Agri Chief William Dar visits DA-PCC

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar had a quick visit to DA-PCC’s National Water Buffalo Gene Pool and Livestock Innovations and Biotechnology Complex today wherein he was briefed on the agency’s technologies and research initiatives. 

Lilian Villamor, Senior Science Research Specialist, discussed the DA-PCC’s diverse animal genetic resources cryobank and conservation efforts while Dr. Gabriel Tubalinal presented the use of Quick Care pen-side DNA-based test kit for caprine arthritis encephalitis virus. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Cyril Baltazar, Farm Superintendent II, toured him around the institutional herd and reported the animal inventory and milk production in the farm.

During his visit, Secretary Dar instructed DA-PCC to establish more breeding farms, expedite distribution of carabao modules, innovate, and intensify herd build up for higher milk production in order to contribute to the country’s increasing food requirements. He furthered that the role of carabaos is still important in agriculture even with mechanization.

The agri chief was accompanied by DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Ronnie Domingo, Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research Dr. Claro Mingala, DA Central Luzon Regional Director Crispulo Bautista, and Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Reyes.

(Photo and additional information from Sec. William Dar’s Official FB Page)

DA-PCC strengthens adaptive capacity of carapreneurs on the effects of climate change

The Department of Agriculture -Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), through its Socio-Economics and Policy Section (SEPS), conducted a lecture-discussion to strengthen the adaptive capacity of carapreneurs on climate change.

The activity was part of an awareness campaign to enhance livestock cooperatives’ adaptation and mitigation strategies on the effects of climate change to their livelihood. It also highlighted the contribution of livestock industry to greenhouse gases and how to lessen its harmful effect on the environment. Studies show that 9.7% of unmanaged carabao manure contributes to greenhouse gases around the globe.

Gerardo F. Delos Santos, chairman of the Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives (NEFEDCCO), shared that climate change had impacted their livelihood as carabao raisers.

“Masyadong nakakaapekto ang climate change sa kabuhayan ng mga tao. May mga ‘di inaasahang pagbaha at kalamidad. Nakakaapekto rin ito sa bukid kagaya ng pagdudulot nito ng sakit sa mga palay at mais. Nakakaapekto sa mga pagkain ng hayop, ‘yong mga damo parang ‘di na gaanong tumutubo. Dahilan din ang climate change sa pagkakasakit ng mga alaga naming hayop (Climate change has impacted our livelihood. From unexpected floods and disasters to causing diseases to our crops such as rice and corn. It also affects the growth of forages for our carabaos and causes illness to our livestock),” said Delos Santos.

Estella P. Valiente, OIC of SEPS, served as the resource speaker during the lecture-discussion. She explained that as the temperature rises, it affects the performance of carabaos in milk production. The shelf life of processed milk will also be shorter.

“Tumataas din ang gastusin nila sa tubig. Sa ngayong malamig-lamig, once or twice ang paligo nila sa kalabaw. Pero pag tag-init, 3 to 5 times nila pinapaliguan to keep them cool (Their water consumption has also increased. Now that the weather is cold they bathe their carabaos once or twice. But during the summer, they need to bathe them 3 to 5 times to keep them cool),” added Valiente.

Valiente then urged the carapreneurs to use innovative materials in making climate-smart housing such as the installation of sprinklers, mists, and electric fan to cool off their livestock.

She reminded participants to utilize organic and eco-friendly ways to manage carabao manure such as vermicomposting. Valiente also encouraged to plant trees as a way to mitigate the effects of climate change as trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen and help cool the environment.

The lecture-discussion ended with an open forum and an interactive sharing of carapreneurs on their own effective ways of managing carabao manures. Approximately 50 participants from different dairy cooperatives from Nueva Ecija attended the activity.

Dr. Ronnie D. Domingo, DA-PCC OIC-Executive Director, was also present during the activity.

Dr. Liza Battad named new executive director of DA-PCC

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William D. Dar has appointed former chief for planning and information management of DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) Dr. Liza Battad as the latter’s new executive director.

Dr. Battad was formally welcomed by the DA-PCC officials and employees today in a hybrid program (remote and on-site following standard safety and health protocols), as she assumed her functions, duties, and responsibilities as the newly appointed head of the agency.

DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Ronnie Domingo gave words of encouragement to Dr. Battad as she may face several hurdles in the service along the way, but assured her of PCCeans’ full support.

Deputy Executive Director for Admin. and Finance Dr. Caro Salces believes that the DA-PCC will soar to greater heights and achievements under Dr. Battad’s leadership and that she will lead the agency to become frontrunner of research and development in the livestock sector.

Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research Dr. Claro Mingala congratulated her and anticipated her full service in leading the workforce to attain the tasks mandated to the agency.

Former Executive Director Dr. Arnel Del Barrio also extended his welcome message to Dr. Battad via phone call.

“We’re here to support you and we’re delighted that the new director is a PCCean. I hope that we’ll continue to implement our program as mandated and overcome whatever challenges we may encounter through the culture of PCC i.e., we work as a team, we solve the problem together, and we move forward,” Dr. Del Barrio said.

Division Chiefs Dr. Eric Palacpac of the Knowledge Management, Dr. Eufrocina Atabay of the Research and Development (represented by Dr. Ma. Wyne Pagaduan), Aimee Fulgencio of the Admin and Finance, and Dr. Ericson Dela Cruz of the Planning and Information Management also gave their respective congratulatory messages and committed to give their unreserved support to her leadership, directives, and vision.

Moreover, DA-PCC regional center directors represented by Grace Recta of DA-PCC at Mariano Marcos State University (Luzon cluster), Ariel Abaquita of DA-PCC at La Carlota Stock Farm (Visayas cluster), and Dr. Lowell Paraguas of DA-PCC at Central Mindanao University also delivered their messages virtually.

In her message, Dr. Battad revealed that leading an organization has always been her dream and one of her prayers, thus, she considers her appointment as “fate”.

 “I draw inspiration from the former leaders of DA-PCC and the top management. We commit to the sets of success and milestones that we will all work together and let’s make DA-PCC’s presence felt across the country and viewed relevant at the level of the DA,” she averred.

She shared that comfort, hope, renewal, inspiration, serenity, and truth serve as her mantra to become a relevant and innovative leader with well-felt effects on the agency’s overall performance.

“We are destined to serve the purpose of our existence. Let’s be felt as catalyst of significant reforms for our clients. It’s not about us at PCC, it’s about the result of the carabao development program for the welfare of the clients,” she said.

“I hope that we will all be ready for a chance to change. Let us all be strong and stay afloat,” she concluded.

Dr. Battad took her oath of office before DA Secretary Dar last June 9. She was appointed following the retirement of Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, who had held the position of executive director for more than six years. Before filling the position, she had served as DA-PCC’s chief administrative officer and planning officer. Most recently, Dr. Battad served as the acting executive director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries and was also designated, in a concurrent capacity, as DA Assistant Secretary for regulations.

Her mettle and exemplary performance in government service is manifested by her notable accomplishments as DA-PCC’s planning officer; as lead for partnership development and international cooperation; and as head of the agency’s business development and commercialization unit.

Dr. Battad was a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics at the Pampanga Agricultural College, holds master’s degree in Agribusiness Management at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, and PhD degree in Community Development in the same university. Her first stint at DA-PCC started as a Project Development Officer II in 1996.