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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SLSU To Host International Research Congress And Business Forum On Rubber And Freshwater Prawns

Feb. 12,2014
SLSU To Host International Research Congress & Business Forum On Rubber & Freshwater Prawns

By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.


Sogod,Southern Leyte-The Southern Leyte State University(SLSU)-Sogod main campus shall be hosting a a three-day live-in seminar of the International Research Congress and Business Forum on Rubber and Freshwater Prawns(IRCBFRFP) on March 5-7,2014.


The three-day activities shall be assisted by the four other SLSU campuses-Tomas Oppus,San Juan as the RRTC,Bontoc as the PTIF and Hinunangan as the PTIA.


Jane N. Labastida,VP for Academic Affairs informed the press that participants to the IRCBFRFP are required to register with a fee.


Participation of officials, employees and students from private higher education institutions shall be voluntary. Officials and employees of State and local universities and Colleges who will participate in the three-day activities should have prior approval from the President/Head of the concerned institutions and are hereby reminded to observe proper use of government funds provided under the Dept. of Budget and Management.


Activities during the event will cover the following: Research Congress, Plenary Sessions, Business Forum, Oral Presentations of Research Papers, Poster Paper Exhibit, Welcome and Solidarity Night,

Agri-Fish Fair and Exhibit and Agri-Fish Dance Presentations.


Resource persons are 2 freshwater culture experts from Vietnam, an expert on rubber tree production from Indonesia and a Filipino professor from UP.


Some of the sponsors, among others, are Congressman Damian Mercado, Governor Roger Mercado, DOST, BFAR,Municipal Mayors, some unmanned donors.(Quirico M. Gorpido,jr.)

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Prov’l Govt.Thru DA Teaches Young Students To Take Care Of Plants And Have Income

                                                                                                                   Jan. 28,2014

Prov’l Govt. Thru DA Teaches Young Students To Take Care Of Plants And Have Income

By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.


Maasin City, Southern Leyte-The provincial government thru the Dept. of Agriculture indirectly taught elementary and secondary students in public schools of this province comprising a total of 413 schools in 23 districts to  take care of plants and to have  income via “Prutasan Sa Eskwelahan”(Fruits In Schools or Orchards In Schools).


The project has a budget of P1.15M in three phases of the program: P300, 000.00 in 2009; P400,000.00 in 2011; P450,000.000 in 2012. The said amounts were used to purchase the seedlings needed for the aforesaid project.


This program of the Dept. of Agriculture under the auspices of the provincial government in partnerships with DepEd and LGUs was launched in July 2009 at the city gym, disclosed Marilou Gaviola, the focal person of the project, in an interview at her office.


She said that the launching was attended by some DA technicians and staff headed by DA Provincial head Mina Espina-Gador and Chair Committee on Agriculture Agustin Escaño,Jr.


The Agricultural Technologist said that each school was given 10 grafted-potted seedlings of rambutan and lazones that were ready to plant.


She said that one sack of organic fertilizer and one sack of chemical complete fertilizer were equally distributed to each school-recipient to fertilize the ready-to-plant fruit seedlings.


The AT also confided on how to properly plant the seedlings to all school principals and LGU officials. They were also instructed to impart it to their students including the required length of at least 6 months regular watering of each plant.


“Each fruit seedling was planted inside a digging of 1 square meter in width and one foot in depth”, she explained”.”Prior to that, a mixture of two kinds of fertilizers was then placed inside the digging. Above it was some decomposed biodegradables. Each plant was also encircled with bamboo sticks or any hardwood cuts for its protection”.


However, she said the irregular or periodic watering of the plants can be considered upon reaching the seventh- month- old period.



Gaviola estimated that the distribution of grafted and potted fruit-bearing seedlings of rambutan and jackfruit together with organic and chemical fertilizers were repeated sometime in 2011 and 2012 to other schools that   have not yet receive their share. Other seedlings were also distributed as replacements to some plants that have failed to reach and grow into maturity.


“Causes of plants’ mortality that reached 8% were of different factors like intrusion of stray animals from the neighborhood and the unintentional inclusion of cutting some of them by the hired weed cutters inside the school campuses”, she declared.


The Agricultural Technologist further informed that rambutan in good growth will bear fruits from 3 to 5 years, while lanzones and jackfruits of same status are from 5 to 7 years.


Asked if this year (2013) her office will still provide replacement seedlings for mortality, she responded in the negative:”No more seedling replacements this year…We are instead expecting them to take care of those plants that have thrived in their schools and bear fruits later or sooner”.


She added that the fruits income (sales) will be used for the schools’ feeding program and other projects where funds are needed.


Earlier, during the Provincial Development Council(PDC) meeting held at the Ruperto Kangleon Function house in Mambajao,Bert Tagana who  represented  the Provl Agriculturist Mina Gador who was in official travel, disclosed to the audience that DA’s “Prutasan Sa Eskuelahan” has a budget of P45M.That the project has been implemented already and found in 27  sites of the province.


Nevertheless,when I told Gaviola about it,she claimed that the amount “is so much and so exaggerated”.

“Pangitaan unya ta niana”, she said in Cebuano.(They might ask us about such a big amount of budget.)

(Quirico M. Gorpido,jr.)



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Supertyphoon Yolanda Causes Postponement For The Scheduled Batang Pinoy

                                                                                                                            Jan. 28,2014

Super Typhoon Yolanda Causes Postponement For The Scheduled BP National Finals In Bacolod

                                     By Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.


Maasin City, Southern Leyte-Maasin City and the Province of Southern Leyte have braced its athletes for their participation to the National Batang Pinoy finals by undergoing further training in various games right after the Batang Pinoy qualifying Visayas Leg here.


However, latest development gathered by this reporter from Provincial Sports coordinator Jowin Pajao divulged that due to the Super typhoon Yolanda that struck Southern Leyte and devastated Tacloban City,Ormoc City and  other neighboring municipalities of Leyte Province the schedule for Batang Pinoy Nat’l Finals on Nov.18-24 in Bacolod City will be postponed.


He said that tentative date for the BP Nat’l Finals as the Philippines Sports Commission has sent to him shall be on Jan.28-Feb.1,2014.


Earlier, qualified for the participation are the three category medalists as disclosed by Philippine Sports Commission advisory sent to the Maasin City Sports council which was received by City Sports Coordinator Dominador Rojas.


As stated in PSC’s advisory listing the games for competitions has pointed out some specifics for individual events and team events.


Team events for gold and silver medalists only are lawn tennis,volleyball,softball,futsal and cheerdance.While team events for all three category medalists with less than 6 members  are athletics(relay)karatedo,sepak takraw,swimming and taekwondo.


However, interested bronze medalists may also join in the abovementioned team events on their own.


PSC also clarified that each member of the winning team of 4 to 5 members will only receive monetary subsidy of P3,000.00 each and their coach.


Likewise, DepEd School Division Sports Coordinator Raymundo Sinoc confided that their athletes who will compete were having trainings in boxing, lawn tennis,taekwondo,sepak takraw and athletics.


Earlier, the DepEd Sports Coordinator intimated that they are going to send 4 gold and 4 silver medalists. But was unsure how many bronze medalists will be included for Southern Leyte delegation.


 The Provincial Sports Coordinator claimed that there were only 27 individuals comprising athletes, coaches, trainors and an official who will be participating.


For  the City of Maasin delegation that will led all the participating delegations at the start of the sports games will also put on hold their scheduled departure. On the second tentative schedule of the BP Nat’l Finals in Bacolod  on January 28, 2014 up to Feb.1,2014 they will have a total of 71 individuals-49 athetles,5 coaches and 17 officials led by Mayor Maloney Samaco and Vice-Mayor Effie Abiera-Sabandal


.Lately,I asked Jowen Pajao to make sure if the abovementioned schedule will push thru,he answered in the positive.”We are now preparing to go there  in Bacolod”’he said.

(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)



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