CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, September 13 – Northern Mindanao (NorMin) is still African Swine Fever (ASF)-free, measures are in place and carried out to impede the entry of such dreaded disease from the region, the agriculture department reported.

“Region 10 is still ASF-free, meaning it remains part of the green [protected] zone, where transport [selling or trade] of swine and pork products to any parts of the country is allowed,” Carlene C. Collado, DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) executive bared, in an episode of the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS)-X podcast with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary, Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar.

With nearby regions, such as 11 and 12, now being ASF-stricken areas, the official noted, it is vital for NorMin to beef up its ASF preventive and control measures being the third largest swine producers in the Philippines, accounting an estimated total hog production of 52.23 thousand metric tons (liveweight) for first quarter, this year, and further save the region from incurring economic losses.

Even more so, that Arakan Valley in Cotabato, shares a border with that of Kitaotao, Bukidnon province, he added.

“We are particularly protecting Bukidnon, being the host of our great grandparent and grandparent stocks,” Collado explained.

Concerted initiatives are also being done in close coordination with the private sector such as NORMINHOG and OroVets.

Of whom, the director added, have been helping on the department’s information and education campaign efforts.

Among key messages reiterated in the info drive include, to avoid swill feeding to raised hogs, as these may be contaminated, to refrain from bringing in pork meat and its by-products from ASF-affected areas, to report unusual swine mortalities, and to patronize farmers’ local meat and its by-products.

“Recently, a legal training was also conducted for the provincial and city veterinarians, including quarantine station officers for apprehension, confiscation and filing of complaints for violators on [ASF] executive orders issued by the different local governments,” the agency head related.

Monitoring animal movement of all livestock coming from outside NorMin is also ongoing, he stated.

“We are also geotagging commercial and backyard swine farms to establish proper zoning [and movement] and for immediate response, should any ASF incidents be discovered,” Collado detailed.

Notwithstanding, ASF-triggered challenges to the swine industry, the agri executive, however, shared DA-RFO 10’s strides for the first semester amid the ongoing pandemic.

He reported that the agency extended about P184.9 million worth of financial aid to 28,674 farmers under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA), Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FSRF) and Survival and Recovery Aid.

Through the agency’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita On-Wheels and Express, a total of 65,591 households have benefited while 66 farmer-suppliers were assisted, generating sales of almost P15 million, the agri-executive added.

In support to end local communist armed conflict, Collado further told its interventions, comprising the provision of farm machineries and equipment, dispersal of animals and other agri-inputs, to reinforce the implementation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ civil military operations.

“These [agri-interventions] are not only for the agri-development in their respective camps, but also in bringing services to those conflict affected barangays that are hard-to-reach by our agricultural extension services,” the director remarked.

Equally important as addressing the prevailing health crisis, DA-RFO 10 will continue to serve as food security frontliners, as it eyes to continue drumming up the level of food production across all commodities, including the alternative staple food crop, adlay, as it now gains ground in the region, Collado concluded. # (JLO)

VALENCIA CITY – The agriculture department in Northern Mindanao (DA-10) together with the Local Government Unit of Valencia City, leads the groundbreaking of the P4.3 million warehouse on September 4 at Pinatilan, this city.

Said facility eyes to address the storage needs of farmers in the locality to house their farm inputs, equipment and harvest, for safekeeping and easier access to and fro the production area; thereby, saving on hauling and storage costs.

Funded by the department’s Rice program, the unit has a total area of 255 square meters with a 252-ton capacity, which can hold about 5,000 sacks.

“The farmers of Valencia are in need of agricultural infrastructure like this warehouse in safekeeping their seeds and other agricultural inputs to ease the operations in their farms,” Azucena P. Huervas, the city mayor said.

DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director, Carlene C. Collado shared, “This pandemic will not hinder the delivery of government services to the people, especially to our farmers. ”

Adding that the department cannot afford delays in the implementation of the different programs.

Further, he sought for LGU Valencia to help more farmer-associations in crafting resolutions and endorsements of their project-proposals targeting to advance agri-development of the locality.

Also witnessing the event were Provincial Operations Center Head of Bukidnon, Dr. Janet D. Lopez, Vice Mayor Policarpio I. Murillo, city councilors, Atty. Oliver Owen Garcia and Glen P. Pedoche, City Agriculturist Connie L. Dalangan, and other LGU and DA staff. #(JCGamboa)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Agriculture – 10 (DA-10), headed by Regional Executive Director (RED) Carlene C. Collado, welcomed the incoming audit team leader (ATL) R10-34, Nashiba L. Macaraob of the Commission On Audit (COA) – 10, on September 7, at the agency compound.

Prior to her assignment at DA-10, she served as a team leader at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, CdeO branch.

In her message, COA – Regional Supervising Auditor Josie J. Rodriguez extended her gratitude to the department for its continuous cooperation.

On behalf of the department, RED Collado also expressed his gratitude to ATL Dahlia A. Dequito, Macaraob’s predecessor, who had her six-month stint with DA-RFO 10.

Her recommending measures were instrumental in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s operations.

Also present in this event were regional technical directors, Carmelita T. Bajarla and Carlota S. Madriaga, and the division chiefs of DA-RFO 10.# (EMBentulan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – In its continuous campaign to ensure food sustainability, Department of Agriculture (DA) came up with the Plant, Plant, Plant Program (Agri 4Ps) also known as “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa COVID-19” which aims to increase the country’s food adequacy level during this ongoing health emergency situation triggered by COVID-19.

The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) through Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga handed over 2 packs of okra and 2 packs of eggplant seeds to TD Jones E. Betantos, Intelligence Admin NCO of Headquarters and Headquarters Service Battalion, 4ID, PA stationed at Camp Edilberto Evangelista, this city on September 4.

TD Betantos said, they are supporting DA’s Agri 4Ps program through their Commanding Officer Noli P Kanashiro, LTC, INF (GSC), PA.

“Our head of office has instructed the entire Philippine Army to support DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program through urban gardening insids our camp,” said Betanos.

He added, their team will benefit the seeds provided by DA that will provide them with food especially with the ongoing pandemic.

He further shared, each section inside their camp has developed a backyard vegetable garden, wherein they are required to submit activity reports including photo documentation on the plants’ development.

Said intervention is participated in by the different units and offices of the Command with an area of more or less 3,000 square meters to be planted with vegetables to ensure sufficient food for frontliners in this trying times.

Overall, DA’s provision of assorted vegetable seeds generates additional and economical food resources which helps address the country’s challenges on food productivity, availability, accessibility and affordability across all commodities. # (Irish Mae Juntahan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Regional Management Committee (RMC) of the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies and bureaus in Northern Mindanao integrates its efforts in managing COVID-19 food resiliency.

Carlene C. Collado, Regional Executive Director of DA-RFO 10 and the RMC Chair disclosed during their meeting on September 2, Tuesday, the public has high expectations for DA, its attached agencies and line bureaus on the continuous food supply of agri-fishery commodities with the ongoing pandemic.

Addressing to the RMC members, Dir. Collado said, “We cannot afford to standby. We need to act, visit the field for the continuous implementation of our programs and projects even with the pandemic.”

Highlighting the agency’s focus on Plant, Plant, Plant Program or the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) COVID-19, Director Collado noted, the CY 2020 funds were realigned, refocused to ensure sustained food production and availability, food accessibility and affordability amidst the threats of COVID-19.

He reported, as of August, this year, DA-RFO 10 has 70.28 percent financial utilization, covering its current and continuing funds.

Apart from the accomplishments, he also shared the challenges besetting the agri sector and the measures in addressing issues on African swine fever (ASF), fall armyworm (FAW), fluctuating prices of agri commodities, among others.

To date, Region 10 is still ASF free but DA and the PLGUs should not be complacent with its status, rather, strengthen its border protection and control against the dreaded disease.

Respective member agencies presented their updates, financial and physical accomplishments and 2021 targets.

Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga of DA-RFO 10 emphasized, the need for all RMC members to come up with their per district targets in preparation for the CY 2021 budget.

Composition of RMC in Northern Mindanao include NDA, NFA, PCA, PCIC, BAI-NVQS, BPI (PQS, NSQS, SPAL), BSWM, BFAR, NTA, PhilMech, PhilFIDA, FPA, ATI, NMIS, PCC, SRA and ACPC.# (ATCabig)

MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON – In line with the agency’s goal of attaining food security and sufficiency, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) turned over P9.2 million worth of diversion dam to Maranhog Farmers Small Water Irrigation System Association (SWISA) in barangay Miglamin on Friday, September 4.

Leading the project turnover is DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado to the project-recipients thru Malaybalay City Vice Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran and Maranhog Farmers SWISA President Dionesio C. Caonan.

Funded under the Rice Program, the project aims to irrigate the 50-hectare target service area of the 35-membered farmer-association cultivating rice.

For the past years, the association has encountered challenges on water supply availability. Of which, the project is seen to help rice farmers increase their cropping intensity and crop yield.

“We used to only harvest 12 to 15 sacks of rice in a cropping season. With the diversion dam, we are expecting to harvest around 40 to 50 bags,” Caonan accounted.

He further conveyed the association’s interest in availing more projects from DA, especially in acquiring a rice transplanter, considering the high cost of labor in their locality.

RED Collado responded the SWISA can request additional agri-interventions such as farm machineries and equipment, as long as they are accredited with the DA.

“Once the farmers-group is validated, a team of engineers from DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization will visit [your area] and assess what type of assistance is appropriate for your planting and harvesting requirements,” the agency head informed.

Further, he shared, that each association will be entitled to a package of farm machineries and equipment amounting to about P5.5 million, provided the group has complied with all the requirements and passed the validation.

On the other hand, Malaybalay City Vice-Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran challenged them to sustain the project, which will be instrumental in improving the lives of the farmers.

The turnover was also graced by DA-RFO 10’s Bukidnon Provincial Operations Center Head, Dr. Janet D. Lopez, representatives of various irrigators associations of Malaybalay City, Remedios R. Sarzuelo, city agriculturist of Malaybalay City, among others. # (JCGamboa)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To further promote the adoption of Organic Agriculture and honor the contributions of its implementers, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) conducts its awarding ceremony for the Regional Organic Agriculture Achievers Award (ROAAA) on September 2, 2020, this city.

DA-RFO 10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga shared, the annual organic agri awards aims to recognize the efforts of organic farmers, who have shown significant contributions in their respective communities.

For agri-extensionists, the awardees were evaluated based on the assistance they have provided to the organic agriculture practitioners in their area, while organic agri implementers were adjudged based on their best practices.

Awarded as this year’s winners with their corresponding prizes are as follows:

  • Outstanding City Focal Person – Sagrada P. Alvarez, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental (P20,000)
  • Outstanding Agricultural Extension Worker – Arsenia A. Ederosas, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental (P15,000)
  • Outstanding Individual Farmer – Wilmar B. Ompoc, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon (P50,000)
  • Outstanding Farmers Group – Linabu Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental (awarded P100,000 worth of project grant)
  • Outstanding Farming Family – Francis B. Malatamban and Family, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon (P50,000)
  • Outstanding Young Farmer – Numeriano O. Quemado III, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon (P30,000)

Recognizing the winners, DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado hoped, that the awardees will continue practicing organic farming.

He further encouraged them to propose projects that can further develop their farming endeavors.

For her part, Outstanding City Focal Person Alvarez shared, “Initially, adopting organic agriculture is difficult, but we try our best to push it to lead a good and healthy life, most especially during this trying times.” # (AMBManto, DA-10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To ensure food security amid the ongoing pandemic, the agriculture department in Northern Mindanao (DA-RFO 10) has intensified its Plant, Plant, Plant program or “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa Covid-19″, expanding its partnership to a secondary school.

On September 3, Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado with Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga of DA-RFO 10 turned over 450 packs of vegetable seeds worth P58,000 to Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security X (CORDS) Martin M. Andanar.

Said agri input is intended for the students of the Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCHS), during the Northern Mindanao Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC X) meeting, this city.

The assistance is in support of the 9,000 students for the school’s Brigada Eskwela.

Sec. Andanar noted, helping the students to plant ensures food security.

He underscored the Plant, Plant, Plant Program of DA thru Sec. William D. Dar, as one of the projects that must be always promoted.

“We must inform our public that the administration of Pres. Duterte walks the talk, including the regional offices, the AFP, that we do our share.”

Director Collado remarked, “We would like to encourage the students to plant. We should learn to grow our own food, especially with the ongoing pandemic.”

He further shared, each pack of vegetable seeds contains ampalaya, eggplant, squash, okra and sitao which can be planted in a 1,000 square meter area.

Aside from the agri input, Dir. Collado reported that DA has provided assistance to the Philippine Army in assisting their implementation on civil military operations.

Such intervention include machineries, rice, corn, and vegetable seeds for their operations and coordination in conflict-affected areas.#(ATCabig)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To continue ushering the livestock sector for sustainable development, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) turned over various drugs and biologics to the three provinces of Northern Mindanao through its provincial veterinary offices (PVOs).

In recent weeks, approximately P1.1 million worth of drugs and biologics for livestock was distributed to the heads and representatives of the provincial governments of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Camiguin, in support to the Animal Health Program and African Swine Fever (ASF) Prevention initiatives of the Department.

Lordgin V. Gamo, a veterinarian III of PVO Camiguin, expressed his gratitude to the department, saying the allocation will be used not only for the well-being of livestock animals, but also for the disinfection of farm equipment, transport vehicles, foot and vehicle baths to the different designated disinfecting facilities in Camiguin.

This, he added, will help combat the growing threat of ASF on domestic and wild pigs in the region.

Livestock Program Focal Person Ma. Lourdes M. Sypiecco stated, the provision of drugs and biologics is an annual undertaking of DA-RFO 10 livestock program to the provinces and cities in NorMin.

Said undertaking is to ensure affordable, available and accessible supply of quality livestock as well as prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases. #(Irish Mae Juntahan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – With relevance to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) vow to lead the agriculture sector towards sustainable food security, its regional field office in Northern Mindanao (RFO 10) heightens its support to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) “My Pet Plant” project through vegetable seeds distribution to eight public schools within the city.

In recent weeks, key officials of DA-RFO 10, among them regional technical directors Carmelita T. Bajarla and Carlota S. Madriaga, handed over a total of 50 packets of Chopsuey variant comprising pechay, radish, carrots, cauliflower, 50 packets of Garden Salad variant with romaine and iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, 10 packs of okra, 9 packets of pechay, 8 packets of eggplant and 1 pack of kangkong seeds to the DepEd – Division of Cagayan de Oro (CdeO) school representatives.

Recipients from Carmen National High School (CNHS), Gusa National High School – Cugman Annex, Pedro ‘Oloy’ N. Roa Sr. High School, Puntod National High School, City Central School (Velez), Magayad Elementary School (MES), Midkiwan Elementary School and Tablon Elementary School, received the said veggie seeds.

DepEd-CdeO imposed a division-wide intervention to develop students’ psycho-social and cognitive skills through cultivation of vegetable seeds and answer related questions to also debrief them in preparation for SY 2020-2021.

“My Pet Plant Project is an integration to several subjects of the school, from Science which teaches students the germination of seeds and development of plants, to Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) on taking good care of them. It is somehow interconnected to various topics discussed in the classroom,” detailed School In-Charge of MES Ma. Dulce F. Cuerquis.

Meanwhile, Secondary School Teacher I of CNHS Ralf Vincent M. Sabuero stated, the said intervention is not only for psycho-social activity of the students, but also to provide food for consumption to their families.

City Central School representative Nicolas A. Nacaytuna expressed, the said activity will be means to motivate students to see the value of hardwork through planting.

On the other hand, Gusa National High School – Cugman Annex School Head Elizer O. Teruel revealed, that they already have 1,435 students at present and is still accepting enrollees that will also benefit from the said project.

DepEd’s initiative of “My Pet Plant” along with their “Gulayan sa Paaralan” project reinforces DA’s advocacy to increase food adequacy level in the country. # (Irish Mae Juntahan)