Monday, August 27, 2012

Philippine Hybrid Rice Planting

Hybrid Rice in the Philippines

Rep. Erico Aumentado (2nd District, Bohol) has urged the provincial government to embrace rice hybridization in order to sustain the 113% rice self sufficiency harvest in 2008 when the hybrid variety was earnestly propagated.

The solon made the appeal after receiving the report of the Department of Agriculture Region 7 (DA 7) that Bohol registered a rice self sufficiency of 76.17% only in 2011.

In a text message to Gov. Edgar Chatto, the legislator said, " Pare, I am sad per DA report during my meeting with the regional directors last week in Cebu, Bohol's rice self sufficiency was 76.17% due we concentrate more on inbred rice seeds instead of hybrid. I wish we can work together to sustain our 113% rice self sufficiency in 2008. I am pushing SL8 AND SL11 in the 2nd district. Please call me when you are in Manila so we can discuss collaborative effort for the good of Bohol."

He followed up with another text message saying: "Do not believe in canard I am running for governor. My interest now is to help the Aquino mantra against corruption, and good governance thru the righteous path and your administration attain rice self sufficiency and success for the good of Bohol."

Chatto was reported to have responded by way of thanking the congressman and that he is validating data with agencies who provided him the 2011 figures earlier of Bohol's rice self sufficiency.

To note, Administrator Antonio Nangel of the National Irrigation Administration is also pushing for the rice hybridization program Aumentado's district through the "plant hybrid rice and fertilize now, pay later and the rice ratooning" program initiated by the solon to boost the country's rice production.

In 2008, the rice self sufficiency in Bohol reached a high of 113%. It dropped to 108% in 2009 due to the El Nino phenomenon.

Since the 2nd district is the main beneficiary of the Bohol Irrigation Project Stages 1 and 2, the Capayas and the Ilaya Small Reservoir Irrigation Facilities, the solon launched the two rice production boosting projects involving the private sector and government agencies in a collaborative effort.

Aumentado started the ratooning program with a subsidy from his Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF) in 540 hectares of rice land in 2011 and increased the area to 1,100 of rice land being subsidized with urea fertilizer.

The target in 2013 is about 3,000 hectares of rice land to be ratooned with an outlay of P3 million from his PDAF.

Meanwhile, it was learned that Rep. Arthur Yap (3rd district, Bohol) has also pushed for the hybridization of rice production in his district. In fact, he piloted the high yielding SL8 and SL11 hybrid rice in Lila town where he sponsored a rice festival during the last harvest season.

Prepare 2013 Election in Bohol, Philippines

A three-cornered race for City Hall is almost certain in the May 2013 elections.

Political observers see the race for the city mayorship could turn out more exciting, with each of the three contenders matching each other peso-for-peso to woe the majority of Tagbilaran's 45,000 voters.

The slates are almost complete with two groups confident of getting the official nomination of the country's leading political parties – the Aquino administration's Liberal Party (LP) and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay.

The early favorite in city mayoralty surveys, City Councilor John Geesnell "Baba" Yap, is teaming up with City Councilor Anne Mariquit Oppus, to form the "third force" as the group appear to be the unlikely pick of the LP hierarchy based on recent pronouncements of local party stalwarts who are heavily favoring the tandem of former city councilor and lawyer Agustinus "Dodong" Gonzaga and former vice mayor Jose Antonio Veloso as official bets for mayor and vice mayor.

City Mayor Dan Lim, who is ineligible to seek another term, is endorsing his elder brother Dr. Abraham Lim, which comes with the incumbent mayor's political organization that he has held and fortified since his ascendance to office in 2004.

Lim pairs with reelectionist City Vice Mayor Nuevas Tirol-Montes whose ticket includes majority of incumbent city councilors who are seeking another term.

The Lim-Montes slate is sure to get the nomination of UNA while the LP will endorse the Gonzaga-Veloso ticket.

With or without the support of any major political party, the Yap-Oppus group seems to be making headway in the grassroots level. Baba Yap has been seen feverishly building his own political base after he was kicked out from the political party led by his own uncle (Mayor Lim).

All three groups however are reputed to be equipped with the needed logistical war chest which will most likely prove decisive in the coming mayoralty derby.

Yap is perceived by many city electors as the most popular among the three contenders and with his financial capability – he is also expected to saddle most of his slate up to the finish line.

The Gonzaga-Veloso ticket said it is in the process of "shortlisting" some 16 aspirants for city councilor. However, the lineup will include incumbent City Councilor Alberta Torralba.

Meanwhile, incumbent city lawmakers Nerio Zamora II, Genesyl Balbin, Lucille Lagunay, Doni Piquero and Philipp Besas (ABC) will be running under the Lim-Montes slate.

Team Yap-Oppus, on the other hand, confirmed several of its bets for city councilor which includes, incumbent City Councilor Bebiano Inting, former congressman Adam Relson Jala, Joseph Bompat (son of City Councilor Edgar Bompat), Barangay Cogon Kagawad Jerry Pabe, Poblacion 2 Barangay Kagawad Dr. Allan Ricardo Real, Poblacion 3 Kagawad Salome Vitorillo, former Cogon kagawad Charles Cabalit, Tim Butalid and Eliezer Borja (brother of Councilor Edi Borja).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Truth About Jesse Robredo

Emotional Testimony from AIKA ROBREDO (daughter of DILG Sec Jesse Robredo): 

Now that I know what the Ramon Magsaysay Award is all about, I feel truly blessed that I happen to be his daughter. I was born exactly six days before he was first elected mayor and I spent the first 10 years of my life with him at City Hall.

If there was one thing that convinced me that he is truly deserving of the award, it is this: He has never made me feel I was different from others just because he is my father. As he goes about serving others, I have never been left wanting for his time and attention. He eats lunch and dinner with us seven days a week, even if it means he has to take two or three more meals because he has to attend a constituent's wedding or birthday reception. No occasion is too trivial for him. He is there for us not only during PTA meetings or piano or ballet recitals, but even when my math homework gets a little too difficult.

Filipino Nation Mourns for Jesse Robredo

By Lilybeth G. Ison

Both Houses of Congress - the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed deep sympathy and prayers to the family of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, whose body was retrieved this morning off the waters of Masbate.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. described the DILG Secretary as "a good man."

"That fact is a great source of pride for you and for those of us in government who worked alongside him," he said.

Beyond Robredo's numerous accomplishments as a government official, Belmonte said, "it weighs more as it recognizes and respects his integrity, sincerity and dedication as a public servant as well as a family man."

He noted that Robredo's work as Mayor of Naga City before he joined the Cabinet of the Aquino administration "not only earned him repute as the first Filipino Mayor to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000, but earned him the love and admiration of his constituents."

"To his wife Atty. Lenny, and his daughters Aika, Patricia and Jillian Therese, as well as to the pilots' families, we condole with you and sincerely share your loss. To those who untiringly searched for him and his pilots -- Capt. Jessup Bahinting and Capt. Kshitiz Chand -- we offer our gratitude for your priceless efforts. To those who prayed with us our gratitude as well," he said.

"We may not understand the ways of the Almighty but know that it is certain that Jesse is in His care and continues to watch over this nation that he loved dearly," he added.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, for his part, said Robredo was "a rare political breed nowadays... a perfect epitome who faithfully practiced President (Benigno) Aquino III's straight path (Daang Matuwid) type of governance."

"A man of action and conviction, he (Robredo) will truly be missed not only of the Aquino administration but of the entire nation. The momentum for initiating reforms is right in front of us right now, and the untimely passing of Secretary Jesse hopefully further invigorates us working in the government to continue on with his legacy, with his brand of principled leadership," said Angara in a statement.

He said that the best tribute Filipinos can give to a great man like Robredo is to continue the fight.

"Secretary Robredo, as a modern day hero and public servant, should be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," he noted.

Western Samar Rep, Mel Senen Sarmiento said the passing of the DILG Chief "is such a great loss to the improvement of local governance in the country, a key factor in our nation's growth."

"We will miss him as a colleague in the League of Cities of the Philippines. Secretary Jesse Robredo is truly an icon in local governance," he said.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles also expressed deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and loved ones of Robredo.

"We pray for his (Robredo) eternal rest and we pray that his family remains strong during these times," he said.

"Secretary Robredo was loved by so many. More than his accomplishments, he will forever be remembered for the many lives he has touched and changed for the better. We will miss him dearly," he added.

Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Trenas also described the DILG Secretary as "a model public servant."

"We were together in the League of Cities for nine years. He (Robredo) was someone I always respected. He was one of the most decent secretaries of the President. He is a great loss to the country and to the local governments," he said.

Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo, for his part, said that the country "has lost a humble, hardworking, and honorable man" with the passing of Secretary Robredo.

"He loved Naga City and made it a better place to live in. He loved his mother tongue and was a firm believer of using it as a language of learning to improve functional literacy," he said.

Agham party-list Rep. Angelo Palmones also described the DILG Secretary as "one of the most hardworking credible members of PNoy's (President Aquino) team."

"He (Robredo) is a big loss to good governance. Let's pray for him and his family in this trying time," he said.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casino said he sends his sincere condolences to the family and friends of Secretary Robredo.

"Secretary Jesse was an outstanding local chief executive and a very competent Department Secretary. He was one of the few Cabinet members who we truly respected and appreciated. We were witness to his compassion for the informal settlers whose violent demolitions we both tried to stop. His death is a big loss to the cause of good governance," he said.

Cebu Rep. Gabriel Luis Quisumbing, on the other hand, said the country has lost "a sincere, honest and hardworking public servant."

Robredo was coming from the groundbreaking of the PNP training School in Consolacion, Cebu when the plane he flew on his way to Naga crashed Saturday afternoon off the coast of Masbate.

In Cebu, pilots Capt. Jessup Bahinting was also hailed as a local hero "for he selflessly lends his services and his planes for charitable activities, relief operations and worthy causes," said Quisumbing.

Most recently, he said, Capt. Bahinting flew in anti-venom medicine to treat a critically ill snake-bite victim in Cebu.

"We will not forget the service Capt. Bahinting rendered for his community, for his fellow Cebuanos and for our country. He left a legacy that his family and fellow Cebuanos will always be proud of," the Cebu solon said.

Camarines Sur Rep. Dato Arroyo, a member of the House minority bloc, said that it was never politics for the DILG Secretary.

"Despite being on different sides politically, he'd (Robredo) always talk to me and help me out when he could," he said.

Sen. Franklin Drilon said the country is grieving for "we have just lost a man who had manifested genuine sincerity to serve his country."

Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said Robredo "is a tremendous loss for the Philippines."

"He (Robredo) was a stalwart and a pillar of our collective quest for change and good governance. I mourn for his loss. He embodied everything a Filipino leader should be," he noted.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party (LP), in a statement, said, "We at the Liberal Party mourn the passing of our beloved Executive Vice President, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, who has been an inspiration for all of us, given his steadfast dedication in public service and indisputable track record in good governance."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Is Sec Jesse Robredo Still Alive?

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo is still missing even as parts of the ill-fated  plane that was supposed to bring him to Naga City  have been found,  the head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Sunday.
"There has  been no report that he (Robredo) has been found," NDRRMC executive director  Benito Ramos  told Radyo Inquirer 990 AM in  Filipino.
This was contrary to reports that  he had  been  rescued   by a fisherman.
Ramos also said that the fuel tank of the plane was recovered  Saturday night.
When asked whether this meant that the  plane broke into pieces on impact,   Ramos said, "It's possible. Only the fuel tank was found so this means that the plane could have broken into pieces.
Robredo and three others were onboard a six-seater Piper Seneca plane when it crashed Saturday  afternoon in the  waters off  Masbate.  His aide, P/Senior Insp. Jun Abrazado, survived while the rest remained missing. - reports from the PDI.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Conspiracy at Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court Tuesday vehemently denied the accusation the SC, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Judicial and Bar Council have conspired to disqualify Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima and excluded her from the shortlist of nominees for the next Chief Justice.

SC Acting Public Information Office Chief and Spokesperson Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra said the SC, the IBP and the JBC are just following the rules.

Guerra added there's no truth to the accusation against them by De Lima.

However, Guerra refused to comment whether the statement of De Lima against the SC can be considered as "contemptuous."

Guerra pointed out she would not want to pre-empt the SC if ever someone files contempt charges against De Lima in connection with her statement.

American Wanted in the Philippines

An American national wanted for rape was arrested by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) recently and is awaiting deportation.

Robert Joseph Manship, 58, who was apprehended in Maasin City, Leyte last Aug. 1, will be deported as soon as the BI board of commissioners issue the order for his summary deportation.

BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the foreigner is wanted by authorities in New Hampshire, USA for the crime of aggravated felonious sexual assault after a Hillsborough County superior court issued an arrest warrant on May 14.

"He (Manship) will be deported for being an undocumented alien as his US passport already expired four years ago," David said.

According to Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI acting intelligence chief, the American has been hiding in the Philippines since January 2008 when he arrived as a tourist.

She added that Manship last applied for an extension of his stay on March that year, thus has been overstaying here for more than three years.