9.07.2013

PIA News Service - Friday, September 6, 2013

BCWD to enforce immediate, long term solutions to address water problems

By: Susil D. Ragas

BUTUAN CITY, September 6 (PIA) --The Butuan City Water District (BCWD) will enforce  immediate and long term solutions  to address the pressing problems of water supply in the city.

BCWD General Manager Anselmo Sang Tian during the launching of the infomercial held recently at Inland Resort said that the immediate solutions will include declogging the filtration systems to allow water to flow more easily, establishing two new pumping stations and two new booster stations, reviving a currently inactive ground reservoir in barangay Bonbon and constructing two additional reservoirs in barangays Pinamanculan and Bonbon.

"While long-term solutions include protection and rehabilitation of Taguibo Watershed through reforestation, institutionalize protection and development, legally and morally empowering the BCWD consistent with section 31-E of Presidential Decree 198, and creating beneficial public-private partnerships and joint ventures," Sang Tian added.

Sang Tian explained that during the height of the illegal logging and mining operations, the Taguibo River suffered a severe drop in water volume and even worsened when it reached turbidity (dirt and pollution) levels of 1,000 NTU (nephelometric turbidity unit) compared to international standards of safe drinking water which requires only a level of 1 NTU.

"Ironically, heavy rains causes the water supply to dwindle because mudflows from loosened soil runs into the water basin and this causes water pressure to drop, and turbidity levels rise, making it impossible for the BCWD’s water pumping stations to supply the entire city, that is why there is no water from the faucets during heavy rainfall," Sang Tian said.

BCWD launched the two 30-second informercial to convey the public the importance of protecting and preserving the Taguibo Watershed. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


DA Caraga intensifies NYR advocacy

By Johny S. Natad

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 6 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga has been strengthening its promotion and advocacy on the National Year of Rice (NYR) with the theme, "Sapat na bigas, Kaya ng Pinas."

Caraga DA Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (RAFID) officer-in-charge Rebecca Atega during the Rise for Rice Legislators' Congress on August 29 revealed that the agency and its attached agencies such as the National Food Authority (NFA), National Irrigators Association (NIA), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and PhilRice are intensifying campaign and sponsorship on NYR.

Atega bared that two tablespoons of wasted rice everyday can able to feed 2.7 million of Filipinos every year, thus, it is essential to conserve rice as everybody's action advocacy.

"As rice consumer, everyone has role in achieving rice self-sufficiency and not to waste rice. Also eating brown rice and mixing rice with other staples are worth trying," she added.

She said that the department has also produced print IEC materials like fans, info ads, posters, briefers, tarpaulins and souvenir items like shirts, car stickers, and button pins.

Other promotion strategies that the DA Caraga has been doing include the regional and provincial launching and display of the NYR tarpaulins and advocacy posters to DA offices, other departments, private agencies and NGOs and the presentation of the NYR campaign in national workshops/conferences and inclusion of NYR ads and Panata in the souvenir programs.

"We are also encouraging participation of every student in schools and during every other government activity the recitation of 'Panatang Makapalay'which was started during the Simultaneous National Commitment Day and this will be continuously included during the flag ceremonyevents/conventions/trainings at schools and DA offices in the entire region," Atega said.

Atiea also bared other  activities like the NYR 2013 Info-Caravan on September 10-11; call for submission of NYR Short Film Contest and Photography Contest until September 25; World Food Day on October; National Rice Awareness Month and Short Film and Photography Contest Awarding on November. (FEA/JSN/PIA-Caraga)


DENR-13 releases tarsier in mangrove area in SurSur town

By Angel De La Torre

BUTUAN CITY, September 6 (PIA) - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Services (PAWCZMS) has released a Philippine Tarsier in a mangrove area in Sitio Amontay, Barangay Adlay in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur recently.

The mangrove area is considered the natural habitat of the Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius Syrichta) and was captured by certain Joselito Calising, a fisherman in the same area. The fisherman, at first thought of keeping it as a pet but later decided to turn-over the tarsier to the personnel of Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Cantilan.

Mario L. Eludo, Regional Technical Director of PAWZCMS reminded the residents living along the coastal areas in Carrascal and its neighboring towns to protect the tarsier which is being considered an endangered species.

Popularly known as “Amag” to the fisher folk because of its bright wide eyes, the freed tarsier stands a total length of about 28 cms.

Tarsiers are endemic in the Southern Philippine islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Tarsiers dwell in forest and bush thickets although there are sightings of them in mangrove areas such as that found by a fisherman in Carrascal. This type of tarsier, however, is found to be quite larger than their counterpart in Bohol province. (FEA/EFG/DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Breastfeeding still best for babies even during emergencies

By Charina A. Javier

MANILA, Sept 6 -- Calamities are pressing people’s physical and economic resources. The recent calamities that struck the country have displaced thousands of families and the aftermath is much worse as illnesses began to spread.

Infants and young children are the most vulnerable. Having weak immunity, they are the ones who easily get sick when staying in crowded evacuation centers.

Undoubtedly, breastfeeding is the best for babies. Breastmilk is the perfect food for newborns and infants because it provides all the nutrients that are needed for healthy development.

Today, as families are in emergency situation and where basic infrastructure has been compromised, breastmilk provides safe food for babies. Breastmilk contains antibodies that help protect them from common childhood illnesses like diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.

Moreover, breastmilk is readily safe, available and affordable. This helps to ensure that infants get adequate sustenance at the time when they need it, even in emergency situations.

Feeding infants and young children with milk formulas may pose dangers to their nutrition and health status. First, safe water needed for the preparation of milk formula and for cleaning and sterilizing materials such as bottles and nipples may not be available in the area. Water in evacuation centers may be contaminated to cause diarrhea, cholera and other water-borne diseases.

Water should be put to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes if it is to be used to prepare milk formulas. Bottles and nipples should be boiled longer to make them sterile.

This poses the problem of not only safe water but also fuel source, which may also be scarce in evacuation centers.

Storage equipment, like a refrigerator, is most of the time not available and the hot environment in evacuation areas make milk formulas easily spoil.

In a situation where economic activities of a household are disrupted, income and savings, if there are any, are exhausted, and thus, milk formulas become inaccessible.

Mothers who are under stress may have stopped lactating for a day or so, but this can be overcome with good support.

It is a myth to think that because mothers are under stressful situations, they would not be able to breastfeed. They only need support for re-lactation.
The other myth is that because mothers are undernourished or are sick, they cannot breastfeed or the milk is of poor quality. This is not true because even very malnourished mothers can produce good milk.

Under these conditions, breastmilk may be in lower amount but it is still the best source of nourishment for the baby. Mothers, if undernourished as in such case, should be given the nutritional support that she needs.

Indeed, breastfeeding is a life saving intervention. It is best for babies in normal and emergency situations.

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. E-mail: mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com, Telefax: 837-2934 and 827-3164, or call: 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Eggs: Pinoys' most consumed protein-rich food

By: Charina A. Javier

MANILA, Sept 6 -- "Kumain ng itlog, pagkaing pampalusog," parents and teachers would often say to encourage children to eat eggs.

Indeed, eggs, specifically chicken eggs, are on the list of the most commonly-consumed foods.

Eggs top the most consumed protein-rich foods in the Philippines, based on the food consumption survey conducted in 2008 by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).

Chicken eggs ranked eighth among the most commonly-consumed foods, next to rice, sugar, coconut oil, salt, instant coffee, garlic, and bombay onion.

Among the protein-rich food sources, egg is followed by powdered choco milk drink, powdered filled milk, canned fish sardines and galunggong.

Based on the average per capita food intake in 2008, 14 grams of egg  or about one-third piece is consumed daily which, over the years, has risen from only eight grams in 1978.

An egg is a cheap source of good quality protein and other nutrients such as fat, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, B-vitamins and iron.

Eggs contain all the amino acids needed to build and repair body tissues and transport other nutrients, while the protein helps maintain healthy muscles, hair, skin and nails.

It is also good for the eyes because of the carotenoid it contains, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin.

Eggs have naturally-occurring vitamin D for proper absorption and use of calcium which is needed for strong bones and teeth and proper muscle contractions.

The B-vitamins in egg help the body use carbohydrates, protein and fat, sustain good appetite and normal digestion, promote growth and keep the nerves healthy.

The iron in eggs helps build and maintain blood supply, give healthy red color to the blood and prevent simple anemia.

Chicken eggs are also a good source of choline, a nutrient important to cells, the liver and brain.

The fat in eggs gives additional energy needed to sustain daily activities.

According to Dr. Celeste C. Tanchoco, Scientist III of the FNRI-DOST, an egg a day is alright for healthy and normal individuals.

A study conducted by the FNRI-DOST showed that consumption of up to one egg daily is unlikely to have substantial increase in blood lipid levels.

No wonder, egg is a favorite food of Filipinos. It is a nutritious and relatively cheap source of nutrients.

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)


Feature: Drinking coffee may be healthier than you think!

by Josefina T. Gonzales

MANILA, Sept. 6 -- According to American scientists, coffee probably contributes more healthy antioxidants to your diet than fruit and vegetables.

Scientists measured the antioxidant content of more than 100 different foods including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and beverages. Based on the findings and from the data of the US Department of Agriculture, coffee was the biggest source of antioxidants per serving and level of consumption. It was followed by black tea, banana, dry beans and corn. According to Professor Joe Vinson, head researcher from Scranton University in Pennsylvania, Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee appeared to provide similar antioxidant levels.  

Antioxidants help rid the body of harmful free radicals, destructive molecules that damage cells and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). They are linked to a number of health benefits, including protection against heart diseases and cancer. Studies have associated coffee drinking with a reduced risk of liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

But watch out for coffee’s hidden calories. You might be getting a mug full of calories, sugar and fat, depending on the kind of milk and other ingredients used. For example, a large latte’ may be loaded with 250 to 570 calories, says a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Source. But there’s no need to get frothy over this information, you can still enjoy your coffee as long as you follow these healthy tips:

Choose the smallest cup - either 8 ounces or 12 ounces that can save you 110 calories

Get your coffee drink with fat free milk instead of whole milk that can save you about 8 calories and 8 grams of fat. Lessen your sugar

One cup of coffee with 2 teaspoon of sugar has 30 calories;

Do without the whipped cream, flavored syrup or chocolates. They are loaded with calories.

Prof. Vinson urged moderation and advised people to drink only one or two cups of coffee per day. The British Coffee Association says that moderate coffee consumption of four to five cups a day is not only perfectly safe but may confer health benefits.
Prof. Vinson says that it is also important not to ignore the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables which contain higher amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

For a healthy lifestyle and enjoyable long life, follow the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos developed by FNRI-DOST and a team of medical, health and nutrition organizations. NGF message no.1 says Eat a variety of foods everyday! While NGF message no. 2 advocates exercise regularly, avoid smoking and drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research institute, Department of Science and Technology, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City,Telephone/Fax No. 837-2934, 837-317, 837-20-71 loc. 2287 e-mail: mar_v_c@yahoo.com; FNRI-DOST website:http//www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)


Feature: Better brown than white: moving towards a healthier form of rice

By Charina A. Javier

MANILA, Sept. 6 -- The "unli-rice" phenomenon is proof that rice is the most commonly consumed food item of Filipinos.

Rice is the staple food among Filipinos which contributes about 35.7 percent of the average daily individual food intake, making it the major source of carbohydrates in the Filipino diet. The Food Consumption Survey (FCS) by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) showed that the daily rice intake per person has risen from 272 grams in 1993 to 291 grams in 2003 and 307 grams 2008.

Rice has several types, varieties and forms. Its type is usually based on grain size, thus we have, long grain, medium grain, short grain or waxy. Its varieties usually depend of the source or area where rice is grown. In the Philippines, common varieties include Dinorado, Sinandomeng, Milagrosa, Maharlika, Angelika, Malagkit, Wagwag, Ifugao or mountain rice, among others.

Rice forms include rough or paddy rice which still includes the hull, brown rice where only the hull is removed, and regular milled rice which is often referred to as white or polished rice.

Brown rice, the unmilled form of rice, is gaining popularity today primarily due to its nutritional benefits. The bran layer of brown rice is known to be rich in dietary fiber, minerals and B vitamins.

Brown rice has higher nutrient, vitamin and mineral content despite poor acceptability and shelf life in comparison to milled rice.  Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice in terms of niacin, thiamin, phosphorus and calcium. Moreover, it provides all the necessary carbohydrate requirements of an individual just like white rice. The dietary fiber it contributes is attributed to the prevention of risk of obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and some forms of cancer.

Brown rice is a healthier alternative that will hopefully reduce the demand for white rice while increasing the intake for micronutrients and dietary fiber. These nutrients has been associated with the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes and some forms of cancer.

At present, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) has successfully developed the technology for extending the shelf-life of brown rice so that now, we can store it at a much longer time. The Institute is also currently undertaking studies on characterization and bioavailability to support the growing interest about this food.

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 Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel/Fax Number: 837-2934 and 837-3164; e-mail: 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)


DOH-Caraga enjoins public & private sectors to support this year's National Sight Saving Month celeb

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 6 – The Department of Health (DOH) Caraga enjoined partners from the public and private sectors to support this year’s celebration of the National Sight Saving Month in Caraga region.

“We are strengthening our unified efforts to address the needs of citizens, especially those who are underserved and in remotely accessible areas. Together with our partners from the private sector, we greatly encourage Private Public Partnership (PPP). One of which is the adoption of Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center by Montero Medical Missions last July 23, 2013. The partnership aims to deliver several services to the poor, one of which is free Cataract surgery. With the thrusts of the Kalusugang Pangkalahatan, we will deliver our deliverables, that is, to prevent avoidable blindness and improve the quality of life of our citizens by improving and maintaining the health of our people,” said DOH-CHD Caraga Regional Director Ariel I. Valencia.

Since the 1980s, the month of August has been celebrated as the Sight Saving Month[1]. This celebration aims to better spread awareness and emphasize the importance of protecting and taking good care of the eyes. This year’s theme is, “Alagaan Ang Mata Mula Bata Hanggang Pagtanda”.

The eyes are sensory organs which are primarily used for sight. Like other organs of the body, the eyes are no exception to diseases and disorders. A common disorder associated with the eyes is the error of refraction. Error of refraction is the deviation from the normal visual acuity of an average adult which is 20/20. This may be corrected with prescription corrective lenses or glasses. Another common disorder is Cataract formation, or the clouding of the lens of the eye resulting to decreased vision and ultimately, blindness. This may be corrected and conventionally treated with surgery.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report in June 2012, approximately 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired, with 39 million blind and 246 million with low vision. Of all visual impairment, 80% can be avoided or cured, which includes avoidable and treatable conditions like cataract, error of refraction, and childhood blindness.

In support of the new Global Action Plan for Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment 2014-2019 adapted recently by the World Health Assembly in May 2013, with the theme, ‘Universal Eye Health’, the DOH is pleased to announce that a five-year strategic plan for prevention of blindness 2013-2017 was recently completed by the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, as an integral part of the overall strategic plan for non-communicable diseases, based on a health systems strengthening framework and universal health care.

Go for health for healthy vision; eat right to protect your sight, maintain a healthy weight, wear protective eyewear, quit smoking or never start and be cool and wear your shades. (DOH-13/PIA-Caraga)