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Samar Town to Showcase Rice Planting Technologies

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Image Source: Philippine News - Manila Bulletin

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has identified 12.6 hectares of rice farm in Basey, Samar as demonstration area for this year’s largest rice derby in the country.

DA Regional Executive Director U-Nichols Manalo said the season-long event will showcase hybrid rice cultivation technologies in partnership with seed suppliers and local farmers.

The farm department is eyeing the completion of land preparation on Saturday in time for the new cropping season.

“This season-long event is designed such that farmers will learn about the hybrid rice technology right in the farm, and they will be engaged in various activities for the entire cropping season,” Manalo said on Thursday.

The event will open up more options for them to choose from the best performing hybrid varieties, according to Manalo.

The demonstration farm covers 12.6 hectares compact irrigated area serviced by the National Irrigation Administration in Manilaay village in Basey town.

This season-long activity will cap with a program scheduled on September 20 to 22 this year. Among the highlights are field visit by farmers, lecture-discussion about the package of technology on hybrid, harvest festival, and booth exhibits.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol personally identified Samar for this year’s largest rice derby, being a priority province for agricultural development, according to Manalo.

The country’s highest agriculture official visited the region on July 13 to 14 last year where he shared his vision of transforming the three Samar provinces into a major food production area.

Samar has a total rice area of 28,793 hectares, but only around 13 percent are covered by irrigation systems, according to Manalo.

In 2016, the province posted a total palay (unhusked rice) output of 149,307 metric tons from 54,216 hectares of planted area. The figure accounts 15.6 percent of the region’s total output of 954,844 metric tons.

Its rice yield level was the lowest among the six provinces in the region at an average of 2.75 metric tons per hectare.

This is so far the fifth leg of rice derby in the country. Earlier, similar activity was held in Digos, Davao del Sur; Pototan, Iloilo; Polangui, Albay and, in M’lang, North Cotabato.

Participating firms of Samar rice derby are SL Agritech, Bayer Crop Science, Syngenta Philippines, Longping Tropical Rice Development, PhilsCAT, DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred and, SeedWorks, PhilRice and, the System of Rice Intensification technology led by DA regional office. (Sarwell Q. Meniano/PNA)

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Philippine Red Cross Alerts Residents on Health Hazards of Volcanic Ash

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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) advised the affected communities to be vigilant on the health hazards of volcanic ash to human health as alert level 4 was raised over Mayon Volcano in Legazpi, Albay.

Image Source: pia.gov.ph

According to PRC Health Services, exposure to falling ash may cause a number of health problems especially respiratory illnesses such as nose and throat irritation, coughing, bronchitis-like illness, and discomfort while breathing. Eye irritation and minor skin problems are also among the bad effects of exposure to volcanic ash.

It can also cause vehicular mishaps resulting to injuries and casualties because of slippery of roads and poor visibility in areas affected by the ash fall.

Volcanic ash consists of powder-size to sand-size particles that have been blown into the air by an erupting volcano.

“The Philippine Red Cross already activated its health volunteers to disseminate awareness campaign on the health hazards that may ensue to individuals living around an erupting volcano,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.

As part of the dissemination campaign, the PRC also educated the affected communities on ways to cope with ash fall and advised the residents to seek immediate medical attention in case of health concerns caused by volcanic ash.

“We urge the affected individuals to wear dust masks or anything to cover their nose and mouth to protect them from catching harmful emissions from the volcanic ash. We also advise the residents to report immediately to their local health centers and nearest PRC Chapter in case of health concerns from volcanic ash,” Gordon said.

To date, the PRC has already provided dust masks to 4,000 individuals. Another 4,000 dust masks were also sent yesterday in Albay for distribution in the coming days. A total of 60 goggles, and 300 N95 masks were also provided to the affected individuals to avoid the harmful effects of volcanic ash.

The PRC also conducted hygiene promotion activities to a total of 1,153 individuals in various evacuation centers in Albay. Five water bladders were already installed to provide the affected individuals access to clean and safe water.

Meanwhile, PRC assets such as three water tankers, two hot meals on wheels, three trucks and one radio team with communication equipment were all deployed.

The Philippine Red Cross, as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, has 103 chapters with two million volunteers nationwide that is always first, always ready, and always there to provide round-the- clock humanitarian assistance, especially to the most vulnerable.

PRC services include disaster management, health, welfare, blood, volunteer service, and Red Cross youth. (PRC)

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Experts Map Fault Lines in Davao Oriental

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Image Source: Weather-Forecast.com

Geologists from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) placed markers in several fault lines in Davao Oriental sighted in some portions of Mati City and Lupon town which reportedly sitting on top of the Philippine Faultline.

The areas transected by faultlines included portion of barangays Marayag, Calapagan, and Don Marcelino in Lupon and portions of Barangays Taguibo, Sainz and Central in Mati.

This was reported Sunday by Davao Oriental Provincial Information Officer Karen Lou Deloso based on the three-day activity “Walk the Fault” by Phivolcs geologists led by Jeffrey Perez.

Based on the Phivolcs findings, Deloso said the fault in Davao Oriental approximately 30 kilometers long is connected to the Philippine Fault line – the longest fault in the Philippines that stretches up to 1,200 kilometers from Luzon down to Mindanao.

Phivolcs noted that 320 kilometers of which is located in Eastern Mindanao stretching from Surigao area to Mati.

At the end of the three-day activity, Deloso said the Phivolcs team put markers which would guide local leaders especially in the barangays to inform residents on the need to take precautions and preparations.

Phivolcs also reported no fault lines in heavily or densely populated areas in Mati. But residents are still encouraged to keep safe from the hazards of earthquake which includes groundshaking that usually results in injuries, fatalities and destruction of buildings; landslides, and tsunami.

The three-day mapping of fault lines in earthquake hotspots in the provinces was aimed to save lives by making residents and local officials inculcate a culture of safety, telling them to be aware on the location and trace of the fault lines especially those underneath settlements that might drastically be affected by massive earthquakes.

Deloso said the activity was requested by Governor Nelson Dayanghirang as part of the province’s mitigation and preparedness

Dayanghirang had underlined the activity as something that does not intend to cause alarm, but to promote awareness and safety to lessen damages and casualty when disaster strikes.

Areas in fault lines are considered danger zones and classified as no-build zone areas. Structures built in faults should be built five meters from the faultline on both sides.

Experts said the Philippine Fault Zone divides the country from Luzon to Southern Mindanao with its tail end located in Mati, Davao Oriental. It is in the path of the Ring of Fire, a 40,000-km horseshoe-shaped continuous area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)

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DOH Launches Dengue Immunization ID in Pampanga

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Image Source: from pia.gov.ph by Trixie Joy B. Manalili, PIA-3

Department of Health (DOH) launched on Friday the Dengue Immunization Record Card in Pampanga as part of intensifying monitoring and surveillance of recipients of the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Top officials of DOH led by Secretary Francisco Duque III led the launching of the identification cards during the Provincial Dengue Summit held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center.

In a press briefing, DOH Regional Director Leonita Gorgolon said the ID system will aid in strengthening their surveillance and reporting system for any adverse effect following the immunization of all those who were vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

Gorgolon explained that there are two types of cards—the bigger one is for the parents while the smaller one is for the one who received the vaccine.

“Both cards contain basic information about the recipient of the vaccine including his/her name, grade level, gender, name and contact number of his/her parent or guardian as well as the number of doses received and the date he/she received each dose”, Gorgolon said.

Aside from these, Gorgolon said the ID also contains what-to-do when the child manifests symptoms of dengue and the hotline numbers of DOH.

“In case the child manifests dengue symptoms, this ID must be presented to the health facility so that they know that he/she is a recipient of Dengvaxia and he/she will be given priority in his/her medical needs,” the official added.

The ID was conceptualized to address the issue of disaggregating those who were vaccinated with Dengvaxia from those who were not because there are also many dengue patients who are not recipients of the vaccine.

“For the mothers, we are giving them IDs as well because there are instances when mothers go to health facilities claiming that their child was vaccinated with Dengvaxia. In fact, there is one instance when a parent granted an interview with the media, but when we verify it, that parent is not in the masterlist of beneficiaries. So these are some of the issues that we want to address,” she furthered.

On the part of the health facilities, the ID system will facilitate their reporting system to the rural health units and DOH.

Earlier, Gorgolon said that close monitoring of all those who were given the initial dose of the vaccine is critical for the next five years.

The Dengvaxia IDs are being distributed in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Metro Manila, and Cebu. (CLJD/MJLS-PIA 3)

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Crime Incidents Dip in Dumaguete City

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Image Source: fictorians.com

Crime incidents in the city significantly dropped for the third consecutive year through the joint efforts of the local government unit, Philippine National police, and the public.

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo expects that with the diligence and devotion of newly confirmed Chief-of-Police Supt. Jonathan Pineda, the vigilance of the community and the installation of the high definition CCTV cameras by the 3rd quarter of this year, more crimes will be prevented or solved.

In its annual report for 2017, the PNP disclosed that crime volume reduced from 4, 176 in 2015 and 4, 125 in 2016 to 2,534 incidents in 2017 or a decrease of 1,591 incidents.

The Crime Solution Efficiency has also improved from 63.57% in 2015, 72.78% in 2016 to 79.1% in 2017.

Pineda said that some 105 anti-illegal drugs operations were also conducted in 2017 resulting in the arrest of 114 puhers, 21 users and seizure of 1,400.42 grams of shabu amounting to P 13.9 million; 102 cases were filed against drug suspects in 2017; 921 persons (67 pushers; 854 users) surrendered under Oplan Tokhang who are now subject to regular monitoring by the PNP.

The PNP also arrested persons with warrants and 7 yielded loose firearms while 34 were arrested for illegal gambling.

Finally, 1,046 motorcycles were apprehended in checkpoints pursuant to Oplan Bakal and Oplan Sita for various violations of the rules imposed by the Traffic Management Office and Land Transportation Office. (jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

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