Saturday, April 13, 2024

Bukidnon claims top spot as Philippines’ leading agricultural area

Bukidnon is the top agricultural area in the country, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed

Based on the survey of 82 provinces and 17 highly urbanized cities, it reported that Bukidnon had the highest gross value added (GVA) to agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) in 2022 which stood at P125 billion.


The province contributed seven percent to the sector’s overall national GVA.


GVA is defined as the total of all revenues, from final sales and net subsidies, which are incomes into businesses; these incomes are then used to cover expenses, savings, and taxes.


It is also used to adjust gross domestic product, which is a key indicator of the state of a nation’s total economy.


Nueva Ecija comes after Bukidnon, with a GVA of P79.74 billion or 4.5 percentage share, followed by Pangasinan with P66.93 billion, Pampanga with P62.71 billion, and Isabela with P58.78 billion.


Completing the top 10 provinces outside the National Capital Region (NCR) that had the highest shares of GVA of AFF were Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Davao del Norte, Batangas, and Quezon.


On the other hand, the country reached over P1.78 trillion in GVA of AFF.


In terms of per capita GDP among provinces and cities outside NCR in 2022, Baguio City shared the highest per capita GDP of over P420 billion.


The per capita GDP is a measurement of wealth or poverty through the economic output to a per-person allocation.


Also sharing the highest per capita GDP were the cities of Cagayan de Oro (P343 billion), Lapu-Lapu (P313 billion), Iloilo (P306 billion), and Bataan (P297 billion).


Rounding out the top 10 wealthiest areas outside NCR were Cebu City, Laguna, Mandaue City, Davao City, and Batanes.


The Marcos administration is targeting to achieve an economic growth of 6.5 to 7.5 percent target band this year and 6.5 to 8.0 percent in the next four years.


The country’s GDP is already above pre-pandemic levels in peso terms, according to Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort, however, it could be slowed by higher prices and interest rates. (Xander Dave Ceballos/April 2, 2024)

DA-10 backs Bukidnon’s Kadiwa ng Pangulo

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (April 01, 2024/PIA) – The Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao (DA-NorMin) commits to support the continued rolling out of the Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa Para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita (Kadiwa) ng Pangulo or KNP across Bukidnon province

“As the lead convenor, DA will secure an ample supply of agri-fishery products in every KNP site by engaging local farmers and fisherfolk as sellers,” DA-NorMin Regional Executive Director Carlene Collado said.


He emphasized that KNP aims to stimulate consumer spending, assist local farmers in selling agri-produce, provide market opportunities to MSMEs, and ensure accessible and affordable goods.


The Kadiwa program adheres to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum No. 2024-003, as reiterated by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his State-of-the-Nation Address, citing the KNP as a system to enable the public to buy cheaper goods at cheaper rates and the farmers to sell their crops without having to worry about transportation costs.


The agriculture department started rolling out the Kadiwa in July last year, which seeks to empower the farming community by providing a direct and effective farm-to-consumer food supply chain.


In addition to ensuring a sufficient supply of agricultural products, DA is tasked with tracking the number of sellers and earnings for each Kadiwa event.


Through its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division, DA-NorMin closely collaborates with the provincial government of the five provinces in Northern Mindanao to ensure a unified approach to KNP across the region.


During the recent Bukidnon Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC) first quarter meeting, the DILG outlined the roles of involved government agencies in KNP, including the local government units (LGUs), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DILG, and DA.


The Bukidnon PPCC urged all LGUs to conduct KNP twice a month, preferably on the 15th and 30th, complying with the circular.


It also pushed for activating the Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) in each town and city, in line with its recently developed action plan. (DA-10/PIA 10/Bukidnon)

Allium derby seen to boost farmers’ productivity, onion supply in NorMin

MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Aiming to boost onion production in the region to attain self-sufficiency, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) stages an Allium Derby and Farmers’ Forum on February 22, at the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan here

Spearheaded by DA-10’s High-Value Crops Development Program in coordination with the Research Division, and private seed and chemical companies, the activity gathered 100 farmers and other relevant stakeholders to witness the showcase of different onion varieties and their corresponding farming protocols.

“We can see from the two locations that onion production is viable in Region 10,” shared DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado with the earlier conduct of the same in Tablon, Cagayan de Oro City, held last week.

He also noted that the agency will be procuring onion seeds and likewise, encouraged interested farmers’ cooperatives, and associations to submit their letter requests to avail of the said intervention.

Meanwhile, each seed and chemical company was given time to share their respective onion technologies and also distributed Information, Education, and Communication materials to the attending farmers.

Andre Abonitalla, assistant Sales Manager for Visayas and Mindanao, is thankful to DA for the implementation of the field trials for Onion.

“Currently, our onions in Mindanao are from Luzon and the price per onion increases since there is an additional freight cost, however, if onions are produced locally here in Region 10, this cost will be removed, thus resulting in cheaper onions,” he added.

During the derby cum forum, Allied Botanical, Corp. emerged as champions while Pilipinas Kaneko Seeds, Corp. and Ramgo Seeds are awarded first- and second-runner-up, respectively.

Criteria for judging included the biggest yield volume (in kilogram), best quality, and best economic efficiency.

For her part, Jacqueline Julia A. Lagamon, acting provincial agriculturist for Bukidnon, shared that they will be working closely with DA-10’s Research Division to look for more locations as potential onion-producing sites.

Also supporting the event are DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga, with DA-10’s attached bureaus and agencies: Agricultural Training Institute and Bureau of Plant Industry as well as private chemical companies such as Envireau Pacific, Inc., FMC Agro Philippines, Inc., Aldiz, Inc., and Tropi-Cuke, Inc.

Another round of such events is also slated for DA-10’s Research Center for Hillyland Development in Claveria, Misamis Oriental on March 21, this year. (PR)

P99M student welfare center opens in Bukidnon

MANOLO FORTICH, Bukidnon (Feb. 07, 2024/PIA) – Senate President and Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, together with other Bukidnon leaders, led the inauguration of Northern Bukidnon State College’s (NBSC) P99 million three-story student welfare and development center on February 2 in Sitio Kihare, Barangay Tangkulan

“We’ll make it a premiere state college for our eventual conversion to a state university,” Zubiri said, emphasizing that the only way to solve poverty in Bukidnon is through education. 


Ronaldo Pahang, who heads the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 3rd Engineering District of Bukidnon, said the project cost totaled the revised amount of P99 million from its original P92.8 million and was completed in 629 calendar days.


Phase two of the project, which includes the provision of a parking area, was completed within 300 calendar days, totaling P49.5 million. The project is funded under the Local Infrastructure Program-Multi-Year Contractual Authority (LIP-MYCA).


Zubiri also promised to look into the construction of NSBC’s road networks and asked the DPWH 3rd Engineering District of Bukidnon to do the survey and cost estimates.


“As far as Bukidnon is concerned, we are working together to provide whatever is needed for our education sector,” Rep. Jose Manuel Alba said, adding that with the support of Zubiri, NBSC now has an additional P86 million for its 2024 NBSC budget.


The NBSC envisions itself as a leading institution in research, innovation, sustainable academic programs, and services that cultivate educational, personal, and professional growth for its learners; thus, NBSC President Dr. Catherine Roween Almaden expressed gratitude to the senator and all the leaders of Bukidnon for the realization of the now-inaugurated facility.


“At the core of this facility are the modern amenities that will host various types of student services, one of which is our cultural and creative innovation hub, a space that celebrates and preserves the traditions of our IP communities—a place where creativity and tradition converge, fostering an environment that encourages the exploration and expression of our unique cultural heritage,” Almaden said.


Among the amenities is a laboratory for its Fine Arts program, which focuses on product design; a simulation laboratory for teachers; and 21st-century classrooms, which serve as hubs for research addressing unique challenges faced by students and their stakeholders.


The NBSC student welfare and development center will house two 300-seater conference halls with state-of-the-art technology. Almaden said that the procurement process is now underway.


“Mao gyud na atong gidamgo nga mahatagan nato og edukasyon atong mga kaigsuonan, hilabi na katong naa sa mga hilit nga mga kabarangayan [This has always been our dream to give quality education to our constituents, especially those in the hinterland barangays],” said Manolo Fortich Mayor Rogelio Quiño.


He also revealed that the local government of Manolo Fortich has allocated a budget for 300 scholars of the NBSC. 400 senior high school students also benefit from the local government’s P2,500 per semester allowance. With the help of the municipal council, Quiño hopes to raise the number of scholars this year to a total of 1,000 students. 


NBSC has emerged as a modern-era academic institution. Its humble beginnings trace back to 2005 as a community college under the municipal ordinance number 368-2005. The institution started opening its classes for AY 2005–2006, leading to its eventual conversion into a state college in 2020 via Republic Act 11284, or An Act Converting the Northern Bukidnon Community College in the Municipality of Manolo Fortich, Province of Bukidnon, into a state college to be known as the Northern Bukidnon State College. (Shaun Alejandrae Y. Uy/PIA-10)

DA-10 launches upland hybrid rice demo farm in Bukidnon

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To further boost Northern Mindanao’s rice production capacity, the Department of Agriculture – Region 10 (DA-10) through Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado formally launched its first hybrid upland rice production technology demonstration farm in Bukidnon province

Together with the Bukidnon Tagoloanon Mulahay Ha Kabukalagan Agriculture Cooperative (BUKTAMACO), Bukidnon Provincial Agriculture Office, Malaybalay City Agriculture Office, and Seedwork Philippines, DA-10 recently held its inaugural planting of the three-hectare upland rice production technology trial demo farm in barangays Sumpong and Can-ayan, in Malaybalay City. 


The project is designed to undergo a trial phase before full-scale implementation of the eyed 300-hectare demonstration farm, to give way for production technology fine-tuning and area compatibility assessment. 


In her message, DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations, Cora A. Dumayaca said the project is pivotal to the DA’s goal to increase the region’s rice sufficiency by utilizing upland production areas. 


Using an area modeling approach, the project will optimize the potential and opportunities in developing the Ancestral Domains of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) as an upland rice production area in the region. 


DA-10 Deputy Director for Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP), Joel S. Rudinas, said the project provides the base for future agricultural development. 


He said by employing an area-based development system, this undertaking can spin out to other commodities in the value chain and integrate other agricultural livelihood activities that can significantly address poverty situations among the IP communities. 


Using Seedworks Philippines’ TH-82 hybrid rice production technology, the upland rice demo farm is set to be fully established during the 2024 wet cropping season. 


Also, in attendance during the hybrid upland rice technology demo farm launching ceremony are Atty. Burt M. Estrada, BUKTAMACO General Manager, Jacqueline Julia A. Lagamon, Bukidnon Provincial Agriculturist, Engr. Richard B. Leono, Malaybalay City Agriculturist, Janet D. Lopez, DVM, DA-10 Bukidnon Provincial Operations Center chief, Lucille T. Minguez, DA-10 Regional Crops Protection Center chief. (ATT)

Government offices vulnerable to cyberattacks – NorMin cyber cop chief

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (29 January 2024) – The chief of the Northern Mindanao Police Regional Anti-Cybersecurity Unit (RACU-10) warned on Monday that even personnel and government offices are vulnerable to cyberattacks

RACU-10 chief Col. Lemuel Gonda said the caution “think before you click” must be remembered when using gadgets or devices that are connected to the internet.

“We have victims of (online) financial fraud who are members of the banking (and) financial institutions. They are frequently reminded about cybersecurity, how much more ordinary people and those in government offices?” he said in a statement.

Gonda warned that “black hat” hackers, who use ransomware and malware to penetrate a system, can obtain sensitive information of online users, including banking and financial transactions.

One of the common methods used by hackers is “social engineering,” which involves tricking unsuspecting victims into providing sensitive information.

Other than dubious internet links, Gonda warns of free Wi-Fi and charging stations in the public, as these are also vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“The hackers will not stop. Even all your details, name, address, friends, how you call them, they will imitate that,” he said. (Nef Luczon/PNA)

Malaybalay gets trading post under DA’s Kadiwa Financial Grant Assistance

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To sell the agricultural products of farmers, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office turns over the P9.6-million (M) trading post to the City Government of Malaybalay in Bukidnon, on January 17

Located in the market site of Barangay 9 of said city, this will serve as a trading post for farmers’ cooperatives, and associations (FCAs) to increase productivity in agricultural and fishery production in localities.

DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga said that the project aims to establish a centralized marketing platform that is accessible to link farmers to consumers ensuring the availability and accessibility of food commodities in high consumer demand areas.

Under the leadership of DA’s Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel Jr., modernization of agriculture and digitalization are among the priorities in his administration, in which the farmers should coordinate, converge, and cooperate for the project to be successful from the national down to the local government units, Madriaga added.

Out of the total project cost, CLGU Malaybalay counterparted P4.6-M and DA-10 provided P5-M funded under the Marketing Development Services of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD).

Over 10 identified FCAs producing vegetables, spices, processed foods, and livestock by-products will benefit from the project, enabling them to link producers directly to consumers.
Also, the City Economic Enterprise Development Office (CEEDMO) of Malaybalay will be in-charge in the operation and maintenance of the facility.

One of the beneficiaries of the facility, Marlyn J. Gallardo, chairman of the Vegetable Growers Association said that through the trading post, many farmers can expand their opportunity to sell their agricultural commodities and will help elevate the economy of the city.

[Pinaagi sa trading post, daghang mga mag-uuma ang mopalapad sa kahigayonan sa pagbaligya sa ilang mga palaliton sa agrikultura ug tinguha sa pagpataas sa ekonomiya niining syudad.]

Malaybalay City Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran emphasized that the government continues to provide facilities to support and encourage the farmers to be more resilient and proactive, urging careful planning to address and enhance the resilience of farmers against challenges.

Attending the event were Vice-Mayor Estelito R. Marabe, Sangguniang Panglalawigan Committee on Agriculture Alan Ryan O. Legaspi, DA-AMAD Agriculturist II Helen M. Roldan, Bukidnon Provincial Operations Center chief Janet D. Lopez, DVM, Engineer III Alden C. Tapio of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED), and other city officials. (MPMT)

Police unearth NPA terrorists’ weapons cache in Bukidnon

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (January 19, 2024/PIA) –The Philippine National Police (PNP) uncovered five M16 rifles, 38 assorted magazines, a caliber 45 pistol, firearm parts, and rounds of ammunition hidden underground by the New People’s Army-Communist Terrorist Group (NPA-CTG) under Platoon Mercedes, Sub-Regional Committee 5 of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (SRC5-NCMRC)

The joint operation of Area Police Command-Eastern Mindanao Cagayan de Oro Satellite Office; Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB)-10; 1st Bukidnon Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC); and Barangay Dominorog’s Revitalized-Pulis sa Barangay led the recovery of the communist terrorist group’s (CTG) arms cache, early morning of January 6 this year in the hinterlands of San Rafael village in Talakag, Bukidnon.

Police Colonel Ramil Montilla, APC-EM executive officer, credited the discovery and recovery of firearms to former New People’s Army members who surrendered and narrated the hardships they faced and their families’ miseries while they were with the NPA-CTG as combatants.

“Malaki ang impact nitong recovered firearms kasi nabawasan ang kanilang capabilities na magwagi against the government forces. Malaking kawalan ito sa kanila. (The recovered firearms have a significant impact on the rebels, reducing their ability to oppose government forces—a substantial loss for them),” Montilla said.

He explained that all recovered firearms will undergo ballistic testing to check for previous use in crimes. Those records, he said, will also undergo cross-referencing in the PNP’s Firearms and Explosives Unit for any existing information.

Weakening of rebel group

The government forces succeed after two operations against the NPA-CTG in just one week.

Montilla said the credit also goes to the APC-EM for their focused efforts, the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ intensified military operations, and the relentless law enforcement of the Philippine National Police that forced the rebels to move around to avoid detection and arrest.

The government’s whole-of-nation strategy, outlined in EO 70 that addressed concerns in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), encouraged the mass surrender of former rebels and supporters.

Similarly, the Revitalized Pulis sa Barangay deployment in GIDAs establishes safe and conflict-resilient communities.

Montilla also said that the presence of the R-PSB in NPA-infiltrated areas encouraged the former rebels to divulge information to authorities, which lessened the terrorists’ foothold in the area.

“It demonstrates that the CTG has no identified mass bases to rely on. The people’s view toward public safety forces is noticeable,” he said.

In retaliation of NPA-CTGs

Brigadier General Michele Anayron, 403rd brigade commander, said that after two successful operations on December 25 and January 6, the government forces, including the APC-EM CDO SATO, are prepared for any potential retaliation by the NPA rebels.

However, Anayron emphasized that if one would look at the NPA-CTG’s pattern of retaliation in the past, most were against vulnerable soft targets.

“Since there are ongoing development projects like road opening and concreting, contractors are being targeted. In April, at Sitio Mahagwa, Barangay Hagpa, Impasugong town, the said group committed an act of terrorism by burning two units of backhoe. We are actively pursuing them, collaborating with the PNP Mobile Force in an ongoing joint operation,” Anayron said.

The APC-EM urges the community and business sector to report any CTG group sightings to prevent potential criminal acts.

The APC-EM and 403rd Infantry Brigade call on active NPA members and CTG-affiliated groups to abandon armed struggles, emphasizing the government’s readiness to assist them and their families through various programs. (Jan Albert K. Araña/PIA10)

NorMin police, PDEA intensify cleansing ranks of illegal drugs

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (January 17, 2024) – Law enforcement agencies will remain vigilant in going after illegal drug use and trade, even against those within their ranks, an official assured Wednesday

Brig. Gen. Ricardo Layug Jr., the Police Regional Office-10 (Northern Mindanao) director, said the police force is committed to an intensified internal cleansing program.

“We will not hesitate to take swift and decisive action against police personnel involved in any illegal activities,” Layug said in a statement on Wednesday.

Layug’s statement came after the recent anti-illegal drug operation on Wednesday at Barangay Carmen here, where a 32-year-old male police corporal was arrested for allegedly using “shabu” with two other individuals.

Seized from the suspects were shabu drugs worth PHP13,600 and other paraphernalia.

Col. Salvador Radam, city police director, said the operation against the erring police officer is part of clearing the organization from illegal drug involvement.

“As we continue the conduct of random drug testing, I warn every personnel caught in engaging such illegal drug activities and who violates the law will surely face charges accordingly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Gaspi, the regional chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-10), said they are also conducting their own “internal integrity program” to remove agents involved in illegal drugs.

Gaspi, a lawyer, said PDEA has supported not only the enforcement aspect but also the rehabilitative programs for the recovery of persons who used drugs.

Based on PDEA-10 records, 1,484 of the region’s 2,022 barangays have been declared drug-cleared while 156 were categorized as drug-free. (Nef Luczon/PNA)

CDO, Bukidnon inflation rise, but regional rate remains low: PSA

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (24 January 2024) – The inflation rate in Bukidnon province and this city increased in December 2023, but the overall regional rate in Northern Mindanao remained low

Dr. Janith Aves, Philippine Statistic Authority-Northern Mindanao (PSA-10) officer-in-charge, said Bukidnon had an inflation of 12 percent last month, compared to the 9.2 percent in December 2022.

In the same rating period, Aves said this city registered a 12.6 percent inflation, but is lower compared to the previous year’s 13.3 percent.

“When we say there is a lower inflation rate, it does not mean the prices of commodities instantly became lower, but it means the increasing of prices has slowed,” Aves said in a report Wednesday.

Of the five provinces and two chartered cities in the region, this city had the highest inflation rate, while Misamis Occidental had the lowest with 2.8 percent from last month’s rating.

For the Northern Mindanao region, the regional inflation rate in Dec. 2023 was 4.8 percent, compared to the Dec. 2022 rate of 7.8 percent. (By Nef Luczon/PNA)