PCC GIP holds 1st AI Congress in Northern Luzon

The national Genetic Improvement Program (GIP) of PCC recently launched  the 1st Northern Luzon Artificial Insemination (AI) Congress at Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Training Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte last September 5-7.

Bearing the theme “Defining the Roles and Standards of an Artificial Insemination Technician in National Livestock Genetic Improvement and Enterprise,” the AI Congress aims to discuss issues and concerns pertaining to AI program implementation and to plan-out strategies on how to increase the number of AI services and improve its success rate.

PCC Acting Executive Director Dr. Arnel del Barrio emphasized that the objective of the congress is to enhance the appreciation of AI technicians about their work and that their contribution to the success of the GIP is crucial.

Hosting this AI Congress, PCC at MMSU director Grace Marjorie Recta said the three-day seminar is an avenue for AI technicians to acquire broader understanding and appreciation of their role in PCC’s efforts to genetically improve the Philippine carabao.

According to Recta, the congress is a combination of a refresher course (lectures) and a lessons-learned (sharing of experiences) methodology led by the best AI technicians in northern Luzon to inspire the other participants.

This learning method ensures that the participants get richer knowledge upon completion of the seminar.

Among the pool of experts from PCC who served as lecturers were Dr. Edwin Atabay, Scientist I, who discussed the standard protocol in the actual AI practice and advances in AI technology;  Dr. Ester Flores, PCC GIP national coordinator who was the resource person on carabao breeding program and sire directory; and Dr. Thelma Saludes, officer-in-charge of PCC at University of the Philippines – Los Baños (PCC-UPLB) who explained semen processing and handling.

The program was highlighted with the sharing of best practices on AI program implementation among other PCC regional centers.

PCC at Central Luzon State University (CLSU) AI program coordinator Dr. Fe Venturina shared the case in Region III, on how the AI diffusion rate was increased; Mr. Jose Canaria, counterpart of Dr. Venturina at PCC-UPLB shared the status of implementing the AI program in Regions IV-A, B, and V; PCCt-UPLB CBED coordinator Ms. Anna Reylene Montes shared “From AI to Enterprise: The Experience of Local Dairy Farmers in General Trias, Cavite and Rosario, Batangas; and Dr. Caro Salces, PCC at Ubay Stock Farm center director, explained how uterine flushing improved the success rate of AI in Bohol.

Moreover, PCC operations chief Mr. Honorato Baltazar discussed the role of AI technicians in PCC programs, and PCC at Cagayan State University center director Prof. Franklin Rellin explained the stipulations in the AI contract.

National Gawad Saka Awardee for 2012 Mr. Alex Pasion inspired the 156 participants attending the congress about how he met success through AI.

Pasion was hailed in 2015 by PCC-MMSU as outstanding Village-based Artificial Insemination Technician (VBAIT) among its roster of VBAITs for seven months.

“From tricycle to sarao (jeepney), I now have my own Hyundai Starex,” Pasion proudly testified his story of success. “I just want to say, there is a bright future here [AI].”

Two panel discussions addressed issues on the standards for AI practice, commitments for higher AI diffusion rate and herd build-up.

The Mindanao edition of the AI Congress is set on September 18-21.