davao

DA-Davao warns vs invasive pest from South America n

October 14, 2019

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao Region has expressed fears a species of a pest attacking some tropical and subtropical parts of South America and Asia have reached the Davao region after agriculturists recovered some larvae resembling that of a Fall Armyworm ((Spodoptera frugiperda) in Baguio District, Davao City, and Malalag in Davao del Sur. Marilou Infante, chief of the Regional Crop Protection Center of the DA-Davao Region told the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday that they immediately transported samples to the Bureau of Plant and Industry for confirmatory tests. Although results of the tests are have yet to be released this week, Infante said the physical appearance, especially the markings found on the larvae recovered from those two areas are 95% similar to the larvae of the Fall Armyworm (FAW), among them light-colored band on the lower lateral, pale dorsal line, darker lateral band, smaller spots arranged in trapezoid pattern in most dorsal segment, large spots on the second last segment, head color varies from orange, brown or black. Infante said shipping vessels likely brought FAW, an alien pest from South America, to Davao. A briefer released by DA-Davao said the FAW is a pest that can feed on more than 80 crop species and may cause significant yield reduction on major cultivated cereals such as maize, rice, sorghum, and also to legumes, vegetables crops and cotton. Infante urged farmers to report any sighting of the FAW to the DA-Davao so that they can take the necessary measures to prevent a full-blown infestation on cash crops as the pest is considered as a “strong migratory flyer” that can fly across 100 kilometers to neighboring areas. She said the presence of FAW poses threats to the food security in Mindanao as the female pest, which can live for 10 days up to 21 days, can lay around 50 to 200 eggs. According to her, the FAW larvae enter the pupa stage after 14 to 22 days and hatch into an adult insect after eight to 30 days. She said the initial sightings were observed in corn plantations of Baguio District in Davao City and Malalag municipality in Davao del Sur. The DA immediately distributed “green label” pesticides to farmers to mitigate the possible spread to other parts. It also planned to use biological control agents to prevent the infestation. “We have industries that rely on corn production since we have to support our hog and poultry, our corn should not be compromised,” she said. She said the initial steps taken by the agency included a blanket spraying to ensure the areas where the larva had been found are sufficiently covered. She said it is necessary to prevent its spread as the hog and poultry industries would heavily suffer as they dependent on corn for feed production On May 9, 2019, George Culaste, OIC Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry issued a memorandum on “Pest Advisory on Fall Armyworm”  to all Regional Executive Directors in the country, BPI Center Chiefs, the National Plant Quarantine Services Division, the National Seed Quality Control Services Division Crop Research and Production Support Division. Culaste said that in view of the “continuous and rapid spread” of FAW “in our neighboring countries and since the Philippine climatic condition is conducive to the preference of the devastating pest, you are hereby advise to alert your staff to engage in pest surveillance.” “You are also advise to closely monitor the pest by conducting detection survey in your respected regions to determine its presence for immediate management,” Culaste said. Attached to the memorandum were “pertinent information and possible management strategies for your information and immediate action.” 

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Fire guts 5 houses in Davao City

October 13, 2019

A fire caused by children playing with matches destroyed five houses and left two others partially damaged on Sunday afternoon at Purok 54 Block-2 in Barangay SIR Phase 1 here, according to City Fire Marshall Major Virna Silagan. Citing the result of the investigation conducted by the personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Davao, Silagan said the fire emanated from the residence of a certain Danilo Camoro where some children were left playing matches inside a room on the second floor. She said firefighters received a call at around 12:30 p.m. and immediately dispatched firetrucks.  Upon reaching the area, the fire had already spread to surrounding houses, prompting authorities to place the incident under second alarm status. Accordig to Silagan, the fire was controlled at 2:12 p.m. but the fire was put out at 3:08 p.m. No one was reported injured during the incident. Silagan said the cost of damage to property was estimated at P1.5 million. 

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Panelo: plan to buy military equipment from Russia will force US to treat PH fairly

October 7, 2019

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 October) -- Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the plan of the Philippine government to procure some military equipment from the Russian Federation would make the US government treat the Duterte administration fairly. “Baka maging fair na sila sa atin (They might become fair to us),”  Panelo told reporters during a press briefing in Malacañang Monday. He said the Philippines had been relying heavily on the US for its supply of military hardware. According to Panelo, the US government, a long-time ally of the Philippines, would be insecure with the country’s latest move to possibly source out new items from Russia. “Syempre kasi dati dati kasi puro tayo relying on them and suddenly meron tayong ibang bansa na binigyang pansin. Sa mga magkakaibigan, pag nakita mong may bagong kaibigan nawawala ka na sa amin, natural lang yun (Of course, before we were lying so much on them and suddenly we are giving attention on another country. Among friends, when you see your friend mingling with another friend, you would feel you are losing him. That’s just natural),” he said. But Panelo assured President Rodrigo Duterte would continue to honor the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the US. After his five-day official visit from Russia, Duterte said in his arrival speech on Sunday that the Philippines had reaffirmed its “strong commitment to a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of mutual respect, trust, and pragmatism.” “And working with Russia, we have achieved much,” he added. He said during his bilateral meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, both countries agreed to “broaden and deepen our ties in all areas of cooperation -- from security and defense to trade and investment, agriculture, energy, science and technology, and socio-cultural exchanges.” Among the bilateral cooperation agreements signed included peaceful uses of energy, scientific research, health, culture, and foreign policy consultations, according to Duterte. “These areas are important and therefore part of our comprehensive roadmap to build a partnership with a friend and to secure the Philippines’ strategic interests,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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Duterte on teacher’s pay hike: “this year”

October 7, 2019

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /07 Oct) -– President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday vowed to increase the salaries of public school teachers “this year” but unlike the military and police, it will not be double their current pay.  “There --- it’s coming ang increases nila. But hindi double. But mas marami ang teachers (there are more teachers), my God. Pero nandiyan po, dadating ‘yan this year (But it’s already there, it will come this year),” he said in answer to a query during a press conference upon his arrival at the Davao International Airport here from his five-day visit to Russia. Duterte said the salary adjustments of the teachers  of the public school teachers might not be double but added it would likely be around 35%. The President declined to give a timeline for the salary adjustment because  “if I give you the timeline tapos I could not make it on the deadline, I have to explain more than what is expected of government.” “Mas mabuti’t na lang ‘yan kung nandiyan na, sinasabi ko nandiyan na ‘yan. Basta sinabi ko may increase din sila. (It’s good that it’s already lined up, I am telling you it’s already there. I said they would also have the salary increase). That I am very sure of,” Duterte said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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Japanese firm to build biomass power project in Butuan

October 6, 2019

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 October) – A Japanese firm engaged in the construction of bridges and renewable energy projects has partnered with the City Government of Butuan to construct a 2.5-megawatt biomass energy facility that will turn rice husks into fuel this year. In an interview on Sunday, the 3rd day of the 100th year anniversary celebration of the Davao Japanese Community held at the SM Lanang Premier, Chodai Philippines Corporation vice president Toshimichi Hosoya said the company is just waiting for the approval of the government to commence the construction of the renewable energy facility, one of its major projects in Mindanao. He said rice husks could be a good source of biomass for Mindanao since the island has several hectares of rice farms that produce throwaway rice husks, sufficient enough to run the turbines of the biomass facility that produces power. He said the company estimates the project, considered as one of the major renewable energy projects of Chodai in partnership with a local government in Mindanao, would be completed in one year. “Mindanao has a lot of rice farms. That’s why we can get the rice husk easy. It has so much potential for renewable energy projects -- a lot of potential. We know the rice husk project before it’s just garbage but we are trying to make that into fuel. That is a biomass project,” he said. Biomass energy projects are common in Japan as the country, known in the world for its clean environment, is trying to further cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, which are “costly” and “not good for the environment,” he said. Mindanao has a huge potential for renewable energy projects, among them hydro energy projects, because of its rich natural resources, according to Hosoya. He said Chodai had already completed three hydropower projects – the two-unit eight-MW Asiga River Small Hydropower Project and four-MW Taguibo Small Hydropower Project in Agusan de Norte, and 23-MW Wawa River Small Hydropower Project in Agusan del Sur. Chodai was one of the Japanese firms that participated in the three-day Davao Japanese Community's 100th Anniversary Business Seminar held Wednesday to Firday at the Marco Polo hotel, to look for possible business ventures in the city. April Marie Dayap, head of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC), said participants were mostly interested in manufacturing, agri-tourism and environment-related projects. "Among those investors who expressed their interest in the city are those in the manufacturing industry, agri-tourism, waste composting companies, and tourism. We further want to bring them here and hopefully develop investment here," she said. Dayap said the event was a big opportunity for the city to expand its foreign investment portfolio and generate more employment for Dabawenyos. Japanese Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa said manufacturing will be the next big thing in Davao City, especially that several Japanese manufacturing firms are interested to venture in the city. "Manufacturing industry has a very wide range. We can start at a level that will match the level of industry in the city. We just have to create a strategy. I understand that the DCIPC and DCCCII know about this and are thinking about ways to accommodate the manufacturing sector," he said.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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Duterte to consult Cabinet on nuclear agreement with Russia

October 6, 2019

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 06 October) – President Rodrigo Duterte will consult members of his Cabinet concerning the agreement that the Philippines signed with Russia to explore the possibility of constructing nuclear power plants here. Duterte told reporters in a press conference shortly after his arrival from a five-day official visit to the Russian Federation that the agreement signed between two countries was a “broad outline and nothing specific yet,” and that he has to consult his cabinet secretaries to factor in the issues on constitutionality that may arise from the possible construction of nuclear technology. “The constitution does not, would not like it. It is prohibited. That’s why, I have to talk to the government. I cannot affirm nor deny that because it is part of the proposals. The hardline would come after I shall have consulted everybody concerned, including the people of the industry affected. If it’s food, then it’s agriculture, if it’s energy, then secretary (Energy Secretary Alfonso) Cusi,” he said. He added he would particularly consult his administration’s legal team, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra “because if there is something in the agreement that will require the consent of congress then you have to go to Congress” to argue the executive body’s position on nuclear power. “Solar is very expensive. It is not a guarantee that it can solve our needs, that our needs can be met by this kind of arrangement. Kung kaya lang eh di matagal na natin ginawa yan (if it could, we would have done that a long time ago),” he said. He said he would decide “what is to the best interest of the country, that is the number one rule there, profit that is second, or whose favor and what company, that will come last.” The President announced that he came back from Russia with 620 million pesos in business deals signed between the two countries. “We reaffirmed Philippines’ strong commitment to robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of mutual respect trust and pragmatism and working with Russia we have achieved much,” Duterte said. In his bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Duterte said they agreed to “broaden and deepen our ties in our areas of cooperation, from security and defense, to trade, and investment, agriculture, energy, science and technology, socio cultural exchanges.” “We signed bilateral cooperation agreements on the peaceful use of energy, scientific research, health, culture, and foreign policy consultations. These areas are important and therefore part of our comprehensive roadmap to build a partnership with different and to secure the Philippines strategic interest,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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