300 Women Farmers In Bukidnon Undergo Finance And Digital Literacy Training For Farmer Productivity

ocampo female story

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Monsanto Philippines and the Provincial Government of Bukidnon, through its Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), recently partnered to conduct a capacity building program on agricultural finance management and digital literacy to 300 women farmers in the province, helping them better manage their farming enterprise and augment overall farmer productivity.

Monsanto and PAO, together with the International Marketing Group-Wealth Academy, which stood as a speaker for the trainings, held the two-day capacity building program at the municipal gymnasiums of Maramag and Manolo Fortitch in Bukidnon. According to PAO’s Provincial Agriculturist Alson Quimba, the 300 participants were selected from 22 different municipalities in Bukidnon, mostly from the most underserved local communities in the province.

Monsanto Corporate Engagement Lead Charina Garrido-Ocampo said women play an important role in food production and distribution, having major participation in important farming activities such as budgeting, planting, harvesting, up to marketing of the produce. The agriculture industry in fact employs the 2nd most number of women in the Philippines, with over 2.9 million women involved in farming. Despite women’s significant role, they remain “invisible” in a largely perceived male-dominated job.

“Though rural women are considered to be active actors in farming, their real contributions to local food production and to the rural economy remain undervalued. Women collectively play crucial roles in fighting hunger not only within households, but on a larger scale, by ensuring the nutrition and food security of the nation. This program, more than being a capacity building activity, is meant to underscore women’s primary contributions and sacrifices to the growth of the agriculture sector,” Ocampo said.

Ocampo added that the initiative is expected to develop further their financial management capabilities and enhance their overall farm management potential. The seminar includes short courses on building a solid financial foundation, practical money management strategies, sound investment tactics, and the creation of multiple streams of passive income.

Meanwhile, the basic digital literacy training focused on teaching participants with basic computer concepts and skills so that they can be more productive both at home and in the field.

“We continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, especially from the private sector, in supporting our local growers and, in turn, our local agriculture through different awareness and capacity building initiatives. Through this training, we express our confidence in increasing the productive participation of women in local agriculture and food production,” said Quimba. (MONSANTO/TN)





KARAPATANG MAGKAROON NG LIGTAS AT MATATAG NA KURYENTE  lalo na sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan, yan ang binigyang tutok ng kumpirmadong Kalihim ng Kagawaran ng Enerhiya na si Alfonso G. Cusi.

Mula Hulyo 8 hanggang Oktubre 14 nang ginawa ang pagpapailaw sa (18,026) mahigit labing walong libong pamilya sa lugar ng Gaya-gaya, San Jose Del Monte, ilang munisipalidad ng Bulacan, Laguna at Rizal, Happy Land Aroma, BASECO compound, Isla Puting Bato at Parola na pawang nasa Tondo, Maynila.

Nakatuon ako sa pagpapatupad ng utos ng Pangulong Duterte na magbigay sa ating mga kababayan ng pagkakataong magkaroon ng maayos na buhay sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng ligtas, matatag at maasahang serbisyo sa kuryente.

Nagbigay pasasalamat naman si DOE Secretary Cusi sa MERALCO dahil sa proyekto Household Electricfication Program upang mapailawan o mabigyan ng kuryente ang mga nabanggit na lugar kasama ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na siyang nangasiwa upang magkaroon ng legal koneksyon ng kuryente.

Aniya, ang nasabing proyekto ay para sa maliliit na tao, sa mga hindi napapakinggang boses at sa mga taong nangangailangan ng ating tulong sa sektor na ito

Maaalalang sa ilalim ng Republic Act 7832 o Anti-Pilferage of Electricity and Theft of Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Act of 1994, na ipinagbabawal ang wire-tapping, tampering, installing, or using tampered electrical meter, jumper, current reversing transformer, shorting or shunting wire, loop connection, or any attempt to destroy any accessory of the metering device box which encases an electric meter or its metering accessories.

Ang nasabing batas ay nasa ilalim ng patnubay ng DOE upang bantayan at tiyakin ang kaligtasan ng mga kumukunsumo laban sa mga posibleng disgrasya tulad ng sunog na sanhi ng faulty electrical wiring na sumisira ng ari-arian at pagkawala ng maraming buhay ng ating mga kababayan. (Cathy Cruz)


Globe gears up restoration activities and business continuity protocols

Lawin disrupts communications services in some parts of Northern Luzon
Globe gears up restoration activities and business continuity protocols

Two-hundred twenty five (225) kph-strong winds from Typhoon Lawin resulted in commercial power interruption, multiple fiber cuts and service disruption in parts of Northern Luzon. Globe reported voice, call and data service disruptions in selected areas in Abra, Cagayan, Kalinga, portions of Ilocos Norte and Apayao.

Customers in the said areas will temporarily experience difficulty in accessing communications services. PAGASA has donwngraded Lawin from supertyphoon to typhoon level offering opportunities for early restoration of Globe services. Network redundancies were activated to alleviate the impact of service disruptions to customers.

Globe technical teams have already been deployed to restore damaged facilities. In the meantime, Globe is also in close coordination with government agencies to deploy relief operations in areas affected by the typhoon. Further advisories will be released to update customers on the restoration of various services. —Yoly Crisanto, Globe Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications.# (Yoly C. Crisanto, Head, Corporate Communications, Globe Telecom, Inc.)

Cusi Underscores Continuous Supply of Safe Electricity to Poor Communities


MORE HOMES ELECTRIFIED: DOE-identified houses in Isla Putting Bato were energized as beneficiaries of the intensified electrification activities by the DOE and MERALCO. (Photo by: MERALCO)

(Taguig City) Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi today emphasized the giving of access to safer electricity supply as it continues to make power available to our less privileged Filipinos.


From July 8, 2016 to October 14, the DOE-MERALCO partnership has energized a total of 18,026 households in the areas of Gaya-Gaya, San Jose del Monte and other municipalities in Bulacan, Laguna and some parts of Rizal, Happy Land Aroma, the BASECO Compound, Isla Puting Bato and Parola Area in Tondo, Manila.


“I am committed to accomplishing the marching order of the President to provide our people the chance to enjoy a more comfortable quality of life through the delivery of safe, stable and reliable electricity services,” Sec. Cusi said referring to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Household Electrification Program in collaboration with Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO) as he thanked MERALCO for its cooperation and commitment in energizing the said areas.


The DOE Secretary also thanked the Local Government Unit leaders for their active involvement in ensuring there will be safe and legal electrical connections to protect their communities.


“We would like to express our gratitude to our partners for making household electrification possible, dahil para ito sa maliliit na tao, sa mga hindi napapakinggang boses at sa mga taong nangangailangan ng ating tulong sa sektor na ito,” Cusi said.


“The unlawful use of electricity is prohibited under Republic Act No. 7832 otherwise known as the Anti-Pilferage of Electricity and Theft of Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Act of 1994. Among the prohibited acts are: wire-tapping, tampering, installing, or using tampered electrical meter, jumper, current reversing transformer, shorting or shunting wire, loop connection, or any attempt to destroy any accessory of the metering device box which encases an electric meter or its metering accessories.”


“This law serves as the DOE’s guideline in safeguarding the welfare of the consumers against any untoward incidents such as fire, which may be triggered by faulty electrical wiring that will destroy properties and cause the loss of lives, “Secretary Cusi concluded.# (Public/Media Affairs, dEPARTMEN


A Win-Win Solution in Sea Dispute with China

By Victor N. Corpus

October 16, 2016 – The upcoming RP-China talks on the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea put the Philippines at the vital cross-road to war or peace. The choice of which road to take, war or peace, all depends on what strategy the Philippine negotiating team will adapt.  A “win-lose strategy”, otherwise known as a “zero-sum game” will lead the Philippines to war; or, end up with zero benefits: zero oil; zero gas; and zero fish; in addition to angering a neighbor who is now the largest economy in the world in terms purchasing power parity measurement of its GDP. This neighbor is also our largest trading partner, bigger than RP trade with the US and Japan combined.  The other road, which is a “win-win strategy”, will lead the Philippines to both peace and progress.  It involves settling the issue of sovereignty acceptable to both parties; and ensure that the core interests of both sides are properly addressed and satisfied.

We have had a taste of a “win-lose strategy” when we unanimously won our case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. It was a total win for RP and a total loss for China. But this victory will eventually end up as a “zero-sum” game for us because China will make sure that we do not get a single drop of oil, a single cubic feet of gas, or even a single piece of fish in the disputed area. What we got instead are China’s fully-armed strategic bombers patrolling Scarborough Shawl and other Chinese-occupied islands in the disputed area. One such bomber (H6K) is capable of destroying all the six EDCA bases being used by US forces on Philippine soil in a single sortie; to include US bases in Australia if China wishes to.  China’s submarines can deliver the same package if they are also now patrolling the disputed area declared by PCA as illegal as they are within the nine-dash line adjudge as non-existent.  So, we won a tactical victory in the legal arena; but we are losing strategically on the geopolitical arena. Now we can say that all the islands claimed by China in the South China Sea is illegal. What if China, in revenge to what we have done, start occupying all the islands occupied by the Philippines? Have our leaders ever thought of that? Are we sure that US will come to our aid and die for us?  All these are the dilemma we now face as a result of our “win-lose strategy” we have adapted in trying to resolve the sea dispute with China.

As talks with China approaches, it may be timely to contemplate on the right strategy to adapt.  The initial choice of our negotiating team is critical at this point.  If the President chooses negotiators who are inherently or historically hostile to China, then expect that our team will pursue a “win-lose strategy” that will eventually lead to war and/or we do not benefit at all from the rich resources of the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea under dispute. If President Duterte really does not want war as he has declared in the past, then he should dictate or command the Philippine negotiating team to adapt and follow a “win-win strategy” at the same time shunning the “win-lose strategy”. It is also the prime responsibility of the President to personally select the members of the negotiating team to make sure that each team member is not a warmonger, does not harbor innate hostility against the other party, and has the interest of the nation foremost in his heart; and not willing pawns of foreign interests whose dream is to sabotage and torpedo the incoming negotiations.  These first moves are critical. As the saying goes: one false move on the chessboard losses the whole game.  Wrong choice by the President on who will represent him in the incoming negotiations with China may mean the difference between war or peace.

What is the “win-win strategy”? This negotiation strategy involves a win for both sides: the Philippines and China. But before real win-win negotiations can begin, the highly contentious issue of sovereignty must be settled by the parties.  The Philippines claims sovereignty based on legality; especially the recent decision handed down by the PCA at The Hague. China, on the other hand, claims sovereignty based on history; that they discovered those islands and gave them names so they have sovereignty based on international law and history. Both side have good points, but “never the twain shall meet” – even if both sides negotiate for a hundred, nay, a thousand years! Hence, better for both sides to set aside the sovereignty issue for the rest of the century; making clear that both sides do not abandon their respective territorial claim so that no one will lose face to their respective constituents.  Once both sides agree on the issue of sovereignty, then the genuine “win-win talks” can begin.

What is a “WIN” for the Philippines? This consists of five basic items comprising Philippine core interests:

  1. Joint development, environment protection and exploitation of fishery and maritime resources in the disputed area;
  2. Joint exploration, exploitation and development of oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the said area;
  3. Visa-free and cooperation in people-to-people exchanges and tourism development in the disputed islands;
  4. For China to include and make Manila as the easternmost terminal HUB of the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century;
  5. For China to support the development of the Manila Maritime HUB involving the modernization of major ports in Manila, Batangas, and Subic; development of the International Airport at Clark; a railway network north to south of both Luzon and Mindanao, to include Panay Island and Cebu; modernized telecom system (fiber optic networks and high-speed info highway); alternative energy development (solar, wind, etc.); and industrial/manufacturing zones in select cities along the railway networks. (China supported the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with $46 billion.  The Manila Maritime HUB can rival Pakistan’s Gwadar Port because a Manila Maritime HUB can extend the current Maritime Silk Road to reach Oceania and North and South America by reviving the ancient Manila-Acapulco galleon trade route).

Fears have been expressed about the Philippines, a small country, negotiating with a giant nation like China. I think it was Mao himself who said: turn a bad thing into a good thing.  Being small, in fact, is our best weapon in the upcoming negotiations with China. The whole world is watching the unfolding drama in the South China Sea. This can prevent China from using bullying tactics against a small country like the Philippines. Surely, China is extremely wary of being seen perceived as a bully, for no small nation like the Philippines will ever dare talk to China again one-on-one if China forces us to get the small end of the bargain. Our negotiators should use our “smallness” to soften and eventually melt and win over the Dragon’s Heart.

SOURCE:  http://thewire.in/40388/one-belt-one-road-shaping-connectivities-and-politics-in-the-21st-century/

SOURCE:  http://www.gov.ph/2015/04/28/ph-mexico-push-to-nominate-                                                                     manila-acapulco-galleon-trade-route-to-world-heritage-list/


What is a “WIN” for China?

To know what a “win” for China is, our negotiators should be well aware of China’s core interests in the South China Sea.  Why did China build those artificial islands, three of which have 3-km long airstrips?  And why is China prepared to risk war with the US and its major allies like Japan and Australia over those tiny islands?

Robert Kaplan, a renowned US geopolitical author and analyst, referred to those islands under contention in the SCS as a mere bunch of “barren rocks”, with practically no inhabitants, and of little geostrategic value; comparing it to the situation in Central Europe in World War I which was densely populated, resulting in some 17 million soldiers and civilians killed. Such military cataclysm, says Kaplan, cannot happen in the South China Sea situation.

China’s view is just the opposite of Kaplan’s. To the Chinese, holding on to those “barren rocks” may well spell the survival of the Chinese nation and civilization or their destruction.  Why so? One of the main functions of those artificial islands with airstrips is to prevent a possible first nuclear strike against China’s East Coast where most of China’s manufacturing base and most of China’s almost 1.4 billion population are concentrated. US Ohio class nuclear submarines, each with 154 Tomahawk submarine-launched land attack cruise missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometers, each missile in turn armed with a nuclear warhead more than 10 times stronger than that used in Hiroshima, can surreptitiously and secretly approach China’s east coast from the deep portions of the SCS (i.e., the Manila Trench) and launch a first nuclear strike against China’s industrial base and population center.  In just a few hours, if not minutes, the Chinese nation and civilization can be driven to extinction.  This is the reason why China needs those artificial islands to monitor and counter any possible attack of this nature by US submarines or that of its allies. And China will surely go to war if those said islands, declared illegal by the Hague tribunal, will be taken militarily by force, by the US or whoever.

Another major reason for the establishment of those artificial islands by China is the prevention of any potential naval blockade by the US and its Japanese and Australian allies, or even joined by NATO, of the extremely vital Malacca Strait and other straits in the area (i.e., Lombok, Sunda, and Makassar). China’s oil trade with the Middle East and Africa and China’s overall trade in goods with Europe, the Persian Gulf states, and Africa pass through these straits. Effectively blocking such strategic bottlenecks can force the whole Chinese economy to grind to a halt. Hence, those Chinese artificial islands cum bases can prevent the US 7th Fleet and that of US allies from choking China’s oil and trade sea routes.


What then is a WIN for China? It is simply the maintenance of the status quo. China continues to hold on and develop the islands it is now controlling; and the Philippines also continue to hold on and develop the islands it now controls. (At the moment, China controls 9 or 10 of the islands; the Philippines controls 9 islands, while Vietnam controls 20+ islands.)  Even if China controls a few number of the available islands in the disputed area, it is enough for China to satisfy their core interests; which is the prevention of a possible first strike by US nuclear submarines passing through the deep areas of the South China Sea and also prevent a potential naval blockade by the US and its allies on the vital straits surrounding SCS.

So a win for China is for the Philippines to agree on the current status quo: that both China and the Philippines continue occupying and developing the islands each country is occupying at the moment. This will put China’s mind at ease; free from worry of a possible first nuclear strike by US nuclear submarines secretly approaching China’s east coast from the Philippine deeps, or being blockaded at the Malacca Strait or other straits in the area.

Another major win for China (i.e., if China agrees to make Manila an important HUB in China’s Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century with the revival of the ancient Manila-Acapulco galleon route) is the extension of the current Maritime Silk Road to encompass not only Asia, Europe and Africa but will include Oceania, North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America as well. It will make China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative (or the “New Silk Road”) truly a planetary-scale economic development that literally circumnavigate the world.

If this Win-Win solution is adapted by both parties, there is no more reason for continuing with EDCA. There is no more reason for China to put Philippine bases in the cross-hairs of their missiles. There is no more reason for the Philippines to be the epicenter of a battle between the superpowers.#

victor-corpuzAbout the Author: A graduate of Philippine Military Academy Cl’67; MPA ’90 from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Brig. Gen. Victor N. Corpus, (AFP, retired) spent five years with the New People’s Army (1971-76); detained for 10 years under Martial Law and sentenced to death by musketry; but later became Chief, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Can be reached at: viccor2003@yahoo.com