PIA News Service - Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Surigao Norte gov, THPAL exec lead speech lab turn-over

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 28 (PIA)
-- A turn-over ceremony and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing for a speech laboratory highlighted the Provincial Development Council Meeting held Monday, February 27, 2012 at the Philippine Gateway Hotel, Surigao City.

Governor Sol Matugas and Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp. Project Site Manager Hiroshisa Oda led the signing and turn-over ceremonies of the said speech lab to the three local government unit recipients namely Surigao City, Del Carmen and Gigaquit.

Present during the occasion were Surigao City administrator Atty. Manuel Corro, Alegria mayor Dominador Esma Jr., Del Carmen mayor JR Coro, Gigaguit mayor Carlos Egay, Sr., Placer mayor Monching Napuli, Socorro mayor Elizabeth Galanida, board member Mamerto Galanida, provincial government employees and representatives of the different national line agencies, socio-civic and non-government organizations.

The P1 million-worth speech laboratory will be installed by Mc Jones Speech Laboratory System Machine at Caraga Regional Science High School (CRSHS) in Surigao City, Del Carmen National High School and Gigaquit National High School.

CRSHS principal Dr. Matilde Manligues, Mayor Carlos Egay Sr., and Mayor JR Coro expressed their gratitude to Matugas and the THPAL company. They said that speech laboratory is a big help in providing quality education to the public high school students of the province. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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Soldiers undergo DRRO training

BRGY AWA, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, February 28 (PIA)
-- About 40 soldiers from the 401st Infantry (Unity) Brigade and from its subordinate units gathered in the opening ceremony for Disaster Risk Reduction Operation (DRRO) training held at the brigade headquarters, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on Monday, February 27.

Troops were organized to join the five-day DRRO training which composed of lectures and practical exercises.

According to Col. Romeo G Gan, commander of 401st Brigade, they invited the best instructors from Office of the Civil Defense – CARAGA Region, headed by Mr Amado M Posas to train his men on DRRO.

Gan also emphasized the Army Core purpose to serve the people and secure the land.

“The soldiers shall adhere to the commitment to perform his duty not only in combat but also in humanitarian services that uphold trust and confidence of the Filipino people,” he said.

“What we also want to enforce in our unit is to develop and enhance the capability of our men in rescue and relief operations. We want them to be well-organized and fully equipped to make them more competent and prepared at all times to take actions in case the people needs our help,” Gan added.

1st Lt Allan Guibone, training officer of 401st Brigade stressed that the said training will end on March 2, 2012.

"We hope that after five (5) days of rigorous training our personnel will become a more reliable rescuer of the people,” Guibone said. (401st Brigade CMO/PIA Surigao del Sur)

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Surigao City to join earthquake preparedness drill on March 1

SURIGAO CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA)
-- Schools, government agencies, business establishments and media in the city will participate in a simultaneous earthquake drill nationwide on Thursday, March 1.

Surigao City Information Officer Annette Villaces said thousands of students and employees are expected to get involved in the drill, which will be spearheaded by the CDCC, Office of the Civil Defense and the city government of Surigao and supported by its member-agencies.

“The blowing of sirens will be the cue to execute the duck, cover and hold for the period of simulated earthquake and evacuate to your pre-designed evacuation mustering area and conduct a head count of all your personnel,” Villaces informed.

She also asked the hotel and business establishments to notify all their customers and clients about the activity to avoid any untoward incidents. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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EU-funded project cited for empowerment of women through livelihood

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA)
-- A livelihood component of a European Union-funded rehabilitation program for Central Mindanao has shown significant impact on the lives of women in the recipient communities, an independent monitoring team said in a recent visit to the project areas.

Blanca Gil, who led the EU-commissioned monitoring team, pointed out the livelihood training given to women in the communities served by the Early Recovery and Rehabilitation in Central Mindanao (ERRCM) has effectively enabled women beneficiaries to generate resources for their family needs.

Among the livelihood activities undertaken under the program include vegetable gardening, banana chip processing, mat weaving, product packaging, and basic record-keeping.

“The livelihood activities have given them initial income to meet their daily needs such as food and related household requirements,” said Gil, adding that “this is an encouraging transformation for their living conditions after being displaced by past conflicts.”

Apart from livelihood, Gil also noted that other program components have transformed the lives of the people in the communities through core shelters, community health centers as well as water and sanitation programs.

“The people are settled and generally happy with what they have. There are many impacts now already visible,” she said during a debriefing session with officials from the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). She added that more positive outcomes could be evident once the livelihood projects are strengthened and expanded.

The ERRCM project team and its NGO partners have started conducting basic training and seminars on technical support to livelihood projects.

Women in Barangay Manggay in Talitay, Maguindanao received training on banana chip processing and vegetable gardening under the bio-intensive gardening program.

Other skills training include basic packaging of goods, basic record-keeping, bio-intensive gardening, and product diversification. For some groups, micro-capital for start-ups was also provided.

Gil took particular note of the fact that livelihood projects benefit mostly women of the communities, saying that it would bear direct impact on their personal finances.

“Some of the livelihood activities, like the vegetable gardening in Talitay, Maguindanao, are very amazing,” she said.

While there is a constant market for their products such as fresh produce, the beneficiaries also seek greater market links through the assistance of the LGUs, other government agencies, and NGO partners.

In Damawato and Galidan in Tulunan, North Cotabato, the project plans to tap technical assistance in forming a cooperative to support the buy-and-sell activities of the women beneficiaries.

In the remote barangay of Pamalian in Pikit, the project recipients also sought assistance for hauler trucks for easier and less costly transport of products to market centers. Meanwhile, Barangay Pimbalakan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, was given assistance in market linkage for woven mats, a primary product of their community.

Gil commended the selection of the livelihood projects based on the availability of local raw materials, which will enable the beneficiaries to sustain the livelihood activities for the long term.

“The good thing of the project is that you are not inventing things and importing them to the community. Rather, you are using raw materials (available locally) and making the best of it, which in a sense, gives us some certainty that these things would continue,” she said.

ERRCM project coordinator Cynthia Guerra acknowledged the commendation but admitted there is more work to be done, pointing out the need to strengthen the LGUs’ commitment to provide greater market linkages and ensure sustainability.

Supported by the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ERRCM is a government support to peace and rehabilitation efforts to facilitate the return or resettlement and early recovery of communities affected by the armed conflict in Mindanao from August 2008 onwards.

The program is being implemented by MinDA, in partnership with the Regional Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/MinDA)

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Feature: Only 8 out of 100 babies exclusively breastfed

By Charina A. Javier

The proportion of infants receiving exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months decreased from 2003 to 2008, according to the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).

The NNS showed that only 8.6 percent or only about 8 out of 100 of 0-23 month old children received exclusive breastfeeding, while 29.9 percent received breastfeeding and complementary food by current feeding practices.

Exclusive breastfeeding is not giving an infant any food or drink other than breast milk, nor other fluids including water, tea or sugar. Complementary feeding, meanwhile, is giving other foods to infants until the baby becomes accustomed to family foods.


Among 0-5 month old infants, exclusive breastfeeding is practiced only by 35.9 percent which means that only about one-third of infants in the country met the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months.

Moreover, the 2008 survey showed that the mean duration of exclusive breastfeeding significantly decreased to 2.3 months from 3.0 months in 2003. The mean duration of breastfeeding in 2008 is 4.9 months compared to 5.6 months in 2003.

Among 6-11 month-old babies, exclusive breastfeeding dropped to 0.5 percent while breastfeeding and complementary feeding was practiced by 39.4 percent. Also, more than half or 59.8 percent was given other milk and foods in this age group.

Among 12-23 month-old babies, about two-thirds or 65.7 percent was given other milk and foods, and only about one-fifth or 21.6 percent of mothers practiced breastfeeding and giving complementary foods.

The decreasing rate of breastfeeding practice is alarming, considering the various physiological and socio-economic benefits of breastfeeding.

Breastmilk is the perfect food for infants because it provides all the nutrients that are needed for proper growth and development. It also contains antibodies that help protect babies from common childhood illnesses like diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Moreover, breastmilk is readily safe, available and affordable, and it strengthens the bond between the mother and baby, and the whole family.

Message No.2 of the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) recommends breastfeeding infants exclusively from birth to six months, and to give appropriate foods while continuing breastfeeding.

Promoting breastfeeding focusing on nutrition, health and economic benefits should be intensified among women, especially among would-be mothers, to prepare them to breastfeed immediately after childbirth.

For more information about the NNS and food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science 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 (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service)

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Feature: High fiber diet helps prevent cardiovascular and heart diseases

By Salvador R. Serrano

Dietary fiber helps prevent cardiovascular and heart diseases?

It is a carbohydrate derived from plant origin that resists digestion in the small intestine of humans but is metabolized in the large intestine through fermentation by microorganisms into gases and short chain fatty acids.

Dietary fiber has various health benefits. It can slow down fat and carbohydrate absorption in the small intestines. Dietary fiber can also affect insulin metabolism, thus regulating sugar level in the blood. It may also lower triglyceride (or fat) levels in the blood. This is according to the Glycemic Index of Commonly Consumed Carbohydrate Foods in the Philippines, a book published in 2011 by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology or (FNRI-DOST).

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, the government’s lead agency on food and nutrition research and development.

Increasing intake of viscous or “thick and sticky” fibrous food has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Eating high fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables have been linked to decreased risk of coronary heart disease.

For more information, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, FNRI-DOST, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telefax Numbers: 837-2934 and 837-3164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service)

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Feature: Lycopene in reducing prostate cancer risk

By Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso


One of the most popular home garden vegetables is the tomato.

The tomato is easy to grow. When grown as a stalked plant, it requires a relatively small amount of space, yet is capable of producing a lot of fruits per plant.

It is a fact that the tomato is high in nutrients. It is packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber and vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.

The tomato is a rich source of lycopene, a carotenoid that is a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene has been the subject of many current promising researches on plant chemicals that promote health. It is a carotenoid responsible for the red color in tomatoes and other fruits like watermelon and grape fruit. Carotenoids, along with phenolic acids and flavonoids, are all phytochemicals, the nutritionally beneficial active compounds found in fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols, one of the potentially beneficial anti-cancer compounds, is also found in tomato products, predominantly in the skin and seeds.

A variety of epidemiological studies by Giovannucci in 2002; Mill in 1989 and Wu in 2004 have suggested that dietary factors may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Increased consumption of tomatoes, carotenoids, Vitamin C, selenium, cruciferous vegetables, polyphenols, soy, fish, green tea or vitamin D may all be linked to a decreased risk of prostate cancer. Their studies further show that an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly reduces the incidence of prostate cancer.

Lycopene and tomato products appear to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in epidemiogical studies. A study led by Giovannucci in 1995 showed that lycopene and tomato product intakes were associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer. One study led by Gann in 1999 suggested a strong inverse association between aggressiveness of the cancer and plasma lycopene. Another study led by Wu in 2004 showed an inverse association between plasma lycopene concentrations and risk of prostate cancer although only in older men without a history of the disease.

The results of these epidemiological studies support a hypothesis that tomato products and lycopene consumption reduce the risk of prostate cancer and supports further testing of this relationship with animal and human trials.

With all the health benefits of eating tomatoes, make it a habit to include in your daily meals tomatoes as appetizer or an ingredient in the dishes. Based on the Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s Food Composition Table (FNRI-FCT), half a cup of fresh tomato weighing 40g as appetizer for lunch and dinner, assures you of 10.8 kilocalories for energy, 0.36 grams of protein, 0.12 grams of fat, 12.4 milligrams of calcium, 10.4 milligrams of phosphorus, 0.4 milligrams of iron, 152 micrograms of beta carotene, 0.02 milligrams of thiamin, 0.012 milligrams of riboflavin, 0.24 milligrams of niacin, and 13.6 milligrams of vitamin C.

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. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga/FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service)

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Tagalog news: Agusan del Sur pinarangalan bilang isa sa sampung lalawigan na may pinakamataas na produksyon ng palay

By David M. Suyao

AGUSAN DEL SUR, Peb. 28 (PIA)
-- Nasungkit ng pamahalaang panlalawigan ng Agusan del Sur ang prestihiyosong parangal bilang isa sa 10 lalawigan na may pinakamataas na produksyon ng palay mula taon 2008. Ito ay nakupirma pagkatapos ng masusing pagsiyasat na ginawa ng mga national evaluators para sa Agri Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards.

Ang programang Agri Pinoy Achievers Awards ay inilunsad ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng Department of Agriculture na ang tinitingnan ay ang pagiging supisyente ang produksyon ng bigas sa taong 2013. Ito ay kikilala at magbigay ng parangal sa may mga pinakamataas na produksyon sa mga lalawigan, lungsod, bayan at mga agricultural extension workers na sangkot sa produksyon ng bigas. Ito rin ay upang tuloy-tuloy ang kaalaman, magpapatibay ng partisipasyon, suporta at mga kaakuhan para sa programa.

Sa patuloy na pag papatupad ng programa ng Boosted Utilization of Grain in Agusan del Sur o ang BUGAS program ng administrasyon ni Gob. Adolph Edward Plaza na sinusuportahan ng mga lokal na pamahalaang bayan, ang produksiyon ng bigas sa lalawigan ay naging masigasig at patuloy na nagbibigay ng matass na oportunidad sa mga magsasaka na kumita ng malaki.

Kasamang paparangalan ay ang bayan ng Trento na naging isa sa 50 bayan sa ilalim ng municipal category, at si Alfred Gimang ng Trento na isa sa 500 na pinarangalan bilang agricultural extension worker category.

Sa ilalim ng programang BUGAS, ang mga teknolohiyang suporta kasama na ang pagpapalago ng mga pananim katulad ng binhi at abuno, maliliit na irigasyon at pre and post harvest facilities; mga kalsada sa sakahan, pagbibigay ng iba’t ibang pagpipilian sa pamamagitan ng research studies at pagsasanay ng tamang teknolohiya, paggamit ng organic na abuno at tulong sa pagbibinta ng mga produkto ay mapagtibay.

Sa mga nakaraang taon, ang Agusan del Sur ay naging supisyente sa kinakailangang bigas. Noong taon 2011 ang produksiyon ng bigas ay naitala sa 333,160 metric tons na nagdadala ng average na produksiyon na 3.5 metric tons kada hektarya. Base sa 124 kilograms per capita consumption o sa pangangailangang 73.38 metric tons, ang naging surplus na bigas ay inabot ng 139,833 metric tons.