Putho-Tuntungin, Bagong Silang showcase organic produce at SyenSaya 2014

by Charlene Ruth Espenilla

Organic farmer collaborators from Barangays Putho-Tuntungin and Bagong Silang grossed about PhP 14,000 during the three-day SyenSaya 2014 Wonderama held at the EB Copeland Museum from September 10-12.

The organic produce sold during SyenSaya included gabi (yam), kangkong (swamp cabbage), luya (ginger), okra (lady fingers), sitaw (string beans), and talbos ng kamote (camote tops) from farmers who partnered with the Local Government of Los Baños through the Gender and Development (GAD) Office and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

Barangays Bagong Silang and Putho-Tuntungin were two among the six barangays involved in the organic farming project, which is part of the PhP 4.6 million project entitled “Enhancing Gender-Sensitive Sustainable Agriculture and Aquatic Science and Technology (S&T)-based Livelihood Enterprises in Los Baños” between PCAARRD and Los Baños that was formalized in March earlier this year.

Six months after the partnership was inked, the organic farming project has now established farmer collaborators in the six targeted barangays. The Los Baños LGU plans to organize an organic market in the new municipal hall as well as partner with local restaurants and food establishments to form an initial market for the barangays’ organic produce.

SyenSaya. The sales were turned over to the organic farmers of Barangays Bagong Silang and Putho-Tuntungin at the end of the three-day mini organic market. (Photo by CREspenilla)

ASP-Laguna, LB LGU open community center for therapy, support services

by Camille Anne Mendizabal, Emmanuelle Dominique Mendoza, and Neil Arwin Mercado

On September 17, the Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP) – Laguna Chapter and the local government of Los Baños inaugurated the Los Baños Community Center for Therapy Intervention and Support Services (LBCC-TISS) in Brgy. Timugan as part of the activities for Banamos Festival.

Georgia Lovell, the executive director of the Direct Aid program (DAP) and Los Baños Mayor Caesar Perez during the ceremonial turnover of the community center to the local government during the inauguration.

The construction of the LBCC-TISS was funded by the Direct Aid Program (DAP) of the Australian government after the approval of ASP’s proposal for putting up a community center for therapy and intervention programs for their scholars. ASP coordinated with the local government unit of Los Baños in the refurbishment of the old Department old Social Welfare and Development and Sangguniang Bayan offices to be used as a community center.

LBCC-TISS will provide services such as medical and occupational therapy and other medical intervention for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, multiple disabilities especially those diagnosed with autism, and the like. This not only serves as an intervention center, but also as a training ground for parents of these children to help them be their child’s own teachers at home.

According to Ma. Ana Del Valle of ASP, the center will serve as the hub and therapy center for family members and children dealing with disabilities. The LBCC-TISS is the fifth center built by ASP in Laguna. Other centers are located in includes the Paete, Liliw, and Calamba.

Before the LBCC-TISS was established, the programs conducted by ASP, such as the Sensory Motor Activities (SMA) for children ages 6-12 every Saturday, were held at the Los Baños Central Elementary School covered court. On the other hand, ASP’s early stimulation programs for children with ages five and below were formerly conducted in the play area of the Municipal Health Office. With the opening of the LBCC-TISS, the ASP activities can now be held in the LBTC-TISS, which is tailored to address their scholars’ needs.

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Putho-Tuntungin naglunsad ng proyektong vegetable container gardening para sa 4Ps

ni Ricarda Villar

Namahagi ng mga binhi ng pipino, sitaw, at kalabasa sa kanilang barangay covered court ang Brgy. Putho-Tuntungin sa mga miyembro ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) noong ika-13 ng Setyembre.

Pinangunahan ni Kapitan Ronaldo Oñate at Konsehal Rhodora Lagman ang pamamahagi ng binhi ng gulay sa mga miyembro ng 4Ps sa kanilang baranga y. Isang linggo matapos ang pamamahagi ng binhi, bibisitahin ng barangay ang mga kabahayan upang masigurong patuloy na nakikibahagi sa proyekto ang mga miyembro ng 4Ps.

Ang pamamahagi ng binhi ng gulay ay panimula ng proyektong vegetable container gardening na pinangungunahan ni Kapitan Ronaldo Oñate at Konsehal Rhodora Lagman ng komite ng agrikultura ng Brgy. Putho-Tuntungin.

Ang mga binhing ipinamahagi ay mula sa PAMANA Center at sa Institute of Plant Breeding ng UP Los Baños. Paliwanag ni Konsehal Lagman, ang pamamahagi ng binhi or seed dispersal ay matagal at regular nang isinasagawa ng Brgy. Putho-Tuntungin upang matulungan ang mga residenteng magkaroon ng karagdagang mapagkukuhanan ng pagkain.

Ani Kapitan Oñate, ang proyektong vegetable container gardening ay nabuo matapos maobserbahan na walang mapagkuhanan ng supply ng gulay ang mga residente matapos masira ng Bagyong Glenda ang mga taniman ng gulay sa bahay-bahay. Sa vegetable container gardening, maitatago pansamantala ang mga pananim upang hindi ito maapektuhan ng sama ng panahon at maaring mailabas muli pagkalipas ng bagyo. Maliban dito, makakatulong ang vegetable container gardening na magkaroon ng regular na mapagkukunan ng pagkain ang kanilang mga kabarangay. Kasali sa proyekto ang lahat ng miyembro ng 4Ps sa Brgy. Putho-Tuntungin.

Para sa mga nais makipagtulungan sa proyektong vegetable container gardening sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng mga binhi o mga plastik na botelya o lalagyan (1, 1.5, at 2 litro), maaaring makipag-ugnayan sa Tanggapan ng Brgy. Putho-Tuntungin sa numerong (049) 536-4546.

AMDP displays smart incubator in Syensaya 2014

by Remsce A. Pasahol

The Agricultural Mechanization Development Program of the University of the Philippines College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (UPLB CEAT) showcased an egg incubator made from locally available materials in the three-day Syensaya annual science festival at the UPLB campus on September 10 to 12.

A simple ice chest made of styrofoam served as the chamber of the incubator. An incandescent bulb served as source of light and heat. To ensure that the heat was absorbed evenly by the egg, there is a computer fan which distributes the heated air and an egg turner which tilts the egg. An air vent was also installed to regulate the temperature and humidity or the amount of water vapor in the chamber.

What makes this invention a smart incubator is the automation system used in the machine. which is an Arduino platform (Gizduino X derivative). This tool acts like the central processing unit of a computer to control the fan, light bulb and egg turner based on the input and the environmental condition, such as moisture and temperature.

Since the incubator is no longer manually operated, more precise and accurate operation can be observed in maintaining the desired temperature of 37 to 38 degrees Celsius for better incubation of eggs.

DOST Region4-A introduces ICT-based “Project HaNDA”

by Kristina Aloida Tolentino

On the closing day of the annual three-day science fair and exhibit, Syensaya 2014 continues to showcase different scientific innovations from institutions and research organizations catering to the theme of the event “Los Baños Science Community: supporting the nation in meeting global challenges.”

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 4-A showcased their innovations focusing on risk reduction management. Featured projects in the booth include fiberglass rescue boats, volumetric calibration laboratory, and the ICT-based innovation called Project HaNDA (Hazard Notification, Dissemination and Awareness).

Project HaNDA is a website based system that updates and disseminates disaster-related announcements covering earthquake, volcano, and weather bulletins as well as tropical cyclone to concerned government agencies within the region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces).

Information dissemination of the technology works in a top-down approach that enables the system to give updates within minutes of notice. Concerning agencies like PAGASA, PHIVOLC, and RDRRMCA channel information to DOST Region 4-A from time to time. And the DOST then updates the websites and notifies local units of Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officers (DRRMOs) through generated sim cards accessible only by both parties.

The website includes a map and provides visual representations of real-time situations on specific regions. It also includes weather bulletins and modules on dissemination, feedback, and public inquiry.

According to France Lagro, project coordinator from DOST, there is a need for more funding, research and acceptance of these risk reduction management programs since the country is constantly experiencing calamities thus these are great tools to keep people informed and prevent disasters to occur.

The system was developed in 2010 and is still accessible through the website drrm.region4a.dost.gov.ph.

Growing market for Red Nile Tilapia

by Kristina Aloida N. Tolentino

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) showcased different innovations that aim to solve environmental, agricultural and food sustenance problems in the country during the 2014 Syensaya fair at the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Copeland gymnasium. On the second day of the exhibit at the PCAARRD booth, the featured products were research development focused on rice production, coconut trade and processing, and tilapia breeding.

The highlight of the exhibit was the aquarium filled with Red Nile Tilapia.

Syensaya 2014

Aquarium filled with high breed Red Nile Tilapia developed by PCAARD (photo by KA Tolentino)

Willie Ibarra, science research specialist at PCAARD, said that the showcase aims to attract and inform people about the emerging market for Red Nile tilapia, a high-quality tilapia known for its appealing red color, which is attributed to the Mossambique tilapia crossbred with the Nile tilapia for faster growth.

This breed of tilapia was originally imported from Singapore in 1978 and has been improved locally to introduce a different variant aside from the commonly available gray, cheap, and fingerling tilapia.

According to Ibarra, PCAARD is trying to revive the market for this “Class A” breed of tilapia to have a cheaper alternative to the high-priced marine species. The market hampered due to the mass market of the common grey Nile tilapia.

The institution partnered with the National Tilapia Research and Development Program for funding and also with the Central Luzon State University-Freshwater Aquaculture Center (CLSU-FAC) to lead and improve on research.