Mercado Denies Involvement In PDAF Scam

 

                                                                                                                                                                             April 24,2014

                                                          Mercado Denies Involvement In PDAP Scam

                                                                               By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.

 

Maasin City, Southern Leyte-Former third termer Congressman Roger G. Mercado, now the incumbent Governor of this province has strongly denied his alleged involvement in the PDAF (Priority Development Allocation Fund) scam as reported by Manila Standard on its April 7,2014 issue.

 

The said report listed some Congressmen of their alleged involvement in the PDAF anomalies that were coursed thru NABCOR (National Agri-Business,Corporation,Inc.)as its source of funds for their projects.

 

One of the names involved in the list of PDAF scam included that of the former SL Congressman’s fund as also being endorsed to NABCOR.

 

Mercado claimed that since 2007 up to his last term,he did not remember making such kind of endorsement of coursing part of his PDAF to NABCOR.

 

As a support of his strong denial, he quoted a Congress official’s statement, sayng his(Mercado’s) name “is not  in the list of Congressmen who were involved in PDAF scam”.

 

He admitted, however, that there were many people who came to the House of Representatives to ask for his endorsement, but not in appropriating some portion of his allocation to NABCOR.

 

A former Columnist of a Maasin-based weekly, The Reporter(now defunct),Rafael Gerong,Jr. who also teaches at Saint Joseph College here, and now a newly-elected City Councilor, told the incumbent Governor that the statement of the whistleblower Rodora Mendoza was different from that of the Manila Standard’s report. He did not elaborate.

 

Mercado further said that if such accusation involving him of PDAF scam is true, he will voluntarily resign as the current Governor of Southern Leyte.”However, this is not the true case”, he said.

 

A media practitioner also suggested to Mercado to ask the support of the City Government by passing a resolution at the City Council, expressing their full support of his innocence to the accusation.

 

Nevertheless, Vice-Mayor Effie Abiera-Sabandal elucidated that such measure is not necessary at this moment. But instead, focuses on important things to be done that need more attention. “We will just wait for the notice and not to overact on the report”.

 

For his part, Governor Mercado told those who were present during the meeting at his office that despite of the unpleasant report “he is in high spirit” in going to the constituents of the province to prove his innocence and that he will instead focus in the implementation of his programs and projects.

 

Moreover, another concerned individual likewise suggested to the Governor to send “a letter-to-the-Editor” to Manila Standard to express his side of the controversial issue, thus denying his alleged involvement of the shameful PDAF scam.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

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Jason Knockout Rusmin In The 7th Round; Albert Down Max In The 3rd

                                                                                                                                                       April 24,2014

                             Jason Knockout Rusmin In 7th Round; Albert Down Max In The 3rd

                                                             By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.

 

Maasin City, Southern Leyte-The Pagara brothers-Jason and Albert-have outfought their respective opponents in the 7th and 3rd rounds of separate bouts  held at the city gym during the recent evening fight dubbed as “Maasin Pride V”.

 

The two young boxing heroes from brgy. Lib-og did not fail the high expectation from their thousands of Maasinhon kababayans who most of them flocked to the venue as early as 5:30 p.m. to witness the occasional international bouts of foreign pugilists.

 

In the first round after the exchange of punches and jabs,Rusmin Raha, a former Indonesian champion complained of a low blow from Jason Pagara as he leaned on the ropes.

 

As the pain disappeared,Raha started moving fast throwing punches and shots against  his opponent who counterpunched, targetting his head and stomach.Raha found an opening to penetrate a straight punch hitting Jason on his chin.

 

At fourth round, Raha gained advantage from landing several blows against Pagara on his abdomen and head.

 

In the fifth and sixth rounds, it was observed that the former Indonesian champ was a quick counterpuncher.Atmost, Jason’s successive punches and uppercuts on his foe’s stomach and head were likewise retaliated with punches and jabs whenever both were  in close range, also absorbing Raha’s  shots.

 

However, in the 7th round, the Maasinhon boxing hero continued to pursue his main favorite target of his foe-head and stomach-throwing strong punches and shots relentlessly. When Raha reached on the opposite corner and leaned on the ropes for tireness, Jason found an opportunity to pummel shots and punches on his stomach and unleashed a right straight blow on his foe’s ribs that  make him downed in pain.

 

Referee Tony Peason counted out 10 to the fallen Indonesian pug who was unable to get up at 1:52 left of the 7th round.

 

Dr. Teodoro Salas, also a referee-judge, climbed upstage to examine the loser, afterwhich he rose up and touched glove with his defeater before moving to his corner.

 

Jason “El Niño Pagara,142 lbs., BO International Light Welterweight Champion, rated #3 by the World Boxing Association, now improved   his record to 32 wins with 14 knockout and 2 lose. While Rusmin Kie Raha,139 lbs., has 21 victory with 4 knockout and 2 draws.

 

Only Three Rounds

 

The younger, Prince Albert Pagara on the other hand, was the exact opposite of his older brother’s performance in the ring. In his previous fights, his foes mostly could hardly last/reach long rounds in the bouts.

 

This common observation  was raised by a broadcast journalist, Jade Nombrado,a boxing enthusiast, during a press con and weigh-in rites held at the city’s Bus Terminal on the eve of the night fight during the presence of the visiting Indonesian boxers and 4 pairs of the under card boxers for the preliminary bouts.

 

He claimed that Albert’s past fights were lack of suspense and thrill for the fact that most of his adversarieshave been subjected to earlier defeat.

 

Albert curtly explained that if his punches or straight blows will make his foes down, “we can do nothing about it anymore…” to the laughter of the audience and kibitzers.

 

In the opening bell, Skak “Checkmate” Max, faced Albert who hit him on the head at one second left, after playful exchange of jabs and punches to find some routes for penetration to achieve their targets.

 

For the second round,Skak,123.5lbs(19-13)started moving backward from time to time as Albert.121lbs.(19 wins, no lose, with 13 knockout) constantly fired shots and jabs to hit Skak’s face and  head until the last seconds remaining.

 

Sensing that in the third round he has the edge in footwork movement against his older Indonesian foe,Albert delivered bunch of punishing punches and blows on his head and stomach, which Max failed to counterpunch from the latter’s battering, until referee Ben Necessario stopped the fight.

 

In the  under card,4 rounders Wanmah Waminal of San Carlos,Bukidnon,115 lbs.,outboxed Dondon Amparado of General Santos City.

 

Six rounder Richard Barrios,105 lbs.of Bais City,Negros Oriental outsmarted Lito Dante,105 lbs. of Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

 

Rey Dela Cruz, 135.5 lbs., another six rounder of General Santos City posted an easy first round knockout win against Elmo Traya of Tabuelan,Cebu Province.

 

In the 8-round bout, Brian Lobitania, 121lbs. of Kitaotao, Bukidnon badly pounded Boyce Sultan, 123.5 lbs. of Zamboanga del Norte, who has the trick of serving his head as a bait to his foe to gain good shots. But it failed miserably.

 

Prior to the start of the local-foreign bouts, Rusmin Raha marched towards the ring with two flags hoisted by two enforcers and accompanied by some referees-judges.About a few minutes later,Jason Pagara in the same ceremonial arrangement did the similar rite.

 

Raha then climbed up the ring and positioned himself facing his country’s flag as Indonesian national anthem was later played.The Philippine National anthem followed, which was rendered by the ABS-CBN’s Filipinas Got Talent Champ, the Maasinhon Trio who during the bouts’ intermission rendered three popular Tagalog songs to entertain the crowd.

 

The successful staging was under the auspices of the Maasin Sports Council,City Council,Southern Leyte Boxing Association,Games and Amusement Board represented by Mando Mendoza, and Antonio and Micheal Aldeguer’s  ALA Promotion of Cebu City.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

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PHILHEALTH Membership To Cover 50M Indigent Filipinos For 2014

April 23,2014

PHILHEALTH Membership To Cover 50M indigent Filipinos For 2014
By Quirico M.Gorpido,Jr.

Brgy Dungon,Maasin City, Southern Leyte-The Aquino administration is set to cover 45M to 50M poorest Filipinos for PHILHEALTH membership during the current year under the program “Pangkalusugan Pangkalahatan”.

This was the disclosure of Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona during his visit here as guest speaker on the blessing/inauguration of the new spacious Provincial Hospital, which will be completed this coming August,according to the incumbent Governor Roger Mercado.

Ona explained that it is the intention of President Benigno Simon Aquino to expand the coverage so that all kinds of patients can avail of the services of good and modern hospital regardless of the patients economic status thru government subsidies on PHILHEALTH.

He clarified that medicines needed by patients upon confinement are to be paid by PHILHEALTH.This include free vaccines for diarrhea and pneumonia for children and senior citizens who are PHILHEALTH members.

Another good news for PHILHEALUTH members is that if the prescribed medicines are not available in the hospital where they are confined, hospital personnel will give money to either patients or watchers to buy it outside. This was according to a media colleague who has reportedly read the new PHILHEALTH policy in the papers.

He said that those assigned personnel in hospitals who would refuse to provide the necessary amount of money needed to buy the prescribed medicines for PHILHEALTH patients should be reported to the Department of Health.

The Health Sec. also encouraged PHILHEALTH senior citizens-members to go to their nearest rural health units for listing to avail of its services for them for free.
However,he advised them(senior citizens) to have patients if in case other medical services intended for them cannot be offered.”Since many district hospitals are also in need of financial assistance from the government”, he said.

Proper Management

On the other hand, the Secretary emphasized the importance of adapting/practicing proper management in running the new hospital for the good of the public.

He said that those who can pay can occupy the private rooms as the new hospital needs some funds in its operation to augment the government funding to provide good services to all kinds of patients.

Ona also underscored the primary importance of being able to conduct/perform all kinds of major operations as one of a new and big provincial hospital in region 8(Leyte and Samar).

Former Governor Damian Mercado, now the incumbent Congressman revealed to the audience in his short speech that the construction of the new Provincial Hospital was the result from the advice of the construction consultant that the old provincial hospital in brgy.Mantahan built in 1960 is already unsuitable for renovation, which was his plan.

Besides, he said, the size and its geographical location no longer fit to the increasing population of the city and the neighboring towns who some of the patients have to be rushed to the old provincial hospital for emergency treatment or hospitalization.

Earleir,Governor Roger Mercado who claimed that the new hospital should also serve patients coming from the nearby provinces, has humbly requested the Health Sec. for modern equipment that the hospital needs.

Ona who identified himself as having a close kinship with the incumbent Governor during their long years of Pagadian residency said that he will do his best together with the latter to make the new and big hospital meet the required improvement and to have modern facilities, including CT Scan in place before he would be out of his current position.

Furthermore, he likewise admonished Mercado to have partnership with non-Government NG0s and other entities as sources for funds.
Additionally, he also gave P11M for medical facilities for some district hospitals including some medicines and other miscellaneous expenses for hospitals, according to Provincial Administrator Crispin Arong,Jr.

Also present in the affair were,among others,Regional health Director Jose Lacuna,IPHO Provincial Head Dr.Joselito Trumata,Dr. Maria Emelda G. Rodriguez,IPHO technical staff led by Dr. Noel P.Lumen,other doctors and nurses,h ealth workers,PML led by Mayor Robert Loquinte,SP members,City Councilors led by Vice-Mayor Effie Abiera-Sabandal,Mayor Maloney Samaco,Brgy. Captains and Kagawads,Dr. Ruby Alcantara,Nestor Santiago,Sandy Oro and the local media.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

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SOLSED’s Pig Dispersal Yields 98% Robust Growth In Hinundayan

 

                                                                                                                                                                 April 11,2014

                                               SOLSED Pig Dispersal Yields 98% Robust Growth In Hinundayan

                                                                                   By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.

 

Hinundayan, Southern Leyte-SOLSED’s (Southern Leyte Socio-Economic Development, Inc.) pig dispersal project piloted here has yielded 98% robust growth for a duration period of 3 months and 15 days with only 2% mortality rate mainly caused by stress from long distance travel from Baybay,Leyte to this place in the Pacific area.

 

This was the observation and disclosure gathered during visitation tour from different areas in brgys. Cat-iwing, Ambao, Lungsodaan, District 1 and in other barangays by SOLSED personnel led by newly-appointed Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Francisco Cabarrubias together with its founder incumbent Congressman Damian G. Mercado.

 

The specific duration period for the swine growing was recommended to the 22 recipients by Dr. Cabarrubias and to Mercado as proper and enough to avoid less meaningful spending.

 

Dr. Cabarrubias implied that following the feeding period in accordance with the pig’s age of at least 10  kilos weight for each at the start to achieve the 3 months and 15 days period for their growth ,is quite enough to reach the target of 80 kilos and above.

 

“Exceeding the duration of the pigs’  feeding program to 4months and above is economically  not recommendable as the pig s’ growth at this stage is  much slower despite enough feeds for each pig consume daily”,Congressman Mercado explained in answer to a query from the media.

 

The Provincial Veterinarian has likewise observed that those pigs handed over to chosen recipients that were less than 9  to 10 kilos were found to have failed the expected weight of at least 80 kilos and above.

 

“At the second batch of piglets distribution”,Cabarrubis said,”each pig should be 10 kilos at least to make more certain that each can reach the estimated weight of at least 80 kilos or even more as has been noticed in some piglets with 3 months and 15 days period of feeding that we have visited in different areas”.

The initial weigh-in of 4 pigs in Cat-iwing showed that 2 of 10 kilos each  pigs distributed  have exceeded the estimated weight of at least 80 kilos a piece: the first weighed 88 kilos and the second was 89.While the other 2 pigs that were lesser than 9 kilos during the previous distribution have failed to achieve the weight  level of 80 kilos at least: it was 79 kilos  and the next was even lesser.

 

Those pigs in Ambao and Lungsodaan with the same sizes for harvesting were also expected to exceed the 80 kilos mark, whose weighing were assigned to SOLSED staff and the able-bodied growers since ocular inspection have continued in other areas of the town.

 

Win Win Livelihood

The pig dispersal piloted here is now extended to cover other Pacific towns of   Hinunangan,Anahawan and in Panaon Island’s four municipalities which is generally considered as a win-win project.

 

SOLSED Vice-President Godofredo Alvarez in an interview with the press informed that after all harvested pigs were sold out,feeds, medicines(if a pig was afflicted with a disease) and the piglets costs will be deducted from its proceeds.

 

“The net income will all be given to each of the pig growers”, he divulged.”Only 10% of the net income will be deducted and turn over the percentage money to SOLSED as savings for cluster-members of at least 25 members-recipients in a particular area”.

 

Alvarez also clarified that SOLSED is the one that will market the pigs whose price per kilo will be based on the local price.”SOLSED’s gain will be from the mark up price per kilogram of each pig like in any other business undertakings”’he said.

 

However, of the 98 healthy and robust pigs,only 52 are to be harvested,informed a new SOLSED female employee.Some of the 6,7 and 8 kilos piglets that were turned over to the recipients which failed to reach at least the 80 kilos mark,Dr. Cabarrubias pointed out,have to wait for two or three weeks to gain more weight.

 

Inhuman Treatment

On the other hand, inhuman treatment was also observed during pig harvesting in Cat-iwing from the buyer’s aids who were sent to catch and load the purchased pigs.

 

Although the pigs were consigned for slaughtering by their buyers for sale to meat eaters/consumers,the sustaining of 3 marked injuries upon a lone brown pig’s back, and the improper handling of the other pig by putting an aid’s forefingers inside each pig’s eye sockets for firm holds in propping up to the standby truck,has prompted the Veterinarian to stop it. Most advocates of the Animal Welfare Act RA8485,it was learned, have decided to turn themselves from being carnivorous to vegetarians.

 

It was also learned from scientific studies that those people who chose to be vegetarians have lesser affliction of diseases  and live much longer than meat eaters who eat only little amount of vegetables.

 

It was said that repeated violators of the aforesaid law are subjected to punishment by rebuking their licenses/permits.

 

Organic pig pens

For the second batch distribution of piglets, recipients who have not yet build organic pigs pens as required during the project’s first dispersal, are now obliged to construct their own.

 

Likewise as in the first batch, recipients have to sign SOLSED’s contracts and will also be given copies of proper feeding guides that must be followed in order to achieve good results.

 

The recipients were also advised to report to the assigned Veterinarian any sign of illness/sickness from their pigs under their care.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

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DA Chooses SL As Pilot Province For PRDP’s Agri Project 2014

                                                                                                                                                                        April 2,2014

 

                                               DA Chooses SL as Pilot Province for PRDP’s Agri Project 2014

                                                                            by Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.

 

Maasin City, Southern Leyte-The province of Southern Leyte was chosen as one of the 2 provinces here in Region 8 for the Philippines Rural Development Program in agricultural production to help local farmers improve their income of at least 30%.

 

This was the disclosure of incumbent Governor Roger G. Mercado during his State Of The Province Address(SOPA)held inside the Legislative Bldg’s SP session Hall recently.

 

Mercado revealed the PRDP will provide financial support which will  focus on 2 important crops-coconut and abaca-since coco farmers rank the highest group in the agricultural sector at 67%.

 

This 2014 project dubbed as “Negosyohanong Pang-uma”(business-initiated farming)will be using technologies that are suitable to local conditions and “definitely not on a ‘trial and error’ basis”.

 

The program includes capital assistance technology enhancement market access and development “to ensure the steady and adequate supply of planting materials for the livelihood programs”. Nurseries will be established in various Southern Leyte State University campuses”.

 

Nurseries for fruits and  coconut  trees will be established at the SLSU-Hinunangan and Bontoc campuses; abaca nursery at the main SLSU-Sogod campus; vegetables, fruit trees and cut flowers at the Tomas Oppus campuses; abaca and fruit nurseries at the San Juan Campus; and vegetables, fruit  trees and cut flowers at the Provincial Research and Extension Center in Maasin City.

 

The total cost of the nursery establishment products is around P9M: 80% of the project cost P7.2M will be funded by the PRDP.The nurseries will be operated as business enterprises and will be self-sustaining according to the Governor.

 

Mercado said coconut-based intercropping technology will be introduced.Crops to be planted with coconuts will be chosen based on market demand in terms of  volume and regularity as well as crop suitability, given the local soil type and climate terrain condition.

 

Crops that had been identified to be suitable for intercropping with coconuts, which will be implemented province-wide, including high value vegetables,bananas,various fruits,cacao,coffee and root crops. It is estimated to cost around P11M: 80% of the project cost or P8.8M will be funded by the sponsoring agency.

 

He said an integral coconut-based food production facility will be established for the manufacturing of coconut virgin oil, coco water vinegar, coco water and nata de coco.

 

A separate facility will also be established, he said, for the processing of coco coir geo-textile and activated carbon. Similarly, barangay-based coco water and coco coir production will likewise be implemented to enable more farmers to benefit from the PRDP project.

 

He said that an important component of the coconut industry like market support will be created with the establishment of  marketing facilities that will package the various  products produced in the province including local delicacies.

 

He explained that in promoting the products, linking the producers to the identified markets is important; and if necessary, consolidate the producers to minimize marketing costs and meet production orders.

 

Furthermore, he informed that the shared  marketing facility will be operated as one of the business enterprises to be managed by the  newly-formed Provincial Enterprise body,which will operate independently from the provincial government structure.

 

Moreover, he said that PRDP and the provincial government will fund P200M for road improvement of San  Roque-Bahay road in Liloan “to increase access to market the products produced by the coco farmers in the Panaon island”.

 

On the part of the coco farmers in the entire province,  Governor Mercado and PRDP hierarchy are expecting concerned farmers in this 2014 project of the provincial government to prudently cooperate and religiously apply measures/methods/technologies imparted to them during meetings/seminars. This is for the realization of its primary goal to achieve success, thus increasing their income and improving their respective families’ social status.(Quirico M. Gorpido,jr.)

 

 

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Call Center To Open in Maasin

April 2,2014

Call Center To Open In Maasin
By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.

Maasin City, Southern leyte-A call center from Cebu City called “Call Center 101” will open its branch here in this capital city of Southern Leyte province soon.

This was the revelation of an Engineer who does not want to be named, involved in the renovation of a vacant space for rent at the third floor of the Mercado building located in brgy. Tunga Tunga.

He informed that Arnold Cajilig,Chief Executive Officer of the aforesaid Call Center 101 wants to start opening CC101 branch office before the end of March.But due to the delay in the preparation of the rented room and the finishing touches of the newly-finished three-storey edifice on its outside portion, it is estimated to open before the end of April of the current year.

The said Engineer disclosed that all the 50 computers were already installed inside each cubicle.”What is lacking now is the installation of electrical connections by SOLECO(Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative,Inc) electricians that will illuminate the office and provide power supply to computers.

He claimed that 42 call center agents have already undergone training in Cebu’s main office and were just waiting for the CEO’s call when its operation will resume.

Earlier Odene Orit, retired COA auditor and now teaches accounting at St.Joseph College here was contacted by Cajilig if she could help him look for vacant space where he could transform it into a Call Center office,he confided.

He said Orit told Cajilig that there was a vacant space in a five-storey edifice owned by the Mercados in brgy. Mantahan.

After a visit to the abovementioned building he found it to be so big,but preferred only a smaller one as a starter, he said.

Call Center 101 Cebu main office is located at Unit 201-203,Rain Tree Mall,F.Ramos St.,Cebu City.(Quirico M. Gorpido,jr.)

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Rubber Tree Is Suitable In Southern Leyte-Cabalo

 

                                                                                                                                                           Feb. 14,2014

Rubber Tree Is Suitable In Southern Leyte-Cabalo

By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.

 

Sogod ,Southern Leyte-With the huge diminution of abaca plantations in different municipalities where the dollar-earner have thrived due to the bunchy tap disease and the great damage  brought about by the infestation of Brontispa pests in various coconut plantations in this province, there is another important double-profit earner that  is  found to be suitable for planting here, which is the rubber tree that  the Southern Leyte State University-Sogod main campus has planted in 2007 for propagation.

 

This was the disclosure of VP for Administration and Finance Valerio B. Cabalo during discussions held inside SLSU’s board room dubbed “Kapihan sa SLSU” as pre-anniversary celebration of the learning institution’s 10th year on March 5,2014.

 

He said that R&D staff have planted 5 wild varieties of rubber tree and found three varieties suitable for cloning-namelly,PB620,SM1 and the other kind which he forgot its specific classification.

 

The VP for A&F pointed out that the rubber tree can served as replacements for old coco trees that stop bearing fruits, and it can also be planted in vacant lots in different municipalities in 3 meters by 2 meters apart.

 

He said that in planted the “new specie” SLSU used the budding method which would last for 6 months.”Part of the original seedling’s above portion will be cut and “attached” the other clone of either PB620 ,SM1,or the other unnamed variety above before planting it”,he explained.

 

However, he clarified that the rubber tree cannot be the permanent replacement of coconut since the latter dubbed as “the tree of life” has various uses both in commercial and industrial.

 

Rubber Plantations

 

Antonio A. Remojo,SLSU-Hinunangan Administrator, divulged that  5 SLSU campuses have started planting 1,000 rubber seedlings for each campus in 2007.It has now an allocation of 50,000 “plantable” seedlings for propagation. Nurseries for the plants are located in Hinunangan,San Juan and in Abuyog.

 

Remojo also intimated that a hectare of land that  can be planted with 90 coco trees, can be planted with 500 rubber  trees.

 

Which regards to the plant’s financial aspect after it reaches its  maturity when it start to produce  latex, he said, a milk-like colored liquid excreted by  matured rubber trees, a farmer can earn P5,000.00 daily. While in coconut production the aforesaid amount can be earned after three months.”Indeed, rubber tree can address the financial concern of farmers”, he said.

 

Cabalo for his part unfolded a rubber tree can start producing latex from 3 to 5 years old.”At the early start of extracting latex”, he said, “it should be done every other day, not daily”.

 He divulged a matured rubber tree that can produce latex for 30 years, could be subjected for daily extraction at the age of 7 years old.

 

He calculated that half of a whole coconut shell place right below the cut could serve as a “receptacle” of latex. Leaving it for several hours until it would be filled up the following day,he said.

 

As to the common belief that in typhoon-prone Southern Leyte rubber tree cannot survived ,because it can easily be cut by the force of winds, the VP for A&F explained that resiliency in rubber trees can be achieved by pruning its branches to control its height. He did not elaborate.

 

He further informed that both incumbent Congressman Damian G. Mercado and Governor Roger G.Mercado have strongly urged SLSU hierarchy to disseminate this promising plant to all municipalities of this province and to other provinces in region 8(Leyte and Samar).In fact they have already planned to have 81 hectares to be planted with rubber trees here including Biliran and in Samar, he said.

 

Revive, Sustain

 

However, despite the suitability of rubber tree to be adopted as new income generating plant for farmers/planters here,Cabalo knowing the many commercial and industrial value of coconut trees dubbed as “the tree of life”, emphasized that  coconut should be sustained by  concerned farmers.

 

As for abaca, a dollar-earner during the previous decades here, that were recently wiped out by the bunchy tap disease, a certain R&D staff identified only as Nicknick by her colleagues, told the audience that re-growth abaca suckers in affected plantations in various  areas can be  harvested by farmers.

 

Nevertheless, re-growth abaca suckers that   are now disease-free like cultured abaca tissues, are still vulnerable to bunchy top disease, she admitted. She said that researchers are studying if re-growth abaca can be propagated.

 

She said that researchers have also observed that abaca plantations that from time to time have movements caused by the blowing speed of normal winds, have the potentiality of warding off abaca disease. Unlike the motionless or “stagnant” abaca plantations which are conducive for the growth of abaca disease, she added.

Other topics discussed led by R&D head Oligario Alesna were tilapia and prawn culture, which at present are considered as backyard projects good only for family consumptioin.These two projects, thru continuous research need to be improved and expanded to meet the market demands, he said. (Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

 

 

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