalusot ang kuwestiyonableng NGO na Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc. (PFI). – Mary Ann Santiago Read more


RP to import rice anew Posted by Online on Mar 16th, 2013 // No Comment Manila, Philippines – The Philippines will buy 187,000 tons of rice this year, or about a third of the 2012 volume, in what is expected to be its last import before it becomes self-sufficient in the grain, a Department of Agriculture (DA) official said yesterday. The Southeast Asian country – one of the world’s major buyers of rice over the last two decades – expects to become self-sufficient in the national staple by the end of this year. Dwindling demand from the country would depress global rice prices that have already been pressured by rising supply. Indian rice is expected to continue flowing into global markets this year as its huge stocks allow it to maintain an unrestricted export policy. ”We are on track to meet our production target,” the DA Assistant Secretary Dante Delima said. ”Definitely, we will stop importing next year.” (Reuters)‐to‐import‐rice‐anew/#.UUa7EzdrqrE                        

Abaca exports down 22.7 percent to  $108M last year     Published on 15 March 2013   Hits: 121   Written by James Konstantin Galvez  

The Philippines’ abaca exports earnings dropped by almost a fourth last year because of the significant slow down in the demand for raw fiber and pulp products, brought about by the financial crisis that affected major markets, the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) said on Friday. In a report, FIDA said that the value of abaca exports dropped by 22.7 percent to $108.2 million in January to December 2012, from $140 million a year ago. The export value of abaca pulp, which, comprised 74.3 percent in exports from January to December, fell 28.3 percent to $69 million from $104 million in 2011. Export value of raw fiber, which had a 9.6 percent share in exports during the period, fell 59.3 percent to $5 million from $13.4 million in the same period in 2011. The value of exports in the cordage sector also fell by 4.2 percent to $16.2 million from $16.9 million year-on-year. Exports of abaca fabric rose 16.3 percent to $1 million from $988,925 in 2011. Exports of fibercrafts were valued at $10.7 million for the full year of 2012, up by 133.6 percent from $4.5 million in the same period in 2011. Imelda Marbella, officer-in-charge of FIDA’s Planning and Statistics Division, said that the economic crisis in Europe and United States, which are the country’s major markets for raw fiber and manufactures, resulted to lower orders. Exports of raw fiber to Europe fell by 59 percent year-on-year while export of pulp to the US fell by 28 percent. “The trend has really been going down, it’s unfortunate but we are optimistic that we will able rise again, through the help of some local private sectors who introduce innovations to some products,” she said. Abaca is a material used for making tea bags, casing of meat sausages, surgical masks and cigarette paper. Philippine abaca products are sold to countries like the US, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, China, Taiwan and South Korea, among others.

Recovery this year Earlier, FIDA Administrator Cecilia Gloria Soriano said that they expect abaca exports to bounce back this year as more countries shift to more eco-friendly products and renewable materials. Soriano said that abaca shipments are projected to increase by 8 percent in 2013, after a lackluster performance last year due to the financial crisis that affected major markets. “Opportunities are always present especially for our products, the use of which could help arrest the damaging effects of climate change. The manufacture of ‘green’ consumer products and composites for the transport and construction industries presents bright prospects for our natural fibers,” Soriano said. She said that growing interest of consumers to go back to using eco-friendly and renewable materials like abaca and other natural fibers will fuel recovery for the sector. The FIDA chief said that awareness campaigns worldwide have been boosting demand for these commodities, with abaca exports hitting record levels in 2011. Demand for pulp, particularly, was seen increasing with the development of filter paper for disposable coffee and tea cups, which has a market that is growing. “In 2011, we experienced an unprecedented high level of exports but unfortunately, there was a weakening of demand in 2012 because of the uncertainties in the global economies that led to reduced consumer spending,” she said. Soriano pointed out that like other commodities, the financial crisis continues to dampen the demand for local fiber-based products, especially by the country’s major trading partners Europe and United States. Purchases of China, the country’s principal market for many fiber products, are also affected. Despite the weak demand for abaca during the period, the Philippines continues to gain significant world market share of 90 percent, while Ecuador accounts for the remaining 10 percent.‐business‐news/43526‐abaca‐exports‐down‐22‐7‐ percent‐to‐108m‐last‐year    

13th Zambales Mango Festival set   Published : Friday, March 15, 2013 00:00   Article Views : 106   Written by : Mamer Bañez  

IBA, Zambales -- Provincial officials are inviting foreign and local tourists to be part of its 13th Mango Festival slated from March 19 to 24 and discover why they have the world’s sweetest variety of the fruit. “The provincial government and the 13 towns are now preparing for the Parayawan wherein they will be dressing their respective government buildings with mango-themed decorations,” said Tel Mora of the Tourism and Investment Promotion Office. At the “PINAKA LGU Booth Showcase,” each municipality will exhibit and sell its distinct mango-based products, from dried mangoes to tarts and wine as well as souvenir items. “Coinciding with the opening of the National Mango Congress on the 20th are civic parade, float competition, street dancing, and cultural presentations,” Mora said. Binibining Zambales coronation night, mango carving contest, and “PINAKA” competition will highlight the activity. Search for Best Water Bonsai, grand parade and Invitational Street Dancing competition are also part of the activities, Mora said.‐13th‐zambales‐mango‐festival‐set      


Genetically modified rice stirs farmers’  furor     Published on 15 March 2013   Hits: 314   Written by Neil A. Alcober Reporter  

FARMER and scientist groups on Friday challenged all candidates, especially those seeking senate and congressional posts, to promote safe food and help stop the planned commercialization of golden rice.

Resistance and Solidarity against Agrochemical TNCs (Resist Agrochem TNCs!), urged President Benigno Aquino 3rd to immediately call off the planned commercialization of golden rice and instead promote safe and sustainable food production. Golden rice is genetically modified with genes from bacteria and corn to produce beta-carotene. Proponents said that golden rice will be used to address Vitamin A deficiency. The group, however, hit golden rice proponents, saying that hunger and malnutrition is a complex problem and that golden rice is a simplistic, techno-fix solution. It also cautioned that golden rice could pose danger to human health and the environment. Jhana Tejome, of Peoples Network on Food Security Programs, a member of Resist Agrochem TNCs, said that golden rice sends a wrong message on how to address malnutrition and hunger. Tejome said that, instead of increasing diversification of food sources, which also provides much needed nutrition, the people are being offered a single crop that address only Vitamin A deficiency. “We should also note that there are bountiful sources of food rich not only in Vitamin A but other vitamins and minerals as well, such as vegetables and fruits which are readily available. In Bicol province, where golden rice is field tested, the people eat ‘laing’ [dried taro leaves cooked in coconut milk]. By consuming laing, it not only gives Vitamin A but also the oil from the coconut milk facilitates Vitamin A absorption,” she said. Fool’s offering Tejome also slammed this approach as a “band aid” solution to address hunger and malnutrition, saying that golden rice will target the vulnerable population, which are the women and children. “If a nation suffers from hunger and malnutrition, it is the mothers and the children who suffer most. All mothers aspire to provide their children with the best nutrition, but it is the access to

food that prevents them from buying their children’s needs,” Tejome said. “We see that golden rice is masking the real problems on malnutrition and will only make it worse. Instead of providing solution to the ever-increasing price of basic commodities, we are being offered rice with beta-carotene as ‘pakonswelo de bobo’ [fool’s offering]. Take note that golden rice is not free, we still have to buy it,” she added. For his part, Dr. Chito Medina, National Coordinator of Farmers and Scientist for the Development of Agriculture, pointed out that golden rice may produce unintended effects to those who will consume it because it is genetically modified. “No safety test was done to first establish its potential for allergic reactions or toxicity. Worse, to determine if golden rice will deliver Vitamin A, efficacy tests will be conducted among the Filipino people after golden rice is approved by government regulators,” Medina said. “Golden rice is a genetically modified organism, meaning it now has a set of genes that never existed in rice. We need to be extra careful in dealing with genetically modified organisms such as golden rice, as scientific data from independent scientist have reported unintended compositional alterations associated with genetic transformations. Once released to the farmers fields, it will be next to impossible to recall these varieties” he added. Decreasing Medina also stressed that Vitamin A deficiency cases in the country, although still present, is now decreasing. “The incidence of Vitamin A deficiency among children aged six months to five years old decreased from 40.1 percent in 2003 to 15.2 percent in 2008. Vitamin A deficiency cases among pregnant decreased from 17.5 percent to 9.5 percent and lactating women 20.1 percent to 6.4 percent also dropped from 2003 to 2008. We believe that the existing interventions are enough to curb Vitamin A Deficiency,” he said, citing data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute. Farmers Meanwhile, the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) assailed the planned commercialization of golden rice. “We call on the government to immediately halt the commercialization of golden rice. We do not want our children and women be fed with golden rice. We assert our rights to safe and adequate food,” said KMP spokesman Antonio Flores. Flores condemned the Aquino government for declaring 2013 as the National Year of Rice, wherein the government targets to achieve rice self-sufficiency. Rice self-sufficiency of the government, according to Flores, is bound to fail as long as the country’s agriculture remains under the World Trade Organization. He cited an online report which stated that the government targets palay (rice) production of

21.11 million tons by end of 2013 and 22. 49 million tons of palay by end of 2016. Based on the Food Staples Self-Sufficiency Roadmap for 2011 to 2016, the department of Agriculture is tasked to implement the government’s rice sufficiency program through development and maintenance of irrigation systems, increasing farmers’ access to high quality seeds, improvement of research and technologies, farm mechanization and reduction of postharvest losses. According to Flores, the Agriculture department in 2012 has allocated a measly P452 each for the country’s 2.7 million rice farmers. “How can we attain rice self-sufficiency when in fact there is no concrete plan and program that would carry on the improvement of agricultural productivity?” he asked.‐genetically‐modified‐rice‐stirs‐farmers‐ furor                                

RH Law Implementing Rules Signed By: Jenny F. Manongdo Published: March 16, 2013 MANILA, Philippines --- The Implementing Rules and Regulation of Republic Act 10354, the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law of 2012, was signed yesterday in ceremonies led by the Department of Health at the Corazon Aquino Health Center in the Baseco compound, in Tondo, Manila. “The RPRH law will empower women through informed choice and voluntarism, improve access to information, facilities and services, increased stability and sustainability of health policy across national and local government, institutionalize the partnerships between national and local governments, and recognize the important roles and contribution of civil society organizations, basic sectors, academe and private sector,” said DOH Secretary Enrique T. Ona said. The IRR mandates improved access to family planning services such as health service delivery, provision of mobile health clinics in remote and depressed areas, improvement of coverage of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on reproductive health services for the poor, hiring and training of skilled health professionals and continuous monitoring and review of Reproductive health programs. The signing of the IRR comes a day after the proclamation of Pope Francis who had opposed the free distribution of contraceptives in Argentina in 2008. But DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Madeleine Valera said this was a coincidence as the signing had been previously agreed upon by the group that includes civil society organizations, faithbased groups, NGOs, doctors, women’s groups and youth leaders. The IRR “recognizes marriage as an inviolable social institution and the foundation of the family, which in turn is the foundation of the nation.” The IRR will also support the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood; the right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development; the right of the family to a family living wage and income; and the right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them.’ According to Valera, the IRR of the RPRH law was “thoroughly developed” to ensure important provisions of the law is captured in the IRR. She said the IRR actively promotes Natural Family Planning.

The IRR ensures that a minor cannot automatically access family planning tools unless she has already given birth or that a parent or guardian or a government institution such as the DSWD has given her consent about it. Section 4.06 of the IRR states: “Access to Family Planning Information and Services. No person shall be denied information and access to family planning services, whether natural or artificial: Provided, That minors will not be allowed access to modern methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or guardian/s except when the minor is already a parent or has had a miscarriage.”                                    

Vertical farm By Manila Standard Today | Posted on Mar. 16, 2013 at 12:01am | 444 views 4

Benguet adds a new attraction in La Trinidad as strawberry planters go vertical to maximize their yield. DAVID CHAN‐content/uploads/2013/03/2013_Mar16_newsphoto2.jpg                           

Hot money surges By Julito G. Rada | Posted on Mar. 16, 2013 at 12:00am | 214 views Net inflows of foreign portfolio investments reached $1.5 billion in the first two months, up from $367 million recorded a year ago, as the country’s stock market continues to attract foreign funds. Data from the Bangko Sentral showed net inflows in February amounted to $211 million, reversing the net outflow of $305 million a year ago. The February figure, however, was lower than $1.3 billion in January. “Registered investments in February consisted of PSE-listed securities [$1.6 billion or 76.4 percent] and peso GS [government securities] worth $500 million or 23.6 percent,” the Bangko Sentral said. It said the main beneficiaries of investments in PSE-listed securities were holding firms ($474 million), banks ($332 million), property companies ($211 million), telecommunication firms ($151 million), and utility firms ($123 million). Government securities netted inflows of $294 million, lower than the previous month’s $740 million. The United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore and Luxembourg, with a combined share of 86.8 percent, were the top five sources of investments in February.‐money‐surges/                     

The real nature of empires By Rod Kapunan | Posted on Mar. 16, 2013 at 12:01am | 1,217 views 7

Numerous books have been written about the rise and fall of empires. Historians and political scientists are almost unanimous in saying that empires come and go. Others give their emergence a historical setting, or in relation to the prevailing mode of production, as the Marxists would often say. However, no one has profoundly analyzed why empires ultimately collapse. Such is logical because to answer that, one must ultimately come out with a logical answer why empires, in the first place, emerge. Even if historians, political pundits and ideologues are unanimous in their prognosis, no one has firmly come out to conclude that empires, for all of their glorious contributions to humanity, have always been a self-defeating proposition, it being the translation of power into its utmost nakedness called “subjugation and oppression.� As one borne out of oppression, maintaining it is almost ten times costlier than building it. In the end, the empire serves as its own death trap. Aside from the waste of material and financial resources, it has to be enforced by oppression. If empires resort to exploiting the wealth and resources of their subjugated states, in the end the enterprise becomes less profitable compared to the cost of keeping it. But oppressors never learn. They say the emergence of Pax Americana as the greatest empire mankind ever witnessed is about to put an end to that cycle of rise and fall. The US today possesses the greatest number of nuclear arsenal of about 5,113 nuclear warheads, enough to erase human civilization three times from the face of the earth, and backed up by technological superiority to ensure maximum devastation. Next is Russia having 1,449 warheads, while the rest possessed by the members of the nuclear club ranging from 180 to 350 nuclear warheads. The US has 1,458,697 active members of the armed forces, second only to China, the largest standing army in the world. Although having about 2,285,000 men in uniform, military analysts concede it remains far below the capability of

the US army in terms of firepower, mobility and logistical support. For 2011, the US appropriated $549.3 billion for defense representing 4.9 percent of its GDP, while China spent only about $114.2 billion for 2013 or about 1.46 percent of its GDP. The US has military bases in 150 countries maintained by about 200,000 troops. The biggest is in Afghanistan with 68,000 combat troops, followed by Japan with 58,692, Germany 45,596, South Korea 28,500, Italy 10,916, and United Kingdom 9,310. It is estimated that the cost for maintaining troops overseas is three to five times higher than it would take just to keep them at home. That budget even soars to 20 times higher if deployed in war zones as in Afghanistan. This not to mention the auxiliary fighting machines deployed in support of their effort for world domination. As one US Navy poster would put it, “The Navy put ‘em across.” For that, the US navy has about 288 ships to respond to every type of naval operations: 10 aircraft carriers with 3,700 aircraft, 9 amphibious assault ships, 8 amphibious transport docks, 12 dock landing ships, 22 cruisers, 62 destroyers, 20 frigates, 71 submarines, and 3 littoral combat ships. The air force has about 5,484 aircraft ranging from their top of the line stealth fighters, strategic bombers, fighter interceptors, reconnaissance-spy planes, troop transport, helicopters of various types, 450 ICBMs and 63 satellites to apply its so-called “global precision attack” that begins in their maintenance of air superiority. Despite that awesome array of armaments to subjugate states in the name of democracy and freedom, the grandeur of an empire is definitely rotting from the inside. For one, Standard & Poor reduced US credit worthiness from AAA to AA+, something that shocked most Americans. In gross per capita income, the US now ranks no. 9 as listed by the CIA Factbook. In September 2011, 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty with 16.3 percent without any health care benefit, and 22 percent in child poverty with 39 among blacks and 35 percent among Hispanics. In 2013, the US recorded the biggest trade deficit reaching a staggering amount of $44.448 billion. Despite that, one weird French economic-philosopher, Frederic Bastiat, expressed that trade deficit actually is a manifestation of profit, rather than loss. It is to him an indicator of a successful economy, than a failing

one. Expectedly that theory was echoed by another weird American economist, Milton Friedman. As an advocate of the “monetarist policy”, he contended that some of the “concerns of trade deficits are unfair as it is an attempt to push macroeconomic policies favorable to exporting industries.” To fill in the ever widening trade deficit that has crossed to one of imbalanced budget, it has resorted to unregulated foreign borrowings. As of March 2013, debt held by the American public was approximately $11.856 trillion or about 75 percent of GDP. Intra-governmental holdings stood at $4.854 trillion, giving a combined total public debt of $16.710 trillion. As of July 2012, approximately 48 percent of the debt is owned by foreign investors, the largest of which are China and Japan at just over $1.1 trillion each. Many blame Friedman for the continued printing of the US dollar without being backed up by any gold reserve but just relying on the myth of the US GDP. That resulted in the Americans spending more for goods twice less their value because of inflation with an added insult of having to pay more taxes to maintain an oppressive empire. This observation of an empire as a losing proposition is not much difficult to understand. The irony is, while the US has been boot-stomping countries seeking economic and political independence, it remains blinded that sooner than expected, it will be fighting against its own people who bears the brunt of maintaining an empire that becomes more oppressive as it slowly crumbles to its final downfall. War being its principal business, the empire has resulted in the deterioration of their people’s standard of living; shrinking of their purchasing power; decay of public services; soaring of unemployment; and the abrogation of welfare, health, and educational benefits altogether.‐real‐nature‐of‐empires/          

Posted on March 15, 2013 07:02:06 PM

Peso inches up as US jobless claims falls THE PESO inched up against the dollar on Friday on fresh data indicating an improving US labor market.  The local unit gained one centavo to settle at P40.62 per dollar against its P40.63-perdollar finish last Thursday. "The peso strengthened when trading started [on Friday] as we saw risk appetite from market players after the US reported a significant decline in jobless claims," a trader said in a phone interview. The local currency gained two centavos to open at P40.61 per dollar on Friday. Another trader, in a separate phone interview, said the central bank was in the market on Friday to temper the peso’s appreciation. Last Thursday, the US Labor department reported that the number of Americans who asked for unemployment benefits declined by 10,000 to 332,000 -- the second lowest in five years -- in the week ending March 9 from a revised figure of 342,000 in the prior week. Market players expected that jobless claims would reach 350,000 during that week. "This indicated that the US labor market is continuously improving," the trader added. The US Labor department reported last week that 236,000 jobs were added last month, higher than the revised figure of 157,000 jobs created in January, while unemployment fell to 7.7% -- the lowest level since December 2008 -- from 7.9% in the previous month. The Federal Reserve has said it would stop its multi-billion bond purchases -- which have weakened the dollar -- only if it sees the unemployment rate dropping to 6.5%. Dollars traded on Friday totaled $890.60 million, climbing from the $709.50 million on Thursday. - See more at:

Posted on March 15, 2013 07:15:06 PM

2012 abaca exports fell 22.8% PHILIPPINE ABACA exports fell in 2012 due to lower demand from major markets caused by the economic slowdown. The value of abaca exports in 2012 dropped by 22.86%, to $108 million from $104 million in 2011, data from the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) showed. "Europe, our major market, experienced a financial crisis last year and this caused demand to go down," Imelda D. Marbella, FIDA acting statistician, said during a telephone interview last Friday. The value of abaca pulp exports, which accounted for 69% of total abaca export earnings, declined by 28.24% to $74.7 million last year from 2011’s $104.1 million. Abaca cordage earnings in 2012 dropped by 4.71% to $16.2 million from $16.2 million year-on-year. Abaca cordage exports are 15% of total abaca export earnings. Raw fiber exports were valued at $5.5 million, 58.96% lower than 2011’s $13.4 million. Fiber accounted for 5% of total abaca exports. Abaca fabrics and fiber crafts were the only products that recorded growth last year. Exports of abaca fabrics grew 16.16% to $1.15 million from the $0.99 million recorded in 2011. Earnings from fiber craft exports more than doubled to $10.7 million from $4.6 million year-on-year. "This year, we are expecting abaca exports to recover and rise by 10% as the abaca industry prepares to introduce new products," Ms. Marbella said, but she declined to enumerate what the new products are. She also said that consumers are shifting to environment-friendly products and this may drive demand for abaca-based products up. In an earlier statement, FIDA said that it is planning to open 1,000 hectares of new abaca plantations to increase production in preparation for the projected rise in demand for abaca products. In terms of volume, abaca pulp exports dropped by 26.67% to 22,000 metric tons (MT) from last year’s 30,000 MT. A total of 13,000 MT, or 59% of total abaca pulp exports went to Europe last year. This is 35% lower than the 20,000 MT recorded in 2011. The volume of abaca cordage exports dipped 37.5% to 5,000 MT in 2012 from 8,000 MT in 2011. Abaca cordage exports to North America accounted for 60% of total cordage exports while Europe got 12%. In North America, abaca cordage exports dropped 40% to 3,000 MT in 2012 from 5,000 MT year-on-year while it declined by 9.52% in Europe to 570 MT from 630 MT year-on-year. Abaca is considered one of the country’s top dollar earners, FIDA data showed. Abaca pulp is used for manufacturing tea bags, filter paper, currency paper, and medical gas masks among others. Abaca fiber crafts include handbags, place mats, rugs, fishnets and wallets. Cordage, on the other hand, is used for rope, twine and cord. -- Raymond Jun R. Portillo

- See more at:

Posted on March 15, 2013 07:13:49 PM

DENR, wood processors to start commercial tree plantation THE ENVIRONMENT Department has signed an agreement with 18 wood processing plants in Davao del Norte for the establishment of a commercial tree plantation in line with the government’s National Greening Program.

"Eighteen wood processing plants (WPP) in Davao del Norte recently forged an agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to fund the production of seedlings and the establishment of a 201hectare commercial tree plantations in the province in support of the National Greening Program," a statement from the DENR read. The goal of the agreement is to not only to increase forested land but also to provide alternative livelihoods for people who live in the uplands. "Building partnership with other sectors such as the wood processing plants and the local communities is one strategy that the DENR has adopted to meet the goal of the NGP," the statement, quoting DENR-Region 11 Executive Director Joselin E. Fragada, said. According to the statement, the 18 WWPs will contribute P4.2 million for the project which will be implemented in upland areas of Barangays Sta. Ana and El Salvador in the municipality of New Corela and in Brgy. Mamacao in Kapalong. The project will be implemented by the WWPs in partnership with three people’s organizations (PO) which were created under the DENR’s Community-based Forest Management Program (CBFM). The CBFM aims to promote "sustainable management of forest resources," the DENR’s web site said. For the first two years, the budget allocated for seedlings production, plantation establishment, maintenance and protection is P20,000 per

hectare. Citing the memorandum of agreement signed by the 18 WWPs and the DENR, the statement said that the WWPs will be in charge of providing financial assistance for the establishment of a nursery and the production and establishment of commercial tree plantations. The WWPs will also buy timber yield from the commercial plantations for their milling operations at the prevailing market price. The POs, on the other hand, will be in charge of putting up the nursery and in raising the seedlings. They will also be the ones who are responsible for preparing the commercial plantation site. They will also maintain and protect the plantation after two years. For its part, the DENR will conduct the surveying, mapping and planning of the identified site and shall lead the identification of appropriate areas for commercial tree plantations within the CBFM areas. It will also provide technical assistance to the POs. The NGP was created through Executive Order No.26 signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III dated Feb. 24, 2011. It aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares by 2016. The Environment Department will be the lead agency in charge of implementing the NGP. Last year, a total of 222,619 hectares of land were planted, 11.31% more than the 200,000-hectare target. This year, the DENR is targeting to plant trees in 300,000 hectares of land. -- Raymond Jun R. Portillo - See more at:,wood-processors-to-start-commercial-tree-plantation&id=67340#sthash.5ySxQskI.dpuf

Posted on March 15, 2013 07:13:01 PM

Agriculture, tourism identified as key towards sustainable growth CEBU CITY -- As part of the government’s new thrust for sustainability, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras said government has identified the agriculture and tourism sectors as the key sustainable growth engines.

Mr. Almendras said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and other government agencies have been working together for the past several months to identify the sectors that can provide sustainable growth and take advantage of the so-called "demographic sweet spot" that the country will hit by 2016, referring to a situation wherein a massive portion of the population will be composed of young people entering the labor force. "It’s not rocket science. It’s not one big complicated economic theory. It’s still consumption-based, but targeted at a specific sector that will hopefully create that sustainable growth scenario," Mr. Almendras said in an interview at the sidelines of the 27th Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) Conference here on Friday. He said the question is no longer whether the country’s economy can grow, but whether it can sustain its growth. "You have an economy that is growing real fast but your challenge is how to sustain it. In the next two to three years, we’re going to hit a demographic sweet spot, where the ages of the population is at most prime aggrupation. We need industries that can take advantage of this," he added. Agriculture grew 4.7% in the last three months of 2012 while services expanded 6.9%. For the whole year, agriculture grew 2.7% while services

grew faster at 7.4% from 5.1% in 2011. Reading the speech prepared by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III for the opening of the plenary session of the conference earlier, Mr. Almendras said the government has declared that "the Philippines is now open for business under new management." He noted that the gross domestic product exceeded expectations and expanded by 6.6% last year and the country advanced 12 places in its World Economic Forum ranking, the biggest upgrade that the country has received, and received favorable credit ratings. The holding of the 27th CACCI Conference here is testament to the confidence of the international community in the country, he said. He urged about 500 participants, including members of 19 foreign delegations, to look around and scout for trade and investment opportunities. He assured that government is working to level the playing field for business and channeling funds to education, health and social services. -- Marites S. Villamor - See more at:,-tourismidentified-as-key-towards-sustainable-growth&id=67339#sthash.m9xo2r0P.dpuf


2013 03 16 - QUEDANCOR Daily News Monitor  
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