DA-PCC, DA-BAR conduct inception meeting for various projects

To ensure that the various R&D projects to be funded by DA-BAR and to be implemented by DA-PCC will achieve their objectives, Dr. Marvin A. Villanueva, Scientist I, OIC of the Research and Development Division, emphasized the importance of active communication and clear directions during an inception meeting held at the DA-PCC National Headquarters.

Dr. Lilian P. Villamor discussed the project on Enhancement of Cattle and Goat Breeds Cryopreservation Protocols in Support of the Conservation and Management of Animal Genetic Resources. It aims to: (1) optimize cryopreservation protocols of commercial and native cattle and goats to be implemented in the National Livestock Cryobank; (2) secure conservation of animal genetic resources from diverse breeds of cattle and goat in the Philippines that have economic importance and are resilient to adverse environmental effects; and (3) have sources of cryopreserved semen from commercial and native breeds for future use and access by co-ops. This project aims to enhance the protocol for the breed-specific cryopreservation of bovine and caprine semen.

In addition, Dr. Villamor presented another project titled “Optimization of Swine breeds cryopreservation protocols in support of animal genetic resources conservation and management”. It aims to (1) optimize cryopreservation protocols of commercial and native pigs to be implemented in the national livestock cryobank, and (2) secure conservation of animal genetic resources from diverse breeds of pigs in the Philippines that have economic significance and resilience. The project is a breed-specific protocol for the cryopreservation of boar semen.

Ms. Mary Rose D. Uy-De Guia presented the project “Development of Probiotics with Moringa Extract as Feed Supplement for the Health and Production Performance of Water Buffaloes (𝘉𝘶𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘴 𝘣𝘶𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴)”, which aims to (1) Isolate different lactic acid bacterial species that can be evaluated and used as probiotics; and (2) Develop probiotics (live microbial supplement) that can be tested on newly weaned calves. This technology facilitates the genetic enhancement and production of water buffalo. This project’s outcome will be used to create a commercially available probiotic product for farmers, animal scientists, veterinarians, and livestock stakeholders.

In addition, Dr. Phoebe Lyndia T. Llantada discussed the project “Field validation of the fermented total mixed ration (FTMR) using banana by-products (𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘢 𝘴𝘢𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘮) and water hyacinth (𝘌𝘪𝘤𝘩𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘱𝘦𝘴) as alternative fodders for dairy buffaloes”, which aims to (1) develop fermented total mixed rations (FTMRs) for dairy buffaloes, (2) establish partnership or collaboration with DA-BAR, DA-PCC, cooperatives, and dairy farmers, and (3) develop cost and benefit analysis of producing and feeding of FTMR in ruminants. The study will develop protocols for feed technology through the use and recycling of alternative fodders in order to improve meat and milk production and increase farmer income. Additionally, this project will innovate RDE protocol and generate information/facts regarding the nutritional value, feeding, animal performance, and economic advantage of alternative fodder utilization.

Dr. Caro B. Salces, OIC Executive Director of DA-PCC, along with representatives from DA-BAR, Mr. Randy O. Valerio, owner of RO Valerio Farm, and other key units, attended the open forum that followed the presentation of the projects. Ms. Glacelle Alyne Malinao, a member of DA-BAR’s technical staff, challenged the researchers in this forum to complete the one-year research project assigned to them.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Salces thanked all the facilitators and representatives who attended the inception meeting. He also thanked the DA-PCC’s partner agencies, the DA-BAR, and Mr. Valerio for representing the farmers’ group.

New episode of Cara-Aralan Webinar Series features integrated dairy farming champ in Guimba, Nueva Ecija

Lodivico Guieb Sr., a dairy buffalo farmer, shared his inspiring account of success during today’s webinar episode “Kwento at Kwenta ng Tagumpay ni Lodivico”—a true “lodi” story that anyone who ventures in this business might take inspo from.

“Guieb Dairy Farm” ventures into integrated farming and animal production. Said farm has been an Agricultural Training Institute accredited Learning Site for Agriculture (LSA) since 2019, which provides him a platform to share his technical know-how on dairying and animal raising with interested individuals who want to learn or go into the same agriculture enterprise.

While he is caught up in his daily routine of managing his buffaloes, he makes sure to expand his business by tying up with organizations such as Ideal Visa Consultancy, Luzern International Manpower Service Corporation, and Tarlac Agricultural University. With these partnerships, he is aiming to also expand his reach in demonstrating the benefits of dairy buffalo production and hopefully inspire more to join the program.

His success in dairying has afforded him and his family financial stability, education for his children, social recognition for his expert knowledge in dairy buffalo production, and a chance to help practicum students in animal and dairy science.

“Gusto ko na kapag may mga trainees, dito sana sa bansa natin nila i-apply ang mga natutunan nila para tumaas pa sana ang lokal na produksyon ng gatas. Kaya lagi ko sila ini-encourage na tumulong sila sa pagpapalago ng kabuhayang salig sa gatasang kalabaw,” said Lodivico.

This, he said, is his lifelong advocacy—to be a catalyst of change in his community with the dairy buffalo as a social commodity.

KOICA, DA-PCC hold a project implementation launch meeting

Earlier today, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) held a project implementation kick-off meeting for the project titled “National Dairy Herd Improvement (NDHIP) and Enterprise Build-Up,” which has a project period of 2023 to 2027.

According to Dr. Liza G. Battad, PCAF technical adviser and project leader, the project aims to establish a data capture, data processing and analysis, and feedback system pertaining to the performance of dairy animals and herds. It also aims to adopt innovative and pertinent extension methods that will increase the adoption of suitable dairy technologies. Additionally, this will aid in enhancing carapreneurs’ production performance and profitability. Consequently, it is anticipated that this collaboration will result in sustainable outcomes, including improved herd performance, increased profitability among dairy producers, and a progressive dairy industry.

Dr. Caro B. Salces, DA-PCC’s OIC Executive Director, underscored the need to enhance the capabilities of extension professionals and carapreneurs in dairy herd improvement management practices in order to sustain the project.

In response, KOICA Philippines Country Director Kim Eunsub stated, “Today, as we conduct this project implementation survey, we launch another partnership.” I anticipate a fruitful and productive collaboration with all of you. May this partnership contribute to the improvement of our smallholder farmers’ quality of life.”

Moreover, various topics under the NDHI Project Implementation were presented during the meeting, including the Preliminary Survey Results by Dr. Seo Kangseok, the Proposed NDHIP Project Revision by Dr. Battad, and the NDHIP Framework and System Development by Dr. Ester B. Flores, the Head of the Animal Breeding and Genomics Section.

After the meeting, the PCC team accompanied KOICA delegates to the project sites in Nueva Ecija. The following day, they will collect data at additional project sites in Pangasinan and Pampanga.

The PCC NDHIP implementation survey will be conducted on April 12-19.

DA-PCC introduces improved NEO program

The DA-PCC’s New Employee Orientation Program, or NEO, took place on April 4 at Eusebio Hall. It is a learning platform that was designed for new employees, teaching them not only how to be employees, but also the purpose for which they will work.

Several discussants from the agency’s divisions and sections appeared on the NEO program to share useful information with the agency’s new employees.

Dr. Caro B. Salces, PCC’s OIC Executive Director, encouraged all employees to discover their personal stories within the organization because it will help them understand the meaning and importance of serving the Filipino people. He also highlighted PCC’s evolution over the years from a research project to a renowned R&D organization with national and international collaborations. The pioneers and pillars, as well as the employees who worked tirelessly to help the agency achieve its goals, are responsible for this success.

Zadieshar G. Sanchez, OIC of the Planning and Information Management Division (PIMD), emphasized the qualities and standard decorum that all PCC employees should possess.

Dr. Excel Rio S. Maylem, senior science research specialist and unit head of the Reproduction and Physiology Section, spoke about her inspiring path to success. Her experiences and journey demonstrate the importance of believing in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.

Joshua Villanueva of the Administrative and Finance Management Division (AFMD) provided an overview of the carabao industry, focusing on its four main products: milk, meat, hide, and draft power. He explained that the Carabao Development Program (CDP) is made up of three major components: the Genetic Improvement Program (GIP), R4D, and Carabao-Based Enterprise Development (CBED).

Meanwhile, Cherry Pearl Rivera, AFMD accountant, answered questions from employees about tax, service contracts, and their tax obligations in the agency.

Dr. Ester B. Flores, PCC national GIP coordinator and Scientist I, discussed the GIP’s goal and major activities, which are aimed at improving the genetic potential of native carabaos and purebred water buffaloes through appropriate and advanced selection and breeding protocols.

R4D, according to Dr. Eufrocina P. Atabay, Scientist II, is an important component of the agency’s CDP, which aims to provide science-based solutions to help address the most pressing issues affecting the carabao industry and its stakeholders.

Joel F. Cabading, National CBED Program Coordinator, presented the CBED Program, which promotes the economic benefits of carabao and provides dairy-based livelihood opportunities.

Estella P. Valiente of the Socio-Economics Research Section also presented two major CBED projects, Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) and Coconut-Carabao Development Project (CCDP), also known as Accelerating Livelihood & Assets Buildup or ALAB Karbawan, which aim to build strong carabao-based enterprise value chains to promote the creation of livelihood for farmers, increase the income of coconut farmers, and boost the dairy sector.

Alvin David, head of the Planning Section, spoke about the agency’s Foreign Assisted Projects, specifically KOICA and US PL480, which aim to increase the productivity of the country’s smallholder farmers through capability development, germplasm infusion, digitalization, and infrastructure development.

For his topic, Dr. Eric Palacpac, Chief of the Knowledge Management Division, discussed the key elements and constraints of the carabao industry value chain, as well as how the agency can capitalize on opportunities that arise from them.

Farm Superintendent II Dr. Cyril P. Baltazar spoke about farm management, forage and pasture management, feed supplementation, housing and other facilities, minimum space requirement, animal houses, and herd management. Likewise, Pauline Maramag of the Business Development and Commercialization Unit presented the iREB Client Dashboard, which she said helps the agency monitor the performance of enrolled farmer-clients and their dairy buffalo herds.

Meanwhile, Minda R. Diloy’s presentation stated that the agency has maintained its ISO certification status over the years, demonstrating its commitment to providing quality products and services to its stakeholders, protecting the environment, and ensuring the safety of its employees.

As part of the learning event, employees are expected to take an examination.

DA-PCC, OMSC partner to establish Mindoro Carabao Conservation and Nucleus Farm

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) has forged a partnership with the Occidental Mindoro State College (OMSC) in a bid to expand its research and conservation efforts by including native animal protection in its priorities.

In a simple ceremony held during DA-PCC’s 30th anniversary celebration on March 31, DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Caro B. Salces signed a memorandum of agreement with SUC President III Dr. Elbert C. Edaniol for the implementation of the five-year project titled “Establishment of the Mindoro Carabao Conservation and Nucleus Farm in Occidental Mindoro State College”.

Said initiative marks a significant milestone in the advancement of sustainable development and animal conservation efforts of the institution.
The DA-PCC and OMSC have agreed to share their respective expertise and resources for the project, which will be a part of the Research Laboratory for Endangered Species in Mindoro Biodiversity Rescue and Conservation Center.

As stipulated in the MOA, among the responsibilities of DA-PCC include the provision of at least five initial carabao stocks that will be utilized for research and development, extension and production purposes, and capacity building in the form of technical training, seminars, and consultancy to OMSC; and conduct of research and development endeavors in collaboration with OMSC and close monitoring in the operation of the project as a basis for further development, assistance, and partnerships.
The OMSC, on the other hand, will procure at least five additional carabaos; provide buildings, logistics, facilities, and equipment needed for the operation of the project; and designate a coordinator who will spearhead the implementation of the project in close coordination with DA-PCC.

According to Dr. Danilda Duran, Scientist II and DA-PCC’s facilitator for the project, once the animal housing is constructed, DA-PCC will provide the carabaos for breeding, reproduction, and conservation research.

DA-PCC celebrates 3 decades of service as an R&D institution

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center celebrates three decades of service as the lead agency responsible in conserving, propagating, and promoting the carabao as a source of milk, meat, draft power and hide to benefit the rural farmers.

This year’s anniversary is aptly themed, “PCC at 30: Continuing the legacy of service excellence and synergy”, which aims to honor the pillars and pioneers and to continue carrying on their legacy of service excellence.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform who served as keynote speaker, recognized PCC’s service in improving the productivity of the carabaos as source of meat and milk, for nutritional support and to augment farm income.

The senator said that she would continue to support the PCC for the propagation and distribution of milking carabaos in all the PCC’s regional centers.

Senator Villar asserted in RA 11037 otherwise known as ‘Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act,’ the demand and market for local liquid milk, via the Department of Education’s milk feeding program.
In addition, her office funded the Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) project under the banner program “Accelerating Livelihood and Assets Buildup (ALAB)-Karbawan.”

“Milk security is still the challenge for PCC now and in the future. It should continue to champion locally produced carabao’s milk by making it available, accessible, and affordable to all,” Villar ended.

Meanwhile, Senior Undersecretary for Agriculture, Domingo Panganiban conveyed his gratitude to the agency for a job well done, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The record of achievement of the PCC inspires us to look upon it both as an inspiration and a source of strength in pursuing even more worthy goals in the future.” Usec Panganiban said.

The DA-PCC was established by virtue of Republic Act No. 7307 in 1992. The agency’s mission is to “conserve, propagate, and promote the carabao as a source of milk, meat, draft power, and hide to benefit rural farmers.” It began operations in 1993 with a small central office in Quezon City, supported by a small network of regional centers.

Later, in 1998, it established its national headquarters and gene pool facilities in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

Currently, the DA-PCC has 12 regional centers spread across the country that collaborate to achieve its noble mission.

The agency’s milestones from 1998 to 2022 include the institutionalization of the carabao upgrading and enterprise development, adherence to international quality standards, assertion as a leading livestock institution, rationalization and strategic shift in program implementation, and shared value creation in the carabao industry and digitalization of services.
During the weeklong celebration, the agency introduced new milestones, which include the launching of the Kardeli All Day Breakfast Diner, a fast-casual restaurant that showcases carabao meat by offering pre-packed choice cuts, gourmet sausages, and quick meals and snacks; recognition of regional centers (DA-PCC at Visayas State University and DA-PCC at West Visayas State University) as newly certified under ISO 9001; inauguration of DA-Biotech DNA Sequencing Facility; and launching of Milestones Coffee Table Book and AVP and new Corporate AVP.

Moreover, six pillars and pioneers (Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, Dr. Annabelle Sarabia, Dr. Daniel Aquino, Dr. Zosimo Battad, Gloria Dela Cruz, and Grace Marjorie Recta) of the Carabao Development Program were back on PCC stage and provided motivational insights to PCCeans and the agency’s new breed of leaders through the speaking platform dubbed as Knowledge-Talks or K-Talks.

Three outstanding employees who excelled in performing their duties
were honored. They are Dr. Abraham Tandang, Science Research Specialist and Experimental Farm Manager of DA-PCC at UPLB as Outstanding Supervisor; Rebecca Ruby Gabriel, CBED Regional Coordinator of DA-PCC at CLU as Outstanding Development Officer; and Arnold Morales, DA-PCC at CSU’s dairy module in-charge as Outstanding Support Staff.

Likewise, the Knowledge Management Division (KMD) was recognized as 2022’s top performing unit and DA-PCC at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC at CLSU) as top performing regional center.

DA-PCC, commodity DA-Biotech centers inaugurate DNA Sequencing Facility

In conjunction with the weeklong celebration of the DA-PCC’s 30th anniversary, the DA-Biotech DNA Sequencing Facility was inaugurated at the Livestock Innovations and Biotechnology Complex this morning.
This project was a collaboration between the DA-Biotechnology Program Office (DA-BPO), the DA-Crops Biotechnology Center (CBC), the DA-Fisheries Biotechnology Center (FBC), the DA-Livestock Biotechnology Center (LBC), and the DA-PCC to assist biotechnology centers with DNA sequencing services.

According to Dr. Marvin A. Villanueva, head of DA-PCC’s Research & Development Division, the project will permit facility sharing, which expedites sequencing outcomes. Therefore, it creates opportunities in terms of research and technologies.

“With this additional facility that will be co-shared by our biotechnology centers and each of our R4D networks, we hope that it will help boost or aid in the conduct of our respective research projects under the different research programs of each priority commodity, under the crops, livestock, and fisheries sectors, and be a solution to address problems in the respective sectors of the country,” said Villanueva.

Dr. Casiano H. Choresca, chief of the DA-FBC, noted in his response that this project is a milestone that will strengthen the bond among the biotechnology centers and bring about a change in the research and development of agri-fisheries through the use of biotechnology.

Dr. Roel R. Suralta, director of the DA-Crop Biotechnology Center, stated that budget, manpower, and facility are the three most important factors in achieving goals.

In addition, DA-PCC OIC-Executive Director, Dr. Caro B. Salces, stated in his message that the facility will be beneficial to the development of the livestock, crop, fisheries, and agriculture industries.

The utilization agreement among the three organizations has been finalized. It stipulates that the biotechnology centers will share the consumables used for sequencing services.

Meet the new meat!

Kardeli, DA-PCC’s brand of carabao’s meat, is now available all day with pre-cooked specials for dine-in or for takeout at its name store that opens today at the Milka Krem compound in the Science City of Muñoz.

The soft launching of Kardeli All-Day Diner marks the opening day for the weeklong 30th anniversary celebration of DA-PCC.

The diner offers various premium carabao’s meat products such as pre-packaged choice cuts, gourmet sausages, and quick meals and snacks such as “pares mami” and “lugaw”. It is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m..

The diner is a collaborative project of the Aces Philproducers Corporation, a subsidiary of ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative, and DA-PCC with the former as the operator of the store.

Kardeli is a portmanteau of the words “carabao” and “delicacy”. The brand was launched in 2016 introducing it to the public as a tender meat debunking the perception that carabao’s meat is tough and has an after-taste.BGen. Manuel Natividad, chairperson of Aces Phil Producers Corporation and vice chairperson of ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative, led the opening ceremonies with Dr. Caro B. Salces, OIC executive director of DA-PCC.

Dr. Ronnie Domingo, former OIC executive director of DA-PCC, and Rev. Fr. Rufo Ramil H. Cruz, the chaplain who officiated the blessing of the store, joined the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

VBAITs, LGU techs undergo AI and PD training in Bohol

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center at Ubay Stock Farm (DA-PCC at USF) culminated its month-long trainings on basic artificial insemination (AI) and pregnancy diagnosis (PD) on large ruminants for village-based and LGU technicians and intensified reproductive management training on March 9.”The advanced training aimed to capacitate and improve the efficiency of our existing AI technicians in their services, since we have noted low pregnancy rate that affected our targets,” said Bonifacia Granada, training coordinator and chief of the extension services of DA-PCC at USF.

The technicians who have the most carabao-populated areas were prioritized in the scheduling of the said training. These include Pinamungajan, Danao City, Dumanjug, San Remegio, Compostela, Alegria, Cebu, and Candijay, and those municipalities covered by the Bohol Dairy Cooperative (BODACO). One staff member from DA-PCC at USF was also included in the list.

Two staff members of the First Consolidated Cooperative along Tañon Seaboard (FCCT)-Tuburan also participated in the training. This is DA-PCC at USF’s extension and advisory service to the cooperative for it to effectively and efficiently manage its increasing number of animals as it is a conduit of the Carabao-based Improvement Network (CBIN) project of DA-PCC.

Both trainings are comprised of four- and two-day lectures for basic and intensified reproduction management, respectively. A practicum in the institutional farm and actual demonstrations in the field were also part of the learning module. After completing the trainings, participants are expected to achieve at least 75% of the combined score in the written exam and skills assessment as demonstrated during actual PD, AI gun insertion, and semen thawing.