PIA News Service - Friday, November 25, 2011

Gov’t agencies to intensify Nat’l Greening Program

by Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA)
-- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Caraga in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) are set to intensify the National Greening Program of the present administration.

A one-day NGP Summit cum Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) Workshop was held recently at the Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city, to discuss how the greening program could be implemented to the rural areas.

Regional Executive Director (RED) Leonardo Sibbaluca of DENR-Caraga expressed the need of strengthening the NGP from the national government down to the regional level, as well as to the rural communities.

“NGP is not just planting trees at all but it is also giving hope and opportunities to our children in the next generation to enjoy the life with the things they see and feel in our environment and natural resources,” Sibbaluca said.

RED Sibbaluca also said the Executive Order No. 26 describes the NGP as a program seeking to “plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016, in lands of the public domain."

These lands include forest lands, mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, and urban areas.

Also, Caraga Regional Development Council chairperson and Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas said that government officials should feel the responsibility to care for the environment and its people. She also bared that with the Caraga Regional Development Plan 2011-2016, it aims to significantly increase the region's forest cover and have zero incidence of illegal logging activities.

2nd District Agusan del Norte Cong. Ma. Angelica Amante-Matba, represented by Ms. Miriam Pagaran emphasized the significant roles of the legislators and leaders in the country in ensuring a cleaner and greener environment for all through tight implementation of environmental laws (national and local).

For. Maritess Ocampo, Planning Management Division Chief bared that the NGP targets from the year 2011-2016 is 100,000 hectares (ha) or 7% of the national target of the 1.5M hectares (year 1 – 100,000 ha with 100M seedlings; year 2 – 200,000 ha with 200M seedlings; year 3 – 300,000 ha with 300M seedlings; year 4 – 300,000 ha with 300M seedlings; year 5 – 300,000 ha with 300M seedlings; and year 6 – 300,000 ha with 300M seedlings that would total to 1.5M hectares equivalent to 1.5B seedlings).


When asked what difference can the NGP make, Ocampo explained that there are about 5 million poor upland families who earn an average annual income of Php22,995. These families already represent 1/3 of the entire Philippine population.

“Built into the NGP are cash incentives for families and communities that will be stewards of the plantations. There will also be benefits from processing/marketing produce or crops,” Ocampo added.

Meanwhile, the representatives from the government agencies, civil society organizations, academe, and other partner stakeholders together with Surigao del Norte Gov. Matugas and other officials expressed their commitment to plant 10 seedlings for the NGP over the next 6 years from today and sustain and nurture these seedlings for the succeeding generation.

During the workshop, participants finalized the ACSM Regional Roadmap and the formation of the ACSM Regional Task Force for NGP comprising multi-sectors intended for Caraga.

The DENR also encourages the public to be a part of the NGP by registering online as a volunteer tree planter. Interested parties may visit this website: www.ngp.denr.gov.ph. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)

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Elderly Filipino males at-risk of zinc deficiency

by Michael E. Serafico

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA)
-- According to the 2008 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), 3 out of 10 Filipino males, 60 years old and above suffer from zinc deficiency.

Zinc deficiency is usually a result of inadequate intake of dietary zinc, but may also be caused by excessive intake of foods containing fiber and phytates in whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, which inhibit the absorption of the mineral.

Said deficiency can also be associated with malabsorption, diarrhea, diabetes, malignancy, and liver and renal diseases.

Studies show that low levels of zinc increases the risk of prostate cancer and adversely affects sperm count and motility.

Acute deficiency can cause thinning or hair loss, dermatitis, as well as brittle nails and dry skin.

In addition, studies suggest that people with low zinc blood levels are at greater risk of developing diseases or conditions related to the ageing process, like immune function impairment, cardiovascular disease, or cancer.

Generally, zinc plays an important role in human defense mechanism, glucose metabolism, cellular replication and repair, and defense against free radical damage.

Zinc also plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones, especially in males.

Since zinc for men is of such importance, the male diet needs to contain adequate amounts of this mineral.

Zinc is primarily found in protein-rich foods such as pork and beef, dairy products, shell fishes, nuts and beans and fortified breakfast cereals.

The recommended nutrient intake for zinc, which is 4.5 milligrams per day for males 50 years old and above, can be achieved by consuming about 85 grams of cooked beef or 3 medium-sized oysters or half a cup of dry roasted cashew nuts.

Supplementation may help increase serum zinc levels, but safety and long-term effects are still unknown.

It is recommended that elderly men and those who are on strict vegetarian diet or suffering from digestive problems seek the advice of a medical doctor for possible supplementation.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig City; Trunkline: 837-2071 local 2296; Telephone/Fax No.: 837-3164; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; Website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)

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News Feature: Zinc deficiency is a public health concern

by Jund Rian A. Doringo

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA)
-- Zinc is an essential trace mineral for humans, which promotes biochemical reactions in the body involving the synthesis and degradation of carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids.

It also helps in growth and bone development, prevents diseases and infections, maintains the sense of taste and smell, and also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.

Zinc is most abundant in protein-rich foods, particularly animal products, such as shellfish, especially oysters, and in meats, poultry, and liver. These contain highest concentration of readily absorbable form, while lesser amount of zinc is found in eggs and dairy products.

Nuts, seeds, legumes, cereals and whole-grain products are relatively high in zinc, however, these foods contain high level of phytate which inhibits zinc absorption.

Inadequate dietary intake of food rich in zinc is likely to be the primary cause of zinc deficiency in most situations.

Increased losses of zinc over time may result in growth retardation, sexual maturation delay and susceptibility to infections like diarrhea, respiratory disorders as well as malaria.

Zinc deficiency also results to hair loss, diarrhea, impotence, eye and skin lesions and loss of appetite.

Weight loss, delayed healing of wounds, taste abnormalities and mental lethargy can also occur if one is zinc deficient.

These symptoms are general and are associated with other medical conditions.

On the other hand, high doses of zinc may cause vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and exhaustion.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (or FNRI-DOST) determined serum zinc levels and the prevalence of deficiencies among 6 month to five-year-old children, 13 to 19-year-old female adolescents, pregnant women and 60-year-old and over elderly persons from households of the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS).

Zinc deficiency were noted in two out of ten (or 21.6 percent) six month to five year-old children, two out of ten (or 20.6 percent) adolescent females and two out of ten (or 21.5 percent) pregnant women. Among three out of ten (or 28.4 percent) elderly persons were also zinc deficient. With these rates, zinc deficiency has been considered as a public health concern.

In developing countries, zinc deficiency ranks 5th among the leading 10 risk factors. The World Health Organization (or WHO) attributes 800,000 deaths worldwide each year to zinc deficiency and over 28 million healthy life years lost.

World wide zinc deficiency is responsible for approximately 16 percent of lower respiratory tract infections, 18 percent malaria and 10 percent diarrheal disease.

According to WHO, zinc deficiency in children less than five years old increases the risk of incidence of diarrheal disease by 1.28 percent and is estimated to cause 176,000 deaths.


Zinc supplementation with reformulated ORS is now recommended by the Department of Health (or DOH) to shorten the duration, lessen the episodes and prevent immediate recurrence of diarrhea.

Zinc is used in the management of diarrhea, in addition to the newly-formulated oral rehydration salt or solution also known as ORS or Oresol.

Supplementation is the most effective and beneficial nutrition intervention to immediately correct any zinc deficiency and prevent its adverse consequences.

Zinc supplement is available in tablets, drops and syrups.

Daily requirement for zinc depends on age, gender and physiologic condition based on the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI) of the FNRI-DOST.

Children have especially increased zinc needs because they are growing rapidly and synthesizing many zinc-containing proteins.

Eating a balanced diet, as recommended by the nutritional guide pyramid, is an assurance of having the daily requirement of zinc.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num: 8372934 and 8373164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)

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News Feature: High-performance liquid chromatography found practical for fructooligosaccharides analysis of yacon

by Jund Rian A. Doringo

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA)
-- High-performance liquid chromatography, HPLC, is a chromatographic technique that can separate a mixture of compounds and is used to identify, quantify and purify the individual components of the mixture.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (or FNRI-DOST) validated that the HPLC method is applicable to fructooligosaccharides (FOS) analysis.

FOS’s are indigestible short-chain oligosaccharides, naturally occurring in plant foods that have been scientifically proven to stimulate the growth of health-enhancing colonic bacteria and reduce the risk factors of certain chronic diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and diabetes.

Yacon, a native Andean plant cultivated for its tuber, was found to have the highest concentration of FOS among plants.

HPLC was used to test for accuracy, precision, limit of detection, limit of quantization and linearity in yacon juice.

Results showed that the values were generally acceptable for accuracy, precision and efficiency.

When compared to the Japan Food Research Laboratories (JFRL), results met the acceptance criteria using the same method.

The validation proved the method of FOS analysis to be accurate and precise. Method verification should be done on other sample food matrices for best results, according to Rosemarie G. Garcia (MS Food Sci Tech), Senior Science Research Specialist.

For more information on food and nutrition, please contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig City; trunkline: 837 2071 local 2296 or 2287; telephone/fax no.: 837 3164, email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)

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News Feature: Proper breastfeeding and complementary foods help prevent anemia

by Dr. Imelda Angeles – Agdeppa

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA)
–- Iron deficiency is the most common single cause of anemia worldwide and in the Philippines. This problem is very serious across population groups.

Results of the 2008 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (or FNRI-DOST) indicated that the highest prevalence of anemia is among infants and pregnant women, six out of 10 infants of 6-11 old infants and four out of 10 pregnant women are anemic. There are 20 to 30 percent prevalence rates of anemia among the other age groups.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the condition where there is less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood.


Once affected, IDA may increase maternal and fetal mortality and increase the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. It may also cause learning disabilities and delayed psychomotor development, and reduced work capacity. Impaired immunity may also result from IDA which is tantamount to high risk of infection.

Because infants are the most vulnerable age group that may be affected by anemia, exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding should be practiced.


Breastfeeding should be exclusive for the first six months of infant life and according to the World Health Organization (or WHO). After the initial period of exclusive breastfeeding, children should continue to be breastfed up to two years of age or beyond, while receiving nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods.

Iron and zinc have relatively low concentrations in human milk but when the infant is exclusively breastfed, the percentage of absorption of these minerals is high. Low level of awareness of mothers on the right timing for introducing complementary foods to babies causes substantially-reduced absorption of iron from human milk, thus, resulting to anemia.

IDA is a condition, that when taken for granted, may lead to death, especially for the children.

Hence, complementary foods should be timely that all infants should start receiving foods in addition to breast milk after 6 months onwards (WHO) in order to prevent IDA. It is also important to give proper complementary foods like rice porridge, small amounts of protein foods like egg, chicken, and pork, minced vegetables like carrots, diced fruits like apple, which are equally healthy and nutritionally adequate for the babies’ being, coupled with quality time of maternal care.

Until such time that the parents, especially the mothers, realize the significance of practicing exclusive breastfeeding and proper complementary feeding, the prevalence of not only anemia but also other underlying causes of child mortality and morbidity will continue.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Num: 8372934 and 8373164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)

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Lanuza Surfing Festival 2011 to culminate on Nov. 26

by Leo P. Gerona

BUTUAN CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA)
-- Some 101 surfers converge and compete for this year’s surfing competition in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur which will culminate Saturday, Nov. 26.

According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Caraga, five of the participants came from Switzerland and Australia, the rest from Siargao, Lanuza, La Union, Ilocos Sur and from Catanduanes.

At stake is the P200,000 prize for the 9th National Surfing Open for the Wahini, Men and Junior divisions. For the 7thLong Board Invitational, a prize of P100,000 is up for grabs. Part of the weeklong celebration is the holding of the 3rdAgri-Aqua Tourism Trade Fair and the Beach Dancing Competition.

The Lanuza Surfing Festival 2011 officially started the weeklong competition last Monday, November 21, through a grand opening ceremony. Adding glitters to the opening salvo were the Beach Dancing Competition, Fireworks Display and the Cultural Show. Some guests in attendance were Director Letty Tan of DOT 13, Director Edna Mabeza of DA 13, Congressman Philip Pichay, Governor Johnny Pimentel and other local officials.

The event was done in collaboration of the municipal government of Lanuza, provincial government of Surigao del Sur, Congressman Philip Pichay, the Department of Tourism 13 and the Philippine Surfing Federation. (DOT-13/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano news: P5M nga financial support alang sa rehabilitasyon sa public market sa Nasipit, aprubado na

ni Roselyn G. Exaure

AGUSAN DEL NORTE, Nob. 25 (PIA)
–- Aprubado na ang P5M nga financial support sa Agusan del Norte Provincial Government alang na sa rehabilitasyon sa pampublikong merkado sa lungsod sa Nasipit, ni’ng lalawigan.

Giklaro ni Gov. Erlpe John M. Amante nga nalakip na kini sa 20% nga budget kon diin for implementation na kini sa unang quarter sa tuig 2012.

Gidugang pa sa opisyal nga na-deliberate na usab kini sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan ug andam na nga i-release sunod tuig.

Kahinumduman nga dugay na nga nagreklamo ang mga vendors sulod sa merkado publiko gumikan sa kaguba na sa maong gambalay apan wala pa gihapon kini mahatagi og igong pagtagad sa kasamtangang administrasyon sa lungsod sa Nasipit, gumikan usab sa kakulangon sa pondo alang niini. (Agusan del Norte PIO/PIA-Caraga)

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Cebuano news: Relief operations alang sa mga evacuees sa Kitcharao, nagpadayon

ni Roselyn G. Exaure

AGUSAN DEL NORTE, Nob. 25 (PIA)
–- Ang lokal nga panggamhanan ni’ng probinsiya magapadayon ang pagpahigayon og relief operations alang sa mga apektado sa nahitabong encounter sa walhong grupo ug kasundaluhan sa Zapanta Valley, Barangay Bangayan, Kitcharao Agusan del Norte, kini ang gibutyag ni Agusan del Norte Gov. Erlpe John M. Amante.


Giklaro ni Gov. Amante nga ang tanang assistance alang sa mga biktima gitahas na kini sa Local Government Unit sa Kitcharao sa pagpanguna ni Mayor Jenrey E. montante aron walay mahitabo nga overlapping sa paghatag ug mga hinabang ngadto na sa mga biktima.


Gidugang pa sa opisyal nga magpadayon ang paghatag ug suporta sa Agusan del Norte Provincial Government ngadto na sa mga evacuees hangtud nga dili pa sila makabalik sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka mga yutang gitikad. (PIA-Agusan del Norte)