12.21.2013

PIA News Service - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

US Secretary of State Kerry assures Yolanda victims of more humanitarian aid



By Jennifer P. Gaitano



TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – During his visit here on Wednesday, United States (US) Secretary of State John Kerry assured Typhoon Yolanda victims of more humanitarian aid to pour in the city.

Kerry visited the city to personally witness and assess the post-typhoon recovery efforts.

On his speech at the Tent City near the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, Kerry announced that United States is providing additional $24.6 million in humanitarian aid to the storm-stricken region of the country.

"I'm proud to announce here in Tacloban today that the United States through the United States Agency for International Development USAID is providing an additional $24.6 million in humanitarian aid. Now, this is on top of $62 million that we already provided," Kerry said.

Kerry also emphasized that the US government will continue to work closely with the Philippine government to speed up the rehabilitation efforts for the affected communities following the devastation of super typhoon "Yolanda".

He also stressed that victims will continuously have access to clean water, food and shelter, among others.

“We should feel responsible for each other,” highlighted Kerry. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)


MSF inflatable hospital caters Yolanda victims in Tacloban City



By Venus L. Garcia



TACLOBAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – The independent humanitarian organization called Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, has offered free medical services to tyhoon victims who need proper medication and treatment at its inflatable hospital pitched at the grounds of Bethany Hospital in this city. 

There are four tents inflated for the in-patients, intended for males and females in distinct areas. Only one caretaker is allowed to stay to watch over the patient with free access to potable water and meals served for free.

Adjacent to it is the emergency room and pharmacy area where the usual immediate attention is given to patients by certified nurses.

Initial patient assessment, checking vital signs, and laboratory tests are just among the process performed in the out-patient department. More or less 300 patients are accomodated daily with sickness of hypertension, diabetes, asthma attacks, chronic disease, anfected wounds, among others.

“We are here bringing along all our equipment to provide emergency assistance, surgery, hospitalization, and deliveries. Our medical staff composed of competent international and local doctors and nurses are very well trained with exceptional skills and dedication to their job,” said MSF project coordinator Natalie Roberts.

Aside from medical assistance, MSF offered family planning services and counselling/debriefing.

Roberts said that Tuberculosis (TB) cases are being  referred by them to the Department of Health (DOH) to be included in the government’s TB program. They are also coordinating with the Phil. Red Cross for blood donations.

“We are an independent organization so we work in an independent assessment and operation. The funds that we generate from private donors are best utilized in our humanitarian efforts in more than 70 countries,” mentioned Lee Pik Kwan, MSF regional communications coordinator.

As to security of their temporary hospital, they have hired security guards but “if people are aware of the kind of services that we offer, I suppose no one would attempt to steal anything from us,” she said.

“We’ll see how long we need to stay, depending on our regular sitution validation. True service is counting not the days of our deployment here, but it’s actually the satisfaction we get when we serve the community and made them feel relieved from illnesses,” added Roberts. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


DOH 13 warns public to avoid firecrackers during holiday season, cases of injuries for year 2012 reached 29



By Nora L. Molde



BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) Caraga region warns the public especially in celebrating the holiday season to avoid/not to use firecrackers to avoid injuries.

DOH Caraga said injuries of firecracker during the period of December 21, 2012 up to January 2, this year reached to 29 cases.  All injuries are related with the holiday celebration.

As of January 3, DOH record as reported by the sentinel hospitals in the region shows  a total of 29 cases of injuries related with the holidays. Twenty-seven of these related to fireworks while two are cases of stray bullets.

DOH Caraga also said, among the firecracker related injuries, 17 of these cases are active – they are the ones who lighted the firecracker and 10 are positive cases – either onlookers or bystanders).

Majority of the injuries are burn/blasting and lacerations, DOH reported.

Most of the cases (27 cases) were treated at the Emergency Rooms/Out-Patient Department (ER/OPD) in hospitals and Rural Health Units and were sent home. However, one victim of stray bullet is referred to higher facility for further management.

Victims of firecrackers injuries, age ranges from as young as 2 years old to 63 years old.

The types of firecracker used are Piccolo (22), Bawang (1), Flying Tiger Dragon (1), Triangle (1), Plapla (1), and unidentified (1).

Most of the cases happened in Agusan del Sur with a total of 10 cases, Surigao City – 8, Surigao del Norte and Butuan City with four each, and one case each for Surigao del Sur, Tandag City and Bislig City. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


DENR 13 reaches target in NGP



By Eric F. Gallego



BUTUAN CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) - New areas for tree seedlings planted by the entire personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Caraga Region under the National Greening Program (NGP) have reached a total of  12,146.15 hectares as of November 30, this year, according to DENR 13 Regional Executive Director (RED) Nonito M. Tamayo.

RED Tamayo made this announcement following the evaluation and assessment conducted recently by several evaluation teams tasked to evaluate all target areas that were set aside for seedling plantation at the start of 2013.

He said the accomplished planted area is about 102 percent over the target of 12,112 hectares.

The DENR Central Office, in addition to the regular target, the DENR 13 has likewise accomplished another 2,240 hectares of areas target that was required  as additional area for tree seedling plantation.

“We have reached our goals owing to the support of the DENR’s partners including the Department of Education, the Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, other national government agencies and the private sectors,” RED Tamayo said.

Director Tamayo has commended the more than 50 extension officers hired by the DENR for the NGP who made great contributions in accomplishing the target.  “These officers though simple as they are, have braved all weather conditions, hunger and exhaustions and physical pains to bring those seedlings to the uphill, planted  and monitored  its  survival growth," Director Tamayo said.

In a report submitted to DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje, the DENR 13 NGP Regional Operations Center disclosed a total of 5,944,182 seedlings have been produced by the Ecosystem Research and Development Service (ERDS)  which is 103 percent over the regular target. An additional requirement of 1,126,000 seedlings set by the Central Office have also been produced.

The local government units have also participated in the NGP and contributed a total of 2,499,808 seedlings productions which is 94 percent accomplished of the target of 2,660,808 pieces of seedling  production.

Director Tamayo said he immediately issued instructions to the field offices shortly after months of waiting for the rains in November to intensify tree planting activities to cope up with the delayed planting season. “I am happy we made it through,” Director Tamayo said.

Director Tamayo has likewise reported  the contribution of the  private sector in the NGP through  the development of  a total of 4,068 hectares planted with tree seedlings over 11 months period since January.

The holders of the Integrated Forest Management Agreement have developed and planted seedlings on a total area of 622 hectares, SIFMA, 92.0 hectares, mining companies 3,201.27 hectares and exploration companies 151.47 hectares. (NCLM/DENR-13/PIA-Caraga)


City Health Office conducts one-month Filariasis Mass Drug Administration



By Albert L. Lancin



SURIGAO CITY, Dec. 18 (PIA) – The City Health Office here is currently conducting a month-long Filariasis Mass Drug Administration that started on November 18, 2013 and would end on December 31, 2013 in the 54 barangays of the city.

The activity involves the giving of free anti-helminthic drugs (Diethylcarbamazine Citrate (DEC) 50mg and Albendazole 400mg) as a prophylactic dosage to all residents aged 2 years old and above.

The activity primarily aims to eliminate or if not reduced the cases of filariasis and elevate the health and well-being of all Surigaonons.

The month long activity is initiated through the effort of the City Health Officer Dr. Emmanuel A. Plandano with full support of City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas and the health workers in general.

Filariasis is a parasitic disease transmitted to man by a vector Anopheles flavirostris mosquito. The disease is common in tropical countries like the Philippines. To control its transmission the Department of Health (DOH) has designed programs such as mosquito net impregnation, case finding including the mass treatment of potential carriers and infected persons. (SDR/City Health Office/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Tagalog News: Sineguro ng pamahalaan sa biktima ng Yolanda na sapat ang pagkain sa pasko



Ni David M. Suyao



AGUSAN DEL SUR, Dis. 18 (PIA) - Muling nagbigay ng kasiguruhan ang pamahalaan noong Sabado sa mga biktima ng bagyong “Yolanda” (Haiyan) na magkaroon sila ng sapat na pagkain mula sa pamahalaan kahit hanggang Pasko.

Sinabi ni Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. na ang nangunguna para sa mga biktima ng bagyo para kay Pangulong Aquino ay masegurong may sapat silang pagkain.

"Patuloy ang daloy ng relief goods sa kanila ... Sa pagkaroon ng sapat na pagkain, determinado ang pamahalaan na siguraduhing may sapat silang pagsasaluhan sa Pasko,” sabi ni Coloma sakanyang pakipagpqanayam sa mga mamamahayag.

Marami pa ring mga pamilya ang hindi naisaayos mula ng sumalakay ang bagyong “Yolanda” nagwasak ng Visayas at Southern Luzon at nag-iwan ng higit 6,000 na namatay.

 Sinabi ni Coloma na ang mga pamilya, lalo na iyong grabeng naapektohan na lugar, ay patuloy na makakatanggap ng nakabalot na pagkain.

"Hindi natitinag ang commitment na ito (That commitment of the President has not waned)," sabi ni Coloma. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Cebuano News: Mga bag-ong lawak-tulunghaan gidawat sa DepEd Butuan



Ni Lyka Quinto



BUTUAN CITY, Dis. 18 (PIA) - Sa  pakig-alayon sa Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FCCCII) pormal nang gipahigayon ang Turn-over and Breaking Ceremony sa mga Lawak-tulunghaan, buntag sa Disyembre 11, 2013.

Upat ka mga bag-ong lawak-tulunghaan ang gitunol sa FCCCII kang Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. nga gitunol gilayon sa halangdong Mayor ngadto kang Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division Superintendent Josita Carmen.

Nahibaluang ang 4 ka mga lawak-tulunghaan anaa nahimutang sa Brgy. Kinamlutan, Brgy.Bancasi, Brgy. Baobaoan, ug Brgy. Bayanihan. Kini proyekto sa FCCCII isip tabang ngadto sa lokal nga panggamhanan sa pagpalambo sa matang sa edukasyon ning dakbayan.

Subay sa maong aktibidad gipahigayon usab ang ground breaking sa itukuray nga ikaduhang lawak-tulunghaan sa Brgy. Bayanihan ug ang paglunsad sa DepEd Computerization Program.

Gipangunayan  ni SP Member and Chairman on Committee on Education, Science and Telechnology Hon. Ramon Carampatana ang pagplastar sa aktibidad.

Samtang gipadayag ni Mayor Amante ang iyang dakung pagpasalamat sa FCCCII sa pakigtimbayayong niini sa Lokal nga Panggamhanan sa Butuan ilabina sa matang edukasyon.

“Ang Lokal nga Panggamhanan sa Butuan padayon ang paningkamot aron nga makabaton ang atong mga kabataan ug maayo nga mga tulunghaan alang sa ilang pagkat-on. Magtinabangay kita in the spirit of convergence in this big challenge ahead of us,” gipadayag ni Mayor Amante. (LGU Butuan City/PIA-Agusan del Norte)


DOST-FPRDI scientist hailed outstanding Filipino for 2013 PDF    Print   E-mail              

By Mary Charlotte O. Fresco

MANILA, Dec. 18 - Forester Arsenio B. Ella, a scientist conferred under the Scientific Career System and based at the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) was chosen as one of the three Outstanding Filipinos (TOFIL) for 2013, a prestigious award co-established by JCI Senate Philippines and Insular Life Assurance Co. Ltd.

Forester Ella was awarded under the Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development category.

A respected wood taxonomist, Forester Ella’s research focuses on the study and promotion of proper tapping of trees such as almaciga and pili to optimize resin production without damaging the tree. The resin of the almaciga tree is a high-priced export commodity which is used in the making of varnishes, lacquer, soap, paint, printing inks, linoleum, water proofing materials, among others.

Much of Forester Ella’s scientific works are geared towards promoting livelihood programs among indigenous communities through lectures and hands-on training on proper tapping of trees. One of his notable researches is the promotion of improved tapping of almaciga tree for sustained yield that is concluded to prolong the life span of almaciga tree, increase the quality of the tree’s resin production, increase the income of the tappers and help in the conservation program of the government since using  almaciga for timber and lumber production is banned.

Forester Ella is a conferred scientist with a rank of Scientist III in the Scientific Career System, a reward and recognition program of the DOST and Civil Service Commission for highly productive scientific personnel in the government service.

Alongside Forester Ella, the other two awardees are Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay from UP Diliman and DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson, who joined the roster of 120 other Filipinos who have been previously recognized as Outstanding Filipinos since 1988.

The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Awards is a joint project of the Insular Life and the JCI Senate Philippines to honor the country’s men and women who have made significant contributions to the advancement in his/her field of expertise, public welfare and national development. The TOFIL Awarding Ceremony is scheduled on January 29, 2014. (S&T Media Service, DOST-NAST/PIA-Caraga)


Local researchers develop high-yielding, disease-free abaca hybrids   

By Arjay C. Escondo        
  
MANILA, Dec. 18 - Pacol, a wild variety of banana and a close relative of saging na saba, was used to create a disease-free breed of abaca.

In a project dubbed “Production of High Yielding and Virus-resistant Abaca Hybrids”, experts were able to do this by using molecular markers in a biotechnology process called genetic engineering. This collaborative project among agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for  Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB), and Department of Agriculture-Biotech

The project is part of the DOST’s commitment to provide S&T solutions that will address gaps in the major stages of production.

According to the project leader, Dr. Antonio Lalusin Jr. of IPB in UPLB, the project worked on the development of molecular markers to assist in the hybridization of bunchy top virus free abaca.

Dr. Lalusin said that the pacol variety, endemic in the Bicol region, has been used by breeders for hybrid purposes. Lalusin’s team made use of the resistant gene marker of pacol by cross breeding it with abaca and then breeding it back to pure-bred abaca.

“Through the use of gene markers, the selection process for the bunchy-top resistant genes of pakol was significantly reduced,” said Dr. Lalusin. “While the conventional breeding takes 10 years or so, we were able to produce resistant abaca in about five years or less using modern genetic technologies.

The bunchy top virus is the most injurious among the three diseases that affect abaca in the country. Aside from lowering the quality of harvested fibers, this virus also hinders the growth of infected abaca, resulting in no harvest at all.

The project also aims to increase good quality fiber yield by about 0.2 MT/hectare through the use of hybrid abaca plants. This translates to an additional 14,488MT of good quality harvest or roughly Php 579.5 million in revenues.

The team also targets to mass produce 2.5 million hybrid plantlets through tissue culture by 2014. Currently, the project houses about one million tissue cultured plantlets in different stages of growth in their laboratory, greenhouse and field trial station.

The top ten abaca producing regions, most of them hit badly by typhoon Yolanda, will be given planting materials to revive the industry.

Currently, the local abaca industry holds 85 percent share in the world market, with the Bicol region contributing about 36 percent production.

Abaca, commonly known as Manila hemp, the country’s premier fiber, is known worldwide for its incomparable tensile strength. Commonly used as clothing and footwear materials in the past, abaca's application has expanded to sophisticated industries such as production of pulp for specialty papers such as currency notes, stencil papers in addition to textiles, handicrafts. Today, abaca fibers are being used by car manufacturers as automobile composites.


However, there is an increasing threat of disease incidence in the country, in addition to losses due to typhoons and other natural calamities. Viruses such abaca bunchy top, abaca mosaic, and abaca bract mosaic are the top three being studied on.  Millions of pesos are lost to said diseases, with as much as 23 million pesos in Bicol alone. (S&T Media Service, DOST-STII/PIA-Caraga)