DA-PCC celebrates 28 years, underscores headways under the New Economy

Transitioning to the new economy with a renewed resolve to implement the Carabao Development Program (CDP) is the DA-Philippine Carabao Center’s (DA-PCC) fresh commitment this year as it celebrates its 28th anniversary.

Said commitment is guided by the key strategies set forth by the Department of Agriculture’s OneDA masterplan, which aims to strengthen and harmonize development initiatives in the carabao industry value chain with emphasis on harnessing strategic partnerships with the local government, academic community, and the private sector.

Ultimately, the plan is to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and help uplift the living conditions of the rural farming communities.

A virtual program was conducted on March 29 through Facebook live streaming. It was joined by DA-PCC regional centers, partners, and carapreneurs across the PCC network.

Dr. Ronnie D. Domingo, OIC Executive Director of DA-PCC, reported on the efforts of the agency during the pandemic such as the livestock rescue operations during the volcanic eruption in Taal, the rolling out of Kadiwa Buffalo Milk on Wheels, and the introduction of new technologies that were developed to improve carapreneurs’ management and production systems.

“Matagumpay na naisakatuparan ang mga programa ng PCC nang dahil sa patuloy na paglalaan ng pondo ng gobyerno para sa pananaliksik. Patuloy kaming nakikipagtulungan sa mga lokal at international organizations upang mas lalo pang umasenso ang ating industriya ng pagkakalabaw,” said Dr. Domingo as he enumerated the program priorities of the agency.

The program priorities include a Dairy Roadmap from 2020 to 2025 (in partnership with the National Dairy Authority), PL480 project with PhP512M budget, and partnership with private stakeholders, Province-wide Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) project, Coconut-Carabao Development Project, and the School-based Milk Feeding Program led by Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). These, he said, are efforts beyond the regular activities under the three-pronged CDP that includes Genetic Improvement Program, Carabao-based Enterprise Development Program, and Research for Development.

Governor Arthur Yap of the Province of Bohol served as the keynote speaker during the program. He challenged the agency to seize the opportunity in strengthening and helping local farmers and fisher folks in sustaining food security at this time of pandemic through promoting and preserving the Philippine carabao not only as an animal for work in the traditional Philippine farming scene but also for high-profit ventures such as production of milk and meat and other products.

Gov. Yap urged the agency to make sure that different food commodities are accessible at affordable prices for the public.

“This is the only way for our economy to bounce back—that food is sufficient and accessible to all and properly priced. Remember that in this period of COVID-19 and the ASF, there is going to be a renewed pressure on you to perform and to make sure that the DA-PCC and the Philippine carabao goes to the forefront of the discussion and that it is part of the solution to combat this crisis,” he emphasized.

He committed that the province of Bohol will always be a willing partner to DA-PCC in nation building through food security.

“Whatever happens to this country, we will remain to be a rural country and we should be proud of that. We should continue protecting our farmers and fisherfolks and that can only happen with science, technology, and value-adding,” ended Gov. Yap.

In a pre-recorded message, Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform, reminded the agency to work for the optimum development of the country’s dairy sector which will redound to poverty alleviation, increase farmer’s income, and improve nutrition of children.

Former DA-PCC Executive Directors and CDP pillars Dr. Libertado Cruz and Dr. Arnel Del Barrio also encouraged DA-PCC to remain resilient against all circumstances amid and beyond the pandemic and continue to be a catalyst that can bring about change and clear-cut solutions to benefit thousands more of farming families. Both agreed that these efforts should be backed up with sound science and bolstered with partnerships. 

The five new learning videos in the Knowledge Brokerage, Guidance, and Advisory Network (KBGAN) series by the Knowledge Management Division (KMD), headed by Dr. Eric Palacpac were also previewed virtually. The KBGAN videos feature technologies and best practices on carabao management and production.

The presentation of buffalo meat products, employee recognition and appreciation, virtual recognition of #OneDArfulJuan and #OneDArfulJuana and anniversary greetings from PCCEans and partners concluded the program.

Initial implementation of milk feeding program shows promising outcome

The initial implementation of the milk feeding program, led by the Department of Education (DepEd) through the help of 30 assisted cooperatives of DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC), had supplied the milk requirements of 503,955 undernourished children in 2019, which is equivalent to 26.12% of the total number of beneficiaries nationwide.

This progressive outcome was the talking point during the visit of the members of DepEd Integrated Monitoring Team from Central Office headed by OIC Director IV of Bureau of Learners and Support Services (BLSS) Lope Santos III, and DepEd Region 3 Education Support Services Division Chief Samuel Sampang to the DA-PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija last March 9.

DA-PCC’s top management headed by OIC Executive Director Dr. Ronnie Domingo, Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research Dr. Claro Mingala, Deputy Executive Director for Admin and Finance Dr. Caro Salces, Milk Feeding National Coordinator Mina Abella, and PCC Milk Feeding Team Head Wilma Del Rosario, welcomed the visitors.

Said visit was done to share the strategies behind the success of the initial implementation of Milk Feeding Program in support of RA No. 11037 or the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act” and assure its continuous implementation in 2021.

It also served as a venue to talk about the benefits and opportunities brought about by the milk feeding program to dairy value chain players and Filipino children.

Dr. Domingo expressed his gratitude to the DepEd for trusting DA-PCC and its assisted cooperatives to supply the milk requirements needed for the feeding.

In response, BLSS OIC-Dir. Santos III recognized and commended the effort of DA-PCC to ensure the quality and availability of milk supply for the program.

“I would like to thank not just the management but also the milk producers, processors and supplier cooperatives for their unparalleled commitment for the success of the program,” he added.

Dr. Corazon Dumlao, chief of School Health Division, put forward for consideration the inclusion of Milkybun, a nutrient-rich bread, in the School-Based Feeding Program as an alternative food for children, as she tasted and learned that this bread also has carabao’s milk in its formulation.

Dr. Libertado Cruz, Representative of Licaong Agricultural Cooperative (LAC), thanked the DepEd for the implementation of the Milk Feeding program, which gave hope and sustainable livelihood to the farmers. He also shared several key points behind the success of Milk Feeding in Thailand, how it started, and how it grew, which can be emulated by the Philippines. 

For the implementation of DepEd 2020 feeding program fund, 32.29% of the total number of beneficiaries, which is equivalent to 1,012,840 individuals will receive milk.

Also present in the activity were representatives from seven dairy cooperatives from Nueva Ecija, which include LAC, Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives, Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Pulong Buli Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Simula ng Panibagong Bukas Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Brotherskeeper Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Complete buffalo dairy value chain established in North Cotabato

DA-Philippine Carabao Center at University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC at USM) in partnership with the Sta. Catalina Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Sta. Catalina MPC) inaugurated several facilities that would represent a whole buffalo dairy value chain in one place in North Cotabato.  

From production to output, the DA-PCC successfully completed the whole value chain for the Sta. Catalina MPC under the project “Carabao-based Business Improvement Network” funded through the office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, Senator Cynthia A. Villar.  

Held last March 5, the inaugural activities include the blessing of the Co-op’s Feed Mill, Dairy Farm, Dairy Processing; entrustment of 28 dairy buffaloes, one bull, and motorcycles; and groundbreaking ceremony for the Dairy Box Store.  

Present in the event were DA-PCC’s OIC-Executive Director Dr. Ronnie Domingo, DA-PCC at USM Center Director Benjamin John Basilio, DA-RFO XII Regional Executive Director Arlan Mangelen who also represented DA-Secretary Dr. William Dar, DA Region XII Task Force Gatas, Volunteer Chairman Ret. Col. Celestino Desamito, Board Member Dr. Kristal Solis, Mr. Arthur Go from the office of Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairman of Sta. Catalina MPC Joel Quiñon, and other distinguished guests and members of the cooperative.  

This program is in support of the directives of Secretary Dar to help the farmers achieve the “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita”.

Milk feeding program makes headway in Negros Island

A total of 19,895 children in the cities of La Carlota, Bago, Bacolod, Bais, and Tanjay benefited from the milk feeding program last year led by the Department of Education (DepEd) in Negros Island in tie-up with the DA-PCC at La Carlota Stock Farm (DA-PCC at LCSF).

The DepEd through its Schools Division Offices (SDO) and DA-PCC at LCSF signed an operating memorandum of agreement (OMOA) to embark on and implement a Milk Feeding Program pursuant to Republic Act No. 11037 also known as the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act”.

The program, which started in November 2020 in Negros Island, is not only beneficial to undernourished children but also to dairy value chain players especially to assisted dairy co-ops of DA-PCC at LCSF, as it has created a higher demand for locally produced milk hence provided them sustainable livelihood. 

Meanwhile, the Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative and San Julio Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Cooperative served as suppliers of milk for the program. 

Due to the health protocols implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the five cities had designated drop-off points for the delivery, inspection, and acceptance of milk products during the feeding program.

The DA-PCC at LCSF, headed by Center Director Ariel Abaquita, and SDOs continuously implement milk feeding activities this year covering various areas in Negros Island. The former has also started coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the same purpose.

DA-PCC joins 2021 women’s month celebration

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center joined the nation in celebrating this year’s Women’s Month with the theme “We Make Change Work for Women: Juana Laban sa Pandemya: Kaya!”.

In a kick-off program held today, Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research Dr. Claro Mingala and Research and Development Division Officer-In-Charge Dr. Eufrocina Atabay delivered their respective messages emphasizing the all-encompassing role of women in the society as innovators and changemakers.

Sonia Pol, gender and development (GAD) focal person, gave an overview of this year’s campaign, which highlights women’s participation in battling the pandemic and discusses gender issues aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also presented the agency’s lineup of activities, which aim to inform and engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services; create and facilitate platforms to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing GAD; and inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change. 

During this year’s month long celebration, the DA-PCC’s Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS) will organize and spearhead activities such as Virtual Forum and Sharing of Experiences and Innovations by the #OneDArfulJuana and #OneDArfulJuan and Webinars on Gender Sensitivity Orientation, Gender Fair Communication and Language, and GAD legal mandates to be participated in by DA-PCC’s GFPS members across its network and interested employees.  

Employees also took part in #PurpleMondays by wearing purple dresses and/or accessories to show their support in the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE).

Purple is globally recognized as the color of women that symbolizes justice and dignity.