DSWD VI partners with DA-PCC for the 13th cycle of School Feeding Program

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Regional Field Office VI (DSWD-RFO VI) once again partnered with DA-PCC at West Visayas State University (DA-PCC at WVSU) for the 13th cycle implementation of the Supplementary Feeding Program.

This program, spanning 120 feeding days, began on September 11 and 13, and will continue until the first week of November, implementing a double feeding scheme.

Calinog Farmers Agriculture Cooperative will cater to 1,322 beneficiaries for MSWDO Dumarao, Capiz and is expected to deliver 158,640 pouches of pasteurized milk. Meanwhile, the Hamtic Multi-Purpose Cooperative has taken on the responsibility of serving 1,497 beneficiaries of MSWDO Sibalom in Antique, with a commitment to provide 179,640 bottles of pasteurized milk.

Janice H. Cuaresma, CBED Coordinator of DA-PCC at WVSU, expressed her heartfelt appreciation to DSWD VI for their unwavering partnership that has been in place since the 10th cycle of the program. She emphasized the importance of DSWD’s consistent commitment to utilizing local products in the program’s implementation.

“DSWD has been our steadfast partner since we initiated the Supplementary Feeding Program here in Panay Island. This feeding initiative will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and development of our daycare pupils in the identified municipalities,” she said.

Cuaresma added, “It is our joy that our local dairy farmers also benefit from this program. It gives them consistent opportunities as well as increases their families’ income. As the CBED Coordinator, I am further motivated to progressively develop locally produced milk in each project area, ensuring a steady supply for the Milk Feeding Program, funded by our partner agencies.”

Meanwhile, MSWDO Valderrama, Antique, is set to receive its milk supply on September 25, benefiting 718 beneficiaries. The Pandan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, a recipient under the Carabao-based Business Inmprovement Network(CBIN) project, is expected to deliver 86,160 bottles throughout the implementation phase.

Since the implementation of the 10th cycle in January 2021, DA-PCC at WVSU and its assisted co-ops have made a significant impact by serving a total of 12,562 beneficiaries. Their outreach has extended to the lone district of Iloilo City and various municipalities in Iloilo province, including Bingawan, Batad, Barotac Viejo, Banate, and Balasan. Furthermore, the program has also reached the Province of Antique, specifically benefiting the municipalities of Bugasong, Tobias Fornier, Barbaza, and Sebaste.

RIC women members undergo hygienic milk handling, product processing training

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC at CLSU) concludes a two-day training on hygienic milk handling and product processing for 23 female members of the Municipal Federation of Rural Improvements Club (MFRIC) in Brgy. Macapilapil, San Ildefonso, Bulacan on September 11-12.

The requested training is a livelihood initiative of DA Rural-Based Organization (RBO) for hands-on training in the production of kesong puti, chocolate milk, pastillas, and pasteurized milk. Participants are association representatives from a number of Brgy. of San Ildefonso Bulacan.

Kaycelyn Vasallo, the RIC Focal Person, explains that the livelihood initiative provides financial assistance to RIC women members. Following training, the LGU will provide the federation with a livelihood startup package by establishing a Dairy Processing and Marketing Outlet in the city.
Vasallo also expresses the intention of establishing connections with the City’s pasalubong center and inviting other Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to participate in this endeavor. To obtain greater support, the LGU intends to promote these buffalo-based products to the Department of Tourism.

Vasallo added that after the training and successful product processing, RIC will soon begin connecting with DA-PCC carabao recipients in the city. The objective is to purchase the produced milk, which will also secure a market for dairy farmers to sell their milk.

Mayor of San Ildefonso City, Hon. Fernando S. Galvez Jr., asserts that with these initiatives, the city will give its complete support to the livelihood project for women that demonstrates Gender and Development in the city.
The RIC of the Philippines is a non-governmental organization that operates to enhance the living circumstances of its members and to make them effective and productive partners of the government in the community.

Empowering Dairy Farmers: The Inauguration of Carigara’s Dairy Box

The Coconut-Carabao Development Project (CCDP) in Carigara has initiated its first Dairy Box, following the groundbreaking ceremony held on September 06, 2023, at Barangay Abango, Barugo, Leyte.

The Dairy Box is a one-stop-shop for carabao-based products, conceived by the Business Development and Commercialization Unit (BDCU) of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC). Essentially, it serves as infrastructure support for small-scale dairy buffalo farmers, offering them opportunities like access to the commercial market to increase their incomes.

During the opening program, Ms. Lourdes Grabador, CCDP Focal Person from Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) RO8, acknowledged and welcomed all the guests and visitors. Engr. Josefina J. Josol, Municipal Agriculturist of Carigara, Leyte, delivered the Welcome Remarks, highlighting that they were not just breaking the ground but building their dreams.

Dr. Ivy Fe M. Lopez, CCDP Focal Person (PCC VSU), elaborated further on the project’s objectives, aiming to strengthen the country’s local dairy production and reduce reliance on imports. She emphasized that “sa dairy, ang income ay daily.”

Mayor Eduardo T. Ong Jr. of Carigara, Leyte, shared an Inspirational Message, expressing gratitude to the DA-PCC, PCA, and other partner agencies for initiating the Dairy Box Groundbreaking Ceremony. He added that “pastillas and sundang are the main local products of Carigara, and I am thankful because we no longer need suppliers from other municipalities for carabao’s milk; we can now also supply milk to other areas. This is an additional livelihood opportunity for our farmers.”

Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, conveyed her Inspirational Message via video. She emphasized the facility’s importance in improving the country’s dairy production, stating, “Mahalaga ang mga ganitong mga gawain para mapalaganap ang paggagatas sa ating bansa dahil sa ating malaking kakulangan ng gatas sa bansa. Kailangan natin mapaganda ang ating dairy production.”

The recipients and guests were further motivated by Emelda G. Sievert, Provincial Agriculturist of Leyte, and Engr. Joel O. Pilapil, Regional Manager of PCA Region 8. Engr. Pilapil remarked, “this is a God’s given project for Carigara.”

The program continued with the Laying Down of the Capsule by Mayor Eduardo T. Ong Jr., Engr. Joel O. Pilapil, Engr. Josefina J. Josol, Emelda G. Sievert, Herminia N. Carolino, and Minerva O. Langco. Herminia N. Carolino, Chairperson of Kangara Multi-Purpose Cooperative, responded to this gesture. This was followed by the Milk Toss by the participants.
The program concluded with the closing remarks of Minerva O. Langco, PCDM Leyte, who expressed her appreciation and gratitude to all the agencies that participated in the successful Dairy Box Groundbreaking Ceremony.

DA-PCC concludes 2023 In-House Review

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) maintains its position as a premier research institution by successfully concluding the Agency In-House Review of ongoing and completed research studies held at the DA-PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, from September 6 to 9, 2023.

Organized by the Research and Development Division (RDD), this annual event aims to review and evaluate research studies conducted by various divisions and regional centers.

Dr. Caro B. Salces, OIC Executive Director of DA-PCC, emphasized the vital role of research in the agency’s evolution over the past 30 years. He pointed out the impact on the value chain that has economically benefited dairy farmers. Dr. Salces also encouraged current researchers to continue strengthening research collaborations to further enhance the country’s milk sufficiency.

A total of 35 ongoing and completed studies were presented and reviewed by a panel of experts, including Dr. Elfren Celestino of Central Luzon State University, Dr. Jaime Manalo IV of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Dr. Ronnie Domingo (former OIC Executive Director of DA-PCC), Dr. Joice San Andres, Dr. Joseph Dela Cruz, and Mr. Michael Angelo Esteban from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

These papers were categorized under four thematic areas: Genetic Improvement-Animal Genomics or Genetic Diversity and Cryopreservation, Biosafety Production Systems and Nutrition, and Socio-Economic Dimensions of Carabao Development Program Implementation.

The criteria for judging the “Best Presenter” included clarity, logic, quality of presentation, response to questions, and timeliness. In contrast, the “Best Paper” was chosen based on Introduction and Literature Review, Methodology, Results Discussions, Conclusion, Delivery, and Ways Forward and Plans.

Two studies were recognized as winners in the “Best Biotech Papers” category: Dr. Ester B. Flores was acknowledged for her study titled, “Development of real-time ultrasound scanning and DNA marker selection protocols for meat, carcass, and fertility traits of Philippine native pigs: Sub-study: Genetic parameters and significant gene markers for fertility and growth traits of Philippine native pigs from two herds in South Luzon,” and Maureen Gajeton was recognized for her study, “Development of a multiplex panel of microsatellite markers for routine parentage testing in buffalo and cattle.
Dr. Flores was also named this year’s “Best Presenter.”

On the other hand, Dr. Randolph Tolentino received the “Best Development Paper” citation for his study titled, “Epidemiological Analysis of Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, and Leptospirosis in Water Buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) of Dairy Cooperatives in Nueva Ecija, Philippines.”

Furthermore, Zeshalyn Fajardo earned the “Best Thesis” award for her study titled, “The Relationship of Follicle Size and Oestrous Manifestation with Pregnancy Rate in Water Buffaloes under Two Fixed Time Artificial Insemination Protocols.”

‘Eskwelahan sa Kahanginan’ on dairy buffalo prod’n airs in Cebu

Schooling on dairy buffalo production is set to air on the radio at Cebu Technological University’s (CTU) Tuburan campus following a tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on August 29.

This MOA between the DA-PCC at Ubay Stock Farm (DA-PCC at USF), CTU, and First Consolidated Cooperative Along Tañon Seaboards (FCCT) outlines the launch of “Eskwelahan sa Kahanginan (School-On-Air)-A Radio Broadcast on Dairy Buffalo Production,” aimed at addressing challenges faced by farmers in Tuburan, Cebu, and neighboring areas, such as the lack of quality forage, breeding knowledge, and dairy production expertise.

Engr. Naomi Bajao, Project Leader Proponent of CTU-Tuburan, explained that the radio program is part of the university’s community extension projects, with the First Consolidated Cooperative Along Tañon Seaboards (FCCT) as the target beneficiaries and technical support provided by the DA-PCC at USF.

Gaudioso Calibugan, the Senior Agriculturist of DA-PCC at USF, emphasized the importance of this partnership in spreading awareness about carabao dairying.

Recognizing the significance of collaboration, Magdaleno Bargamento, the CEO of FCCT, stressed the need for various individuals and professions to support farmers, be it through financial assistance, technology, or expertise.

Carla Y. Abaquita, the campus director of CTU-Tuburan, expressed her delight at the program’s launch, emphasizing the importance of sharing education and technology with farmers, which an important extension program of the university.

The campus has its FM radio station called “Bulawanong Tinubdan” or BT at 98.1 MHz affiliated with the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), serving as an avenue for information dissemination and technology transfer.

In January 2021, the university launched the CTU & BT Radio Extension and Technology Transfer (BEATT) program, which serves as its information and technology dissemination arm.

Prof. Devonna Celedonio, chairperson of the university’s extension services, the initiative aims to bridge the gap between technologies developed and their actual application in the field.

Engr. Bajao, the main host of CTU BEATT radio show, said the “Eskwelahan sa Kahanginan” will air every Tuesday from 5:00-6:00 PM, consisting of 16 episodes starting on September 5, 2023. Attendance will be taken, and quizzes will be given during the broadcasts.

Dr. Maria Dinah Loculan, Center Director of DA-PCC at USF, challenged the town to develop a unique product from the carabao’s milk, leveraging the university’s research and development efforts.

Mardonio Benting, the chairperson of FCCT, expressed gratitude for the opportunity and support and wished for the project’s success.

The local government unit (LGU) of Tuburan, represented by Engr. Rowena Bernia, the municipal registrar, pledged full support, aligning with their goal of achieving food sustainability.

In addition to the MOA signing, FCCT and DA-PCC at USF provided a 32″ television and 20 radio receiver sets to CTU-Tuburan. Following the program’s launch, a live on-air interview hosted by Engr. Bajao and April Jean Edillon was conducted with key figures, further highlighting the importance of this initiative.

AI technicians, LGUs in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol regions commit to intensified carabao upgrading

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at UP Los Baños (DA-PCC at UPLB) conducts an In-House Basic Training Course on Artificial Insemination (AI) and Pregnancy Diagnosis (PD) in Large Ruminants last August 28 at Obdulia Sison Hall, UPLB.

Said training is one of the banner programs under the Genetic Improvement Program (GIP) of DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) that aims to develop and equip partners from CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and Bicol regions to increase the population of high quality carabao breeds and increase milk production as additional income for farmers.

“The training will equip you with all the knowledge, wisdom, and skills that you will be needing as you render services to farmers. You will be the partners of DA-PCC at UPLB in the field,” DA-PCC at UPLB Center Director Dr. Thelma Saludes said in her welcome remarks.

In addition, DA-PCC at UPLB Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED) coordinator Anna Reylene Montes, inspired the trainees undergoing the program with her message, “You will be the bearers of hope after this training. You will not only be bringing hope to the undernourished children but also to the whole nation.”

On the other hand, DA-PCC at UPLB CBED coordinator Engr. Jose Canaria reminded the trainees of the importance of learning the module to heart for the purpose of serving the farmers better. This will be another source of income for the AI technicians, he said.

The trainees are expected to learn reproduction management, artificial insemination, and pregnancy diagnosis. Another aspect of the program is the hands-on practical training of the trainees in the field. The trainees are expected to complete the program in September 2023. The DA-PCC at UPLB training team is composed of Dr. Jessica Gay Ortiz (AI and BL coordinator), Ariel De Chavez (AI technician), Pinky Bril (research assistant), Danica Cervantes (encoder) and Jeremie Marinella Ledesma (Information and Communication Officer).

DA-PCC plays a vital role in providing 100% milk demand in gov’t feeding program

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) and its assisted cooperatives commit to further expanding their efforts to achieve the DA’s goal of completely self-sourcing milk for the National Milk Feeding Program.

Pursuant to RA 11037 or the Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act, the DA-PCC tapped its assisted co-ops to supply the demands for the milk feeding program led by the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

For the 2024 implementation, 50% of the milk requirements for the feeding program will be provided by the DA-PCC’s assisted cooperatives while the remaining half is set to be supplied by the assisted co-ops of the National Dairy Authority (NDA). This concerted effort aligns with the DA’s overarching objective of providing 100% of the requirements for the milk feeding program.

DA Undersecretary and Chairperson of committees related to livestock Deogracias Victor Savellano underscored the need to overcome the lingering 13% dependency on commercially outsourced milk, as evidenced by prior implementations.

DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Caro Salces attributed this challenge to logistical hurdles in far-flung areas. The reliance on traditional delivery methods has often resulted in delays and inadequate supply, leaving many children without the nutrition they require for healthy growth and development.

Recognizing the need for an innovative solution to ensure consistent supply of milk, the DA-PCC, in partnership with its assisted co-ops, has turned to retort facilities to bridge the gap in its delivery capabilities. Retort technology involves using airtight packaging and heat processing to sterilize and preserve milk, extending its shelf life significantly without compromising its nutritional value. This method not only ensures the safety and quality of the milk but also allows for bulk transportation to regions where frequent deliveries are impractical.

“We now have existing retort facilities in Isabela, Science City of Muñoz, Batangas, and Sorsogon managed by our partners in the industry. We also have plans to establish similar facilities in Bohol and Zamboanga del Sur to cater to the Visayas and Mindanao areas,” Dr. Salces remarked.
Furthermore, DA-PCC is poised to establish milk laboratories within its 12 regional centers nationwide, offering cooperative members access to milk quality testing services. These initiatives are made possible through a locally funded project spearheaded by Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform.

Beyond infrastructure developments, the DA-PCC is set to employ a series of strategic measures. These include enhancing carabao smallholder farms’ productivity through the establishment of National Dairy Herd Improvement system in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency, improving milk production through increased number of dairy animals and sufficient feeding, establishing dairy herd buildup through the new coop conduit scheme, and carrying out massive artificial insemination activities, among others.

Since its inception in 2019, the milk feeding program has already proven its worth, benefiting over 4.2 million undernourished children and concurrently boosting the income of 53 DA-PCC-assisted cooperatives, collectively garnering a total revenue of PHP2 billion.

PLGU La Union banners the carabao as instrument of ‘PROBINSIYAnihan’ in Elyu

The Provincial Local Government of La Union and DA-PCC recently inked a memorandum of understanding (MOA) to firm up collaboration on carabao-based dairy development in the province, Rosario, La Union, August 25, 2023.

Said MOA signing was part of the relaunching of Dairy Box-La Union not only as a hub for carabao-based products but also of the other products of the province. This move is seen to expand the offerings of Elyu to its visitors as a famed tourist destination and Surfing Capital of the north.

La Union Governor Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David Gov. Rafy emphasized in her speech the value of bayanihan (cooperative endeavor) or which she calls “La Union PROBINSYAhan” to propel the province to achieve its dreams for its people.

“Hindi po iisang tao ang may pakana nito…kaya po kami [PCC, DTI, PGLU] nandito sama-sama ngayon because this is a joint effort, this is a collaboration and ito po yung bayanihan na gusto ko nga pong mangyari sa La Union na kung saan lahat po tayo ay tulong-tulong para maging posible po ang mga pangarap natin para sa bawa’t isa”, she said.

She added that love for oneself and for one another can make all things possible for the province, “kasi kung meron po tayong pagmamahalan sa isa’t isa, hindi po tayo magsasawang ibigay yung 100% po natin…para mapaganda pa po ang pamumuhay ng bawa’t isa sa atin.”

The MOA signing was led by DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Caro B. Salces, DA-PCC at DMMMSU Center Director Vilma C. Gagni, Rosario Dairy Farmers Cooperative (RDFC) Chairperson Annalyn L. Tade, and OIC Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Domingo Bobby C. Calub III.

Chairperson Tade, on behalf of the members of RDFC, said their gratitude to the PLGU and DA-PCC overflows for all the assistance their cooperative is receiving from the government. She also committed to sustain the operations of RDFC as a conduit to prospering the local dairy industry in La Union in order to help more farmers. She said that RDFC is one with the heart of the Governor on PROBINSIYAnihan saying, “hindi po competition, kundi collaboration”.

The Dairy Box is a one-stop-shop established as a market support facility for carabao-based dairy farmers.

After the relaunching and MOA signing, the group proceeded to Agoo Breeding Station in Nazareno, Agoo, La Union for the groundbreaking ceremony of the “Establishment of Carabao-Based Enterprise Develoment Dairy Farm”.

Dr. Salces underscored the benefits of the project, “It is like hitting two birds with one stone, gaganda yung nutrition ng mga bata and kikita din yung ating mga farmers.” With the support of the political leadership in the Elyu, he believes that there is no reason for the local dairy development program not to succeed.

Also present during the relaunching of the Dairy Box-La Union were Dr. Edwin Atabay, Head of Operations of PCC-NHQ, Regional Director Grace Falgui-Baluyan of the DTI-RFO I, Provincial Director Merlie D. Membrere of the DTI-La Union, DA-PCC at DMMMSU staff and the officers and members of Aringay Dairy Raisers Association (ADCRA), Sudipen Dairy Farmers Association (SDFA), and RDFC.

DA-PCC, KOICA explore drone-based precision agriculture for dairy buffalo prod’n

Officials of the Korean International Cooperation’s Agency (KOICA) visited the DA-PCC at CLSU’s National Bull Farm (NBF) in Digdig Joson, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija for capacity building on drone utilization for forage production in the Philippines last August 24.

DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Caro B. Salces and KOICA Director of the International Development Cooperation Center (IDCC) Jaeyun Chang led the team that inspected and collected data required to operate the drone.

According to Dr. Salces, the project is seen to help in the development of drone-based precision farming techniques that will effectively improve forage development for productive dairy buffaloes.

Said data will be used to assess, evaluate, and estimate the herbage productivity of the area and to identify plant nutrient deficiencies in the National Bull Farm. The project’s goal is to develop precision technologies for livestock production such as planting and seeding, crop maintenance, crop monitoring, and health evaluation and management.

Ultimately, according to the implementation team, this technological advancement will aid in the monitoring and yield estimation of forage through remote sensing technologies and to support the development of feed input production through utilization of drones in the livestock industry. DA-PCC’s NBF is home to a vast resource of forage species, legumes and grasses. The farm is an expanse of 520 hectares and is planned to be a good testing area for the project’s purpose.