A total of 1.3 tons of assorted fresh vegetables were prepared and served on Thursday, July 13, to highlight the 34th year anniversary of the vegetable trading post in this town, where all agricultural produce from all parts of the Cordillera are brought and traded prior to transport to different markets nationwide.
In coming up with the giant vegetable salad, a total of 160 kilos of romaine lettuce, 160 kilos of carrots, 160 kilos cucumber, 150 kilos sugar beets, 180 kilos tomatoes, 150 kilos marble potato, 30 kilos alfalfa and broccoli and cauliflower prepared and shredded ready to be eaten on a giant container measuring 20×32 feet x 35 inches deep.
Jonathan Micua, SKD Academy La Trinidad Campus Director said there were a mix of 60 professional and student chefs from the culinary school who prepared the salad’s ingredients including three kinds of dressing.
Those who came to partake of the sumptuous fresh vegetables had a choice between mango salad dressing, strawberry salad dressing and the balsamic vinaigrette.
For the two fruit salad dressings, eight liters of orange juice, four liters of rice vinegar, two kilos of sugar, salt, pepper and five liters of freshly squeezed lime juice and 30 kilos of ripe mango for the mango dressing and 30 kilos of strawberries for the strawberry dressing.
He said the shredding started in the early morning to beat the 10 a.m. preparation at the giant serving dish. “We only have one hour to prepare everything at the venue because we had to start serving at 11a.m. to maintain the freshness of the dressings.”
He said a total of 2,000 visitors partook of the salad, each getting a full plate of fresh vegetables.
Nora Ganase, President of the League of Association at La Trinidad Trading Area who conceptualized and led her group in the preparation, said it was a joint effort of all the 14 associations at the trading area, composed of the packers, porters, farmers, buyers and even supporters.
“We want to emphasize the difference of the Cordillera produced vegetables from the imported ones to educate our consumers,” she said.
A locally produced carrot is crunchier, juicier and tastier compared to the dry imported ones.
She said they initially planned to set a Guinness record but opted to have a smaller version to be able to first prepare before they attempt to break the 20,100 kilograms record obtained by Russia in 2016. “The municipal government is passing an ordinance institutionalizing the annual conduct of the activity and we hope to vie for the biggest vegetable salad next year,” Ganase explained.
Mayor Romeo Salda expressed gratitude to the vegetable industry stakeholders in his town for coming up with the activity.
He reiterated the importance of government and private sector partnership to improve the town.
The Trading Post, the busiest district in Benguet’s capital town, was established in July 13, 1984 as a venue for bulk traders of highland agricultural products. Negotiation, trading, supply and demand statistics as well as packing happens in this area – the beginning of the process before the chopsuey or the salad reaches residents all over the country.
In 2001, the Baguio Association of Hotels and Inns (BAHAI) did the biggest toss salad event in Baguio City using 916.8 kilograms of fresh locally produced vegetables as an additional come on for tourists.
Today’s event– the giant vegetable salad event is the biggest so far in the entire country. It is hoped to make Benguet’s trademark of being the “Salad Bowl” of the country a reality as the province gears towards getting the world title in 2018. (Liza T. Agoot/PNA)
Philippine Army In Need of 500 New Soldiers
Philippine Army is currently in need of 500 soldiers to reinforce its forces.
Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Commander Major General Casiano Monilla said it is open to applicants aged 18-26 years old, at least 5’0” in height, single, college graduate or has 72 college units, passed the Armed Forces of the Philippines Service Aptitude Test or AFPSAT and interested to be part of the Philippine Army.
“The base pay is Php29,668 with the rank of Private,” Monilla added.
Those who are qualified and interested may visit the G1 office and TRADOC Recruitment Office in Camp O’Donell, Capas, Tarlac.
They may also contact 09162541399 for further details and information. (CLJD/CJVF-PIA 3)
Search for 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Teachers Begins
In partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) opens the nominations for the 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos – Award for Teachers.
The Award aims to recognize outstanding Filipinos who are responsible citizens, exemplary public servants, and agents of positive change in their respective communities.
Four teachers will join three soldiers and three police officers to comprise this year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. Each awardee will receive P1 million cash incentive, a trophy, and a gold medallion. They will also be awarded during Metrobank’s 56th anniversary in September.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones acknowledged the vital role of teachers in instilling relevant knowledge in the minds and honing the skills and talents of all learners, which serve as key ingredients for the betterment of the nation. The Education chief also seconded the message of MBFI President Aniceto Sobrepeña, that by giving them due recognition, the awardees will inspire the Filipino nation to contribute in realizing and achieving our collective task of building a strong and progressive society.
The Search is open to all Filipino educators teaching in the elementary (including kindergarten level, provided it is part of the integrated curriculum or part of an elementary school system), secondary or tertiary level, including graduate school and alternative learning system, with full-time or permanent appointment and with full teaching load.
Nominees must have an average performance rating of at least “very satisfactory” in the past ten years of teaching and must have completed academic requirements for Master’s Degree.
Winners of local awards organized by provinces and municipalities for outstanding teachers are encouraged to join, provided the eligibility requirements are met.
Nominations must come from qualified nominators; self-nomination shall not be accepted nor considered. The deadline for submission of nomination forms is on or before 01 March 2018, through courier to Metrobank Foundation, 4th Floor, Executive Offices, Metrobank Plaza, Sen. Gil J. Puyat, Makati City.
The nomination form and the detailed guidelines are accessible through the DepEd Memorandum No. 3, series of 2018, or the 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos – Award for Teachers, which is available online. You may also visit Metrobank Foundation’s official website and the Awards’ official Facebook page for more information. (DepEd)
Helping Our Own and Beyond
The world is constantly threatened with the inescapable havoc of periodical natural disasters and addressing the potential losses from hazards and recovery problems on the aftermath of these natural mishaps is surely a tough grind.
Nonetheless, distraught victims of calamities and disasters are not alone in getting back on their feet and resiliently coping up with such adversities.
In times of disaster, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Disaster Response leadership and coordination among the response cluster, readily mobilize and deliver materials for disaster response and be in the frontline for the delivery of disaster response assistance.
With the Local Government Code of 1991, basic services and programs of national government along disaster operations is devolved to a self-resilient local government. These include programs for evacuees and the conduct of disaster relief operations.
The DSWD-7 however, through its Disaster Response and Assistance Management Unit (DReAM-U) has always been ready to provide immediate assistance to the LGUs as well by capacitating them along disaster mitigation and response before and after the occurrence of a disaster. LGUs are provided with augmentation support from DSWD to further assist in handling emergencies and capacitate them as first respondents during disasters.
“When it comes to disaster, DSWD -7 has equipped us with good knowledge and skills through provision of trainings like Camp Management, Camp Coordination and other related trainings. With these activities I am confident that we are efficient and effective enough to deliver disaster response services to disaster affected families/individuals who are in dire situations that seriously need our swift reponse, Tabogon, Cebu Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) Officer-In-Charge Roglin Sumayang,” stated.
Even before a disaster strikes, family food packs, other food and non-food items are already prepositioned in provincial warehouses as well as in strategic LGUs to ensure that affected families, even in far-flung areas have access to the most basic needs.
Sumayang has also expressed her gratitude that the Municipality of Tabogon is one of the recipients of the Family Food Packs from DSWD which serves as pre-positioned goods for disasters.
“Through the family food packs we were able to avail of the Food for Work Program which was very useful for the Community-based activity on disaster preparedness and mitigation,” she added.
DSWD Region 7’s logistic facilities have 4 warehouses including the Visayas Disaster Response Center (VDRC) located in Mandaue City, Cebu.
VDRC which was opened in April 2016 is the second Disaster Response Center Hub with Mechanized Production System (MPS) designed to rapidly produce 50,000 family food packs in a day, which could feed up to 250,000 people for three days.
With the advent of this mechanized packing system and monitoring of relief goods, food spoilage is lessened and quicker disaster response for the augmentation of need for food of the disaster affected families is being executed.
DSWD 7 currently has an existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with a total of 22 cities and municipalities in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental for the prepositioning of goods and stockpiling.
“I’m glad that currently we have an excellent and proper communication line which is very much helpful in delivering information and basic aid to the disaster affected families. In return, it resulted in a more speedy delivery of disaster assistance to different affected families and individuals,” said Dale Armecin, Administrative Officer V of the Visayas disaster Response Center.
In terms of human resource capacity, DSWD Region 7 has over 200 trained Quick Response Team (QRT) members including Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Teams and Provincial/Municipal Action Teams who are ready for mobilization anytime.
Moreover, at least 42 staff was trained on psychosocial supports and 20 personnel trained on camp coordination and camp management ready for deployment.
Volunteers for repacking of family food packs from the academe, civic organizations, private companies, non-government organizations, partner national government agencies like the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) and all DSWD Field Office VII staff also had their share in the success of the quick delivery of assistance to affected individuals recovering from the aftermath of disasters.
There were also volunteers registered through the Bayanihang Bayan program that are trained on rapid assessment, relief distribution, camp management, stress debriefing and among other capability building trainings to further enhance the team’s efficiency and effectiveness in providing social protection services to the disaster victims.
“The collaborative effort between the Municipal and Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) are very visible resulting to a systematic way of responding to the Tabogonons, Roglin Sumayang further expressed.”
The Department works heavily in the post-disaster and rehabilitation phase and with the resources that equipped the DSWD 7’s Disaster Response Unit. The region has successfully and continually provided Disaster Response Assistance to a comprehensive number of disaster victims throughout the entire year of 2017.
A total of 133,612 families of Central Visayas Region have been served with Php 46,894,631.41 total costs of family food packs and Php 4,888,215.31 total costs of non-food items during the periodical disaster occurrences that happened within the year 2017. A Php 51,782,846.72 total cost of family food packs and non-food items have been adequately distributed to the families affected with all the disasters that have occurred within the year 2017. This also includes the 5,402 family food packs with a total cost of Php 1,853,101.6 served to the displaced families due to armed encounter in the town of Inabanga, Bohol.
Apart from the Disaster Response Assistance served in the Central Visayas Region, DSWD 7 through its VDRC has also actively assisted the needs of disaster affected families in other regions and provinces, such as Region X, CARAGA, ARMM, Iligan City and recently to Naval, Biliran which was whirling from the destruction brought by Tropical Strom Urduja. A total of 333,300 family food packs with a total cost of Php 124,925,989.68 have been served to the above-mentioned provinces and regions during the disaster relief operations for the augmentation of the disaster affected families’ need for food.
In addition, during the recent crisis in Marawi City, DSWD 7’s disaster response and relief operation has actively assisted numbers of Internally Displaced Persons and provided a total cost of Php 101,153,449.68 Family Food Packs.
Consequently, DSWD-7 Regional Director, Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre, together with two other Regional Directors has recently received a plaque of recognition from the Provincial Government of Lanao Del Sur for the steady support of the region and continuous service to the Internally Displaced Persons of Marawi during the 6-month crisis in the city.
With the strong collaboration of partner local government units, DSWD-7 is looking forward to more LGUs building storage houses in each municipalities for the whole region where family food packs will be prepositioned and stored, ready for disaster response operations any time.
Priceless reactions from affected families tempered by gratitude that they have survived, the knowledge that there is aid to tide them over, and the determination to build back soon through the help of DSWD-7 are only the few things that motivate DSWD-7s disaster response unit to all the more do an extra mile in quickly delivering help towards affected families during disasters.
“I could really see the relief and gladness on their (disaster affected people) faces when basic aid like family food packs and non-food items that they need in order to live a day are quickly provided before them,” Sumayang additionally asserted.
Manual ferrying of family food packs to C130 in Mactan Airbase, Cebu from late in the evening until early in the morning, then reporting to work sleepless afterward is one of the most tedious, challenging yet fulfilling experiences that VDRC Admin Officer – V Armecin can recall. Family food packs ferried to C130 were served to affected individuals of severe flooding in Cagayan on January 2017.
He has also underscored the rewarding feeling to witness the lit faces of the victims after receiving boxes of help and hope with food and non-food items inside it distributed to different LGUs.
“Lipay gyud kaayo sila, ug nindot kaayo sa pamati nga nakahatag ka og kapilay ngadto nila nga nagmagul-anon gumikan sa kadaot sa bagyo nga namugna ngadto sa ilaha ug makita gyud ninyo ang ilang mapasalamton nga mga pahiyom gumikan sa tabang nga atong gi-apod apod ngadto nila,” Armecin further stated.”
Disaster affected families may have been devastated due to the misfortunate disaster that transpired in their places, but the visible reaction of hope on their faces only shows that, knowing that there is a helping hand always ready to extend help and hope to them, survival is never impossible.
Facebook Dominates As The Main Market Place For Illegal Live Reptile Trade in the Philippines
A new TRAFFIC study reveals a flourishing trade in reptiles on Facebook in the Philippines with rapidly growing membership in groups offering everything from Critically Endangered crocodiles to rare tortoises.
In just three months, researchers recorded 2,245 unique live reptile advertisements representing 115 taxa and a minimum of 5,082 individual animals posted in 90 Facebook groups.
The cumulative membership in the groups at the beginning of the survey in June 2016 stood at 359,328, but quickly increased by 11% by the end of August that year.
“In only selected groups and in under a hundred days, we found thousands of individual reptiles in trade. This magnitude of commerce in live wild animals online is just mind boggling,” said Serene Chng, Programme Officer for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia.
“This small snapshot reinforces how social media has taken over as the new epicentre of wildlife trade.”
Over half the species documented in the study are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and all species are protected under the Philippine Wildlife Act.
Based on current Philippine wildlife law and regulations, researchers found that at least 80% of documented online traders in this study could be deemed involved, knowingly or otherwise, in illegal trading activities.
Native species, including the endemic and Critically Endangered Philippine Crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis and Philippine Forest Turtle Siebenrockiella leytensis, were offered for sale. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) reported that it has never issued permits to collect reptiles for commercial use, making the trade in these animals illegal.
The study found several CITES Appendix I-listed non-native species offered for sale including Radiated Tortoise Astrochelys radiata, Bengal Monitor Lizard Varanus bengalensis, Black Spotted Turtle Geochlemys hamiltonii and Dumeril’s Boa Acrantophis dumerili. According to both the CITES trade database and BMB records, there were no records of legal imports for these species.
A further eight CITES Appendix II species seen for sale online had no importation records since 1981, meaning they were very likely acquired and being traded illegally. The availability of internationally protected endangered species on Facebook groups in the Philippines illustrates the challenges of enforcing international agreements and national law.
Facebook is the platform of choice for illegal traders in the Philippines because of its popularity and insufficient internal monitoring enforcement. The study highlighted how buyers and sellers used internet-based services to ensure privacy and connectivity. Most deals were closed via Facebook messenger, away from any prying eyes, making it difficult for effective monitoring of illicit online activity. At least one case a trader was documented using a ride-sharing service to deliver wildlife to a buyer.
The study recommends enhanced monitoring, enforcement, collaboration, and advocacy to mitigate the burgeoning illegal reptile trade in the country. It also recommends that Facebook continue working with TRAFFIC to develop training materials around endangered species content.
In 2017, based in part on findings from this study, the BMB in collaboration with national authorities including the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted numerous arrests of suspected illegal traders in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pangasinan, and Cebu. In addition, packages with illegal wildlife destined for China, Sweden, and the US were intercepted by Philippine Customs.
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