Tuesday, August 14, 2007

All systems go for Level III Accreditation

The university is all set for the third survey visit of its 10 undergraduate programs for Level III re-accredited status by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP), says Dr. Mario S. Suba, the current university accreditation coordinator.

The first batch of academic programs to be evaluated on August 29 to September 1, 2007 is the elementary and secondary education, business administration, fisheries, and agricultural engineering programs.

The accrediting team is headed by Dr. Manuel T. Corpuz, AACCUP executive director and survey consultant, and Dr. Yolanda I. Castroverde, overall coordinator. The five team leaders are Dr. Edwin P. Ramos, Dr. Juanito B. Rualo, Dr. Marilou C. Asturias, Dr. Annabelle C. Felipe and Dr. Agnes M. Ramos. The other accreditors are Prof. Gilbert R. Arce, Dr. Hernando D. Robles, Engr. John F. Malamug, Engr. Edgar M. Molintas, Dr. Melquiades N. Pana, Dr. Fe S. Soriano, Dr. Constancia G. Cueno, Dr. Maria C. Martinez, Dr. Rosita P. Abubo, Prof. Nancy F. Penacilla, Dr. Editha I. Ausa, Dr. Julita R. Ungson, Dr. Elizabeth E. Soriano and Dr. Natividad R. Andres.

The second batch of programs to be evaluated on September 19-22 is the Agriculture, Agri-Management, Veterinary Medicine, Biology and Chemistry programs. The third batch will be all the graduate offerings the Institute of Graduate Studies which will be scheduled in the second semester.

PhilSCAT rice lines adaptable to RP climate

Four PhilSCAT rice lines were found adaptable to the Philippines’ tropical climate after passing the grain quality evaluation conducted by trained and consumer panelists.

The evaluation is part of the standard assessment of rice grain quality in the Philippines made by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the Rice Grain Quality Evaluation Procedures of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

It aims to compare the milling quality, physical attributes, physico-chemical properties or cooking characteristics and sensory or eating characteristics of the Chinese Hybrid Rice Varities (CHRVs), namely; PhilSCAT 1, PhilSCAT 2, PhilSCAT 3 and PhilSCAT 4, to the most preferred variety in the Philippines, IR64.

The milling quality and physical attributes criteria of evaluation were tested by trained analysts from PhilRice while the physico-chemical properties and sensory test were conducted at PhilSCAT.

Hybrid Rice Technology Division’s (HRTD) laboratory staff-in-charge Maribel Mananguit said the assessment is imperative for PhilSCAT lines to be tested for development and adoptability to the consumer.

A similar grain quality evaluation of the PhilSCAT rice lines will be conducted again after the wet-season harvest.

PhilSCAT launches 'Farmer Field School' in San Jose City

The Phil-Sino Center for Agricultural Technology (PhilSCAT) launched the Farmer Field School (FFS) project in its pilot site in barangay A. Pascual, San Jose City, on July 5, 2007, to help farmers improve their rice production practices.

In the ‘university without walls’, 31 farmer-students are taught cultural management practices using Chinese technologies especially on hybrid rice and integrated pest management.
They also learn the seed-to-seed concepts in rice cropping and observe the different stages of rice production from plant morphology to harvesting.

They meet once a week, every Wednesday, at 8:00 in the morning. The lecturers come from a pool of experts from PhilSCAT and the Department of Agriculture in San Jose City.
"The FFS is a good opportunity for farmers to study and learn about Chinese technology", said Cheng Liangji, project co-director, in his message to the participants during the launching ceremonies.

Cheng also oriented farmers on what they are going to learn in the 16-week training, including some tips on the prevention of stemborer attack, proper fertilizer application and good water management.

PhilSCAT director Dr. Romeo B. Gavino likewise asked the City Agricultural Office, one of the project partners, to submit a proposal on giving incentives to the participants at the end of the schooling.

Gavino said the students who will be able to best implement the FFS lessons in actual farm operation will be given appropriate incentives.

Meanwhile, farmer Dominador Ercilla who is a successful implementer of the PhilSCAT technology shared his personal experiences in using the PhilSCAT technology saying that these will be learned by the participants in the FFS.

Ercilla also encouraged the participants to diligently attend their classes if they really wanted to feel what he had experienced in planting Chinese hybrid rice.

Aside from the FFS, PhilSCAT in collaboration with the Agricultural Training Institute is also launching the Training for Trainers on Rice Production Technology and Extension Delivery system, a more comprehensive and season-long formal training course.

SRC produces again ET kids

The Small Ruminant Center (SRC) again produced purebred kids using embryo transfer (ET) technology.

One recipient doe with her two female kids having Boer line are being reared at the SRC. The doe successfully gave birth on May 20, 2007, five months after the ET. This success was attributed to the unwavering alliance among experts, namely; Dr. Lucia M. Rigos and Dr. Allan B. Quiambao from the College of Veterinary Science and Medicine; Dr. Emilio M. Cruz, Alvin P. Soriano, and Fits Vengerald L. Mamuad of the SRC; and Dr. Felomino V. Mamuad, Dr. Edwin P. Atabay, and Dr. Eufrocine P. Atabay of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC). The PCC and the SRC are the agencies that provide financial support making the project possible.

ET is one of the latest breakthroughs in biotechnology for the advancement of animal production specifically in developed countries. The first successful ET was done in rabbit in 1890. In 1949, ET in goats attained success.

In the Philippines, however, its development and establishment has been quite slow. In 1988, a group of experts from CLSU initially attempted to introduce goat ET but it was only in 2000 when it succeeded. A surrogate mother goat gave birth to four kids, three of them infused with three different breeds.

The principle behind goat ET involves treating a donor purebred female goat (doe) with hormone through a series of injections that triggers her ovaries to release more than one egg cell, usually 10 egg cells. A purebred male goat (buck) is then introduced on the said donor doe after the treatment to allow them to mate. Six days after, the donor doe undergoes surgery so that embryos from her reproductive tract could be collected.

Three to four collected embryos can now be transferred to a recipient average sized feral/native does through surgery. The recipient does can now give birth to offsprings that are purebred parents. Excess embryos could also be stored through freezing for future transfer.

Outgoing dean reports accomplishment of College of Fisheries

In less than four years that Dr. Arsenia Cagauan had served as dean, the College of Fisheries made giant steps toward attaining excellence in the field of fisheries education. She leaves behind significant and historical accomplishments which may be sustained and maintained to further enhance and improve the college while adding on to them.

These accomplishments have surely helped the college address the vision and mission of the university, pursue the goals of the college, and attain the objectives of its curricular program, BS Fisheries.

For the first Fisheries Technologist Board Examination conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission in 2003, the dean of the college along with other deans of fisheries institutions in the country participated in defining, formulating, and formalizing the duties and competency standards for fisheries technologist with the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) at the helm.

In 2004, the First Fisheries Science Week was initiated in the college. This has become an annual event of the college.

The period was also a triumph of the college nationally as fisheries graduates landed among the top performers in the Fisheries Technologists Board Exam. Because of this performance, the college has become one of the two high performing fisheries institutions in the country today.
Some of the other highlights of the accomplishments of the college during her stint as dean are as follows:

1. Operationalization of eight out of ten CHED COE projects.

2. Revision of the BSF curriculum approved for implementing starting first semester of SY 2006-2007 under a BOR Resolution 29-2006 dated May 19, 2006.

3. Renewal and forging of academic interchange through memorandum of understanding with other state fisheries schools all over the country and Maejo University in Chiangmai, Thailand.

4. Academic institutional membership in the Philippine Fisheries Institution (PhilFin) with membership of 18 fisheries institutions all over the country.

5. Development of several instructional materials in CD for multimedia, lecture and laboratory manuals, and general and technical information materials that can also be used for extension activities.

6. Intensified student development through student assistantship in the PDA/CRSP project of Dr. Remedios Bolivar, Mr. Karl Marx Quiazon, faculty members of the college and Prof. Apolinario V. Yambot, student participation in conferences funded by the college, implementation of CHED loan grant program with students benefiting from it.

7. Rehabilitation and construction of pond and tank facilities in compliance with CHED’s BSF minimum standards for field facilities for instruction and research purposes, procurement of more books and journals; procurement of photocopying machine for reproduction of teaching materials/publications; provision of a multi-media equipment for instruction purposes and of CF website which contains information about the program of one of the top performing fisheries institutions in the country and serves as a contact point for companies and other would-be employers and employment agencies for graduates in fisheries, and for fisheries alumni to get updated with their former institution in this website; rehabilitation and improvement of the university lagoon.

8. Faculty and staff development using the CHED COE fund in the form of thesis financial assistance, attendance to conferences and meetings, study visits, and trainings conducted like Geographical Information Systems, HTML and HACCP.

9. National, Provincial and CLSU Awards were received by the college faculty and students;

10.Twelve research projects/grants were received during the period with funding from external sources; CHED COE Publications Incentive Awards were given to faculty members whose publications met the implementing guidelines set for the project. More than 34 publications of the faculty members qualified for the CHED COE Publication Incentive Award; more than 10 publications were published in ISI journals; 1 chapter in a book published internationally; more than 14 publications in international proceedings; 2 publications in non-ISI international journals; and 7 publications in local journals.

11.Training, Extension, and Production completed were International Training on Water Quality Management with Emphasis on Tilapia Culture wherein participants were from China, Zambia, and Uganda funded by Genomar International; 6 month training of a Nepalese national from VOITH, Kathmandu, Nepal on tilapia hatchery and production; training/workshop/consultations meeting with in various extension services ; and tilapia production technologies development including hatchery and production of sex reversed fingerlings.

12.In the Fisheries Technologist Licensure Examination Performance, CLSU landed every year in the top ten starting in 2004 and landed at the top in the last board exam in 2006. The fisheries licensure review was organized by the College resulting in the increase of CLSU examinees’ passing percentage in the Fisheries Technologist Licensure Exam from 2003 to 2006 increased form 37 to 93% as against a decreasing national passing percentage of 40 to 37%. Also, fisheries technologist licenses of more than 80% of faculty members were obtained in 2004-2005.

13. Sponsored and co-sponsored national conferences and meetings such as the 2nd National Tilapia Congress, 2004; 3rd National Tilapia Congress, 2006; Conference on Invasive Alien Species and Impacts to Biodiversity (co-sponsor); and attend of the PhilFin Annual Convention, PCC, CLSU, February 2007; PAS/SAEP Annual Convention, May 25, 2007.

(Dr. Arsenia Cagauan is a member of the faculty in the College of Fisheries who rose from the ranks. She has served CLSU more than half of her golden years and a true blue CLSU product. She was born to parents who have served CLSU as faculty, studied in her high school and college, took her MS and PhD abroad, but came back to her alma mater to serve her. She is taking a leave of absence from the university to take care of her ailing mother in Hawaii.)

Goat technology to go commercial

A consultation-workshop among stakeholders (R and D institutions and goat raisers) of the goat industry was held last June 20, 2007 at CLSU, Science City of Muñoz. The activity aimed at providing a deeper understanding of their commitment and concerns, was spearheaded by CLARRDEC through its director, Dr. Teotimo M. Aganon. The dialogue was participated in by 25 representatives from BASC, BPSU, CLSU, PAC, RMTU, TCA, DA RFU3, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija Provincial Government, and few goat raisers from the Science City of Muñoz.

A mutual understanding was forged between the stakeholders manifested by the exchange of vows: "Sa goat kita" and "In goat we trust," respectively.

Mr. Edwin C. Villar, director of PCARRD’s Livestock Research Division, presented the national R & D directions for goat. He emphasized that investments from all stakeholders can strongly bind the existing MU among technology generators, technology adopters and technology promoters. He said it can greatly help in addressing the problems on low production, limited supply and high cost of breeders, poor marketing system, and lack of institutional credit facilities. With the identified problems, he presented a number of science and technology interventions which include the commercialization of Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET) and artificial insemination (AI). He also mentioned the production of 1000 30-doe level goat farms that would cater for breeder and slaughter goats within Central Luzon and its neighboring provinces.

Similarly, Dr. Emilio M. Cruz, director of Small Ruminant Center of CLSU, gave an overview of the SRC R & D Program that hinged on the national goal of having better source of income, meat and milk, and a robust commercial goat industry. He stressed the importance of using organic-based antiparasitic agents, and improved housing and feeding system in decreasing the mortality rate of goats due to diseases and parasites. The thrusts of SRC are: to decrease mortality rate to 25%, increase the reproduction efficiency to 10%, and increase the slaughter weight to 10%. The center will implement a four-point strategy i.e. partnership, genetic improvement, low-cost disease/parasite control, and extension service.

For her part, Dr. Ma. Asuncion Beltran of TCA inspired the participants by sharing the success story of the Farmer’s Livestock School on Integrated Goat Management (FLS-IGM) and of the Masinag Multipurpose Cooperative Inc. FLS-IGM is 28-week long "learning by doing" goat technology promotion strategy funded by DA-BAR. Masinag MPCI is an offshoot of the FLS-IGM.

In her presentation, Dr. Beltran asserted that the strategy has improved the farmers’ knowledge level on goat raising by 178%. She also reported a 15% increase in goat population in Tarlac, 405 decrease in goat mortality, 33% increase in women participation, and at least 200% increase in selling price per head of upgraded goats.

Through the FLS-IGM "basket of alternative technologies", the farmers have a number of options to take. These options are better practices in feed resource management, housing provision, herd health management, feeding system, breeding management, waste management, and marketing.

As they graduated, they also learned to optimize the use of their resources, they organized themselves into the Masinag MPCI which currently markets not only slaughter goats, but also feed concentrates for goat, forage seeds, organic fertilizer, and quality bucks. Dr. Beltran concluded "you goat to believe that goat is gold."

At the end of the workshop, the participants came up with a line-up of research and technology commercialization programs and projects. The four-point strategy of the SRC will be continually implemented for the identified projects.

The role of the LGUs was emphasized in goat upgrading through natural and artificial breeding. The national R & D centers like UPLB, CLSU and VSU will jointly work on the development of phytomedical products. On the other hand, the SUCs and DA centers in the region will promote goat farming and technology commercialization. CLSU will also take charge of genetic conservation.

After the workshop, it was clear among the participants that "Sa goat kita" means cost-sharing among technology generators and technology promoters as emphasized by Dr. Villar at the start of the consultation. "In goat we trust", as they agreed, refers to farmers’ hope and commitment to promote people empowerment via goat technology commercialization.