University of the Philippines Los Baños
Horizon online
The UPLB Horizon is a newspaper/magazine that features articles on instruction, research and public service initiatives and programs, as well as information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. Some articles that are featured in it appear on the UPLB website. For contributions, email opr.uplb@up.edu.ph.

 

CFNR groundbreaking

 

Groundbreaking ceremony. UPLBChancellor Sanchez, UP President Pascual, and DENR Usec Leones (4th, 3rd & 2nd fr right, respectively) pose at the future site of the Mechanized and Modernized Forest Nursery during the groundbreaking ceremony.  Others in the photo are (L-R) Asso. Dean Manalo, Vice Chancellor Lapitan, RED Juan, FMB Dir. Calderon, Dean Abasolo; ACB Exec. Dir. Oliva, and ERDB Dir. Adornado.(Photo by KC Cadapan)

 

 

The College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) held a combined groundbreaking and ceremonial MOA signing on June 7 at the area behind the Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC) building. The groundbreaking ceremony was for the Mechanized and Modernized Forest Nursery (MMFN) and the MOA signing was for the Integrated Research and Development Grant for High Value Forest Crops (IRDG-HVFC). Both projects were spearheaded by UPLB-CFNR in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

 

The MOA was signed by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and Atty. Jonas R. Leones, DENR Undersecretary for Environment and International Environmental Affairs, on behalf of DENR Secretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje. The event was also witnessed by UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez Jr., UPLB-CFNR Dean Willie P. Abasolo, DENR Region IV-A Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan, ERDB Director Henry A. Adornado, FMB Director Rick L. Calderon, and ASEAN Center for Biodiversity Executive Director Roberto V. Oliva.

 

Chancellor Sanchez delivered the opening remarks, noting that the facility and the R&D grant were affirmations of UP’s commitment to making a better Philippines through science and technology, and that the University’s gains would eventually translate to gains for the country. This was followed by a short briefing by Dean Abasolo on the MMFN and the IRDG-HVFC. Abasolo explained that the facility would serve as the research branch of the National Greening Program (NGP)and would preserve and improve the forest crop planting materials, improve the quality of products derived, and promote the development of forest land and forest products through policy formulation.

 

After the ceremonial signing, messages were given by UP President Pascual and Usec Leones. President Pascual’s message revolved around the need for oneness and unity within and among campuses to enable UP to tackle challenges. He also expressed his hopes that the MMFN would be more focused towards research and be primarily used as a laboratory facility instead of a production factory. Atty. Leones delivered a message on behalf of Sec. Ramon Paje, and expressed his thanks for UPLB’s partnership and support in the NGP, highlighting its achievements and what they hoped to achieve more in the coming years with UPLB’s help.

 

            The final part of the program was the groundbreaking ceremony, with UP Pres. Pascual, UPLB officials, and DENR officials participating.

 

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  The PHTRC Hot-Water Tank® used for disease control and quarantine treatment of fruits is now a registered trademark   (Photo by CV Labe)

 

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) granted the Postharvest Horticulture Training and Research Center (PHTRC) of the College of Agriculture two certificates of registration for trademarks for its two intellectual properties: the PHTRC logo and hot-water tank.

The PHTRC logo

The PHTRC logo has been used by the Center since 1985. It has long identified the PHTRC brand and appears in its publications and other information materials.

The overall shape of the main logo is that of a triangle symbolizing instruction, research and extension, as well as the three factors influencing postharvest life of perishable crops: crop characteristics,  environment and  postharvest technologies.  Inside the triangle is a hand holding a circle representing fresh agricultural produce.The shape below the hand represents Mt. Makiling, where UPLB is located. The triangle that spells ‘PHTRC-UPLB’ is enclosed in a circle.

The logo was conceptualized by Dr. Ma. Concepcion C. Lizada, former PHTRC director, and was illustrated by Ed Pasuquin, former PHTRC artist. It was introduced in 1975, a milestone year for PHTRC because it was the time when the Center was turned over to the Philippine government.

The PHTRC Hot-Water Tank®

The second registered trademark is the PHTRC HOT-WATER TANK® that refers to the dipping tank that PHTRC develops every time it conducts studies on disease control and quarantine treatment of fruits using heat instead of chemicals. These studies, which PHTRC started in the early 1980s, involve the development of heat treatment protocols for mango and papaya.

These studies were funded by agencies like the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD-DOST) and the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR). 

The PHTRC also fabricates hot-water tank units for mango treatment upon the request of entrepreneur-clients.

The shape, size, capacity, and power source of the tank have changed through time, depending on the needs of researches and clients. Responsible for the design and fabrication of the various tank models are Engrs.Marcelino Reyes, Jose de Ramos, Kevin Yaptenco, Emmanuel Amatorio, and Nestor Garcia. Only Amatorio and Garcia are currently working at PHTRC.

Leonisa A. Artes, university extension specialist and assistant extension coordinator of CA-CSC, facilitated the registration of the two trademarks, with the assistance of Dr. Andrea B. Agillon, patent officer of DA-BAR that provided the funds for the registration.

 

The Environmental Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) granted UPLB an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) on April 25.

 

UPLB had submitted the Programmatic Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (PEPRMP), which reported the different environmental measures it is taking to protect and mitigate adverse impacts that its activities and development projects may pose on community health, welfare and the environment.

 

It also serves to comply with Presidential Decree No. 1586 and DENR Administrative Order No. 2003-30, which are policies on the establishment of an environmental impact statement system among government and corporate institutions to maintain the balance between socio-economic growth and environmental protection.

 

Moreover, it serves as a planning tool to ensure that UPLB is strictly implementing environmental policies on its campus. It also functions as an environmental protocol to guide future development projects and programs in the University.

 

The certificate is a product of almost three years of environmental impact assessment conducted in the campus on the buildings constructed and renovated since 1982.

 

The project was started in 2013 by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA), through Engr. Joseph A. Pagtananan,  UPLB Pollution Control Officer, in collaboration with the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) through Dr. Nicomedes D. Briones, Dr. Leonardo M. Florece, and a team of graduate students and research assistants.

 

Engr. Pagtananan said that securing the ECC is just the first step in ensuring UPLB’s compliance with environmental policies.

 

“UPLB is now working on securing its permit with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), which requires that we first have to get an ECC,” he said.

 

He added that they are currently proposing the creation of an environmental unit, which is specifically tasked to monitor and evaluate UPLB’s environmental compliance.

 

            “In our proposal, SESAM will oversee the unit, but OVCCA will also play a role in its administrative operations,” he said.

Nora Cruz Quebral 6244

Dr. Nora Cruz-Quebral, acknowledged “mother of development communication,” was the first to be featured in the UPLB Legacy Lecture Series (UPLB LLS), spearheaded by the Interactive Learning Center (ILC) to preserve, for posterity, the collective academic experience of its retired faculty members.

“Such rich academic experience is a valuable fount of scholarly knowledge and wisdom that could enrich learning resources for the students and enhance the sense of intellectual heritage among faculty members.” This was according to Dr. Maribel Dionisio-Sese, ILC director, who gave the opening remarks during the UPLB LLS held in cooperation with the College of Development Communication.

Dr. Quebral, professor emeritus of development communication, is  considered by her colleagues in UPLB to be a woman ahead of her time for pioneering development communication. She is also internationally acknowledged as the founding pillar of the field.

Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs, who gave the inspiration message on behalf of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., described Dr. Quebral as a scholar whose knowledge, dedication and passion paved the way for the development of the discipline that UPLB is proud of.

Beginnings of development communication

Dr. Quebral opened her video lecture with how development communication, as a concept, was introduced on Dec. 10, 1971 at an UPCA symposium where she presented a paper entitled “Development Communication in the Agricultural Context.” The paper was later published by scholarly journals. 

According to Dr. Quebral, UPLB DevCom became the core of the first, and at that time, the only four-tiered DevCom academic program in the Philippines and in the world. “Today, there is a DevCom unit in international institutions and communication for development curricula not only in Asia but also in Latin America, Africa, and even in developed countries,” Dr. Quebral said.

Dr. Quebral discussed the following major traits that distinguished the Los Baños DevCom trademark: 1) the human interchange of information; 2) is a confluence of the development and communication processes; 3) end users were the poor and the disadvantaged in a developing society; 4) planned change for the better that started with the basics; 5) unit of study and analysis is more often the community rather than the individual; and 6) nonformal education mainly for out-of-school learners.

She said that the six basics of DevCom still hold true today, with some provisos and caveats. It is “change for the better, best defined by the concerned community with guiding inputs from external sources when needed.”

DevCom defined and practiced

Dr. Quebral has since revised the 1971 definition of DevCom twice, in 2002 and in 2012. With her latest revision, Dr. Quebral puts forth that “development communication is the science of human communication linked to the transitioning of communities from poverty in all its forms to dynamic over-all growth that fosters equality and the unfolding of individual potential.”

CDC deans were also featured in the video lecture to discuss the College’s extension work. Dr. Ma. Celeste H. Cadiz (1998-2006) talked about participatory development communication in natural resource management. Dr. Cleofe S. Torres, (2006-2012), gave an overview of collaborative change communication for Development (CCOMDEV), a global initiative that aims to build various stakeholders’ capacity in communication for agriculture and rural development.

For her part, Dean Velasco (2012-present) shared to the audience CDC’s experience in advocacy, communication and social mobilzation (ACSM) initiatives and extension work in community communication aimed at making environmental messages “more audible to the intended public” as well as strengthen local health and nutrition in LGUs.

Dr. Quebral concluded with a reminder that the discipline should not concern itself with labels but with its essence.

“Development communication has gone by some other tag in the past and may be called differently in the future. Its present name could go out of fashion after a while.  Not likely  to disappear,  though,  is  the  idea  that  underlies  it:  that  the  art  of [human]  communication,  infused  by  social  science  principles, can  be  consciously  directed  towards  improving  people’s  lives. This is the essence of development communication, regardless of how it is labeled or what else may be imputed to it.”

A glimpse into Dr. Quebral’s life and works

Aldo Gavril T. Lim, faculty member at the College of Development Communication (CDC) and executive producer and director of the video lecture, presented an overview of the life and works of Dr. Quebral.

Dr. Nora C. Quebral is a former independent consultant in development communication and the founding president of the Nora C. Quebral Development Communication Center, Inc. She holds a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Illinois and an MS in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin. She graduated magna cum laude in UP Diliman with a BA in English degree.

She worked at UPCA as a copy editor of its technical journal and rose from the ranks and eventually became the director of the Department of Agricultural Communication and the Department of Development Communication from where the CDC started.

            In 2011, she was given an Honorary Doctorate by the London School of Economics and Political Science for pioneering work in development communication. Other awards she received were those given by the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, St. Scholastica’s College, Philippine Council for Agricultural Resources Research and Development, and Philippine Association of Communication Educators Foundation, Inc.

 

 

IPB

 

Champions of inclusive business models in agriculture. Panel discussants and University officials pose for posterity during the forum on inclusive business models for agriculture. (L-R) IPB Dir. Sta. Cruz; Dr. Dinah PT Depositario, chair of the Department of Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship; CA Dean Supangco; Dr. Serlie B. Jamias, vice chancellor for community affairs; PCCI President Barcelon; Ambassador Dee; Former UP Regent Gonzalez; Former UP President Javier; PCCI Dir. Amores; Atty. Inciong; and CTTE Dir. Baticados   (Photo by CV Labe)

 

The Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) turned 41 on June 3 and to kick-off the celebration, hosted a forum entitled “Inclusive Business Models to Move Agriculture Forward,” at the IPB Seminar Room on June 2. The forum is IPB’s response to the continuing decline of the Philippine agricultural sector, and aimed to provide a solution by linking farmers to the food and beverage industries of the Philippines.

 

“The agriculture sector is not doing well,” said Dr. Emil Q. Javier, one of the founding pillars of IPB and chairperson of the Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines (CAMP). He said that agriculture in the Philippines is based on small fragmented landholdings, which through the generations have become smaller and smaller. According to him, the solution is to organize farmers so that each small farm can be operated as part of a larger management unit through cooperatives.

 

 

George T. Barcelon, the event’s guest of honor, commended IPB on its choice of theme for its relevance and timeliness. Mr. Barcelon is the president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and has a continuing advocacy for a competitive and productive agricultural sector in the Philippines. He also believes that the inclusive business (IB) concept will mutually benefit farmers and the business community by alleviating the life of small farmers in the rural communities as they can become suppliers of higher value-added products. The IB concept has become an integral part of promoting growth of small and medium enterprises (SME) throughout the country. Barcelon expressed his hopes that it would be able to do the same for Philippine agriculture.

 

Mr. Barcelon was joined in the panel of discussants by the following: Ambassador Donald G. Dee, honorary chair and COO of PCCI; Robert C. Amores, president of PHILFOODEX, director of the PCCI Agriculture Committee and CEO of Hi-Las Marketing Corporation; Alfredo M. Yao, former PCCI president and founder of Zest-O Group of Companies; Dr. Nelia T. Gonzales, former UP Regent and pioneer agribusiness entrepreneur; Atty. Bong Inciong, president of United Broiler Raiser Association; Glenn N. Baticados, director of the Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (CTTE) of UPLB.

 

Ambassador Dee pointed out that agriculture in the country is composed of various stakeholders that are all stand-alone and the linkages with one another are non-existent. That is why the need for IB is becoming more apparent and the inclusion of farmers in the supply chain is a must. Amores suggested that farmers organize themselves into small groups, not necessarily as cooperatives, but to promote the pooling of their produce to sell to one buyer. In defense of small-scale farmers, Atty. Inciong said that IB models that involve small-hold farmers cannot survive on private support alone.  The government needs to actively participate in terms of subsidy, credit and crop insurance support.

 

Los Baños mayor, the Hon. Cesar P. Perez joined in the discussion and expressed his opinion that devolution of agriculture to the local government has created a problem because of the lack of support from the national government. Furthermore, with the declining land area for agriculture, Mayor Perez suggested that control over land conversion policy should be handed over to the local government unit. He also talked about the declining number of young farmers who chose to be engaged in farming.

 

To move agriculture forward and to develop and promote IB models, PCCI said that it was considering future collaboration with UPLB and other research institutions.

 

 

In his closing remarks, Barcelon emphasized the importance of national consultation with different key players, especially with the new administration. “Change will not happen fast. Adapting the policies and implementing the actions might take years, even decades. However, with stronger partnerships and PCCI’s continued commitment to IPB and to UPLB, Philippine agriculture will continue to move forward one small step at a time,” said Mr. Barcelon.

 

Family day and alumni homecoming

 

On the second day of the celebration, the institute held a family day and alumni homecoming to celebrate milestones and successes achieved in its 41 years of existence.

 

In his welcome remarks, Dr. Pompe Sta Cruz, director of IPB, recognized the efforts of IPB’s constituents to make the Institute what it is today. He also recognized the Institute’s “lights and pillars” who continue to guide it in achieving its goal, which is to develop crop varieties to help farmers.

 

On behalf of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez , Prof. Rex B. Demafelis, vice chancellor for research and extension, commended IPB on its “brilliant science and public service” and assured the support of the University as IPB continues to face challenges.

 

Dr. Enrico P. Supangco, dean of the College of Agriculture, emphasized the importance of service and collaboration in the achievements of CA and IPB. He called upon IPB to continue its service and reminded them that they are working together “for the farmers and for the Filipino people.”

 

For the inspirational message, Dr. Emil Q. Javier, founding director of IPB, former UPLB chancellor and former UP president, commended IPB for its innovative ideas and its leadership by citing contract farming, an agricultural scheme which the institute advocates.  “UPLB and the agricultural system should shift their focus from just [developing] small farms to integrating them with the food and beverage sector,” said Dr. Javier.

 

 

Also present at the anniversary celebration and homecoming were National Scientists Dr. Dolores Ramirez and Dr. Ricardo Lantican, and Dr. Eufemio Rasco, Jr., former director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute and IPB director.

 

The Institute also gave service awards to its staff who have been serving for 10, 15, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years. IPB was established on June 3, 1975 to be the national biotechnology research and breeding center for all improved crops except rice. It traces its roots from the College of Agriculture – Plant Breeding Division.