Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Rebirth of Kalinga Advocate

By Marciano Paroy Jr.

The concept of using the media in advancing developmental efforts of an organization or an agency is not new. This is the very core of what is stylishly known as Development Communication – an approach that is anchored on the principle “communicating with a purpose.”

It follows the simple premise: if something good has been accomplished, and as a result of such accomplishment, positive change has been attained – resulting to a tangible impact – then that “something good” should be made known through all the available media in its various forms.

While it is true that government offices are here to serve the common good, with public leaders carrying out the mandates for which they were installed in the first place, the cause of pushing for stronger support from the people is made easier when they are completely aware of what leaders are trying to achieve.

True, traditional media would scoff at this methodology – for it does put under the limelight the leaders who are currently in position. But there is nothing wrong with that, since they are indeed performing tasks expected from them. A little line of logic: how could people know about the options available for them when they are completely left in the dark? How can a farmer from Bayabat know of the existence of dispersal projects when no efforts were made to disseminate it? How can a house-maker from Tuga know about livelihood trainings?

Any information – regardless of its source, whether a government information officer or a media practitioner from a private media organization – is always news. Treatment may vary: a private media practitioner may put slants, while a government information officer may take the “highlighting” stance – but still, the intent is the same: to inform.

Kalinga Advocate takes the direction of whetting the people’s right to know – believing that in so knowing, some beneficial changes may be effected in the lives of those who became aware.

As this paper is given a new lease on life, the cause of meaningful change shall be the underlying fabric that weaves all the aspects of development under one cast – which is why its editorial staff and its list of contributors is a conglomeration of this community’s currently active writers.

Tabuk Central School Implements NEPP

It cannot be denied: we seem to have lost the effortless adeptness that we used to have where the English language is concerned.

In here comes the National English Proficiency Program (NEPP) as a national strategy to arrest the staggering decline of Filipinos’ English proficiency. The program is anchored on the concept that learners and teachers become equally responsible in developing an atmosphere where English is the language of instruction.

The learning module for the program goes as far as “knowing the learners first – where they came from, their life in their communities, and their spoken and unspoken needs.” Clearly, this necessitates a very committed role on the part of the teacher.

When teachers at the Tabuk Central School learned that the school would take the lead in implementing the NEPP, adverse reactions were observed and noted. But this initial feedback got slowly eroded as the teachers who were trained began to appreciate the various approaches contained in the program.

First is the so-called 2C2IA (Cognitive, Constructive, Integrative, Interrelated and Affective Approach); the CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) and the LEA (Language Experience Approach) which utilizes the WBL (Whole Brain Literacy Framework). These series of methodologies may seem confusing – but they do make the learning of English as fun and as meaningful as possible. All it takes is the sharing of a common interest between the teacher and the learner and a common vision to use the language in real-life situations.

It should be made clear, however, that the approaches are not really new to teachers because they have been using them – there are just some new innovative insertions and modifications, as well as additional activities so that the learning process would be more meaningful and interesting.

Also, the young student’s advanced view of life is given focus, with emphasis on the influence that the youth may be deriving from fast-changing technologies. The key idea is to cultivate a balanced literacy where the brains of the youth can be made to concentrate on the learning tasks at hand. This is what WBL seeks to attain.

As one of the regional coordinators for NEPP, we are tasked to conduct trainings for other trainors not only in our respective divisions, but even in other regions. Coordinators from the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) Region and the Ilocos Region were the first to be trained, followed recently by the Cordillera Administrative Regiun, the National Capital Region and the Cagayan Valley.

Tabuk Central School started to implement the program in the first grade. Teachers like Sally Wandaga, Julia Sandoval, Imelda Dinnang, Erlinda Ramos, Eufemia Ducusin, and Gemma Tolentino initially balked at the new concept but later on realized how advantageous the program is – despite being very tiresome.

The end of the sessions with the teachers made us all realized that, aside from grasping new ideas, we also learned to appreciate one another better – and this has been deepened by fruitful discussions that we had.

The demonstration done by the teachers proved how much were imbued from the training. Indeed, education is a continuous process, and that teachers need to be updated with the new directions in the educational system.


TECHNOLOGY AT WORK. KASC Research Coordinator Ferdinand Ganotice oversees the careful handling of the lacatan plantlets that would be finally moved to the demo farm. M-16


STAKEHOLDERS, AGRI-MOVERS. (L) Dr. Jovita Saguibo erases the doubts of farmers who are hesitant about going into banana production full-blast, during the forum with active and prospective banana growers. (R) Mr. Gerry Jose from the Provincial Agriculturist Office, acknowledges the participation of a farmer at the forum. M-16


by Marciano Paroy Jr.

Research becomes meaningless when its results gather dust in shelves overflowing with literature devoted to technical subjects. Technology becomes useless when its advantages cannot be utilized by a target segment of the population which is supposed to benefit from it.

Not so in the case of the Tissue Culture Laboratory of the Research and Extension Department of the Kalinga Apayao State College. Having spent a considerable amount of fund, time, and effort on the improvement of banana suckers that would produce disease-resistant plantlets, the Laboratory, manned by tissue culture expert Dr. Hazel Buslig, is now ready to reap its first batch of plantlets that have been cultured to ward off diseases, and grow to be robust – thereby potentially increasing the profit considerations of banana farmers.

After several months at the tissue culture lab, and after proving to be adaptable in Tabuk climatic conditions when they were moved to the demo farm, the lacatan banana plantlets can now be dispersed to farmers who are always looking for the best plantlets to raise. The plantlets are also targeted to enterprising farmers who may want to shift to banana production.

Banana cultivation, of course, is not a foreign crop of choice to farmers in the province, as there are many of them who also include the crop in their overall production projects – rightfully recognizing it as one of the high-yielding value crops that are being prioritized by the Department of Agriculture.

“Farmers now have the opportunity to avail of lacatan plantlets that have passed rigorous culturing inside the laboratory,” Mr. Ferdinand Ganotice, KASC Research Coordinator, said. “But farmers, especially the new banana growers, have a lot to consider; like the proper handling of plantlets, the time of planting, the distance of planting, and the method of planting.”

“That is where we can extend additional help to the farmers, since we have technical experts that can address concerns on banana production,” Dr. Maximo Garming, KASC Extension Director, added.

With the lacatan plantlets readily available, does it mean that farmers can visit KASC and buy their plantlets here?

“Definitely. The tissue culture lab has been established to come up with plantlets for commercialization – which is part of the production efforts of the State College. But farmers end up as winners here because the price is lower,” Dr. Jovita Saguibo, Research Director, ended.

KASC Hosts Reg’l Training Workshop On Vermi-Compost And Vermi-Meal Production

The Kalinga-Apayao State College hosted the Regional Training Workshop on Verm-compost and Vermi-meal Production on August 28-29, 2007 at the TAMPCO Training Hall, Tabuk City, Kalinga with Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero, Executive Director of PCAMRD-DOST, as Main Lecturer.

Dr. Eduardo T. Bagtang, KASC President, welcomed the 23 participants from the various agencies and State Universities and Colleges in Cordillera Administrative Region. He thanked Dr. Guerrero for considering KASC to be tapped as the Regional Vermicompost and Vermimeal Production Project (RVVPP)Training Center through the Philippine Council on Aquatic and Marine Research and Development (PCAMRD)

According to Dr. Herbert Imatong, Project In-charge of the RVVPP, the rationale of the RVVP is to promote the vermicompost and the vermimeal production technologies nationwide through techno-demo, training and techno-transfer in strategic regional centers in partnership with SUCs and LGUs and the private sector. Specifically, the program should demonstrate the commercial feasibility of producing vermicompost and vermimieal as an economical and environment-friendly option for the recycling of biodegradable materials(household, municipal and farm wastes); and to mass produce the suitable earthworm species (African night crawler) for dissemination nationwide at a price of P30.00 per kg or less for increasing access of small farmers to earthworm biomass and enhancing livelihood opportunities while reducing pollution of the environment.

Both the Provincial and Municipal governments expressed their support and cooperation for the project. Governor Floydelia R. Diasen was represented by Mrs. Aster Caruso, Executive Assistant for External Affairs, while Mayor Camilo T. Lammawin, Jr. was represented by Mr. Laurence Bayongan, Municipal Administrator.

Dr. Guerrero, in his message, gave emphasis on caring for mother earth and one of the ways is to take care of earthworms. He gave assurance that the African night crawler will not be another pest.

The Training Workshop covered the following topics: Overview of the Vermiculture Industry in the Philippines and its potential for livestock and aqua feeds by Dr Guerrero; Management Requirement of African nightcrawler for production; Economics of vermicompost and vermimeal production by Dr. Guerrero and Dr. Imatong; Role of Vermicompost In Sustainable Crop Production by Dr. Jovita Saguibo; Values Enhancement for Sustainable Vermiculture Project by Dr. Maximo Garming

The second day of the training was devoted to action planning and workshop, visit to the vermiculture project site and presentation of outputs.

Participants were given the chance to view the process of taking care of the earthworms , the gathering and combining of the waste they are going to eat and how to stock the vermicompost.