Author: Raffy Rico

P2.2 MILLION WORTH OF CHEMICALS AND LAB EQUIPMENT USED FOR MANUFACTURING SHABU DESTROYED BY PDEA

Seized controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs), together with laboratory equipment intended for the production of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, valued at P2,258,845.20 were destroyed today, October 10, 2014. The Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr., led the destruction ceremony of the chemicals and non-drug evidence turned over by authorities that were recently ordered by the court to be destroyed. Cacdac said that a total of 993.50 liters of liquid chemicals (composed of diphenylmetyhane, ethanol, formic acid, hydrochloric acid, methanol and sulfuric acid) and 169,721 grams of solid chemicals (composed of ammonium formate, magnesium sulfate, activated carbon, iodine, red phosphorus and sodium hydroxide) were destroyed through chemical treatment method. Laboratory equipment consisting of heating mantles, electric burner, thermometer, separatory funnel, hot plate, iron stand, condenser, beaker, and glass wares confiscated during anti-drug operations were smashed to prevent them from being used again. The destruction activity was held at the Green Planet Management, Incorporated (GPMI) in Barangay Punturin, Valenzuela City, a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) -accredited treatment facility. “In the spirit of transparency and accountability, PDEA will continue to regularly conduct activities to destroy illegal drugs, chemicals drug paraphernalia and laboratory equipment right before the probing eyes of the public. This will eliminate any misconception that these pieces of drug and non-drug evidence are being recycled for other purposes,”...

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SSS NCR Operations Group collects P10.81 in 1st Sem 2014

The offices of Social Security System (SSS) in the National Capital Region have collected P10.8 billion in total contributions for the first half of 2014, a 15.1 percent increase from the same period last year, SSS NCR Operations Group Head Senior Vice President Jose B. Bautista (seated 5th from left) said. Photo shows the branch managers from the NCR Operations Group during their 2015 Group Planning and 2014 First Semester Performance Review held recently with their respective Division Heads (seated 4th, 7th, respectively from left), Assistant Vice President for NCR-North Leticia G. Barbers and Assistant Vice President for NCR-South...

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Market Forum for farmers in Nueva Vizcaya

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA), recently conducted here a Market Forum and Market Matching for 34 farmers, hopeful that it would help enhance their business acumen. Region 3  Regional Director Engr. Arnel S. Dizon said the farmers are the first batch who graduated from the Farm Business School (FBS) sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Dizon said farm business schools have been established in eleven (11) municipalities in the province to train farmers on how to transact business with traders. Dizon added that the market forum and market matching was organized to bring the farmers into a marketing arrangement with some buyers. Gumercindo Tumbali, FAO Specialist, said that the activity focuses on how  farmers could access better markets and earn more. “It is expected that all farmers present in the activity would be able to learn the rope in transacting business with prospective buyers of their farm outputs at fair price.” he said.   “This activity aims to prepare and make our farmers competitive especially when the Integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations comes into reality next year,” Paul Vincent Ballao, head of the Nueva Vizcaya Experimental Station (NVES), averred. Ballao also stressed that our farmers must be prepared to produce organic and quality products in order to be competitive in the...

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Forum features farmers’ voices at IRRI

“I used to consider farming as a poor man’s job because that was what everyone thought, so I wasn’t confident when people would ask me what my occupation was,” Florencio Madalipay said. “But, when I started building up more knowledge about farming, I grew confident so I could then proudly say, ‘I am a Filipino farmer!'” Madalipay was one of around 30 farmers who shared lessons and experiences from the Cyber-Village Project (CVP) Farmers’ Forum held on October 2 at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). CVP was launched by the Philippine Department of Agriculture and IRRI in 2008...

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DA to pilot test community level coco water processing in Camarines Sur

You walk into a local store for your usual energy fix. There, alongside popular brands, you find bottles of freshly-harvested “buko juice” being sold as a health drink. But the bigger pleasant surprise is that farmers in your area actually produced it. Officials of the Department of Agriculture said this possibility is not far-fetched as the agency recently teamed up with the provincial government of Camarines Sur and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture to pilot test the commercial viability of community-level coco water production using the technology developed by DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization. The extensive study – to be carried out for a period of one year under the soon-to-commence Philippine Rural Development Project with a budget of P7.3 million – aims to come up with product and machine protocols that will serve as basis for the technology’s commercialization nationwide. It also hopes to initiate supply chain linkages between coco water consolidators and possible small-scale processors. “Indeed, we are on-track to creating a sustainable and stable source of livelihood and income for thousands of Filipino coconut farmers,” said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala. “By finding an industrial application to a by-product used to be thrown away as waste, we create new rural-based enterprises and possibilities towards progress,” he added. The DA chief signed last week (3 October 2014) a memorandum of agreement with Governor Miguel Luis...

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BUY-BUSTS NET TWO BARANGAY KAGAWADS IN ONE DAY

Two elected barangay officials who peddle methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, were arrested by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) during separate buy-bust operations in Leyte and Negros Occidental on October 4, 2014. PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. identified the suspects as Jason Camasin, 40 years old, an incumbent barangay kagawad and resident of Barangay Bagacay East, Lapaz, Leyte; and Arniel Campanel, 45, alias Boy, a barangay kagawad of Sunrise Village, Barangay Blumentritt, Murcia, Negros Occidental. At around 7:00 in the evening, elements of PDEA Regional Office 8 (PDEA RO8) under the supervision of Director Laurefel Gabales, in collaboration with teams from Provincial Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Task Group-Lapaz Police Provincial Office and Lapaz Police Station arrested Camasin after he sold one heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu, to an undercover PDEA agent who acted as poseur-buyer in Barangay Sta. Elena, Lapaz, Leyte. Camasin also yielded another sachet of the illegal drug, one XRM motorcycle and the P500 marked bill used as buy-bust money during the operation. Three hours later, operatives of PDEA Regional Office 6 (PDEA RO6) under Director Paul Ledesma conducted an entrapment operation that led to the arrest of Campanel in his own neighborhood in Barangay Blumentritt. Confiscated from his possession were eight pieces of plastic sachets containing suspected shabu. Cases for violation of...

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DA and IRRI fortifies bond with farmers

 LUNCH IS SERVED. Agriculture officials – led by Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Research Segrefredo Serrano  (1st from left) and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Edilberto De Luna (2nd from left) – join farmers and other participants in a boodle fight during the annual Farmers’ Day at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna on Wednesday, 1 October 2014. DA is IRRI’s number one partner in its National Research & Extension System.  For IRRI’s part, Dr. Bruce Tolentino, Deputy Director General for Communication and Partnerships, highlighted the importance of having a strong partnership between IRRI and...

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UPLB develops starter kit on Edible Landscaping

To help interested individuals who wish to have a healthy lifestyle through beautiful gardens equipped with nutritious food crops, the Edible Landscaping (EL) Team of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) launched a starter kit for EL during the opening of the 10th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition held on 8 August 2014 at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. Believing that no Filipino should be hungry, UPLB started the concept of having an artistic style in growing edible plants through edible landscaping. Hence, in 2009, the team headed by Dr. Leonido R. Naranja of UPLB, embarked on the project titled, “Technology Promotion and Commercialization of Edible Landscaping”, funded under the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP) of BAR. “Since then, BAR and the EL team have been going around the Philippines in promoting the edible landscaping concept,” Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr., project leader said. The EL technology is being brought to different regions in the country such as Bohol, Leyte, Cagayan de Oro, and Bicol through the conduct of seminars. EL combines science and creativity to form a revolutionary crop production technology. It uses vegetables, herbs, edible shrubs, or fruit bearing trees as major materials in place of ornamental plants. It follows the principle of landscape designs in creating an attractive environment and functional spaces while producing nutritious, organic, and safe foods for the family at...

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DAR provides women farmers with entrepreneurial project

A total of 116 women farmers of Arakan, North Cotabato are smiling from ear-to-ear after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) trained and provided them with a rag-weaving entrepreneurial project to help them augment their household income. Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Marion Abella  said the project is one of DAR’s skills training program under its Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) which seeks to enhance the capability of the women’s organizations of Barangays Allab and Kuran in Arakan. “We want to capacitate and help empower women farmers by grooming them into entrepreneurs. That is why we are providing them with the necessary skills to give them options in generating income for their family,” said Abella. In rag weaving entrepreneurial project, the women were taught how to weave the rags into doormats and potholders. A doormats fetches a price of P25.00 pesos per piece and a potholder P7.00. “Our market study shows that selling these items can earn them as much as 3,000 per month. This is a big addition to every farming family’s income. The women can sell these in hospitals, schools, hotels, business establishments, and households,” Abella said. In addition to the skills training, the DAR also provided the start-up materials for each of the women’s organization that included 60 kilos of rags, 10 doormat frames, and two potholder frames. Abella stressed that the DAR is also committed in...

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