Sunday, April 29, 2012

First B.S. Meteorology course opens in CLSU

by Ramon Efren R. Lazaro

Sixteen science scholars in B. S. Meteorology course, under the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute Junior Level Program has started undergoing a six-week bridging program that started on  April 23   at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU).

CLSU president Ruben Sevilleja  noted that  the pioneering project  is auspicious because of the changes in climate. He added the dearth of expertise in atmospheric science and meteorology demands for capacity building in this specialized area of study. 

On the other hand, Filma Brawner, director of the Science Education Institute, said the bridging program is a way of leveling the differences in the training of scholars from the different universities.

        The offering of the B.S. Meteorology course,  under Project COMET (Consortium for Meteorology Education and Training), is a collaborative undertaking of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Bicol University (BU),  Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU),  Visayas State University (VSU),  and AGHAM Party-List.

            In 2009,  Angelo Palmones,   Chairman of the Philippine Typhoon Committee Foundation, Inc., and now AGHAM Party-list representative in the 15th Congress,   initiated the move for the offering of the B. S. Meteorology  for the first time in the Philippines .
“The services of meteorologists are now in demand by different economic sectors   such as aviation, shipping, agriculture, food industry, research, and the academe. The first batch of B.S. Meteorology scholars now is making part of history because offering  the course is  first in the Philippines ,  even in Southeast Asia ,”  added Florentino Tesoro.
            “The beauty of the program is that it carries not a single flag.   It is  a synergy of multi-agency  undertaking,  of hopes and dreams becoming a reality to serve and help protect our country and people from natural disasters,”  said BU president  Fay Lea Patria  Lauraya.

            Cynthia Celebre, PAGASA chief for training and research, explained that
 “Meteorology is a noble profession, and a meteorologist is committed to protect and save lives and properties” and asked “Imagine what the Philippines will be liked visited by 18-20 typhoons yearly without the meteorologists?”

Friday, April 27, 2012

PhilRice urges public to save rice

Here is a call to all Filipinos: save rice to help save the P 6.2 billion in rice imports annually, and help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency.

Dr. Flordeliza H. Bordey, an economist based at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and official spokesperson for the Food Staple Plan of the Philippine Food Staples Self-sufficiency Roadmap (FSSR) for 2011-2016 said each Filipino wastes two tablespoons of cooked rice every day. FSSR is a document produced through a series of workshops spearheaded by the Rice Program of the Department of Agriculture.

“This wastage, when summed up, easily translates into 308,833 tons of raw rice per year. Given a per capita consumption of 119 kg a year, this wastage can feed 2.6 million hungry Filipinos in a year,” Bordey said. When not wasted, the wastage could have saved P 6.2 billion in rice import a year.

As part of the government’s campaign to save rice, households are urged to cook rice just enough for the family, and not to overwash before cooking to cut wastage and control the loss of nutrients.

Parents are encouraged to teach their kids to finish off the rice on their plates or get only the amount of rice they can consume.

On-farm rice conservation is also sought. PhilRice’s Arnold S. Juliano said improper harvest and postharvest activities can lead up to 15% loss, equivalent to 15 of every 100 cavans palay harvested. “At P17/kg the loss could be worth P12,750,” he said.

Rice experts also recommend that harvesting should be done when 80% of the grains are already golden yellow to avoid yield losses.

“Harvesting and threshing on time ensure good grain quality, and increase milling recovery,” Juliano explained.
On rainy or cloudy days, experts advised farmers to use rice hull-powered flatbed dryers that can dry 6 tons of paddy rice in one operation. Proper drying lessens the risk of spoilage, and diminishes insect attack and discoloration caused by grain heating.

This rice-conservation call is part of PhilRice’s campaign dubbed as Save Rice, Save Lives, which was launched in 2010. Two years ago, the theme was “weRice” to embody the Filipinos’ collective soul as a nation shaped by rice encouraging the rice-consuming public “to rise” by conserving rice, attain better nutrition through brown rice, and bolster income from rice farming.

Last year’s theme Eat your rice right aims to encourage Filipinos to eat the right amount of rice to prevent wastage and to try other sources of good carbohydrates such as white corn, sweet potato, and cassava.

DA-PhilRice is a government-owned and –controlled corporation that aims at developing high-yielding, cost-reducing, and environment-friendly technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

For more information, please visit or contact DA-PhilRice at Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija with telephone number (044) 456-0285 loc 511/512 or any PhilRice station near you. You may also text your questions to 0920-911-1398.