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Marketers urge tech gens to tell their stories

August 23, 2019

IN an effort to commercialize the technologies from research and development institutes (RDI), the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-TAPI) organized a technology portfolio and mentoring workshop on August 15, 2019 at the Herald Suites Hotel Solana, Makati City. The activity is in collaboration with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) under the project on market matching of DOST-PCAARD-funded technologies in support to the technology transfer activities of the Department. “The DOST wants your technologies to reach the target users as public goods or through commercialization,” said Mr. Noel A. Catibog, Supervising Science Research Specialist of DOST-PCAARRD, during his welcome remarks. The mentoring workshop secures and finalizes the business model canvas of the technology in view of providing technology generators with the necessary knowledge on efficient marketing techniques and development of technology portfolio. Mr. Ruben Lanot II and Mr. Neal Tieng of Go Negosyo served as resource speakers and mentors who explored the details of market assessment and strategies, and marketing hacks and business model among the technology generators. “No matter how innovative your technologies are, at the end of the day, investors would always want to know your story and the story behind your technologies,” said Lanot. He also emphasized the importance of speaking the language of inventors or adoptors to be able to effectively communicate the benefits and features of the technologies being pitched to them. Ten technologies on agriculture hope to be commercialized at the end of the year when offered to investors namely: impeller rice mill, Chevon products in retort pouch, rice combine harvester, FertiGroe, rice transplanter, dewormer for native chicken, infrared grain dryer, micro algal paste as aqua feeds, rice seeder, and LAMP kit for shrimp pathogens. “I hope that the first batch of technologies become an avenue to open doors and opportunities for more technologies to be commercialized,” said Eilleen S. Fernando, Supervising Science Research Specialist of DOST-TAPI during her closing remarks. (JundRian A. Doringo/DOST)

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IDPs in Marawi mark 79th City Charter Day

August 20, 2019

MARAWI City--Hundreds of internally displaced persons joined on Monday, August 19, a motorcade and program to celebrate the 79th charter anniversary of Marawi City, with changes and high hopes to rise again after the five-month war in 2017 that killed thousands of civilians, extremists including government forces. The displaced families who are still living in an evacuation tents and some are living in transitory shelters joined with the employees of the local government unit (LGU) and other government agencies and humanitarian groups to celebrate the event that made the former Dansalan became Marawi City in 1940. This year’s charter day celebration is the first celebration since the siege in 2017 and the second after Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra was elected for his first term in 2016. The siege was ongoing in August 2017 and the security was not yet stable in 2018 that the LGU was not able to celebrate for its 77th and 78th years, respectively. This year’s anniversary brings hope to Marawi residents according to Gandamra. The gathering, he said did not only to mark what can be considered as Marawi City’s birth but also to ponder and reflect what Marawi means to them. “For many of us, it might just be a place to work, study, do business in, or just live. For others, it is a land of opportunity. Still for others, it is where their Meranaw identity originates and resounds,” Gandamra said in his message. “And for others, especially after the siege, it is where dreams, aspirations and hope still exist in the midst of the rubble inspite of all that has happened,” he added in an emotional voice. Gandamra said, while waiting for the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the ruined city to finish, he is clinging on to his constituents who will cooperate with the efforts of the government for them to rise from rubbles. “The hope is the driving force of all that has been done and is still being done for Marawi. You have seen much of the changes, some of them painful, some drastic but necessary During his message, Gandamra also reported the changes in Marawi while waiting for the rehabilitation and rebuilding to be constructed like traffic management scheme, the intensified giving of social and medical services to those in need, the implementation of Iskolar ng Marawi, livelihood grants and projects for the farmers, fisherfolks and a more transparent governance. “You have seen much of the changes, some of them painful, some drastic but necessary,” Gandamra said. The Marawi City charter day anniversary will be celebrated for four days until August 22. During the four-day celebration, there will be exhibits, featuring the faces of women who have served as humanitarian workers during the Marawi siege as August 19 coincides the World Humanitarian Day. Sapia Taulani of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) the exhibit honors the remarkable work of women in alleviating the sufferings of IDPs in Marawi. “We focus on the unsung heroes who have long been working on the frontlines of their own communities... we focus on their strength, power and perseverance of women,” Taulani said. With this, Gandamra also thanked those who have helped “bring Marawi back to its feet again months after the last bullet, the last strike of the siege had been fired.” In a press briefing in August 14, Housing Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, Chairman of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) that oversees the rehabilitation in Marawi, announced that residents of sector 1, 2 and 3 were given the go signal to start rebuilding their houses since the end of July this year. These areas includes Barangays Tolali, Daguduban and Moncado Kadingilan. Del Rosario, however, said these residents can only start rebuilding their structures if they can complete the requirements like building permit from the Office of the Building Official (OBO) of the government, electric connection clearance from Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO) and water connection permit from Marawi Water District (MWD).

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Male body found lying along highway lifeless

August 20, 2019

ILIGAN City--Police is waiting for the family of a male person whose body found lifeless lying along the highway of Barangay Payong, Sultan Naga Dimaporo (SND) town, Lanao del Norte on Friday, August 16. Police Captain Javier tanog, chief of SND Municipal Police Station, said the cadaver has a gunshot wound on his left forehead “described by the physician as point of entry and point of exit at the back of his head”. Several identification cards with different names are discovered from his pocket that include an ID of a membership in Hugpong Ng Pagbabago – Davao del Norte, two PHILHEALTH Ids, a student ID of Liloan National Technical Vocational High School and a security office ID. The person is wearing blue shirt, black jogging pants and white slippers with blue strap with estimate height of 5’5” to 5’6”. Tanog said the cadaver was probably killed somewhere and was dumped in the area because investigators did not see fired bullet and there was no blood traces on the road. Police brought the cadaver at Gamalinda Funeral Homes in Barnagay Maranding, Lalao town in Lanao del Norte.  

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2 Oro barangays under state of calamity due to dengue

August 17, 2019

CAGAYAN de Oro City--The City Council here on Tuesday (August 13) has placed two urban barangays under a state of calamity due to dengue epidemic. Declared under a state of calamity were barangays Carmen, and Kauswagan, according to a report made by the Power, a daily newsletter of the City Council. The report said there were 1,750 dengue cases and 15 deaths have been recorded in Cagayan de Oro City. There were 196 cases and two deaths in Barangay Carmen. During the regular session of the City Council on Tuesday, Councilor Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health and health insurance, said that she is alarmed over the recorded dengue cases as it doubled compared to the previous year. Gaane said the Department of Health (DOH) has earlier declared a nationwide dengue epidemic in the country last August 6. DOH data shows that there were 15,095 dengue cases in Northern Mindanao which is one of the highest in the country this year, she added. “Indeed, there is a dengue outbreak raging in the city right now,” said Gaane. According to the councilor, Dr. Adriano Suba-an of DOH-10 cited that the abnormally high fatality ratio means that the city’s response is weak in addressing the crisis. “He rightly stressed that the city must defeat this menace, otherwise, we would lose credibility as Northern Mindanao’s regional hub,” Gaane stressed. 4S STRATEGY The DOH has urged the public to follow the 4S strategy to prevent new infections as dengue continues to increase in the region. The Power learned that 4S means Search and destroy of mosquito breeding sites; Self-protective measures like using of insect repellants daily and wearing of light-colored clothes, long sleeves, and long pants; Seek early consultation to the nearest health care facility once signs and symptoms are manifested; and Support fogging, spraying and misting only in hotspot areas where increases in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an outbreak. “It is now time for Kagay-anons to do something about dengue control in their own homes, where health officials could not access,” Gaane stressed. (SP/JBD)

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Youth, digital tools to help grow PH agriculture

August 14, 2019

Farming technologies to be powered by PLDT-Smart network MANG Vicente “Vic” Berdan, a 59-year-old farmer from Tanay, Rizal, is not new to Facebook.   His cover photo shows him and his wife harvesting crops from their farm. The couple also actively replies to friends who comment on their online photos, asking about their produce. Beyond basic functionalities though, Mang Vic wants to use Facebook to further promote the rice and organic vegetables that he produces. A 2008 Regional Outstanding Gawad Saka awardee for Rice, he sees the popular social media site as a channel to share his knowledge on farming.    Empowering small-scale farmers Assisting Berdan in learning more about how to use and benefit from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as create and upload Youtube videos, is his niece Camille Margaret Custodio.   The 18-year-old college student was his learning partner at the Tanay leg of the Digital Farmers Program (DFP) participated in by eleven farmer-youth pairs. The DFP is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) and leading wireless services provider Smart Communications (Smart) that aims to empower small-scale farmers by educating and giving them access to available digital tools and technologies.   Berdan commends Smart and DA-ATI for coming up with the brilliant idea of pairing older farmers and the youth.  Given his advanced age and limited knowledge on all things techie, he admits that learning and understanding social media and digital tools is easier with Camille on hand to guide him. For an entire day, the senior farmers and their younger, more tech-savvy learning partners underwent hands-on training on smartphone 101, file sharing, social media, group chats, search engines, phonetography and videography 101.  They also explored available e-learning courses and other agri-support sites online.    Promoting overall digital inclusion Program partner Probe Media Foundation conducted a workshop on how to create short videos with mindful and effective content and good visuals during the “Kwentuhang Agri” session.  This is to prepare each farmer-youth pair to make their own videos about agriculture. “DFP aims to advance the local industry’s adoption of more innovative forms of technology in farming, which is in line with the Government’s long-term vision of IoT penetration in Philippine Agriculture and overall digital inclusion,” says Darwin F. Flores, VP for Community Partnerships of Smart. “It is part of the Smart Communities advocacy of Smart, which taps Technology for Development (Tech4D) to narrow down the digital divide.  The project specifically gives emphasis to the UN’s goals of No Poverty and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure,” adds Flores.   Developing better appreciation for agriculture By partnering senior farmers with young people, preferably their children or a relative, DFP is able to engage the youth to address identified stumbling blocks in agriculture.    “Smart conducted a series of benchmarking activities with DA-ATI and it was revealed that we have an aging population of farmers - with the average age at 57 years old – and that the younger generation is not too keen on pursuing agriculture as a profession,” warns Angelica Umali, Information Officer of DA-ATI Central Office.   Due to the possibility of running short on farmers who will feed the next generation, those behind DFP hope that people would develop appreciation for agriculture through information sharing. “Agriculture will always have a space in my life and heart,” assures Camille in Tagalog.  “We need to pay special attention to it and look at social media and other latest technologies that can help promote and empower farmers. “We hope that the public, especially the youth, will learn more about agriculture – how it is not a profession that people should belittle,” she says.      Showcasing success in farming According to Rolando Maningas, Information Officer of DA-ATI Region 4A, due to Tanay’s proximity to Metro Manila, commercialization and industrialization pose a challenge to agriculture in terms of getting more young people involved.  This is where the value of having more agri-related online content comes in.     “Generally, millenials go by the concept ‘to see is to believe’ and ‘to experience is to apply’,” Maningas points out. If people get to see blogs or videos showcasing success in farming, he believes that it can be a driving factor for more people to get interested in agriculture. As farmers are encouraged to put out their stories on social media, other farmers also stand to benefit from their online contributions. “It is a great help to agriculture and the entire community for the farmers to have an avenue to share their farming practices,” says Maningas. Mang Vic is excited to impart his know-how in farming through the help of technology. “I particularly want to push the idea of sustainable farming to a wider audience,” he shares. Strengthening the agriculture sector The Tanay leg of the DFP typifies the effective collaboration between youth and farmer that the program wishes to encourage and strengthen to benefit the agriculture sector.   “There is knowledge transfer of agriculture from farmer to youth and technology exchange from youth to farmer, thus encouraging these youths to be the next generation farmers,” says Flores. The Tanay leg follows other pilot implementations of DFP held at Alfonso, Cavite and Lobo, Batangas.  It is the 3rd of 25 legs that will bring DFP 101 to municipalities representing each region. For more information on the next batch of DFP trainings in different regions, as well as other Smart CSR initiatives, send an email to Public PublicAffairs@smart.com.ph or visit www.facebook.com/SmartCommunities.

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Military belies NPA report on Army casualty

August 13, 2019

ILIGAN City--The Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade belied the text messages of the New People’s Army (NPA) sent to the media that a soldier of the 51st Infantry Battalion, operating in the hinterlands, died in an encounter with the Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC). Brigadier General Ezra James Enriquez, commander of the 2Mech, said on Sunday that the rebel group is only exaggerating their information and that the military, if ever they will have troops killed in action, cannot conceal the situation as there are family members who will look for the soldiers involved in the operation. On Sunday, a certain “Roxane” who introduced herself as the spokesperson of the, said in her text messages that one soldier of the 51IB was killed while four were wounded when the operating soldiers were ambushed on Sunday morning, August 11, by “her comrades” in Barangay Indulang, Talakag, Bukidnon. The area is at the boundary of Barangay Rogongon, Iligan City where it is included in the areas of operation of the 51IB under the operational control of the 2Mech. Enriquez said the encounter on August 11 involved the 65th Infantry Battalion of the 403rd Infantry Brigade not the 51IB. Statement of the 65IB said two rebels, allegedly belong to the Squad 1, Platoon 1 of Alias Kira of Sub Regional Sentro de Gravidad (SRSDG), Sub Regional Committee 5 under the North Central Mindanao Regional Command (NCMRC), died in the encounter Barnagay San Rafael, Talakag, Bukidnon, not in barangay Indulang. The firefight lasted for ten minutes according to the statement. There was no casualty in the side for the military. Aside from the bodies, two M16 and an M14 rifles were also recovered from the encounter site. The information, that there was presence of armed men, was coming from the residents in the area, it added. “The CNT’s (Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – New People’s Army Terrorist) presence in the vicinity of Barangay San Rafael are possibly recovering their supporters that prompted the 65IB to launch its operations for the safety of the residents, especially former members of the Milisya ng Bayan (MB) who already surrendered and Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) and Underground Mass Organization (UMO) who withdrew their membership from the CPP and National Democratic Front,” the statement stated. In July 25, a soldier of the 51IB was wounded when a team of the Army’s Community Support Program (CSP) encountered with a group of armed in Sitio Duwa-duwa in Barangay Kalilangan, Iligan City. There was no casualty from the government troops but the NPA’s “press release” said seven Army soldiers were killed and that the military was hiding it from the media. “Hindi natin pwde itago yan kasi may mga pamilya na maghahanap at kung malalaman ng pamilya ang nangyari, lalabas at lalabas ang katotohanan,” Enriquez said. The CSP teams are assisting a “geographically isolated and disadvantaged area” where residents “are being influenced and exploited by members of the New People’s Army”. “Ang mga CSP teams natin ay nagdadala ng mga projects at programa ng gobyerno sa mga hinterlands at sila rin ang kumausap sa mga tao upang malaman kung ano ang kailangan ng mga barangay especially doon sa mga tinatawag natin na mga GIDAS or geographically isolated and disadvantage areas at mga conflict affected areas,” Enriquez said. (Our CSP teams are bringing projects and programs of the government and they conduct dialogues to the community so that we will know the needs of the barangay especially in those we call GIDAS or geographically isolated and disadvantage areas at mga conflict affected areas.) The series of military operations against the NPA are “positive results of the CSP teams in the upper parts of Iligan City because civilians would inform the military of the presence of the armed men in their area” according to Enriquez.

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