September 29, 2015 – News Releases
|29 September 2015|
APEC News Releases
|President Aquino graces ‘Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas’ awards ceremony|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday led the awarding of outstanding barangays during the national assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, held at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.
“Ngayong araw, talagang binibigyang-pugay natin ang ating mga kapitan at opisyal ng barangay, partikular na ang mga bumubuo sa ating mga Lupong Tagapamayapa na kinikilala natin para sa di-matatawarang ambag sa larangan ng community peace and order,” the President said during his speech.
Assisting the President during the awarding ceremony were former Court of Appeals Justice Bernardo Abesamis, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, incoming Interior and Local Government Secretary Senen Sarmiento, and Liga ng mga Barangay National President Edmund Abesamis.
The Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Award (LTIA) 2013 National Awardees were Barangay San Vicente, Butuan City, Region XIII (for Highly Urbanized Cities); Barangay Cataning, Balanga City, Bataan, Region III (Component Cities); Barangay Kitang II/ Luz, Limay, I Bataan, Region III (1st to 3rd Class Municipalities); and Barangay Ambassador, Tublay, Benguet, Cordillera Administrative Region — CAR (4th to 6th Class Municipalities).
The LTIA 2013 National Awardee for Highly Urbanized Cities was Barangay San Vicente, Butuan City, Region XIII; Barangay Katangawan, General Santos City, Region XII (1st Runner-Up); and Barangay Adlaon, Cebu City, Region VII (2nd Runner-Up).
The LTIA 2013 National Awardee for Component Cities was Barangay Cataning, Balanga City, Bataan, Region III; Barangay I, San Lorenzo, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Region I (1st Runner-Up); and Barangay Dagupan, Centro, City of Tabuk, Kalinga, CAR (2nd Runner-Up).
The LTIA 2013 National Awardee for the 1st Class and 3rd Class Municipalities was Barangay Poblacion, Polomolok, South Cotabato, Region XII; Barangay Kitang II/ Luz, Limay, Bataan, Region III (1st Runner-Up); and Barangay Patagueleg, Peñablanca, Cagayan, Region II (2nd Runner-Up).
The LTIA 2013 National Awardee for the 4th and 6th Class Municipalities was Barangay Hingatungan, Silago, Southern, Leyte, Region VIII; Barangay Ambassador, Tublay, Benguet, CAR (1st Runner-Up); and Barangay Poblacion, Kolambugan, Lanao Del Norte, Region X (2nd Runner-Up).
The Hall of Fame Award went to Barangay San Vicente, Butuan City, Region XIII for being a national awardee for three consecutive years from 2012 to 2014.
During the event, which carried the theme, “Building Strength for Continuity and Institutionalized Reforms”, the President called on the barangay officials to continue the Daang Matuwid that his administration had initiated.
“Kayo pong mga nasa barangay, hindi dapat maging mga partisan politicians. Pero maliwanag din namang bilang mga lider ng inyong mga pamayanan, nasa kamay ninyo ang pagsusulong ng magandang kalagayan ng inyong mga kababayan,” he said.
“Ang akin po: Dapat tumulong kayo sa talakayan; himukin ninyo sa diskurso’t debate ang inyong mga kasamahan at tanungin: Sino nga ba ang nararapat na mamuno sa bansa pagdating ng taong 2016? Di ko na ho kailangang sabihin sa inyo kung sino ang kandidatong papanigan ko. Ang boto ko, doon sa siguradong itutuloy ang Daang Matuwid,” he said, referring to Liberal Party standard-bearer, former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II.
The Chief Executive also took the opportunity to bid farewell to the barangay officials.
“Bago po ako magtapos, siguro ho’y alam ninyong kulang-kulang walong buwan na lang ang natitira sa ating paglilingkod. Maganda ho siguro na ngayon ay nag-uumpisa na akong magpaalam… Kayo po’y naging matinding kabalikat nitong ating panunungkulan. Sana po, higitan pa natin ang nagawa sa mga lumipas na taon,” he said.
The Liga ng mga Barangay assembly aimed to orient the participants on Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS), Disaster Risk Management, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), the Department of Interior and Local Government Programs and Projects for Barangays, with emphasis on bottom-up budgeting, benefits and privileges of the group’s members and other organizational concerns. PND (ag)
|APEC agriculture meeting centers on cooperation in technology and rural development|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), who tackled agriculture during Monday’s meeting, put major emphasis on agricultural and technological cooperation, as well as rural development, an agriculture official has said.
Agriculture Undersecretary Segredo Serrano told reporters during a press briefing at the Amigo Hotel here Tuesday that they have also put much emphasis on surmounting the challenges posed by climate change on agriculture.
“As you know, the APEC, the Asia-Pacific region, is also the place where you have the Pacific, the biggest ocean,” and as such, it cannot be avoided that the region experiences cyclical bouts of El Niño and La Niña, he pointed out.
Other areas of concern include food safety, and improving the agriculture sector’s productivity, he added.
During the 19th Annual Meeting of the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group on Monday, the Philippines reported its recent activities on developing a research and development agenda that will tackle climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Serrano said it could be a network or a joint undertaking by organizations from APEC member economies.
Before the commencement of the high-level policy dialogue on Wednesday, there will be a policy dialogue on agricultural biotechnology during which ministers will discuss, not only the members’ experiences in agricultural biotechnology but also emerging trends and the importance of certain regulatory issues and harmonization.
“We will attempt to harmonize so as not to unduly hamper the trade and development of this technology that can be utilized for agricultural development and improving agricultural productivity,” Serrano said.
They will then have a public policy forum on food security, where the senior ministers will focus on blue economy or the fishery sector, he added.
The high-level policy dialogue will be the culminating activity here in Iloilo City, Serrano said, noting that some ministers and senior officials from the APEC economies are expected to attend.
The discussion on agriculture would enable the country to gain from the exchange of information, sharing of ideas, and the development of networks, he added.
The APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology will run from September 30 to October 1. PND (as)
|Agricultural sector urged to secure foothold in domestic market with growing tourism industry|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) The Philippines’ agricultural sector has been urged to secure its foothold in the domestic market — rather than setting its sights on export markets – with the help of the country’s tourism industry.
“You cannot just concentrate on the export markets but virtually forget your big domestic market. It is still the (local) market that supports our producers in a very major way,” Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said during a press briefing held here Tuesday on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) Meeting.
Serrano, who is also the ATCWG’s Deputy Lead Shepherd, noted that aside from marketing its products to the country’s 100-million population, the agricultural sector could take advantage of the tourism industry’s drive to bring in more foreign tourists.
“It is like exporting without crossing your borders,” he said, explaining that the agricultural sector could sell its products to foreign tourists – and it does not even need to undergo the restrictive sanitary and phytosanitary measures it goes through when it exports its products to other countries.
Boosting the country’s tourism industry is thus important, he said.
Serrano further underscored the economic impact and multiplier effect of boosting the tourism industry in rural areas, considering that a big portion of their population depends on agriculture.
Having more tourists to purchase local products will also create jobs in rural areas, he added.
He however emphasized that businesses must continue to develop quality, as well as new and novel products, whether they are focusing on the domestic or foreign markets. PNA (kc)
|Roadmap being crafted to make agriculture sector more competitive, ensure food security|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) The Department of Agriculture (DA) is developing a roadmap that aims to ensure food security and improve the country’s competitiveness in the global market, an agriculture official said on Tuesday.
The department has been crafting a roadmap that will have three pillars: value chain analysis, benchmarking, and private sector ownership, Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano told reporters during a media briefing here.
Explaining the first pillar, Serrano said the roadmap must be based on value chain analysis, because through this, DA experts could identify and address the constraints in the various stages of the value chain.
The role of the government and the function of the private sector must also be identified, he said, noting that the government must create a favorable environment that would enable private businesses to thrive.
He said the government’s strengths include building infrastructure — fishing ports, farm-to-market roads, transport systems, and cold chain systems — as well as playing a major role in funding research on new technologies, especially for small farmers.
On the second pillar, Serrano explained the importance of benchmarking for the country’s import and export commodities to ensure the competitiveness of local products.
“If we continue on subsidizing or imposing protection on commodities that are not competitive, even at the border, it will redound to higher cost for our consumers and higher support and protection cost for the government,” he said.
“We have to be able to strategize and plan how we can increase our market share by being much more competitive and presenting attractive products in the specific export markets.”
He underscored the need to strengthen the country’s export potentials, since exports have a multiplier effect on the economy.
If the origin of the exports is the agriculture sector, it would benefit from that multiplier effect in terms of employment and income, he said, adding that sending high-quality export products would also be a good motivation for Filipino farmers.
“The roadmap cannot just be a roadmap. It must be the subject of an extensive national consultation with our stakeholders so that the elements of this roadmap, including the timelines, the measures, are the ones that are acceptable to the public,” he said.
“We want a roadmap that will have the ownership and the political support of our stakeholders.”
With an agricultural roadmap supported by the people, the DA can easily go to Congress for funding support, he said.
Serrano further said that they are setting a new target to complete the roadmap by the end of the year.
The DA was supposed to finish it two years ago but the department is having problems with available data, he pointed out, adding that they are working on establishing real data for a specific commodity corridor to have a true picture of a particular value chain in the country.
With this analysis, agriculture experts can see the problems in the value chain, Serrano said.
“We want a more specific value chain analysis that will become the basis of the roadmap,” he said.
“What we want are real numbers, real commodity corridors, and real parts and elements of the value chain.” PND (as)
|APEC meeting wants micro businesses to benefit from developments in agriculture sector|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) The second round of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings here remains aligned with the target to promote inclusive growth in the region, with focus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
From September 27 to October 6, APEC member economies will hold the High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy (HLPD-FSBE) and Related Meetings in Iloilo City.
Deputy Lead Shepherd of the APEC Agriculture Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG), Segfredo Serrano, said the agenda of the HLPD-FSBE meetings would ensure that future developments in the APEC’s agriculture sector would trickle down to MSMEs, especially the micro sector.
“It is how we can be more inclusive in terms of technological progress,” he said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
Serrano, who is also an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture (DA), reiterated the Philippine government’s push during its hosting of the APEC, to encourage MSME participation in global economic activities to achieve inclusive growth in the region.
“The overall objective of the government is inclusivity. Our objective in hosting these meetings here in Iloilo, I think is already a win-win for us,” he said.
“Our government has introduced in this discussion the ‘M’ in MSME, which is the micro enterprises,” he added.
He noted that inclusive growth could be achieved by focusing on micro enterprises, as the bulk of establishments in the region are run by micro businesses.
In the Philippines alone, he said, 90 percent of total businesses in the country consist of micro enterprises, most of which are in rural areas where the incidence of poverty is high.
“We have dominant micro enterprises in the rural sector,” Serrano said.
As it pushes for inclusive growth, the Philippine government is strengthening its coordination with local government units (LGUs) to ensure that national programs cover all stakeholders, he pointed out.
“The important thing is closer coordination, so you can cover the stakeholders, particularly the small farmers,” he added.
Serrano also mentioned the increasing budget of the DA that enables the department to extend its programs to stakeholders.
“You have seen a radical progression in terms of the budgetary support from the Congress. This substantial increase in resources has enabled us to reach more of our constituents,” he said. PNA (kc)
|Climate change, a major challenge in attaining food security, says agriculture official|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Climate change is a game changer as it threatens the country’s quest for food security and the livelihood of small farmers in vulnerable communities, a Philippine agriculture official has said.
Climate change is a game changer because confronting it requires changing the people’s and the government’s mindset about climate disturbances, Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said during a press briefing here Tuesday.
“We need to change the way we behave as a people and as a government in order to surmount the challenges posed by climate change,” he said.
The Philippines cannot address climate change by planting more trees; instead, the most effective way to deal with it is to persuade countries that are major polluters to adopt less destructive lifestyles, Serrano said.
“They should be held accountable. They are the ones that should change. They have to change their profligate lifestyles,” he said.
The changing weather patterns are putting a strain on the way the government carries out projects, such as infrastructure and research, according to Serrano.
For instance, the government has to consider the biophysical environment once a particular long-term project is approved, he said, adding that farm-to-market roads can no longer withstand the effects of the changing weather patterns and building one could mean the loss of billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money.
He further said that researchers now need to consider the environment in developing new plant varieties and must take into consideration climate change, new ambient temperature, as well as the change in soil and water quality.
Serrano pointed out that since the effects of climate change can no longer be avoided, the Philippines is learning how to adapt.
The challenge now is how to raise awareness and help people in vulnerable sectors to mitigate the impacts of climate change and how not to derail the government’s development targets, he said.
“Adaptation is our priority and it has dominated the way we have participated in the international fora, more importantly in APEC,” Serrano said.
“In the (agriculture) department, the target is to convert the budget into a complete adaptation budget for the rural sector. We don’t want to spend on projects that once finished, the construction or any product of technology would be useless because of the changing biophysical conditions,” he said.
He also observed that the country is increasingly becoming resource-poor, with dwindling land, water supply and other resources.
Introducing new technologies and raising awareness about the problems are key to enable the Philippines to overcome these challenges, he said.
Serrano also dispelled the notion of relying on cheap rice imports from major rice-producing countries, saying major rice producers could also be struck by climate change.
Instead, the Philippines must develop its own rice industry to attain food security, he said.
Aside from climate change, other major challenges being faced by the country are food security and competition in a liberalized global market.
“The AFMA (Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act) wants us to be more technology-based rather than resource-based, because we already know that with 100 million Filipinos, it is going to pose a challenge with these three basic challenges,” he said. PND (as)
|With 33 percent of food production wasted, APEC asks private sector to pinpoint sources of losses|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Thirty-three percent of food production goes to waste, prompting the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Monday to ask the private sector to identify the specific sources of losses in the food industry.
“Food loss and waste are a growing concern of all economies which has to be addressed and given importance, especially with the fact that according to studies, one-third of the total food production goes to food loss and waste,” Philippine agriculture officer Rex Bingabing said at the ongoing APEC food security meeting here.
“This is a significant amount, considering that a lot of people are going hungry all over the world. So if we can reduce this number, it would have a significant impact,” he said.
Reducing losses in food production is of utmost importance, given that “70 percent of the hungry populations are living in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Dr. Feng Dongxin of the APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group.
Dr. Ching-Cheng “Emily” Chang, research fellow from Taiwan, said preliminary global assessment puts livestock waste at about 20 percent to 30 percent while fisheries waste is a little higher at 30 percent to 40 percent.
Thus, Chang said, the private sector could help reduce food waste by tracking it in the supply chain so that the government could adopt appropriate policies.
She said data and research on livestock and fishery are particularly lacking.
“The supply chain in this region is rapidly changing and transforming. It is very difficult to track…so this is one aspect (where the) private sector can provide useful information for the government to make (the) right decision,” Chang said during a press conference on the sidelines of the APEC meetings.
Bingabing, director of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, emphasized the need to identify where the losses are coming from — whether during the harvest stage or during the transport of food to suppliers.
Aside from keeping track of the losses, Chang said, the private sector should share their working business models so that old players in the supply would survive the market and “have a win-win situation”.
Governments, on the other hand, must improve infrastructure to help farmers and fishermen efficiently transport their crops, animals, and fish to their buyers, Chang said.
In the Philippines, the government provides machines or facilities to farmers, including organic farmers, and animal breeders, among others, to help reduce waste and improve production.
Already, the Department of Agriculture has installed zip lines and car cables to help transport crops, poultry and meat produced by farmers living along the rivers or in the mountains.
Dr. Rod Estigoy, director of the DA’s Applied Communication Division, said, “From the farm to the nearest road, the government also placed an agriculture tramline system that transports farm produce from remote areas to the nearest road. It drastically reduces losses incurred (right after) farmers harvest their produce (but) cannot transport their produce right away because of the ravines or rivers or cliffs that hinder them from bringing their produce to the nearest road.”
Starting Sunday (September 27), 80 delegates from the APEC — from both public and private sectors — met to discuss the APEC Multi-Year Project (MYP) entitled, “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain”.
The seminar was hosted by the Council of Agriculture of Chinese Taipei, in collaboration with the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries. (acg)
|Modern technology can reduce food waste by 10 percent – APEC|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Modern technology can reduce waste in food production and distribution by 10 percent to 11 percent, Philippine agriculture official Rex Bingabing has said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) food security meeting here.
“We have a study in Nueva Ecija, where most of the farmers are using modern machinery and equipment, and we found out the loss can go down to about 10 (percent) to 11 percent,” he said during a media briefing on Monday.
To increase food production, the Philippines has grouped farm laborers into cooperatives and associations that may receive from the government farm machinery, such as tractors, transplanters, and mechanical harvesters.
This way, Bingabing said, farm laborers are transformed into “farm service providers” who manage the use of equipment and facilities for other farmers.
The twin actions of mechanization and labor grouping aim to increase food production, said the director of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization.
“In effect, they can be termed as professional farmers. They won’t be displaced. There would be minimal displacement of labor because they are managing tool machinery. We would be able to increase their productivity because we organized them as a group,” Bingabing said.
They serve in land preparation, planting, and harvesting, he added.
“Under the program, we are giving (machinery) to farm cooperatives. The idea is to make new technology accessible to them, so they may (be more productive), and to reduce the losses because they are using more efficient machines in processing,” he said.
Over the years, Bingabing said, the Department of Agriculture has initiated programs to address the issue of post-harvest losses of grain, fruits, and vegetables.
Each commodity, like rice and corn, and high-value crops, gets a different mechanization program.
For livestock, on the other hand, there is no concrete figure on the main factors for losses and waste.
The APEC economies plan to focus on increasing the production of animal farming and fisheries, Bingabing said, noting a new Philippine fishing law that orders a fishing ban for three months to replenish marine stock.
During Sunday’s workshop, representatives from the livestock and fishery industries made other delegates from the government and private sector realize the importance of identifying how and how much losses are incurred in the production and supply of meat and fish products.
Bingabing said the reasons for the losses vary, depending on the type of economies. For developed countries, losses come mostly from leftovers and spoilage while for developing countries, the losses come mostly during the transport of these food products.
“For the developed economies, they are buying more than they can consume. But for developing countries, like in the case of the Philippines, the losses come from the post-harvest side,” he said.
Developing countries’ food waste is about 5 percent to 10 percent and for developed countries 20 percent to 30 percent.
“They have good, more efficient technologies to address the post-harvest losses,” Bingabing said.
The Philippines’ mechanization program, as a solution to food waste and food security, will be presented to APEC Summit leaders in November. (APEC Communications Group)
|To address issues confronting the industry, credible data on fishery, livestock losses needed|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) The 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) should start looking at the complete value chain of the fishery and livestock sectors and identify the losses incurred on this activity so that key issues and challenges could be clearly addressed.
The lack of concrete and credible data that carry clear figures on losses in the fishery and livestock industries was evident during Sunday’s APEC seminar on “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain of Fishery and Livestock”, according to Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization director Rex Bingabing.
“It seems the focus of the government is more on increasing production,” Bingabing said during a media briefing held here Monday.
“We are not yet looking at the losses along the value chain of fishery and livestock,” he said.
Explaining the logic behind the new law that imposes a three-month ban on fishing, Bingabing said, “The idea is to increase the harvest of fishes, and these are the programs that were initiated for fishery – it is more on increasing production but not yet on really looking at the different activities among the value chain.”
This was actually emphasized during a recent workshop, which the Philippine agriculture officer described as an “eye opener” for all the participants.
“We were dealing with these figures but these are just rough estimates. We don’t know exactly where along the value chain these losses are really coming from,” said Bingabing.
“We have to identify first where these losses are really coming from. Is it from during the harvest? During the processing of the transportation? We have to identify what particular losses come from these activities, so we can clearly address the issue,” he said.
However, Ching Cheng “Emily” Chang, a research fellow at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, stressed that loss assessment is a very difficult undertaking as it involves “multi-directional aspects from production, to safety to many, many regulatory issues”.
“So it is very difficult to identify specific targets of APEC as a whole,” Chang said during the same media briefing. “We have to recognize the diversity in this area where you have a very traditional sector, a very monogamy type of food supply chain.”
She said it is highly unlikely for the APEC to come up with a uniform assessment or a uniform target for all economies.
“We need to recognize the individual characteristic of the individual economies,” explained Chang. “We try to create the general principle, not in terms of the goal to achieve but in terms of the specific target.”
“We want to let each regional economies decide their target,” she further said. (APEC Communications Group)
|Bigger budget for Department of Agriculture could widen its coverage, says official|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) Despite the yearly increase in the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) budget, the department wants more allocation to expand its area of coverage, Agriculture Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said on Tuesday.
In 2010, the DA’s budget was about P20 billion and from 2011 until the present, there has been a radical progression in terms of budgetary support from Congress, Serrano said during a press briefing here.
The additional budget was sponsored by the President and by the Department of Budget and Management, he said.
“This substantial increase in resources has enabled us to reach more of our constituents,” Serrano said.
“But of course our farmer groups, who are very active in advocating for more resources, say, ‘We need much, much more.’ And this is in those areas that we intend to cover.”
Under the proposed P3.002 trillion national budget for 2016, the DA will receive P93.4 billion.
With this allocation, he said, the department seeks to increase yields and improve farmers’ incomes by providing farm-to-market roads and irrigation services, as well as initiate support services to help farmers diversify their crops, reach the right markets, and leverage research.
Serving as the blueprint for the agriculture sector’s modernization and development is the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) or RA 8435 passed in 1997.
The landmark legislation, signed into law by former President Fidel Ramos in December 1997, focuses on five major concerns: poverty alleviation and social equity, food security, global competitiveness, sustainable development, and income profitability, especially for farmers and fisher folks.
Since its passage, the AFMA was supported and supplemented by several legislation, among them the Organic Agriculture Act, the Mechanization Act, as well as the Food Safety Act. PND (as)
|APEC highlights opportunities, challenges on Blue Economy|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) dialogue on agriculture and food security has underscored the opportunities and challenges on the Blue Economy — the use of the sea and its resources for economic development.
“This is probably the first time in the history of the APEC agriculture and food security discussions, that the high-level policy dialogue will have a particular emphasis on the Blue Economy,” APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) Deputy Lead Shepherd Segfredo Serrano said on the sidelines of the High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy and Related Meetings here Tuesday.
Serrano, who is also an undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture (DA), noted that the Blue Economy plays a crucial role in ensuring food security in the Asia Pacific.
Member economies of the APEC have great access to fisheries and marine resources, with the Pacific Ocean in the region, the government official said.
For fish production alone, it was noted that the APEC has an 80 percent share of the global production.
“Fisheries will be the dominant sector for our economy. We have a rich fishing ground,” Serrano added.
“We are on the fringes of the greatest ocean… We are all around this big ocean that poses a lot of opportunities, as well as challenges to all economies.”
He mentioned that aside from taking advantage of the opportunities of the APEC’s rich marine resources, the region should also come up with policies and actions protecting these resources.
“As you know, the APEC, the Asia-Pacific region, is also the place where you have the Pacific — the biggest ocean,” Serrano said, adding that as such, the region cannot avoid experiencing cyclical bouts of El Niño and La Niña.
As one of the APEC economies with the most number of typhoons, Serrano said the Philippines shared its recent activities on developing a research and development agenda that will tackle climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The HLPD-FSBE concluded the ATCWG Meeting on Tuesday with a technical visit to the municipality of Miag-ao in Iloilo province.
Prior to the ATCWG Meeting, Iloilo City also hosted the seminar on “Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain of Fishery and Livestock” last Sunday. PNA (kc)
|APEC forum on food security to focus on ‘blue economy’|
| (ILOILO CITY, Iloilo) For the first time in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, special emphasis will be placed on the blue economy, or fishery and marine resources, Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano said on Tuesday.
This will especially be helpful to the Philippines, which has one of the biggest and most varied marine resources in the world.
During the APEC Food Security Week and High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy, the agriculture official revealed that the Philippine government will be partnering with other government agencies, such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), for the high-level dialogue.
“We have started with the series of working groups and policy dialogue meetings, and all of these are going to culminate in a high-level policy dialogue on food security and the blue economy,” Serrano said.
The Asia-Pacific region houses the Pacific Ocean, he said, noting that as such, it cannot avoid experiencing cyclical bouts of El Niño and La Niña, which impact the agricultural sector.
A public policy forum will be held to discuss food security matters, which will be led by BFAR, “reflecting our particular emphasis in these engagements in APEC on the blue economy or the fisheries”, he said.
Blue economy means making use of the Philippines’ aquatic and ocean resources to boost the economy.
The Philippines aims for ocean-based profit, which is larger than its green economy, which refers to forest and agriculture. (APEC Communications Group
|President Aquino leads presentation of 2015 Apolinario Mabini awards|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday presented the 2015 Apolinario Mabini Awards to outstanding individuals with disabilities, professionals and various groups during a ceremony held at the Heroes Hall of Malacañang Palace.
In his speech, the President paid tribute to Mabini, whose disability did not hinder him from playing a major role in the Philippine Revolution.
“Tulad ni Mabini, kayo, sampu ng iba pang mga indibidwal, mga kasamahan sa media, mga lokal na pamahalaan, at mga katuwang sa pribadong sektor na pinarangalan natin sa araw na ito, ay nagsisilbing tanglaw at inspirasyon sa marami nating kababayan. Kaya naman, sa ngalan ng bawat Pilipinong nabibigyang-lakas ninyo: Isang taos-pusong pasasalamat sa inyo pong lahat,” the President said, addressing the awardees.
Assisting the President during the ceremony were Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. (PFRD) President Manuel Agcaoili, its Chairperson Milagros Drilon, and committee member Marides Almendras.
The Media Advocate of the Year (Individual Category) award was presented to Myrna Medina for encouraging deaf Filipinos to assert their rights. She has produced two films that advocated the use of the Filipino sign language.
The Media Advocate of the Year (Program Category) Award was given to the United Architects of the Philippines — Manila Archdiocese for Government Service for their project, “Rolyo ng Malaya”, an inter-school documentary film that addresses the needs and concerns of persons with disability (PWDs) under the law.
The PWD Filipino of the Year Award went to Liwanag Caldito for her unwavering advocacy as a dedicated Special Education teacher, despite suffering from Parkinson’s disease; while the PWD Filipino of the Year Special Award went to Victor Francesco Cham, who despite his autism, became a graphic designer and model employee of Unilab Foundation.
The Mabini Presidential Award (Hall of Fame Award) was presented to SM Cares Program on Disability Affairs for their unwavering commitment to the disabled by fully complying with the law, as prescribed by Batas Pambansa (BP) 344.
Randy Weisser received the Mabini Presidential Award (Special Award) for devoting 26 years in the service of blind Filipinos through education, finding ways and means to provide them learning materials and assistive devices to facilitate their learning process.
Engineer Darlito Palermo from Mindanao received the Mabini Presidential Award (Presidential Award) for his advocacy to provide equal work opportunities, transportation and barrier-free establishments for PWDs.
Other awards were presented to the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (Rehabilitation Volunteer of the Year – Group); the University of the Philippines Special Education Council and Annette Lee-Esparaz (Rehabilitation Volunteer of the Year – Special Award).
The PWD Group of the Year Award (Provincial Category) went to the Association of Differently Abled Person; and PWD Group of the Year (Special Award) to the Las Piñas PWD Federation and the AD/HD Society of the Philippines.
The Award for the Local Government Unit of the Year went to Asingan, Pangasinan and Guimbal, Iloilo (Municipal Category); Dasmariñas, Cavite (City Category); Barangay Sto. Cristo, Quezon City (Barangay Category); and Carmona, Cavite (Special Award).
The Employer of the Year Award was given to ANZ Global Services & Operations (Manila), Inc., while the Employer of the Year Special Award went to Unilab Foundation.
The Disabled-Friendly Establishment of the Year in Compliance to BP 344 Award was presented to Holiday Inn & Suites, SM Supermalls (eight awards), Ayala Land (three awards), Robinsons Place (three awards), and Jones Land Lasalle Philippines. The special award for this category went to JP Morgan Chase Building and Bonifacio Global City Estate.
Citing the awardees’ contributions, President Aquino expressed his great admiration for the PWD sector.
“Lubos ang paghanga ko sa mga kasapi ng sektor ng PWD. Ang sabi ko nga po, imbes na tawaging ‘differently abled’ ay mas angkop pang tawaging ‘more abled’ ang mga kababayan nating may kapansanan,” he said.
“Batid ko po kasi: Bago pa man harapin ang ibang hamon sa buhay, una na nilang nilampasan ang kanilang mga sarili. Sa halip na kaawaan na lamang ang kanilang kondisyon, araw-araw nilang pinipiling lumaban. Imbes na magpadaig na lang sa kawalan ng kumpiyansa at pag-asa, inaangat nila ang kanilang sarili at nakikipagkapit-bisig sa kapwa, para maabot ang kanilang potensiyal, at makaambag, hindi lamang sa pamilya, kundi sa buong bansa,” he added.
The Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes measures to prevent disability, protect and rehabilitate the disabled, and equalize opportunities for disabled persons.
Also present during the ceremony were Senate President Franklin Drilon and Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras. PND (ag)