Calamba poses with Landolf Villanueva, a Youth Development
Programs facilitator of RAFI’s Kool Adventure Camp, after she
was interviewed at her training center.
KAC alumna is
Athlete of the Year
By Ramon Aboitiz Foundation
May 29, 2013
CITY – Fifteen-year-old Mikaela Calamba, alumna of Ramon Aboitiz
Foundation Inc.'s (RAFI) Kool Adventure Camp (KAC), was named Athlete
of the Year during the 31st Sportswriters Association of Cebu-San
Miguel Brewery Inc. Cebu Sports Awards.
“When I heard my name being called to receive the award, I could not
believe it at first. I was thinking it was another Mikaela. But when
the crowd cheered for me, I felt blessed that my sacrifices paid off,”
Walking upstage to receive her award brought back an experience – her
Pamper Pole experience during her training with KAC last year.
Calamba referred to one of the high elements in Challenge Ropes Course
(CRC). Pamper Pole is about twenty-five to thirty-five feet high where
a person stands on the platform and dives for a target rope that is
suspended from a cable.
CRC consists of an aesthetically designed series of ropes, cables and
wood poles combine in such a way as to stimulate challenges that might
be found in a natural setting. Furthermore, CRC is an experiential
adventure program which offers groups and individuals the opportunity
to participate in a series of activities involving mental, physical
and emotional risk taking.
Before named Athlete of the Year, Calamba won a gold medal over older
competitors from Vietnam, India, and USA in the individual freestyle
event in the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championship last December in
“I felt fulfilled that I have achieved my Pamper Pole goal – to be a
gold medalist in an international taekwondo competition,” she said.
“Superstone”, Calamba’s camp name, added that KAC has enriched her
mentally, spiritually, physically, and socially.
“I’m Superstone because of its being strong and unbreakable,”
She continued, “I learned to face the challenges and realized that
anything is possible. Through hard work, determination, and
commitment, I will be able to achieve something.”
Calamba did not expect she will be doing taekwondo.
“I just wanted a productive summer so I took up voice and dance
lessons but I got bored so I went out until I was influenced by my
brother to enrol for taekwondo,” she recalled.
Landolf Villanueva, Mikaela’s facilitator during the camp, said that
he immediately congratulated her after knowing her feat.
“When I saw Mikaela in the newspaper, I spread the good news right
away to all KAC staff,” Villanueva said.
Calamba also shared that she had given up some family affairs and
other extracurricular activities just to train hard.
“When I knew that I will be sent to Colombia for the competition, I
know I have to do my best because it will lead me to success,” Calamba
remarked, citing her two-month training in Manila aside from regular
training in Cebu.
“Training hard and dedication will really lead you to achieving what
you want. With my experience in KAC, I became optimistic, more
committed to what I am doing, and I learned a lot of things, which I
have applied in sports. I know I have done something new every
practice,” she shared.
When asked about her next Pamper Pole goal, Calamba said she wants to
win more taekwondo titles and be an honor student.
“You need to trust yourself. Trust others also that they may help
build your success. If you lose trust, you will create your own
downfall, which is really hard in sports,” she stressed.
She also encouraged young people to join in a KAC program since it is
once-in-a-lifetime experience that provides a wide variety of valuable
Calamba is currently training for the Asian Junior Championships to be
held in Indonesia this June.
KAC has been offering adventure education programs for leadership and
team development for youth and professionals for the last decade. It
is currently building the Philippines’ first fully dedicated adventure
education center, which is set to open this year..
Boracay as world’s
best? ‘Hardly,’ says LA Times travel editor
Calls WV’s tourist
destination a big disappointment
By FLORENCE F. HIBIONADA
May 29, 2013
CALIFORNIA, USA – More fun
in the Philippines? Maybe. Or to borrow the word of a Los Angeles (LA)
Times Travel Editor, “hardly.” The reason? Boracay, the Philippines’
hyped-up tourist destination that generated a big “thumbs-down” from a
renowned Travel Writer.
Located in Western Visayas
Region, Boracay fell short – very short – of the expectations of
Catherine Hamm who incidentally has since counted and considered the
Philippines as among her 34 places called “home.”
A principal figure in LA
Times Travel Section since 1999, Hamm became the paper’s Travel Editor
in 2003. Interviews granted by Hamm revealed fond stories of her
Manila stay during her childhood following her father’s employ with
the US Federal Government.
Hamm in Sunday’s LA Times
edition wrote a lengthy piece of last year’s Boracay visit entitled
“The best island in the world? Hardly.” It was to be one of the day’s
main stories that had Boracay summed up by Hamm as the island that
“doesn’t live up to the high expectations.”
“Can a million and a half
people be wrong?...Can Travel & Leisure be wrong?....Can Trip Advisor
be wrong?,” Hamm’s article began as she explained that the said figure
was the expected visitors of Boracay this year and “Travel & Leisure”
being the magazine that dubbed Boracay as “best island in the world.”
Trip Advisor on the other hand is the popular website cum traveler’s
best guide online that considered Boracay as a “Travelers’ Choice 2013
For Hamm, all three “could
be wrong. Or misguided” followed by “Or I could be.”
And with writing style
distinct to Hamm, her article continued stating that Boracay lovers
may not be beach experts.
“Maybe they don’t suffer
guilt about the poverty or the damage to the environment,” she quipped
with her dislike for Boracay compared to Manila’s heat and humidity.
The latter even emerged as the better option for Hamm though with her
piece concluding that she was better off with Manila’s smog, traffic
Such as she expressed her
disappointment of not finding “the hoped-for-piece of paradise…..”
“If Boracay had been a first
date, there wouldn’t have been a second. We just weren’t right for
each other. I should have known that from the minute I arrived at the
hotel,” she wrote.
Hamm stayed at the plush
Boracay Regency where she took particular note of hotel policy cum
warning that charges will be made should the linens be stained. The
stains being that of Henna Tatto, coconut oil or hair dye.
For Hamm, the hotel policy
was a little too much saying she did not understand why she would be
charged in the first place saying “What would I be doing that would
cause me to damage the sheets like this?”
Hamm also chided Boracay’s
road network from the main port calling it “pot-holed obstacle
courses” and the stream of Boracay vendors and human traffic as “a bit
Hamm in the same article
also made mention of a news story that wrote of damage to the island’s
corals. Said recollection had her quit her “little relaxation” at a
“…I remembered that the
coral that I could now see clearly has been so badly damaged that the
Philippine Daily Inquirer reported last year that less than a tenth of
it remains in its original state. Coral is critical for marine life. I
wasn’t helping. I got out of the water,” she said.
Yet it was to be sight of
children begging and mothers with children in tow likewise asking for
money that turned off Hamm.
“We didn’t need a henna
tattoo or a coconut oil massage and we didn’t want the guilt,” she
said while stressing that what she actually came for was the promise
of yet another hotel, Discovery Shores, “the hotel that had started me
on this Boracay fever dream.”
Voted by Travel & Leisure as
the Fourth Best Hotel in the world, Discovery Shores likewise was a
disappointment for Hamm and chided for the failed promise of “barefoot
“It was a bit of a hike to
our room at Moorish-looking Discovery Shores, but things were looking
up. Our accommodations included a living room, a bedroom and a small
kitchen,” she wrote. “Our bellman explained the large bowl on the
floor in which yellow flowers floated on water. Someone would be by
soon to give us a welcome foot massage.” Sadly, the masseuse never
came or in Hamm’s words was “MIA” or was Missing In Action.
Yet massages or not, Hamm
had her enough impressions of Boracay.
“No number of spa treatments
was going to change my impression of Boracay, a place for partyers or
rich people, of which I am neither,” she concluded. “This wasn’t a
love match – not for me. Maybe 30 years ago when Boracay and I were
from Campawan learn to build storm-resilient houses in the pilot
site of the ICRC shelter program. The ICRC will soon be
replicating the program in Compostela Valley province.
Long road to
recovery for survivors of Typhoon Bopha
May 16, 2013
MANILA – More than four months have
passed since Eastern Mindanao was hit by a typhoon that destroyed the
homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. This is an
update on what the ICRC is doing to help them get back on their feet
Typhoon Bopha (known locally
as Pablo) has had a devastating impact on the south-eastern
Philippines, destroying infrastructure and displacing thousands. While
continuing to distribute food and other relief items to more than
273,000 people in the two worst-hit regions of Eastern Mindanao, the
ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross have now launched income generation
projects and begun improving communities’ longer-term access to
shelter, clean water, and health care.
"Many people lost their
homes and livelihoods as a result of the havoc wreaked by the typhoon
in December 2012," said Pascal Mauchle, head of the ICRC delegation in
the Philippines. "It is a long and difficult process for them to
rebuild their lives from scratch."
"What survivors most need
now is help to quickly recover from this harrowing experience and get
back on their feet again. The ICRC is providing sustainable access to
drinking water and health care, supporting families in their efforts
to rebuild longer-lasting shelters, and finding ways to kick-start
their livelihoods. At the same time, we are also delivering emergency
aid to cover essential needs," Mr Mauchle added.
More than four months have
passed since Typhoon Bopha hit Eastern Mindanao. Maria Fe Ayala, a
35-year-old mother from Monkayo, Compostela Valley, says she and her
family barely survived the disaster. "My children and I could not go
out and risk our necks because even my mother-in-law's house was swept
away. I made a small hole and we climbed into it just before our house
was destroyed. We laid our bodies flat on the ground if the rains had
not stopped, we would have died from the cold."
Shelter for vulnerable families
In the worst-hit communities
of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces, many families
continue to live in temporary shelters. Together with the Philippine
Red Cross, the ICRC has launched a project to help almost 19,000
people rebuild their homes and provide an income stream for skilled
workers in the local community such as carpenters and chainsaw
For families who are
struggling to rebuild after their houses were completely destroyed,
the project will provide the construction materials and labour needed
to build permanent, storm-resilient housing. Other families who lost
their homes will be provided with materials and labour for a "skeleton
house" that includes the foundation, structure and roof. In addition,
community residents will receive training in good construction
Marilyn Donga, whose house
was destroyed in the typhoon, has a new home in Campawan, in Davao
Oriental province: "Now that we have safe shelter, we can focus on
earning an income again so our children can return to school."
From relief to livelihood support
From January to April,
relief items were regularly distributed to 273,000 people in all 42
barangays (villages) of the three worst-hit municipalities of Davao
Oriental and 35 barangays of the five worst-hit areas of Compostela
Valley. People received food such as rice, sardines, salt, cooking
oil, coffee, soy sauce and sugar, and such household essentials as
jerrycans, buckets, cooking pots, sleeping mats, mosquito nets and
At the same time,
cash-for-work programmes are helping to generate income for
communities whose crops, and therefore their livelihoods, were totally
or partially destroyed.
Along with other community
members, Maria Fe volunteered to take part in a cash-for-work
programme in Monkayo municipality, which involved desilting the local
canal by removing a build-up of mud, refuse and other debris. This was
essential to ensuring that irrigation water reached farms.
"I used the money I made to
buy food for our family and to replace some of our damaged belongings.
It was worth all the hard work," said Ms Fe.
programmes are benefiting over 2,600 families, with dozens more
programmes in the pipeline. In addition, local farmers are receiving
corn seed, peanuts, chili seed and other items that will boost
harvests and generate income while increasing the availability of food
Improved access to drinking water
Between December and
mid-April, emergency distribution systems set up by the ICRC and the
Philippine Red Cross provided drinkable water to 18,000 people in 14
communities in Cateel and Baganga, in Davao Oriental province.
In an effort to make
drinking water available on a more permanent basis, existing community
water supply systems damaged in the typhoon are being repaired. Thus
far, work to overhaul 11 damaged supply systems serving nearly 27,000
people is under way or has been completed.
ICRC engineers also helped
rebuild and improve the water and sanitation systems in the Philippine
Red Cross' evacuation camp in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, which
provided services to nearly 3,000 people at the height of the
Enhancing access to health care
With local health facilities
suffering significant damage in the typhoon, the ICRC helped meet
acute health-care needs by setting up in Baganga, Davao Oriental, a
basic health-care unit donated by the Japanese Red Cross. Opened in
January, the unit has provided immediate medical attention and
psychosocial support to over 7,000 patients during its 11 weeks of
operation. Medical professionals seconded to the ICRC from the Red
Cross societies of Japan, Canada, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Norway,
and the Philippines provided free consultations and treatment.
"The unit ensured people had
access to basic health care despite the prevailing situation. It
proved essential in covering the gap while badly damaged health
facilities were being repaired. It also helped back up existing health
services," said Gegham Petrosyan, ICRC health coordinator.
Local health facilities have
continued to receive a range of assistance from the ICRC as they
return to normal service. The ICRC has supported or is supporting the
repair of eight damaged health facilities (village health stations,
rural health units and a district hospital) in Davao Oriental, which
serve a population of nearly 120,000. People in typhoon-affected areas
had uninterrupted access to health care thanks in part to medical
supplies provided by the ICRC to five rural health units and one
Give our parents
decent jobs, says children
By Save the Children
April 30, 2013
MANILA – A group of children
on Labor Day, May 1, challenges the country’s next political leaders
to improve their living condition and keep them out of hazardous work
by providing their parents with decent and productive jobs. The group
further urge candidates to bare their plans to help the country
achieve its commitment to reducing the number of children engaged in
the worst form of child labor by at least 75% in 2015.
According to “Bata Muna:
Bumoto para sa Kapakanan ng mga Bata” campaigners, children suffer
most if their parents are unemployed or underemployed. “As a result of
parents’ unemployment or underemployment, children at a very young age
are forced to find jobs to help augment the needs of the family,” says
Anna Lindenfors, Country Director of Save the Children in the
The International Labour
Organization (ILO) reports that more than 200 million children in the
world engage in various forms of child labor. They work in hazardous
environment, toil extremely long hours, and suffer from slavery and
servitude. They are coerced to participate in prostitution, cyber
pornography, drug trafficking, armed conflict, and other illicit
In the Philippines, the 2011
Survey on Children of the National Statistics Office (NSO) said that
the number of children engaged in hazardous work alone increased by
25% from 2.2 million in 2001 to 3 million in 2011, representing about
10% of the more than 29 million children aged 5-17.
“Hazardous work harms
children’s health, safety or morals such as the case of children
working in mines and deep sea fishing. They may be directly exposed to
hazards such as sharp tools or poisonous chemicals,” says Lindenfors.
“While other hazards for
child laborers may be less apparent such as the risk of abuse or
problems resulting from long hours of work – still these put children
in vulnerable situations,” adds Lindenfors.
Child laborers are indeed
trapped in vulnerable situations. Even if they want to get away from
their labor condition, there are no real and acceptable alternatives
to improve their family’s state of living available to them.
“Child labor is rooted in
poverty and lack of decent and productive work. The next leaders of
this country must recognize and address the root causes of child
labor. We cannot effectively address the problem of child labor unless
decent work is made available to parents and caretakers. If the
employment opportunities are addressed, children will no longer be
forced to work and will remain in school,” explains Magnolia Jacinto,
Acting Regional Coordinator of Asia Against Child Trafficking (Asia
“Children engaged in child
labor are denied the chance to enjoy their childhood because they are
burdened with financial woes. We are hoping that the future leaders
will look at economic and social policies and actions that will create
opportunities for parents, thereby fostering an enabling environment
for children,” adds Hazel Bitaña, Regional Trainer of Asia ACTs.
Meanwhile, a recent survey
conducted by Children Youth Organization (CYO), an organization of
more than 180 children below 17 years old in Bagong Silang, Caloocan
City, revealed that 50% of children in their community who are engaged
in collecting paper and plastic scraps in streets to earn money belong
to big families and have 4 to 6 siblings. Also, more than half of them
are aware that child labor is prohibited under Philippines law and yet
72% of them still choose to work to help augment the earnings of their
family. These children also complain of getting tired, getting
bruises, being ashamed and envious of other children.
These children demand the
government to provide their parents, especially parents who did not
finish their education, with jobs to keep them from that kind of work.
“While the next political
leaders will pave the way for a better life for children and their
families, your votes can make it happen. You must choose leaders who
will stand up and fight for their rights,” says Lindenfors.
To guide the voters in
choosing these leaders, Bata Muna came up with a checklist that will
help voters identify pro-children candidates. In the checklist, a
pro-children candidate must have a concrete platform that advances the
rights of children, especially the most vulnerable children; must have
already stood up for children and their rights and continues to do so;
must value children’s involvement and participation; one who thinks
and acts independently for the good of the majority, especially of
children; must not be corrupt; must have no record of or has not
violated any children’s rights and human rights violations; and must
be progressive – one who thinks of the present and the future
Staying safe in
outdoor summer activities
By ANGELA MICAH OBSINA
/ RAFI intern
April 18, 2013
CEBU CITY – As fun as
summer vacations should be, safety must always be first on the list.
This summertime when there
is a wide variety of activities – from swimming, to trekking or
hiking, and even caving – to engage in, people tend to get too excited
and complacent of their surroundings.
In the April 13 episode of "Pagtuki",
the official radio program of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI),
the public is reminded of the potential health and safety risks and
dangers while doing outdoor activities in summer.
Anthony Terence Ocampo,
Deputy Director for Professional Development Programs of RAFI's Kool
Adventure Camp (KAC), identified dehydration, heat stroke, and sunburn
as the most common ailments this season brings.
“Most of us are not aware
that we get are getting dehydrated. Even if we don’t feel like
drinking water, we should still take in some. One liter in the morning
and one in the afternoon will do,” Ocampo said.
Heat stroke, he said, is
most dangerous since it is hardly noticeable, especially to those not
used to being exposed to the sun for a long period of time.
Noting that many go to
beaches, he advised avoiding swimming from 10-12 a.m. to prevent
sunburns. He also stressed that children must be looked after when
going out with a large crowd and if possible, guard the parameters
where they would be bathing with a cordon.
Joel Cariño, basic
mountaineering instructor of Mountaineering Federation of the
Philippines Inc. (MFPI) and Red Cross first-aid instructor, echoed
Ocampo’s statements emphasizing on risk management.
“All activities have risks.
But it can be prevented through risk management and thinking of safety
first,” Cariño said.
When asked for things to
consider when planning an outdoor activity, Cariño mentioned five
points. First, to ask yourself if you can really do it. Second, to
assess if you brought the right things for the trip. Asking permission
from parents or guardians comes third. In line with that goes the
courtesy of informing the barangay, particularly when hiking or
trekking. And lastly, informing people concerned upon return.
He also stressed proper
outdoor get-up, which includes the right material of clothing and
He also shared a few
guidelines on caving as he just came from the Philippine Philological
Cavings Congress, the national gathering of cavers from around the
According to him, while
caves have areas for eco-tourism or public viewing, other areas are
restricted to protect certain animals or organisms. Visit caves that
have already been checked and cleared by the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources.
“Safety is always of
paramount importance. If one thinks that he or she cannot do the
activity, better cancel. What matters more is that there is more
learning while having fun,” he said.
Everything boils down to
right and adequate preparation and planning for a safe yet fun summer
Pagtuki is aired over DyLA
every Saturday at 10-11 am. The program, which is one of the Knowledge
Sharing & Advocacy capabilities of RAFI, tackles timely and relevant
issues on community development, politics and governance,
micro-financing, education, environment, early childhood care and
development, and culture and heritage that affect the Cebuano
for the Future lowered to North Pole seabed. A Greenpeace team
prepare a crane to hoist a time capsule to the seabed at the
North Pole. A “flag for the future” is attached to the glass and
titanium time capsule containing 2.7 million names of supporters
who wish to protect the Arctic. (Photo by Christian Åslund /
symbolic flag on the North Pole seabed to demand that the Arctic be
made a global sanctuary
April 15, 2013
MANILA – Four young people
on a mission with Greenpeace have planted a flag on the seabed beneath
the North Pole, at the same spot where a submarine planted a Russian
flag claiming the Arctic for Moscow. The young people planted their
‘Flag for the Future’ four kilometers beneath the ice at the top of
the world and called for the region to be declared a global sanctuary.
The campaigners held a
ceremony this weekend at the geographic North Pole, led by two Arctic
Indigenous ambassadors. There they cut a hole in the ice and lowered a
flag designed by a child from Malaysia, through the freezing waters to
The flag is attached to a
glass and titanium time capsule containing the signatures of nearly
three million people – including more than 8,000 Filipinos – who asked
for their names to be taken to the Pole when they joined Greenpeace’s
campaign calling for the Arctic to be protected from exploitation.
Many celebrities and prominent leaders, like Nobel Peace Prize winner
Archbishop Desmond Tutu have joined the call for a global sanctuary.
Over the weekend, Archbishop Tutu sent his message to the expedition
team by saying said, "I offer my full support to these young people
who travelled to the North Pole on behalf of those whose lives are
being turned upside down by climate change.”
Hollywood actor Ezra Miller
– star of We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Perks of Being a
Wallflower – is one of the youth ambassadors who planted the flag and
the names. “I can’t feel the tips of my fingers or toes but my head
and heart are filled with a newfound determination. Melting ice is a
catastrophe, not a profit-making opportunity. To see it as such is
utter madness. Three million people have now joined this movement to
declare their commitment to save this vital part of our earth; I feel
honoured to be a part of this team, which was chosen to represent all
of them at this critical moment in history. This is a collective
responsibility. It’s up to all of us, and especially the youth, to
change the way that humanity treats this amazing planet we love and
rely on so completely,” said Miller.
Another youth ambassador is
Renny Bijoux, a member of the Youth Parliament from the island-nation
of Seychelles that is at risk of being submerged by rising sea
levels. “Though we are in the Arctic and I live in the Seychelles, on a
global level it is my homeland too. Whatever happens here affects my
people, from rising seas to growing storms. Sustainable development is
the key. We must respect our environment and develop within its
limits, because if we destroy our climate, we cannot sustain our
development for future generations. The damage is clear and it is
apparent. It’s time for those in power like the Arctic Council to realise this and see that protecting the Arctic is a global
necessity”, said Bijoux.
Like the islands in the
Indian Ocean, countries in Southeast Asia have been cited as some of
the world’s most vulnerable, yet least prepared to cope with the
devastating impacts of climate change.
The 5th Annual Climate
Change and Environmental Risk Atlas (2013), released by global risk
and strategic firm Maplecroft, has identified Manila, Bangkok and
Jakarta under extreme risk from climate change. These cities have seen
major flooding in recent years which can become more frequent or more
severe in the future. Long-term changes in temperature and rainfall
patterns is guaranteed to have devastating effects on ecosystems,
human health, industrial processes, supply chains and infrastructure.
The expedition coincided
with the first ever meeting at the North Pole of the Arctic Council,
the governing body comprised of foreign ministers and senior officials
from Arctic states. As the expedition started, the youth ambassadors
requested for a meeting with the Arctic Council, but were refused. The
weeklong expedition to the Pole is part of a global campaign to
protect the Arctic, under threat from climate change, oil companies,
industrial fishing and shipping. As global warming melts the sea ice,
companies such as Shell, Gazprom and Statoil are moving in to exploit
the region's oil as nation states lay claim to areas previously
covered by ice.
The youth ambassadors and
Greenpeace campaigners have challenged the companies and nations
seeking to profit from climate change. By planting the time capsule
and flag, they have drawn a line in the ice, telling the polluters and
oil companies: you come no further.
The young people are part of
a Greenpeace team that trekked for one week across the frozen ocean in
freezing winds and temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius. They
traveled around 10 km a day, each dragging heavy sleighs weighing 80kg
behind them. In a remote and dangerous environment their supplies
dwindled as the shifting ice took them further from the Pole. The team
then hitched a ride with a helicopter that was flying in from the
nearby Barneo Base, to put them within striking distance of the Pole,
allowing them to ski and drift a shorter final distance and complete
their journey to the top of the world.
Even as the Flag for the
Future has already been planted, the fight to save the Arctic
continues. People are invited to sign the Greenpeace petition at
13 year old Malaysian girl wins Greenpeace’s
Flag for the Future Arctic competition
East Visayas NFA
surpasses rice procurement target in Q-1 by 133%
By Philippine Information
Agency (PIA 8)
March 22, 2013
PAWING, Palo, Leyte – The
National Food Authority in Eastern Visayas continues its aggressive
palay procurement in order to augment domestic inventory of the basic
NFA Regional Manager Vilma
H. Zarraga informed that for the first quarter of this year, the
Agency had a total procurement of 13,979 bags region wide.
“This is a Two Hundred
Thirty Three percent (233%) accomplishment since the Agency targeted
Six Thousand (6,000) bags only for the first quarter,“ she said.
Director Zarraga further
informed that as of press time, the Agency has already disbursed a
total of Eight Million Ninety Six Thousand Seven Hundred Forty Nine
Pesos (P8,096,749.0) from its Cereal Procurement Fund (CPF), the
financial source of NFA’s palay buying operations.
“Even if we have surpassed
our targets in the first quarter, we are still aiming to procure more
palay in the succeeding days and months,” Director Zarraga
Under NFA’s palay
procurement program, the Agency buys palay at the current government
support price of Seventeen Pesos (P17.00) per kilogram, clean and dry
or those with fourteen percent (14%) moisture content and “Purity A”
Palay deliveries falling
below this specification can also be accommodated subject to buying
price adjustments computed in accordance with the current NFA
Equivalent Net Weight (ENW) table, Manager Zarraga said.
On top of the basic support
price, additional incentives are given to the palay farmers. For every
kilogram of palay sold to the Agency, there is an additional Twenty
centavos (P.20) called drying incentive and a delivery incentive fee
of Twenty Centavos (P.20) or Ten Pesos (P10.00) per kilogram based on
the distance from the farm to the NFA buying station within zero (0)
to ten (10) kilometers. This delivery incentive escalates as the
distance of the farm to NFA buying station also increases.
Moreover, farmer groups or
cooperatives gain an add-on of Thirty Centavos (P.30) per kilogram of
palay sold to the Agency as their Cooperative Development Incentive
Fee (CDIF). The accumulated CDIF can be used by the concerned farmer
cooperative to acquire post-harvest facilities.
Director Zarraga is
encouraging all palay farmers and farmer cooperatives to sell their
produce to the Agency. She said that the Agency has simplified its
requirements for its palay procurement program.
The farmers’ passbooks is
now free of charge with photo provided by NFA. Moreover, walk-in
farmers now deliver a maximum of Two Hundred (200) bags.
“One of the factors that
contributed to the increase in NFA’s procurement accomplishment is the
simplification of requirement,” Manager Zarraga added.
“We also conducted Ugnayan
or advocacy prior to harvest and closely coordinated with the Local
Government Units (LGU), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of
Agrarian Reform (DAR), National Irrigation Administration (NIA),
farmers groups and barangay officials.
Moreover, the Agency
undertook close monitoring of palay harvests, timely positioned the
necessary logistics and opened buying stations in strategic production
“This way, we are able to
motivate and encourage the palay farmers to sell their produce to us,”
Manager Zarraga said.