Positive results achieved in PCC-DSWD’s joint program

Milk supplementation carried out for daycare children in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija and Talibon, Bohol for 120 days proved to achieve significant results.

Evaluation of the outcome of the program showed that none of the previously reported 123 underweight children in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija remained malnourished after the milk supplementation. On the other hand, the number of underweight daycare children in Talibon, Bohol decreased from 309 to 222 after the program.

It was also revealed that there was a significant difference in the anthropometric measurements (weight and height) of the schoolchildren before and after the milk supplementation. Daycare children in Aliaga and Talibon gained an average weight of 3.23kg and 1.56kg, respectively; and grew by 4.85 cm and 4.34 cm in that order.

The pilot collaborative program of PCC and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), titled “Pilot Nutrition and Livelihood Interventions through a Milk Supplementation Program under the Supplementary Feeding Program (SFP) and Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP)”, was completed last May. It consisted of two components: milk supplementation and livelihood.

The milk supplementation component aimed to improve the height and weight of the children using the Child Growth Standard (CGS) by providing them with 200ml of toned milk for 120 days. It was in addition to the daily regular meals they received under the Supplementary Feeding Program of DSWD.

The livelihood component, on the other hand, aimed to improve the socioeconomic conditions of sustainable livelihood program (SLP) beneficiaries or poor, smallholder-dairy farmers with the acquisition of profit-generating enterprises or employment in carabao-based enterprises (CBEs).

It also targeted to help the dairy farmers in marketing their carabao’s milk and to encourage partnerships among other institutions.

“Milk supplementation program is important for the development of the local dairy industry. Through our partnership, we have seen the importance of tapping other agencies to meet our development objectives not only in improving the nutrition of children of rural farming families but also in increasing the income of dairy farmers”, Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC executive director, said during the recent joint program evaluation workshop on the completed pilot milk supplementation project.

During the evaluation workshop, each region presented and discussed how the program was implemented in its area of coverage. It also tackled the results, issues and concerns, as well as recommendations they encountered.

Each case was further evaluated by the regional teams using SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis.

“It was proven that PCC is a good partner to DSWD, therefore, we will definitely continue partnering with you. Based on the presentations, the expected outcome was met. However, we need to rethink of a strategy to meet the desired livelihood outcome. We can develop and propose a separate guideline for this (carabao-based) business module based on the context of carabao value chain,” Ms. Amada Pornaras, DSWD SLP Director, said. “I also want to recognize the support given by the LGU for this initiative,” she added.

One of the program participants, Evangeline Mercado, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer I in Aliaga, also shared her feedback, saying:

“We’ve seen the importance of the program considering that it helped address malnutrition by totally eradicating the incidence of being underweight among daycare children in our town.”

Realignment of researches with DA’s objectives urged

More research focus should be placed on directly addressing the problems in the carabao industry such as raising the country’s milk production from 1% to 10%, among other challenges indicated in the Value Chain Analysis (VCA).

Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC Executive Director, made this call to PCC researchers during the Research for Development (R4D) In-house Review last July 4-6.

“The Department of Agriculture’s objectives are to make food available and affordable, increase income of farmers and fisherfolks, and increase resilience in the practice of agriculture to climate change risks,” Dr. del Barrio said.

He said PCC researches should be clearly aligned with the objectives being pursued by the DA.

The Review, according to Dr. Anabelle Sarabia, Research for Development Division Chief, is done yearly to evaluate the completed and ongoing research activities in the agency. She added this annual activity serves as a venue where research results are presented and evaluated among the scientific community. It also serves as an opportunity to motivate researchers to strengthen their line of interest with that of the agency’s mandate and to recognize those who generate excellent research outputs.

“Interaction and sharing of learnings between and among scientists and researchers are important modalities in this review to ensure that research efforts are monitored and evaluated according to the agency’s R4D agenda,” Dr. Sarabia explained.

The review is comprised of 43 ongoing and completed researches, undergraduate student theses, internally- and externally-funded studies, and commissioned researches.

Adjudged “Best Paper” in the completed research category was the study titled “Enhancing AI Efficiency through Synchronized Ovulation and Fixed Time AI in Water Buffaloes.” This research was conducted by Dr. Eufrocina Atabay, Dr. Edwin Atabay, Excel Rio Maylem, Dr. Ramesh Tilwani, Dr. Esther Flores, and Dr. Anabelle Sarabia.

The paper titled “Developmental Competence of Embryos Produced in Vitro from High and Low-Fertile Bulls Classified by Fourier Harmonic Analysis,” presented by Herren Donna Daag, won as the “Best Undergraduate Student Research Paper”. The research was conducted under the advisory of Dr. Peregrino Duran and Dr. Danilda Duran.

Dr. Joram Gautane, science research specialist of the Animal Health and Biosafety Unit, who presented the study “Development of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Assay Based Test Kit for the Detection/Screening of Caprine Arthritis Ecephalitis Virus (CAEV)” which he co-authored, bagged the “Best Presenter” award.

 

The evaluators of the presented researches were Dr. Ma. Anita M. Bautista, UP Diliman Assistant Professor VII; Dr. Consuelo Amor S. Estrella, University of the Philippines-Los Baños Associate Professor II, Dr. Cristina F. Olo, Cavite State University Professor VI ; and Peter James C. Icalia, Mariano Marcos State University Instructor III.