BUSINESS HEADLINES THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

PH, CANADA MULL FREE TRADE PACT


President Benigno Aquino III AP FILE PHOTO President Benigno Aquino III and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday morning (Friday night in Manila) agreed to explore the possibility of forging a free trade agreement. Both leaders witnessed the signing of a letter of intent to launch exploratory discussions on a “mutually beneficial” and “comprehensive” free trade agreement between Canada and the Philippines. In a joint press briefing, Mr. Aquino said he hoped such an agreement would “broaden the horizon of meaningful opportunities for our citizens and our region.”  Harper noted that “the Philippines is a regional leader and a designated priority market for Canada. Our government has worked to strengthen this relationship with special emphasis on trade, security and people to people ties.”  Both countries also agreed to work on updating their foreign investment promotion and protection agreement. It was announced that Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast would lead a mission to Manila later this month to firm this up.  Trade between the two countries is currently close to $2 billion. Both Canada and the Philippines also pledged to continue cooperation to counterterrorism, security threats and corruption. Harper said Canada would help the Philippines enhance its ability to counter crime and terror-related threats. READ MORE..

ALSO By Babe Romualdez: Tribute to my friend Henry Cojuangco


HENRY COJUANGCO 
I have known our good friend Henry Cojuangco for over three decades now. In fact, we used to play golf until he gave up the sport some time before he entered politics, occasionally having lunch at the San Miguel office where he used to be vice chairman. It was a big surprise – shock actually – to hear of Henry’s demise from an aneurysm last Tuesday. He was the closest brother of Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, whom ECJ described as most loyal, always around during trying times. We had been planning to get together for lunch after Henry and I saw each other at the Coconut Palace during the Vice President’s reception for Princess Anne last March, but then Holy Week came and sadly we were not able to firm up our schedule for one reason or another. Already on his second term as Tarlac 1st District representative, Henry didn’t really relish politics but ran when his brother – whose Eduardo Cojuangco Foundation has been providing scholarships to teachers and out-of-school youth of Tarlac – asked him to run in order to help more residents of Tarlac. Henry certainly did well as a politician, strongly pushing for the House version of the proposed Fair Competition Act that has languished for more than two decades. Under the proposed measure, new players in the market would be given a fair chance to compete against big business, with stiffer sanctions against violators of fair trade practices for the purpose of stifling competition. Henry was so resolute in seeing the proposed bill pass in Congress that a day before he perished, he was even asking House Majority Floor Leader Boyet Gonzales about the status of the bill – which was passed on second reading hours after his demise last Tuesday. Henry may not have lived to see the day when the proposed bill would finally be signed into an act, but it’s a testament to his efforts that no less than Speaker Sonny Belmonte has assured that they will make sure the bill will be passed during this current Congress – even proposing to call it the “Cojuangco Bill” in honor of and as a tribute to Henry’s unrelenting efforts. READ MORE...

ALSO Fastest growth in five years: OFWs remit $2.101 B in March


File photo 
- The growth in remittances from overseas Filipino workers surged to its fastest in more than five years in March, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported yesterday. Cash remittances went up 11.3 percent to $2.101 billion in March from $1.888 billion in the same month last year. This is the fastest growth rate since the 11.4 percent expansion recorded in December 2009. This brought the three-month tally to $5.791 billion, up 5.5 percent from $5.492 billion in the same period last year. The BSP said cash remittances from land-based overseas Filipino workers went up 5.3 percent to $4.4 billion, while those from sea-based workers climbed 6.1 percent to $1.4 billion. The remittances were mainly sent from the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada. Together with non-cash items, remittances from Filipinos working abroad rose 11 percent to $2.326 billion in March from $2.095 billion in the same month last year. This was the fastest growth rate in 15 months, the BSP said. Personal remittances in the first quarter amounted to $6.414 billion, which is 5.1 percent higher than the $6.1 billion recorded in the same period last year. READ MORE...

ALSO: Hunger incidence falls to lowest in 10 years


FILE PHOTO 
MANILA, Philippines - The country’s hunger rate fell to 13.5 percent or about three million families in the first quarter of this year, the lowest recorded in 10 years, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in its latest survey. The SWS poll, taken from March 20 to 23, found 13.5 percent of respondents who claimed they experienced having had nothing to eat at least once in the past three months. The new hunger rate was 3.7 points lower than the 17.2 percent (about 3.8 million families) recorded in December 2014. This was also the lowest since May 2005 when the hunger rate was at 12 percent, it added. Results of the latest SWS poll on hunger were published in the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday. SWS said hunger incidence declined across all areas. The biggest drop was recorded in the Visayas from 16.4 percent (an estimated 690,000 families) to 11 percent (470,000 families). It also declined in balance Luzon to 14.3 percent, or about 1.4 million families, from December’s 18.3 percent (1.8 million families). In Mindanao, hunger dipped by three points to 14.3 percent, or 726,000 families, from December’s 17.3 percent (867,000 families). It also dropped to 12.7 percent in Metro Manila, equivalent to some 382,000 families, a two-point improvement from December’s 14.7 percent (an estimated 438,000 families). In its March 2015 poll, SWS said an estimated 2.5 million families or 11.1 percent experienced “moderate hunger,” or lacking food to eat “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months. This was 2.1 points down from December’s 13.2 percent or around 2.9 million families. About 522,000 families or 2.4 percent, on the other hand, claimed they experienced “severe hunger” – or had nothing to eat “often” or “always” in the first three months of 2015, down by 1.7 points from 4.1 percent, or an estimated 888,000 families, in December last year. Last week, the SWS reported that self-rated poverty among Filipino families steadied at 51 percent, a point below December’s 52 percent. Meanwhile, those who rated themselves poor in terms of food or “food-poor” dropped five points to 36 percent from December’s 41 percent. “Hunger fell among the poor, the food-poor, the non-poor and the non-food-poor,” the SWS noted. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Pagpag’ (leftover food) caused surveyed hunger to drop? -TUCP


2014 PHOTO AND NEWS SCOOP COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM
: In a country where over 8 million are food-poor, food scavenging has sadly become a norm for many families. Others call it trash, but for them, it’s their “meal of the day.”  Sautéed with a bit of oil, garlic, and a choice between patis or toyo, are various parts of fried chicken. However, what remains of the chicken are mostly just bones. In the Philippines, these recycled meals are called “pagpag,” which roughly translates to “dusted off food.” Families scour dumpsites for what appears to be “still edible.” The sound of garbage trucks, carrying leftovers from fast food chains, signals meal time.  Families clean the leftover food by dusting it off (pagpagin). To be extra sure, others wash the leftovers before boiling or frying – modifying someone’s dinner leftovers into someone else’s breakfast. Pagpag is also a business. Some food scavengers sell their pagpag, sometimes giving discounts to neighbors and patrons. Health professionals warn against the dangers of eating pagpag. They are at risk of getting salmonella and other illnesses. Eating nothing but pagpag can be detrimental to children’s health for they are not getting the nutrients needed for proper growth and development. Despite these warnings, some families say they have no other choice. It’s either pagpag or nothing at all. by Frtizie Rodriguez Posted on 03/15/2014 3:36 PM | Updated 03/16/2014 9:29 AM

A LABOR group on Tuesday downplayed the results of a survey by the group Social Weather Stations saying the number of people experiencing hunger had declined, saying that was due to the proliferation of “pagpag” food that is accessible to poor Filipinos especially in Metro Manila. “Pagpag” is a Filipino term for leftover food from fast-food restaurants that is scavenged from garbage sites and dumps. “We would like to attribute this development to the proliferation of “pagpag” food— very cheap, very delicious and easily accessible to the poor,” said Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa spokesman Alan Tanjusay. The TUCP-Nagkaisa said the Aquino administration failed to make quality living for the majority of Filipinos by not meeting three benchmarks, including raising the income of the poor. “The government failed to make power, water, telecom services affordable and the third is that the government’s enormous savings could have been dedicated to new jobs,” the TUCP said. SWS said about three million Filipino families experienced “involuntary hunger” at least once during the first quarter of 2015. READ MORE...

ALSO EL NIÑO: First Water Summit in Cebu today


MAY 12 ---CEBU, Philippines- The First Provincial El Niño Summit of Cebu to address possible water problems in the province as adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon will be held today. The summit will be attended by Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Nerios Acosta and representatives of the Department of Agriculture, National Irrigation Administration, water districts, local government units, Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office personnel, concerned government agencies, fisherfolks, and farmers, and irrigators’ associations. Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said the summit will engage all stakeholders in the water sector for an integrated planning in finding solutions to water supply challenges. “We’ll find out on how we can address this problem, what measures we hope to elicit from the participants tomorrow. Ilahang mga problema, and then what measures we have to take to resolve this problem,” he said. The governor said the summit is held after Vice Governor Agnes Magpale suggested that the Capitol hold one because government officials in the province were already complaining of water sources running dry. READ MORE...

ALSO SCIENCE REPORT:  Forests could be the trump card in efforts to end global hunger


MAY 6 ---Forest and agriculture mosaic landscape, Cat Ba, Vietnam Photo © Terry Sunderland  One billion people worldwide depend on forests and trees for balanced diets and sustainable incomes  About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger with the majority of the hungry living in Africa and Asia. The world's forests have great potential to improve their nutrition and ensure their livelihoods. In fact, forests and forestry are essential to achieve food security as the limits of boosting agricultural production are becoming increasingly clear. That's according to the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date on the relationship among forests, food and nutrition launched today in New York at a side event of the United Nations Forum on Forests. The new report released by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the world's largest network of forest scientists, also underlines the need for the most vulnerable groups of society to have secure access to forest foods. More than 60 renowned scientists from around the world collaborated on the peer-reviewed publication "Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition. A Global Assessment Report", which was coordinated by IUFRO on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). "This report reminds us of the vital role of forests in building food security. It makes a convincing case for multi-functional and integrated landscape approaches and calls for community level engagement to re-imagine forestry and agriculture systems", says Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. "Large-scale crop production is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events, which may occur more frequently under climate change. Science shows that tree-based farming can adapt far better to such calamities." says Christoph Wildburger, the coordinator of IUFRO's Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) initiative. "We know that forests already play a key role in mitigating the effects of climate change. This report makes very clear that they also play a key role in alleviating hunger and improving nutrition."  READ MORE...

ALSO TIMES COMMENTARY: Blueberry farms in the PH? Just like (hopelessly) raising durian in sandy Pampanga


MAY 13---AQUINO CANADA TRIP: The world might see blueberries and cranberries from the Philippines in the future? Returning home early morning yesterday from a working visit to Chicago and a state visit to Canada, President Aquino reported prospective investments from Canadian businessmen, including interest in having blueberry and cranberry plantations in the Philippines.© Provided by The Philippine Star IMMEDIATELY after his return from Canada , President Aquino shared to the nation what he saw as the “positive fruits” of his visit. I was about to cheer wholeheartedly at the efforts of Mr. Aquino when he mentioned the words “ blueberries” and “cranberries .” He said there are Canadian businessmen who might invest in commercial cranberry and blueberry plantations here. Did they really say that? Or was it a case of supportive but overpromising Canadian business groups that so wanted to support Mr. Aquino’s investment-generation drive that their investment pledges went into unrealistic overdrive? Who would not be gladdened by the glorious spectacle of commercially raising blueberries and cranberries here? Just the excess production or the product overruns that would go into the domestic market would be a gift to millions of diabetics like me and Mr. Bas. Berries, unless juiced and wallowing in sugar, are good for diabetics. But then we have to ask this question. Were the pledges to invest in berry plantations mere cases of overenthusiasm? The sad truth is raising commercial-scale blueberries and cranberries here is just like raising durian in sandy Pampanga. It can’t be done. No way, now how. One can do it, but it would have to end up as a fool’s quest. Raising crops on a commercial scale is primarily about one thing – location. Or, to put it simply, soil type. There is no location in the country, including the famous La Trinidad strawberry planting sties, that is viable for raising berries on a commercial scale. Sure, one can raise berries in pots or pans, but we are talking here about commercial-scale berry plantations. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

PH, Canada mull free trade pact


President Benigno Aquino III AP FILE PHOTO May 11, 2015

OTTAWA, CANADA, MAY 18, 2015 (INQUIRER) TJ Burgonio @inquirerdotnet - President Benigno Aquino III and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday morning (Friday night in Manila) agreed to explore the possibility of forging a free trade agreement.

Both leaders witnessed the signing of a letter of intent to launch exploratory discussions on a “mutually beneficial” and “comprehensive” free trade agreement between Canada and the Philippines.

In a joint press briefing, Mr. Aquino said he hoped such an agreement would “broaden the horizon of meaningful opportunities for our citizens and our region.”

Harper noted that “the Philippines is a regional leader and a designated priority market for Canada. Our government has worked to strengthen this relationship with special emphasis on trade, security and people to people ties.”

Both countries also agreed to work on updating their foreign investment promotion and protection agreement. It was announced that Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast would lead a mission to Manila later this month to firm this up.

Trade between the two countries is currently close to $2 billion.

Both Canada and the Philippines also pledged to continue cooperation to counterterrorism, security threats and corruption. Harper said Canada would help the Philippines enhance its ability to counter crime and terror-related threats.

READ MORE...
Both leaders also welcomed the signing of a framework agreement on mutual accountability, spelling out their countries’ commitment to reduce poverty in the Philippines, and a memorandum of understanding expanding collaboration to create safer workplaces in the Philippines.

Visiting Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Mr. Aquino later sat down for a working lunch with Harper, discussing a range of issues such as global security, maritime concerns and peace in Mindanao.

Aquino emphasized the friendship between the two countries, recalling that “Canada was one of the first nations to give recognition to my mother’s government (in 1986), and I am told that the Canadian ambassador to the Philippines at the time was the very first to present his credentials to her.”

He thanked Canada for its aid and support in the aftermath of powerful Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that devastated Eastern Visayas in 2013.

For his part, Harper paid tribute to the 700,000 overseas Filipinos who he said were Canada’s “largest immigration drivers” in recent years.

“In fact, Tagalog is today the most rapidly growing language in our country,” he said, drawing applause from the audience.

“Filipino-Canadians adapt to this country very quickly because they exhibit the very best of our shared values. Generous and hardworking, they raise strong families, often supporting loved ones back in the Philippines,” he added.


PHILSTAR (BUSINESS COLUMN)

Tribute to my friend Henry Cojuangco SPYBITS By Babe G. Romualdez (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 14, 2015 - 12:00am


Tarlac Rep. Henry Cojuangco


By Babe G. Romualdez

I have known our good friend Henry Cojuangco for over three decades now.

In fact, we used to play golf until he gave up the sport some time before he entered politics, occasionally having lunch at the San Miguel office where he used to be vice chairman.

It was a big surprise – shock actually – to hear of Henry’s demise from an aneurysm last Tuesday.

He was the closest brother of Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, whom ECJ described as most loyal, always around during trying times.

We had been planning to get together for lunch after Henry and I saw each other at the Coconut Palace during the Vice President’s reception for Princess Anne last March, but then Holy Week came and sadly we were not able to firm up our schedule for one reason or another.

Already on his second term as Tarlac 1st District representative, Henry didn’t really relish politics but ran when his brother – whose Eduardo Cojuangco Foundation has been providing scholarships to teachers and out-of-school youth of Tarlac – asked him to run in order to help more residents of Tarlac.

Henry certainly did well as a politician, strongly pushing for the House version of the proposed Fair Competition Act that has languished for more than two decades.

Under the proposed measure, new players in the market would be given a fair chance to compete against big business, with stiffer sanctions against violators of fair trade practices for the purpose of stifling competition.

Henry was so resolute in seeing the proposed bill pass in Congress that a day before he perished, he was even asking House Majority Floor Leader Boyet Gonzales about the status of the bill – which was passed on second reading hours after his demise last Tuesday.

Henry may not have lived to see the day when the proposed bill would finally be signed into an act, but it’s a testament to his efforts that no less than Speaker Sonny Belmonte has assured that they will make sure the bill will be passed during this current Congress – even proposing to call it the “Cojuangco Bill” in honor of and as a tribute to Henry’s unrelenting efforts.

READ MORE...
Low key, and always with a ready smile on his face, Henry had very good relations with his nephew President Noy, most especially when the two Cojuangco families finally reconciled a couple of years before Mrs. Cory Aquino passed away.

Well liked by his colleagues in Congress, Enrique “Henry” Cojuangco will be sorely missed by many people, most especially his family and personal friends.

Australian scientists warn of ‘substantial’ El Niño effect

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology authorities have warned of a stronger El Niño event within the year, contrary to earlier projections by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the episode this year would be “weak.”

Last year, people experienced the hottest temperatures recorded in more than a century but this year could be worse – which could spell economic disaster for countries that are dependent on the global agricultural market. Farmers would be among those that will suffer with crops destroyed due to extreme heat.

With erratic weather patterns accompanying El Niño events, some parts would be very dry while other countries would suffer from abnormally heavy rainfall, the scientists warned, recalling that the El Niño episode five years ago resulted in droughts in Southern Australia and the Philippines while blizzards hit the US. Brazil suffered heat waves while Mexico experienced killer floods.

Anticipating the devastating effects of El Niño, the Australian government is giving generous tax breaks to farmers to help them prepare for drought, with rural communities also getting funds from a program called “stronger communities.” Costs on putting up or enhancing facilities and infrastructure such as dams, irrigation channels, pumps, windmills and the like will also be fully deductible, Australian agriculture authorities announced.

The Philippines happens to be the third most vulnerable country to climate change effects, and according to Department of Agriculture officials, plans have been drawn up to mitigate the effects of drought in many regions across the nation like Region 12 and the ARMM where over P450 million worth of rice and corn crops have been lost in the last few months due to the absence of rains.

With the dry spell feared to continue till June, regional authorities are calling for water conservation measures particularly in areas like Maguindanao that has been suffering from drought since December. Reports also say that North Cotabato has lost more than P230 million worth of crops due to the absence of rains in the last three months as harvests have come down drastically due to poor soil moisture.

Agriculture Officials of Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) which is said to be the most vulnerable to climate change, are also drawing up plans to address the onset of a dry spell, among them more openness among farmers to adapt the latest farming technologies and practices to promote resiliency in crops and livestock in light of erratic weather conditions. Aside from rice, other high value root crops must be promoted to ensure food security, regional officials said.

Spy tidbit: First black Miss Japan stirs up ‘revolution’

Ariana Miyamoto has made history by being the first black Miss Universe-Japan winner, but the half-Japanese, half-black American beauty queen has been fielding criticism from “purists” who cannot accept that a “haafu” would be representing the country in the upcoming beauty tilt.

Apparently, Japanese society is still not that open when it comes to mixed cultural heritage but Miyamoto – a Nagasaki native who speaks fluent Japanese and is skilled in shodo or Japanese calligraphy – says she is prepared to meet the challenge, believing that her win gives her a platform to start a “revolution” on the issue of racial discrimination in the country she has always known as home.

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P-Noy’s uncle dies of aneurysm


Talac Rep. Enrique Cojuangco

MANILA, Philippines - Tarlac Rep. Enrique Cojuangco died yesterday while undergoing treatment for abdominal aneurysm at a hospital, according to House of Representatives Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II. Cojuangco was 74.

At Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Cojuangco was known and admired for his professionalism and dedication to public service.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. expressed sadness over the death of Cojuangco.

The House committee on economic affairs chairman had attended a caucus of congressional leaders on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law and other pending bills on Monday night, he added.

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Tarlac Rep. Cojuangco, Danding's brother, dies; Comelec rules out special polls By: Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com | With Jet Villa, InterAksyon.com May 12, 2015 11:20 AM


Tarlac Rep. Enrique Cojuangco InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5

(UPDATE 3 - 6:40 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines - Tarlac Representative Enrique "Henry" Cojuangco, brother of business tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Jr. and uncle of President Benigno Aquino III, died Tuesday morning, leaders of the House of Representatives said.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao and Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II separately confirmed the news, and expressed their condolences to Cojuangco's family.

"We are very sorry about this. Up to last night, we were here (House of Representatives) and we were discussing matters with the group of leaders," Belmonte said in a news conference.

"We will miss him, without any exception he was very friendly with every member, whatever political affiliation they may be," Belmonte added.

Belmonte said he learned that Cojuangco, 72, was rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning after complaining of pains in the stomach.

Cojuangco is the younger brother of tycoon, Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr., who is also the chairman emeritus of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC).

Aggabao said that, while Cojuangco holds no official position in the party, he serves as the alter ego of his brother, Danding.

At the House of Representatives, Cojuangco, who is serving his second term, is the chairperson of the committee on economic affairs and one of the principal authors of the proposed Fair Competition Act, according to Belmonte.

"It was through his efforts that the Fair Competition Act, one of the longest pending bills in Congress, started moving," Belmonte said.

The measure is up for approval on second reading.

"We will do our best to have it passed. In memory of Henry, who stuck with it, we resolve to push that bill until it is passed, perhaps it can be called the Cojuangco bill," he said.

The bill seeks to promote the entry of new players in the market, ensure availability of more quality goods, and spread wealth among more Filipinos.

Belmonte earlier said that the passage of the bill would also help ASEAN countries brace for the region's transformation into a highly competitive marketplace, which will be known as the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

According to Bloomberg, Cojuangco served as the chairman of the board and president of Optimum Development Corporation; chairman of Filsov Shipping Co., Inc.; president of the Agricultural Investors Inc.; executive vice president of Northern Cement Corp.; and, director of J&E Development Corp. and Jewelmer International Corporation. He was also former vice chairman of Ginebra San Miguel Inc.

In a statement, the Cojuangco family and the Nationalist People's Coalition expressed gratitude to those who sent words of encouragement and prayers for the late congressman.

"Though the family is in deep sorrow because of the sudden demise of the congressman, they are at peace, knowing that the congressman is now with his Creator," they said.

NPC also said it was saddened by the passing away of one of the party's pillars.

"Congressman Henry served not only as party leader, but more importantly as a friend to the individual NPC members. The party will see to it that the ideals the late congressman championed in Congress are carried forward by its members," Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, NPC spokesman, said.

Cojuangco's remains will be brought to De La Salle Greenhills on Tuesday evening.

Viewing will be from Tuesday evening, May 12, to Friday, May 15.

Interment will be held in Mount Carmel Church New Manila.

Special elections to replace Cojuangco unlikely

The Commission on Elections will not conduct a special election to replace Cojuangco.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said there is a ban on holding special elections within one year before the next regular elections for the members of Congress.

“The rule is, if a vacancy occurs at least 18 months or at least one year before the next regular elections, we can hold a special election if there is a declaration of vacancy. [But if] less than one year (before the 2016 elections), there's little chance of that happening,” he said.

The 18-month ban is stated in 1985 Omnibus Election Code while the one-year ban is provided for in Republic Act 7166 that was approved in 1991.

Jimenez said it would be the House of Representatives that will decide how Cojuangco’s seat shall be filled.

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[NOYNOY MUM OR GRIEVING? PHNO could not find any statement from P-noy on his uncle's death except this headline news and old photo of Danding Cojuangco in the Inquirer May 17, 2015]


PRESIDENT Aquino says hello to his uncles Danding and and the late Henry Cojuangco....

Danding Cojuangco: I made the right decisions Marge C. Enriquez @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:45 AM | Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Without a college degree, businessman Eduardo “Danding” M. Cojuangco Jr. sees himself as technically the least qualified person for any position in any of his companies.

“Had I taken up, say, accounting, I’d have been aware of all the pitfalls of entrepreneurship and been too scared to venture into anything,” he said.

Yet, in this one lifetime, according to Tarlac historian (and his friend) Ver Buan, Cojuangco has served as director in some 50 companies. Since 1983, he has been chair of food and infrastructure conglomerate San Miguel Corp., and is the newly elected chair of Petron Corp., the country’s largest oil-refining company.

Over lunch at Fortune, his favorite Chinese restaurant in Tarlac City, Cojuangco charmed guests at his table with his candor.

“I’ve led a full life—full of controversies,” he said, chuckling. (He would later whisper a request to this writer, to please make no references to his personal life.)

Since his kidney transplant in December 2013, Cojuangco has taken to wearing a mask in crowded places. “I could pick up an infection very easily, on account of the anti-rejection pills,” he explained.

He is on a strict diet and has lost considerable weight. “They are controlling my diabetes very well. I’ve always been a bad boy when it comes to sweets,” he confessed. Still, he seemed to enjoy the sumptuous lunch.

The enigmatic tycoon turns 80 in June, but he would rather mark what he feels are more important milestones—the Eduardo Cojuangco Foundation’s (ECF) 30th anniversary and the launch of Project Hope. The latter aims to teach technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills to Tarlac’s out-of-school youth and unemployed young adults, and to provide them with job opportunities.

Cojuangco recalled that his 75th birth anniversary coincided with ECF’s 25th and the takeoff of Project Free, a program that gave scholarships to 2,000 public school teachers. The beneficiaries enrolled in masters’ or doctorate programs at the Tarlac State University under the guidance of De La Salle University (DLSU) and finished with DLSU diplomas.

Believer in education

“I’m a believer in education as the best way to alleviate poverty. Even if you build classrooms, if the teachers are not capable of imparting knowledge effectively to the students, you don’t gain much more than aesthetics,” said Cojuangco.

La Salle is his alma mater. When school officials told him about its Department of Education’s (DepEd) Alternative Learning System, a nonformal curriculum for the underprivileged, the philanthropist saw beyond the written goals. “I thought it was a good program, taking out-of-school youth into the flow of the academe. And then what? Would that improve their lives? Not much, I think, if they have nothing to do after that,” he said.


PHILSTAR

Fastest growth in five years: OFWs remit $2.101 B in March By Kathleen A. Martin (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 16, 2015 - 12:00am


File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The growth in remittances from overseas Filipino workers surged to its fastest in more than five years in March, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported yesterday.

Cash remittances went up 11.3 percent to $2.101 billion in March from $1.888 billion in the same month last year. This is the fastest growth rate since the 11.4 percent expansion recorded in December 2009.

This brought the three-month tally to $5.791 billion, up 5.5 percent from $5.492 billion in the same period last year.

The BSP said cash remittances from land-based overseas Filipino workers went up 5.3 percent to $4.4 billion, while those from sea-based workers climbed 6.1 percent to $1.4 billion.

The remittances were mainly sent from the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada.

Together with non-cash items, remittances from Filipinos working abroad rose 11 percent to $2.326 billion in March from $2.095 billion in the same month last year. This was the fastest growth rate in 15 months, the BSP said.

Personal remittances in the first quarter amounted to $6.414 billion, which is 5.1 percent higher than the $6.1 billion recorded in the same period last year.

READ MORE...
“Remittances remained strong partly on account of sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas,” the BSP said.

Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the central bank said there were 243,045 job orders in the first quarter and almost a third of these were for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The POEA also said that 519,029 contracts were processed in the first three months of the year, the BSP said.

Meanwhile, banks provision of remittance services also continued to support the strong inflows of funds coming from Filipinos working abroad.

Personal remittances last year rose 6.2 percent to a record high of $26.924 billion from $25.351 billion in 2013. Cash remittances alone also went up 5.8 percent to a fresh peak of $24.308 billion, surpassing the BSP’s 5.5-percent assumption for the period.


PHILSTAR

Hunger incidence falls to lowest in 10 years By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 13, 2015 - 12:00am


FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s hunger rate fell to 13.5 percent or about three million families in the first quarter of this year, the lowest recorded in 10 years, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said in its latest survey.

The SWS poll, taken from March 20 to 23, found 13.5 percent of respondents who claimed they experienced having had nothing to eat at least once in the past three months.

The new hunger rate was 3.7 points lower than the 17.2 percent (about 3.8 million families) recorded in December 2014.

This was also the lowest since May 2005 when the hunger rate was at 12 percent, it added.

Results of the latest SWS poll on hunger were published in the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday.

SWS said hunger incidence declined across all areas.

The biggest drop was recorded in the Visayas from 16.4 percent (an estimated 690,000 families) to 11 percent (470,000 families).

It also declined in balance Luzon to 14.3 percent, or about 1.4 million families, from December’s 18.3 percent (1.8 million families).

In Mindanao, hunger dipped by three points to 14.3 percent, or 726,000 families, from December’s 17.3 percent (867,000 families).

It also dropped to 12.7 percent in Metro Manila, equivalent to some 382,000 families, a two-point improvement from December’s 14.7 percent (an estimated 438,000 families).

In its March 2015 poll, SWS said an estimated 2.5 million families or 11.1 percent experienced “moderate hunger,” or lacking food to eat “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months.

This was 2.1 points down from December’s 13.2 percent or around 2.9 million families.

About 522,000 families or 2.4 percent, on the other hand, claimed they experienced “severe hunger” – or had nothing to eat “often” or “always” in the first three months of 2015, down by 1.7 points from 4.1 percent, or an estimated 888,000 families, in December last year.

Last week, the SWS reported that self-rated poverty among Filipino families steadied at 51 percent, a point below December’s 52 percent.

Meanwhile, those who rated themselves poor in terms of food or “food-poor” dropped five points to 36 percent from December’s 41 percent.

“Hunger fell among the poor, the food-poor, the non-poor and the non-food-poor,” the SWS noted.

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Overall hunger, it said, slipped among the self-rated poor by just 2.1 points to 19.2 percent from 21.3 percent in December, and among the “not poor” or those “on the borderline” by 5.4 points to 7.4 percent from 12.8 percent.

Also, fewer Filipinos who rated themselves as being “food-poor” felt hungry last quarter, dropping to 23.9 percent from 28.8 percent previously. It also fell among those who said they were “not food-poor/food borderline” to 7.7 percent from nine percent.

The SWS survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.

It has sampling error margins of three points for national percentages and six points each for Metro Manila, balance of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

Government priority

Malacañang welcomed the drop in hunger incidence and vowed to pursue programs and projects to further alleviate poverty.

In a press briefing yesterday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said solving the hunger problem was among the top priorities of the administration, the reason the allocation for social protection and poverty reduction got a big chunk in the national budget.

Coloma said the findings of the SWS mirrored realities on the ground that the government was at least achieving its goal to reduce the number of people getting hungry by using a different approach and that was to expand the conditional cash transfer program and not wait for the direct trickle down effect of economic growth such as job generation. – With Aurea Calica


MANILA STANDARD

‘Pagpag’ (leftover food) caused surveyed hunger to drop? By Vito Barcelo, Sandy Araneta | May. 13, 2015 at 12:01am



2014 PHOTO AND NEWS SCOOP COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM: In a country where over 8 million are food-poor, food scavenging has sadly become a norm for many families. Others call it trash, but for them, it’s their “meal of the day.”  Sautéed with a bit of oil, garlic, and a choice between patis or toyo, are various parts of fried chicken. However, what remains of the chicken are mostly just bones. In the Philippines, these recycled meals are called “pagpag,” which roughly translates to “dusted off food.” Families scour dumpsites for what appears to be “still edible.” The sound of garbage trucks, carrying leftovers from fast food chains, signals meal time.  Families clean the leftover food by dusting it off (pagpagin). To be extra sure, others wash the leftovers before boiling or frying – modifying someone’s dinner leftovers into someone else’s breakfast. Pagpag is also a business. Some food scavengers sell their pagpag, sometimes giving discounts to neighbors and patrons. Health professionals warn against the dangers of eating pagpag. They are at risk of getting salmonella and other illnesses. Eating nothing but pagpag can be detrimental to children’s health for they are not getting the nutrients needed for proper growth and development. Despite these warnings, some families say they have no other choice. It’s either pagpag or nothing at all. by Frtizie Rodriguez Posted on 03/15/2014 3:36 PM | Updated 03/16/2014 9:29 AM

A LABOR group on Tuesday downplayed the results of a survey by the group Social Weather Stations saying the number of people experiencing hunger had declined, saying that was due to the proliferation of “pagpag” food that is accessible to poor Filipinos especially in Metro Manila.

“Pagpag” is a Filipino term for leftover food from fast-food restaurants that is scavenged from garbage sites and dumps.

“We would like to attribute this development to the proliferation of “pagpag” food— very cheap, very delicious and easily accessible to the poor,” said Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa spokesman Alan Tanjusay.

The TUCP-Nagkaisa said the Aquino administration failed to make quality living for the majority of Filipinos by not meeting three benchmarks, including raising the income of the poor.

“The government failed to make power, water, telecom services affordable and the third is that the government’s enormous savings could have been dedicated to new jobs,” the TUCP said.

SWS said about three million Filipino families experienced “involuntary hunger” at least once during the first quarter of 2015.

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The First Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey, conducted from March 20 to 23, 2015, also showed that this was 3.7 points below the 17.2 percent (estimated at 3.8 million families) in December 2014, and the lowest in 10 years since May 2005, when it was at 12.0 percent, SWS said.

The survey firm said the measure of “Hunger” refers to involuntary suffering because the respondents answer a survey question that specifies hunger due to lack of food to eat.

SWS said both “Moderate Hunger” and “Severe Hunger” likewise declined.

The 13.5 percent total Hunger in March 2015 is the sum of 11.1 percent (estimated at 2.5 million families) who experienced Moderate Hunger and 2.4 percent (estimated at 522,000 families) who experienced Severe Hunger, SWS said.

Moderate Hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “Only Once” or “A Few Times” in the last three months, while Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the last three months.

The few who did not state their frequency of hunger were classified under Moderate Hunger.

Both Moderate Hunger and Severe Hunger fell between December 2014 and March 2015.

Moderate Hunger fell by 2.1 points, from 13.2 percent (estimated at 2.9 million families) to 11.1 percent.

Severe Hunger declined by 1.7 points from 4.1 percent (est. 888,000 families) to 2.4 percent.

Hunger fell amid the decline in Self-Rated Poverty and Self-Rated Food Poverty.

There was a 3.7-point fall in Hunger, a 1-point decline in Self-Rated Poverty, and a 5-point decline in Self-Rated Food-Poverty, between December 2014 and March 2015.

Hunger fell among the Poor, the Food-Poor, the Non-Poor and the Non-Food-Poor.

Overall Hunger (i.e. Moderate plus Severe) fell among the Self-Rated Poor by 2.1 points, from 21.3 percent in December 2014 to 19.2 percent in March 2015.

It fell among the Not Poor/On the Borderline by 5.4 points, from 12.8 percent to 7.4 percent over the same period.

It fell among the Self-Rated Food-Poor by 4.9 points, from 28.8% to 23.9 percent.

It fell among the Not Food-Poor/Food-Borderline by 1.3 points, from 9.0 percent to 7.7 percent.

At any point in time, Hunger among the Self-Rated Food-Poor is always greater than Hunger among the Self-Rated Poor.


FREEMAN (PHILSTAR)

EL NIÑO: Water Summit in Cebu today By Jean Edith Anne P. Costelo /RHM (The Freeman) | Updated May 12, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines- The First Provincial El Niño Summit of Cebu to address possible water problems in the province as adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon will be held today.

The summit will be attended by Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Nerios Acosta and representatives of the Department of Agriculture, National Irrigation Administration, water districts, local government units, Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office personnel, concerned government agencies, fisherfolks, and farmers, and irrigators’ associations.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said the summit will engage all stakeholders in the water sector for an integrated planning in finding solutions to water supply challenges.

“We’ll find out on how we can address this problem, what measures we hope to elicit from the participants tomorrow. Ilahang mga problema, and then what measures we have to take to resolve this problem,” he said.

The governor said the summit is held after Vice Governor Agnes Magpale suggested that the Capitol hold one because government officials in the province were already complaining of water sources running dry.

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He said he assembled the agriculturists, veterinarians, and officials of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to prepare for the summit. He also directed the creation of a composite team to do mapping of the areas where there is the problem of water supply.

“They did a survey of all towns, including the barrios in the province, tan-awon asa nga mga areas ang dunay drought ba o water shortage because of El Niño; so when the summit arrives, mo-report pud ko unsa ang findings,” said Davide.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office’s Wilson Ramos said the composite team that has been deployed around the province to check on various towns and barangays and assess their water supply levels had already submitted results of its survey.

Ramos attributed the water crisis to the advent of climate change and that the water summit is intended to discuss various possible measures to prevent a water crisis from happening in the province.

“I hope so, amo ning masabotan tomorrow (today) unsay mga measures matabang namo sa katawhan, particularly katong mga mag-uuma para sa ilang irigasyon. All are affected baya of El Niño,” he said, when asked if the summit was meant to come up with mitigating measures. (FREEMAN)


SCIENCE REPORT FROM:

Forests could be the trump card in efforts to end global hunger May 6, 2015 IUFRO


Forest and agriculture mosaic landscape, Cat Ba, Vietnam Photo © Terry Sunderland

One billion people worldwide depend on forests and trees for balanced diets and sustainable incomes

Editor's note: The study and policy brief can be downloaded at the following URL: http://www.iufro.org/science/gfep/forests-and-food-security-panel/report/


A child's daily requirement for vitamin A can be met by around 25 g of a deep orange-fleshed mango variety. © Terry Sunderland

MAY 6, 2015

New York/Vienna (6 May 2015) – About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger with the majority of the hungry living in Africa and Asia. The world's forests have great potential to improve their nutrition and ensure their livelihoods. In fact, forests and forestry are essential to achieve food security as the limits of boosting agricultural production are becoming increasingly clear.

That's according to the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date on the relationship among forests, food and nutrition launched today in New York at a side event of the United Nations Forum on Forests. The new report released by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the world's largest network of forest scientists, also underlines the need for the most vulnerable groups of society to have secure access to forest foods.

More than 60 renowned scientists from around the world collaborated on the peer-reviewed publication "Forests, Trees and Landscapes for Food Security and Nutrition. A Global Assessment Report", which was coordinated by IUFRO on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF).

"This report reminds us of the vital role of forests in building food security. It makes a convincing case for multi-functional and integrated landscape approaches and calls for community level engagement to re-imagine forestry and agriculture systems", says Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

"Large-scale crop production is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events, which may occur more frequently under climate change. Science shows that tree-based farming can adapt far better to such calamities." says Christoph Wildburger, the coordinator of IUFRO's Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) initiative. "We know that forests already play a key role in mitigating the effects of climate change. This report makes very clear that they also play a key role in alleviating hunger and improving nutrition."

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Forests provide healthy and diverse diets "Forest foods often provide a safety net during periods of food shortages," says Bhaskar Vira, University of Cambridge, and the chair of the Global Forest Expert Panel on Forests and Food Security, which compiled the report. "In the study, we reveal impressive examples which show how forests and trees can complement agricultural production and contribute to the income of local people, especially in the most vulnerable regions of the world."

The benefits of forests and trees to nutrition are manifold: >Tree foods are often rich in vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients and are associated with more diverse diets. For example, the iron content of dried seeds of the African locust bean and raw cashew nut are comparable with, or even higher than, that of chicken meat.

>Wild meat, fish, and insects are also important forest food sources. Insects are an especially cheap, abundant source of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Particularly in Southeast Asia, many forests and agroforests (tree-based farms) are managed by local communities specifically to enhance edible insect supply.

>Forests are also essential for firewood and charcoal. In developing countries, 2.4 billion households use these renewable biofuels for cooking and heating. In India and Nepal, for example, even better-off rural households depend on woodfuels.

>Trees offer a multitude of ecological services. For instance, they support bees and other pollinators, which are essential for crop production including on farmland. They also provide animal fodder that enables communities to produce meat and milk, and protect streams and watersheds as habitat for fish.

Forests help the poor to make a living According to the report, close to one out of six persons directly depend on forests for their food and income. In the Sahel region, for example, trees contribute 80% on average to household incomes, especially through shea nut production. Evidence also shows that worldwide the lower the level of prosperity, the higher the share of forests in household incomes.

The report documents efforts currently underway in Africa and elsewhere to develop new tree commodities to supply the poor with sustainable incomes. For example, poor producers in Tanzania are engaged in a global effort to produce the seeds of the Allanblackia crop, which yield an edible oil with potential for the global food market. A private–public partnership known as Novella Africa is developing a sustainable Allanblackia oil business that they believe could be worth USD hundreds of millions annually for local farmers.

"What keeps people hungry is often not the lack of food, but the lack of access to that food and control over its production. We need to recognize claims over food sovereignty which give local people greater control over their food," notes Bhaskar Vira. "Improved tenure rights and stronger rights for women who are becoming more and more responsible for food production from agricultural and forest lands are key to ensure the success of sustainable poverty reduction efforts."

Linking Forests and Farming Favours Food Security Although forests are not a panacea for global hunger, the report emphasizes that they play a vital role in complementing crops produced on farms. This is especially important when the staple food supply is impaired by droughts, volatile prices, armed conflicts, or other crises. This forest-farm link also means that the loss and degradation of forests exacerbate the problem of food insecurity. Indeed, the report points out that the expansion of agricultural land accounts for 73 per cent of forest loss worldwide.

The study comes in the lead up to the United Nations' finalization of the Sustainable Development Goals, designed to address, among other global challenges, poverty and hunger. The report also provides useful insight into how the UN can respond to the "Zero Hunger Challenge," which aims to eliminate global hunger by 2025.


MANILA TIMES

Blueberry farms in the PH? Just like (hopelessly) raising durian in sandy Pampanga May 16, 2015 10:31 pm Marlen V. Ronquillo


MAY 12---AQUINO CANADA TRIP: The world might see blueberries and cranberries from the Philippines in the future? Returning home early morning yesterday from a working visit to Chicago and a state visit to Canada, President Aquino reported prospective investments from Canadian businessmen, including interest in having blueberry and cranberry plantations in the Philippines.© Provided by The Philippine Star / UOU MAY WANT TO READ INQUIRER NEWS REPORT- President Aquino arrived home early Monday from a five-day trip to Canada and the United States with “good news”—pledges of more investments, a package of initiatives boosting trade and labor relations with Canada and expressions of goodwill from his foreign hosts. Aquino arrived in Manila on Philippine Airlines Flight PR001 at 3:04 a.m., Malacañang said. In his arrival statement at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, the President said the “positive fruits” of current and incoming Canadian and American investments in the Philippines “will be reaped for generations to come.” FULL INQUIRER REPORT HERE

MANILA ---IMMEDIATELY after his return from Canada , President Aquino shared to the nation what he saw as the “positive fruits” of his visit. I was about to cheer wholeheartedly at the efforts of Mr. Aquino when he mentioned the words “ blueberries” and “cranberries .” He said there are Canadian businessmen who might invest in commercial cranberry and blueberry plantations here.

 
by MARLEN V. RONQUILLO

Did they really say that? Or was it a case of supportive but overpromising Canadian business groups that so wanted to support Mr. Aquino’s investment-generation drive that their investment pledges went into unrealistic overdrive?

Who would not be gladdened by the glorious spectacle of commercially raising blueberries and cranberries here? Just the excess production or the product overruns that would go into the domestic market would be a gift to millions of diabetics like me and Mr. Bas. Berries, unless juiced and wallowing in sugar, are good for diabetics.

But then we have to ask this question. Were the pledges to invest in berry plantations mere cases of overenthusiasm?

The sad truth is raising commercial-scale blueberries and cranberries here is just like raising durian in sandy Pampanga. It can’t be done. No way, now how. One can do it, but it would have to end up as a fool’s quest.

Raising crops on a commercial scale is primarily about one thing – location.

Or, to put it simply, soil type. There is no location in the country, including the famous La Trinidad strawberry planting sties, that is viable for raising berries on a commercial scale. Sure, one can raise berries in pots or pans, but we are talking here about commercial-scale berry plantations.

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You know what? Even coffee does not thrive in the low-lying areas of Pampanga. That is how important soil type is to raising crops on a commercial scale. Just a minor digression from the norm would lead to crop failure.

We have to take note of this, though. The planned investments on yellow corn production by the Canadian entities are viable.

Offhand, you can see the promise of such ventures. Yellow corn can be raised anywhere in the country, from Isabela – the largest yellow-corn supplying province in Luzon – to the more ideal farm lands of Mindanao.

Foreign investors can thrive by supplying a part of the domestic market alone. The price is not a problem. Farm gate prices are now between P13.50 to P14 per kilo.

But cranberries and blueberries? Excuse us.

We cannot fault Mr. Aquino for being swept away by the grandness and newness of the investment pledge – cranberry fields forever. And it came from Canada, which is a country known for fulfilling most of its social and economic commitments to the world. But a leader has to curb his enthusiasm on such things.

First, the country has been zoned agriculturally. You have a guide on which crops thrive in each of the country’s more than 7,000 islands.

I think it was the late Rep. and former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Escudero who ordered the strict demarcation of the country’s agricultural zones. What to plant commercially is now based on science, not hype.

Had Mr. Aquino consulted that map, he would have tempered his enthusiasm on the blueberry fields forever thing.

But then, who would help him curb his enthusiasm on things agricultural? The DA, over the past five years, has been a factory of dreams and wishful thinking.


Dept of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala

One of the two DA secretaries, private contractor-turned congressman-turned cabinet member Procy Alcala has been a reckless prophet of agricultural boom. Year in and year out, Mang Procy has been predicting bumper rice harvests, which Mr. Aquino used to parrot as part of the “good news “ of daang matuwid.

The problem is Procy is all humbug and hot air. Not only does production fall short of domestic demand every year. Over the past three years, rice imports have exceeded one million metric tons a year and Mr. Aquino will end his six-year term without any production breakthrough. And while the massive rice imports are public knowledge, there are other critical areas where imports are our lifelines.

Every year, the boosters of minions of Mang Procy from the private sector have been promising more-than-adequate yellow corn supply at tempered prices. They have been boasting of yellow corn exports. The farm gate is now between P13.50 to P14 per kilo because of acute supply gaps. Because yellow corn makes up 60 percent of feed ingredients, animal raisers have been suffering.

The truth is that while Mang Procy and his co-secretary, former Senator Francis Pangilinan, have been putting up brave fronts and issuing optimistic statements on the state of agricultural production, they have been utter laggards and failures.

What then is the real score on the planned blueberry and cranberry investments in the country? Treat them as one of Mang Procy’s many spiels on more-than-adequate rice production and supply. All hot air, without one kernel of reality.

7 Responses to Blueberry farms in the PH? Just like (hopelessly) raising durian in sandy Pampanga

Leodegardo Pruna says:

May 17, 2015 at 6:14 am

The DA’s performance is utterly dismal because of incompetent men at the helm whose only credentials are their closeness or membership in the KKK. God bless the Philippines.

Reply

hector says:

May 17, 2015 at 5:44 am

Does Pnoy Aquino simply work hard at always playing the fool, or have we found Calamity Juan’s single natural talent.

Pnoy aquino trumpets big investments everytime he returns from an overseas trip. They never ever materialise.

FDI trickles in and lags behind other ASEAN countries, whilst his flagship PPP projects have been an unmitigated disaster. The simpleton only looks at GDP, and doesn’t even understand that a high GDP ( thanks to OFW contributions fuelling consumption, and ‘hot money’) in isolation is nothing to crow about, but actually represents another failure when you cannot translate the opportunity into job creation or inclusive growth.

Apart from Pnoy Aquino being the worlds worst salesman, he simply cannot tell the truth about anything and is tantamount to being a serial liar. Businessmen politely regard him as a deluded fool to be humored at best, and then ignored. They do not suffer fools, in any way. He has no conception of international business or global economics, and would be better staying away from businessmen, and not embarrassing the country internationally.

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” Abraham Lincoln

Reply

Henry says:

May 17, 2015 at 3:43 am

Ask the cranberries and blueberries if they can grow in the Philippines? Like apples, they grow only in countries with cold climates. PNoy cannot skip the Zones where plants will grow and thrive. As mentioned here durian and coffee can be grown only in particular zones even in the Philippines.

PNoy mus have nognog for a brain. He is stupid and dumb. He thinks that when he said something it will be done, even against nature. He think he is god.

Reply

I Remember... says:

May 17, 2015 at 12:04 am

You have to be plain stupid to believe blueberries will grow in the Philippines! Or political motivated to lie to population….

I wish mango and banana will grow in Canada…. but impossible. Plain stupid writers? Face? Or back middle part?

REPLY: Why are you citing writers? It’s Aquino who is plain stupid, right

Reply

Inocent says:

May 16, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Blueberries thrive in very cool temperatures just like in north Canada. Do the Philippines have this temperatures 24/7? No, not even in Baguio. Cranberries are grown on flat lands like valleys and need lots and lots of water. But PNoy does not know these facts, so the best hing he can do is brag without even thinking. Such a pathetic person.

Reply

ecclesiastes says:

May 16, 2015 at 11:03 pm

Yes, indeed if this inept president really believes in his boastful propaganda about the Canadian promise of investment in berries plantation, then it reinforced the wide perception of the general public that this president is a big FOOL as he admitted publicly during the height of the Mamasapno massacre issue that he was fooled by his BFF resigned PNP Chief purisima on the progress of the operation that resulted in the needless sacrifice of lives of PNP SAF in furtherance of this inutile’s president personal agenda of recovering his waning popularity……

Reply

Roldan Guerrero says:

May 16, 2015 at 10:49 pm

A STUPID PRESIDENT who wants his illness become VIRAL! He really deserves to be called PIGNOY, binababoy nya ang mga pinoy at ang bansa nating winawasak nya. He should not be called Pnoy….a LIAR is not worth being called.


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