[PHOTOS] Technology at work

Bukidnon State University students in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon check their academic and accounting records though an electronic kiosk installed by the university’s data center to make information more accessible. (Bukidnon News photos by Walter I. Balane)

Bukidnon loses more corn to post-harvest wastage [with PHOTOS]

MALAYBALAY CITY – The volume of corn losses due to post-harvest facility wastage is higher than the volume of corn actually consumed in Bukidnon, one of the country’s top corn-producing provinces.

The Provincial Agriculture Office, in its 2011 to 2016 Corn Roadmap of Bukidnon, a copy of which was obtained by Bukidnon News recently, showed that Bukidnon loses 87,766 metric tons or 26 percent of its corn production intended for local markets.

The PAO projected to cut down the losses from 26 percent in 2011 to 17 percent in 2016. The road map also showed that corn for local food use will increase from 21 percent in 2011 to 24 percent in 2016.

Of the 338,684 left for the local market, 21.4 percent or 72,670 metric tons goes for “food use.” Most of Bukidnon’s local corn consumption at 177,710 metric tons or 52.4 percent goes to its local
livestock industry as “feeds.”

About 51 percent of Bukidnon’s corn production of 554, 297 metric tons in 2010 went to “outside” market.

Bukidnon needs to avail of additional units of post harvest facilities (PHFs) from the Department of Agriculture, local government units, and private investors, the five-year plan prepared by the Provincial
Agriculture Office, said.

More PHFs have been identified as among the six interventions needed in the province to obtain its conservative targets for 2016. Bukidnon has produced 554,297 metric tons in 2010. The road map showed that Bukidnon intends to produce 773,995 metric tons in 2016, or 32.4 percent higher from its 2010 production.

According to the projections cited in the PAO road map, with a population of 1.27 million, Bukidnon has total corn usage of 338, 684 metric tons out of its 691,073 metric tons projected production until
December 2011.

With the figure, the province enjoys a 104-percent sufficiency rate, Estellita Madjos, deputy provincial agriculture officer, said Saturday.

The road map also showed that while PAO also intends to increase sufficiency ration to 115 percent in 2016, the share of corn for local consumption will go down from 49 percent in 2011 to 46 percent in 2016.

The Provincial Agriculture Office has also recommended that Bukidnon strengthen its research, development , and agricultural extension programs; and promote innovative farming technologies for sustainable development; encourage strong partnerships and linkages with government and non-government organizations. The road also recommended “strong market linkages with processors.”

The PAO cited in the “infrastructure development” section of the road map that Bukidnon has a total of 1,610 metric tons of post harvest facilities’ capacity.

The biggest three are ran by the Mindanao Grains company in Aglayan, Malaybalay City with a 480-metric ton capacity; Castech in Cabanglasan town with 400 MT and Cagayan Corn Products in Maramag town with 400 MT capacity. Limketkai Grains firm also runs a 200-MT post harvest facility in Malaybalay City.

Farmers’ associations, multi-purpose cooperatives, and local government units also operate post harvest facilities. But their combined capacity, the PAO cited in the road map, is only 50 metric
tons.

For feed millers and processors, San Miguel Corporation operates the bulk, 30 tons of Bukidnon’s 42-ton exiting feed millers and processors, the road map showed.

For dryers, Bukidnon has a total of 2,238 multi-purpose drying pavements, including basketball courts, spread around the province. The PAO also accounted about, three mobile flash dryers, 36 flat bed dryers and 205 columnar dryers in the province. According to the Bureau of Post Research and Extension (BPRE), in 2004, Bukidnon is home to a total of 180 stationary corn mills, 141 mobile corn mill rollers, and about 320 warehouses or storage facilities.

The Provincial Agriculture Office pushed as the top recommendation for more post harvest facilities in Bukidnon even if they cited Bukidnon existing post-harvest facilities.  The PAO have set three goals in the road, including the “increase in farmers’ productivity and income,” “production of quality corn for food and feeds,” and to “minimize post harvest facility losses.”(Walter I. Balane)

 

Truck loads of corn in sacks wait for weigh in at the Mindanao Grains Processing Co. Inc. plant in Aglayan, Malaybalay City File photo by Arthur Fabrigas/Courtesy of Central Mindanao Newswatch

 

Workers load sacks of yellow corn to a jeepney along the highway in Aglayan, Malaybalay City File photo by Arthur Fabrigas/Courtesy of Central Mindanao Newswatch

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Bukidnon LGUs’ IRA cut by P214M in 2012

MALAYBALAY CITY – Due to a shortfall of about 5 percent in the national revenue in 2009, the basis for the 2012 internal revenue allotment (IRA), local government units in the province will lose a total of about P213.8 million, according to a memorandum circular dated June 26 signed by Budget Sec. Jose Abad.

For 2011, LGUs in Bukidnon, including the Provincial Government of Bukidnon, the two cities and 20 towns received P4.486 billion. But due to the cut, they expect to receive P4.272 billion or P213.8 million or 4.76 percent less next year.

Bukidnon News obtained a copy of the list of reductions from Concessa B. Gamao, budget consultant of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Wednesday. Gamao, previously the Provincial Budget Office’s chief, told Bukidnon News traditionally it could also mean a freeze on increase for salaries, for example.

The Provincial Government of Bukidnon, which received an IRA of P1.311 billion in 2011, will expect to get only P1.249 billion or about P62.265 million less.

Malaybalay City will receive P36.9 million less next year due to the cut. Of its P765.9 million in 2011, Malaybalay City expects only to receive P728.9 million or P36.9 million less in 2012. The city expects to lose P60 million due to the inclusion of 16 new cities.

Valencia City, which received about P592.8 million in 2011, will expect to receive only P564.3 million or about P28.6 million less. No data is available yet for the city IRA’s reduction due to the inclusion of the 16 new cities.

The two cities have a combined reduction of about P65.5 million.

Bukidnon’s 20 towns, with a total IRA of P1.815 billion in 2011, would be cut by P86 million or a net of P1.729 billion in 2012.

 

According to Section 284 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, LGUs shall have a 40 percent share in national internal revenue taxes “based on the collection of the third fiscal year preceding the current fiscal year.”

The Department of Budget and Management showed that tax collections in 2007 reached P699.7 billion; P761.95 billion for 2008; and P720.54 billion in 2009.

“The smaller IRA next year is due to the sharp decrease of revenue collections in 2009 due to the global economic slump as well as revenue-eroding measures passed at that time,” national media reports quoted the DBM as saying.

The LGUs, the DBM was quoted, are encouraged to align their programs, projects and activities to the five priority areas under the social contract agenda of the government to maximize the impact of resources that would be available next year.

“The National Government can co-finance LGUs’ critical development projects such as school buildings, rural health centers, infrastructure that supports agriculture and tourism, and other endeavors consistent with the social contract,” it added.

The budget cuts for next year is a swing from the increase of IRA this year, compared to that of 2010.

All of Bukidnon’s LGUs received P4.486 billion this year, 8 percent higher than the IRA in 2010 at P4.154 billion or an increase of about P332 million.

At the Sangguniang Panlalawigan regular session on July 13, board members questioned representatives from the Provincial Treasurer’s Office about the collection of target revenues for 2011.

Gamao told board members collection as of May 2011 reached only P25 million out of the P67 million target. PTO officer in charge Viola Cruz earlier said they have already collected half of the target. (Walter I. Balane)

 

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Bukidnon boosts teachers’ training for IP-based education

MALAYBALAY CITY – The Department of Education Division of Bukidnon is doubling the number of teachers trained to pursue the Mother Tongue-based Multi-Lingual Education for indigenous peoples with additional teachers to be trained this month, Dr. Ingrid Racoma, DepEd-Bukidnon schools division superintendent, said.

In 2009, DepEd Bukidnon trained at least 43 teachers to pilot the MLB-MLE in the towns of Talakag, Impasug-ong, and Damulog. She said the three towns have big population density of IPs.

She told the Bukidnon Press Club Tuesday they will bring the number of teachers to 100 at the end of month after a series of training sessions.

Racoma said DepEd Bukidnon has consulted tribal chieftains of their implementation of DepEd Order 74, which changed the languages of instruction in basic education from the bilingual to a trilingual one using the mother tongue, Filipino and English.

“It is important to make it easier to facilitate learning especially in the primary school level,” she added.

She told Bukidnon News that the effort is the local initiative to respond to the needs of school children in indigenous communities who find it difficult to learn because of the language barrier.

DepEd Order 74 mandates that multilingual education “shall be institutionalized as a fundamental educational policy in the whole stretch of formal education including pre-school and in the Alternative Learning System.”

She said DepEd Bukidnon has translated the primary education curriculum into the dialects of the province’s seven tribes.

But she said some of the tribal chieftains expressed fear that they might lose their culture even with the translated lessons and the trained teachers.

She added that the DepEd curriculum in areas where MTBMLE is piloted includes the promotion of their culture. Racoma said the chieftains have helped them come up with authentic educational materials.

Among the interventions, she said, is the hiring of teachers from the indigenous peoples themselves and the training of more non-IP teachers already hired.

DepEd Bukidnon has 4,339 elementary school teachers, she said.

But she said they have a problem with the funding and welcomed DepEd Bukidnon’s inclusion as the pilot schools division in Northern Mindanao for DepEd’s Philippines’ Response to Indigenous Peoples’ and Muslim Education (PRIME), a project with the Australian Agency for International Development AusAID).

She said the selection of the province does not come as good news from the surface.

Racoma said aside from the fact that Bukidnon is home to the largest IP population density in Region 10 and its poverty index, the selection also means the schools division of Bukidnon has “poor educational performance.”

She said it shows that the division, which excludes the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia, has poor performance in different indicators; low participation rate, high drop our rate, and low performance in the National Achievement Test among others.

“But in the end, we are given an opportunity to improve. Our selection to the program is one more chance,” she added.

Of the at least 100 schools divisions in the country, Racoma said Bukidnon is in the bottom 40, using performance assessments made in 2007. (Walter I. Balane)

 

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DEpEd Malaybalay high school focuses on agriculture, fisheries

SAN JOSE, Malaybalay City  - The Department of Education’s San Martin National High School, in the city’s Basakan (rice granary area) district is focusing on offering agricultural and fisheries skills for elective subjects of hundreds of students, mostly children of farmers, Manuelito Melendez, the principal who pioneered the program said.

Melendez told Bukidnon News at an education forum recently that the subjects, along with fisheries and information technology are the three electives offered so far the school under the Technology and Livelihood Education program.

Dr. Florante Corpuz told Bukidnon News via telephone the school was really mandate to be an “agriculture national high school” to respond to the resources and needs in the area.

But one problem that confronted the DepEd schools division in implementing the agriculture curriculum is lack of qualified teachers and vacant positions.

Corpuz said they need a graduate of Agriculture Education who passed the teachers’ board examinations. Melendez said there are many agriculture graduates who have the farm and teaching skills but do not have the academic qualification.

For a teacher to qualify for an item to teach in such special schools, Melendez said, are required to have teacher’s license. He said those who have not passed the teacher’s board may teach but will be paid only as a job order employee.

Even if it was in demand long before, SMNHS was able to offer fisheries only this year, he said, because no one qualified. He said they are glad that a graduate of education majoring in agriculture from a Bohol university became a sole applicant this year.

San Martin is in an agricultural area, which is the original site of the Bukidnon Agricultural School, the forerunner of the Central Mindanao University.

Melendez said there times in the last 10 years that production, mainly, went down in the area. Among the factors considered was the dearth of technical knowhow among farmers.

He said the offering of agricultural and fisheries skills training within the TLE subject will prepare the high school students to farming as a future career or as another skill in order to continue farm productivity in the area.

In Malaybalay City, Bukidnon National High School in downtown Malaybalay City, also offers training in agriculture as an elective of the TLE subject.

Agriculture and information technology electives, offered from first year to fourth year levels, were offered in SMNHS since 2004.

Melendez, who has been assigned to another school in the city in June, said fisheries, was added to the list of the school’s TLE electives when classes opened in June 2011.

He added that the Department of Education has been opening up specializations for high schools to prepare for the senior high school program under its K+12 program. The two-year senior high school program, he said, will be training grounds for students who want to learn on specific expertise even before entering college.

Aside from agriculture, fisheries, and information technology, the areas where DepEd is putting special skills training include garments, food, arts, carpentry, and other areas. (Walter I. Balane)

 

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