Del Barrio accepts PCC ‘torch of leadership’ in turnover ceremony

Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio officially accepted the “torch of leadership”: his duties and responsibilities as acting executive director of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) from the agency’s retired former head Dr. Libertado C. Cruz in a turnover ceremony held June 27 at the PCC national headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.


Del Barrio earlier took his oath of office before Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala during the Department of Agriculture (DA) Management Committee Meeting held June 24 in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.


“For me, PCC is ‘PPP’. It is about the people, creating partnerships, and having the right principle,” he declared in his message delivered before PCC staff, DA and local officials and dairy farmers.


“These three P’s will lead the agency to success,” he added.


He said that it is important to invest in the people that run the agency.


“The human resources should have the knowledge that can be translated into a skill since we position the agency as the lead entity in livestock research. It is also equally important that we have the right attitude, especially in dealing with other people, other agencies and with the farmers, among others,” he explained.


Cruz, who was the agency’s executive director for more than two decades, expressed his confidence in Del Barrio’s capacity as the new PCC head.


“It is a complement to pass the torch to a younger [leader] who can carry the torch throughout with more vigor and compelled with the desire to achieve and meet the challenges of current and future situation. Such is Dr. Del Barrio,” Cruz said.


“One of the things that a leader should have in mind is to set some standard but the better leader will raise that standard farther and I think Dr. Del Barrio is ready to raise that standard,” he added.


Elaborating on his “PPP” principle in leading the PCC, Del Barrio said building partnerships with other entities is very crucial for the success of a program. He further said that the PCC should reach out to these “others” such as the farmers whom he referred to as “PCC’s number one partner.”


Both government and non-government entities are also vital partners in implementing the programs of PCC, Del Barrio added.


He also underscored partnerships with scientists outside the country and to open PCC’s research facilities to more students.


For the last “P”, which is about principles, Del Barrio emphasized dedication, integrity, professionalism and competence as significant core values that PCC should uphold and live up to.


He also cited the three major areas which he wants to prioritize during his term.


These are, he said, strengthening the genetic improvement program of PCC, especially toward upgrading of the native carabaos through continuous crossbreeding; pursuit of the PCC’s Research for Development (R4D) agenda; and strengthening of carabao-based enterprise development (CBED).


“Let us base our researches on the problems of the farmers, bring these to the laboratory, develop a technology and cascade this back to them,” he said, urging a multi-disciplinary approach and more collaboration with other agencies as he believes that this will yield better results.


He challenged the different PCC regional centers that are yet to implement the program to establish CBED in their areas.


“The law [R.A. 7307] states that we should help increase the income of the dairy farmers. If we cannot do that, then we have not performed our mandate,” he pointed.


Finally, Del Barrio urged the members of the PCC family to join hands with him and work as a team in fulfilling the mission of PCC.



Del Barrio is new PCC head

Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio took his oath of office on June 24 as the newly appointed acting executive director of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) before Secretary Proceso J. Alcala of the Department of Agriculture.


He succeeds Dr. Libertado C. Cruz, who took his compulsory retirement in early January this year. He served as PCC head for some 20 years.


The oath-taking ceremony was held during the 2nd Quarter Department of Agriculture Management Committee (Mancom) Meeting at Plaza Del Norte Hotel and Convention Center in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.


Prior to his appointment, Del Barrio was the center director of the PCC at University of the Philippines Los Banos (PCC at UPLB).


His first stint at PCC started as science research specialist under what was then the Philippine Carabao Research and Development Center (PCRDC) project in 1983. He became center director in 1997.


In 2010, Del Barrio and PCC at UPLB were cited as “Most Outstanding Center Director” and “Outstanding Regional Center”, respectively.


His effective leadership was also recognized by other professional organizations having served as president of Philippine Society of Animal Science in 2007 to 2008, Philippine Society of Animal Nutritionists in 2003 to 2005 and the Associations of Professionals in Livestock Production in 2000 to 2001.


He was also awarded the “2000 Outstanding Young Scientist” by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) for his significant contributions to science and technology.


His professional expertise and credibility as animal nutritionist and technical specialist earned him unanimous approval to be conferred the rank of Scientist I under the Scientific Career System effective March 5, 2014. His conferment as Scientist I will be on June 30, 2014.


Del Barrio finished his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at University of the Philippines, Los Banos and has had masteral and post-graduate courses in ruminant nutrition in the same institution.


Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival underscores business opportunities in dairying

“Dairying will help alleviate poverty among our dairy farmers especially when its potential (as a source of income) is maximized.”


This was emphasized by Mayor Areli Grace Santos of Gen. Natividad, Nueva Ecija in her message during the celebration of the 8th Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival held at the municipality on June 20.


The festival is an annual activity spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) to promote and strengthen the dairy industry in Nueva Ecija. It is hosted alternately by the different municipalities in Nueva Ecija. This year, the event was also sponsored by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).


It was the second time for the municipality of Gen. Natividad to host the event, which coincided with the town’s celebration of its 57th founding anniversary. It first hosted the festival in 2013.


With the theme, “Gatas ng Kalabaw para sa Maunlad na Kabuhayan at Malusog na Pamayanan,” this year’s celebration focused on the different livelihood opportunities that can be generated from carabao’s milk as well as its contribution to health and nutrition of customers.


As a tradition in every Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival, representatives from different government agencies and LGUs led the ceremonial milk toast with 25 day-care pupils. This gesture is meant to symbolize the recognition of the importance of carabao milk in enhancing the health of people who partake of it and its contribution toward improving the economic well-being of the Filipino dairy farmers.


The milk toast also highlights the unified effort of both the private and public sectors to develop and strengthen the dairy industry in the province.


In his message, PCC deputy executive director Dr. Felomino V. Mamuad reaffirmed the agency’s continuous support to the festival and its determined efforts to further improve the dairy carabao industry in the country.


He also reiterated PCC’s goal to produce a Philippine Murrah that has the potential to produce more milk and thereby help increase the income of dairy farmers.


The DTI, in a move to encourage the dairy farmers in “businessing” their milk produce, brought its Small and Medium Enterprise Roving Academy (SMERA) to the festival.


Mina Abella, officer in charge of the PCC’s dairy processing unit at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), discussed the various business opportunities in dairy processing that the dairy co-ops may venture into.


On the other hand, Ma. Odessa Manzano, account officer for the Dairy Industry Cluster of DTI, talked on how the dairy farmers can properly and wisely handle their finances.


Various contests were also staged during the event. These included the search for the “Natatanging Gatasang Kalabaw” based on the dairy buffalo’s body condition and milk yield, cooking using carabao’s milk, and milk drinking participated in school children and adults. The contestants in the first two competitions were the dairy farmers from the four PCC-assisted dairy co-ops in Gen. Natividad town.


The DTI also brought in the Diskwento Caravan, which sold prime and basic goods at discounted prices. A variety of items produced by small and medium enterprises in Nueva Ecija, such as footwear, processed foods (vegetables and fruits), handicrafts, and dairy products, among others, were brought in and sold by the caravan.


Different dairy cooperatives in the province, representatives of government agencies, officials from the provincial and local government units of Nueva Ecija, and other dairy industry stakeholders in the province also participated in the festival.


Meanwhile, the Science City of Muñoz, where PCC is located, will host the next Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival.


PCC conducts two-day R4D in-house review

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) is gradually transitioning from a research and development (R&D) institution into a more dynamic research for development (R4D) entity that directs its research endeavors toward addressing the needs of the stakeholders in the industry it serves.


This was emphasized by PCC R4D national coordinator Dr. Eric Palacpac during the 2014 R4D In-House Review held at the PCC national headquarters on June 17-18.


“The in-house review is a tool for PCC to ensure that all the research activities conducted in the agency are aligned with its newly crafted R4D agenda,” Palacpac said.


“It evaluates the limitations and opportunities of these on-going researches, as well as the areas that need improvements,” he added.


For the researchers, the annual in-house review serves as a venue for them to share their research results with the scientific community and as a motivation to strengthen their interest in conducting vital studies relevant to the mandate of the agency, he further stated.


A total of 25 papers were presented, 16 of which were completed and eight are still being conducted. A special paper was also presented.


Most of the papers presented dealt with biosafety while the others were on product development, genetic improvement, production management, socio-economic dimensions of Carabao Development Program implementation, and industry and policy thematic areas.


Dr. Eduardo Torres, Professor VIII at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of the Philippines – Los Baños (CVM-UPLB) chaired the panel of external evaluators. He was joined by Dr. Fe Perciuncula, a professor at the Central Luzon State University and director of the Ramon Magsaysay Center for Agricultural Resources and Environment Studies in the university; and Dr. Rio John Ducusin, assistant to the dean at CVM-UPLB.


Apart from the regular PCC researchers, students from universities who conducted their studies at the agency under the supervision of PCC experts presented their research papers.


At the end of the two-day review, awards were given to the researchers who excelled in their research activities.


Adjudged best paper in the completed research category was the study titled, �Molecular Characterization of Gag Gene of Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus of Goats Present in the Philippines� conducted by Ryan Bismark Padiernos, Michelle Balbin, Arman Parayao and Dr. Claro Mingala, a PCC senior researcher.


The student thesis titled, � Detection of Horse and Rat Meat from Meat Products Declared as Pork, Beef or Poultry Meat in the Philippines Using Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay� conducted by Guiao Dimalanta and Leslie Domingo, Jr., veterinary students from CLSU, was also given the best paper award. They were supervised by Mingala.


On the other hand, Ariel Galamgam, a Master’s in Animal Science student from UPLB who presented his paper titled, “Motion Kinematics of Goat (Capra hircus) Spermatozoa as Influenced by Penetrating Cryoprotectants under Various Stages of the Cryopreservation Process,” was chosen as best presenter.


During the closing program, Palacpac encouraged the pool of researchers to continue conducting various researches but that they should bear in mind the relevance of their studies to the thematic areas under PCC’s R4D agenda.


PCC scientist is “2014 Most Outstanding Veterinary Practitioner” awardee

Dr. Claro N. Mingala, Scientist I of the Philippine Carabao Center, was cited recently as one of the “2014 Most Outstanding Veterinary Practitioners” in the country


The annual search is conducted by the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP).


This year, the awardees were honored during the 42nd VPAP Annual Scientific Conference held June 6 in Pasig City. The gathering revolved around the theme: “Veterinary Education – Gearing Towards ASEAN Integration and Global Partnership”.


Organized in 1972, the VPAP is composed of private practitioners who thought of putting up a professional group for veterinary practitioners with different specializations. Since its establishment, the VPAP has been holding annual forums for veterinary practitioners as venue for scientific discussions on issues relevant to the profession.


Mingala was adjudged winner based on his significant contributions in livestock biotechnology endeavors, specializing in veterinary research on infectious diseases-molecular immunology and microbiology. He received a plaque of recognition and cash prize.


He is currently engaged in international research collaborations on “Epidemiological surveys of bovine and porcine infectious disease: A preliminary study” (Kyoritsu Seiyaku Corporation, Japan); “Characterization on non-TB Mycobacterium isolates from water buffaloes and of public health importance” (Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Japan); and “Moleculo-epidemiological evaluation of leptospirosis in water buffaloes and its risk to public health” (Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Japan).


His track record in research and development, as well as his overall contribution to progress in his field of scientific specialization earned for him approval in 2011 to be conferred the rank of Scientist I under the country’s Scientific Career System.


The other winners in the VPAP yearly search were in poultry, swine, academe and companion animal specializations.