3.04.2012

PIA News Service - Sunday, March 4, 2012

New bridge a boon to residents of Agusan Del Sur


BAYUGAN CITY, Mar. 4 (PIA) -- For the past several years, residents in far-flung village communities here experienced difficulties in bringing their farm produce to the market. Students had to travel several kilometers and crossed a river to be able to go to school.


This is now a thing of the past following the opening of a newly constructed bridge.


However, the new bridge is only made of light materials and can only accommodate light vehicles like motorcycles and carts.


The new bridge connects Barangay New Tubigon of Sibagat town in Agusan del Sur province to Barangay San Juan of Bayugan City.


The route from New Tubigon via San Juan using the new bridge in going to Bayugan City cuts the travelling distance by about 30 kilometers.


“The new bridge is very precious to us because it makes our travel to Bayugan City and other developed areas easier and comfortable. This means, our expenses in bringing our farm products to the market will be reduced, which will also mean bigger income for us,” New Tubigon Barangay Chairman Librado Felizilda said in the vernacular.


On the other hand, Nestor Banguiran, head teacher of New Tubigon Elementary School, said it will no longer be a problem for them to transport school needs to improve the quality of education. “The new bridge also put an end to the risk facing students,” he said. (NCLM/MUC/PIA-Caraga)


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Caraga nipa sugar healthier, has bright prospects


Good for wellness, for diabetics


BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 4 (PIA) -- A development group in Mindanao has recommended to farmers, especially sugar planters, to take advantage of the nipa tree to boost their sugar production, which is also expected to propel the growing economy in the Caraga Region.


Based on a study, the group said nipa trees belong to the same family as that of the coconut tree, but the sugar produced from it has low glycemic index, and according to international standards, if the glycemic index is within 50 or below 50, the product is good for the body.


For the coco sugar, the glycemic index is about 35 and for the nipa, it is lower than that of the coco sugar.


However, the group said this has to be verified first by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST).


Citing the Web site http://www.glycemicindex.com, the group said the glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.


Foods with a high GI are those that are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.


Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health.


Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2).


They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.


A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health also disclosed that the risks of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease are strongly related to the GI of the overall diet.


In 1999, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommended that people in industrialized countries base their diets on low-GI foods in order to prevent the most common diseases of affluence, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.


The Foundation for Rural Enterprise and Ecology Development of Mindanao (Freedom) also suggested to farmers to exploit nipa that are largely seen at the various areas in Northeastern Mindanao, particularly in coastal areas.


The foundation stressed that nipa sugar production is good for the health.


In a roundtable discussion with local newsmen at the regional office of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here, the officials of the group led by its executive director Antonio Peralta said that the nipa tree is abundant in the Caraga Region, a good substitute for sugar cane and coco sugar, and it is good potential of the region’s economic development


The officers of the group said nipa tree is seen everywhere in the coastal areas in the region, and could be an additional livelihood for shoreline villagers. (NCLM/MUC/PIA-Caraga)