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Illegal fishing during closed season detected in Visayan Sea — NGO

ENVIRONMENT protection group Oceana Philippines said that it detected illegal fishing activity in the Visayan Sea during the three-month closed fishing season between November and February.

More firms in hot water for Manila Bay pollution

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), on Tuesday said it will issue cease-and-desist orders (CDOs) against five establishments, as the government continues to crack down on businesses said to be polluting Manila Bay.

Bukidnon corn pilot project to spotlight solar irrigation systems

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will commission a corn demonstration farm using a P3.5-million solar-powered irrigation system (SPIS) in Bukidnon next month, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Tuesday.

Getz focuses on health care, medtech

GETZ Healthcare Philippines is focusing on growing its health care business in the country this year, after divesting from the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business.

Price manipulation seen as ‘pitfall’ under new rice regime

THE removal of the National Food Authority’s (NFA) ability to intervene in the rice market may encourage further cartelization in the industry to manipulate prices of the key staple, a former Agriculture Secretary said.

Corn growers call new rice policy unrealistic

THE Philippine Maize Federation (PhilMaize) said the abandonment of the policy goal of rice-self-sufficiency does not reflect reality, with Filipinos still favoring rice over other staple carbohydrates.

Duterte signs rice tariffication bill

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law the rice tariffication bill on the last possible day he could have signed or vetoed the measure, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III told reporters, as confirmed by television reports.

ALI raises 2019 capex budget to P130 billion

AYALA Land Inc (ALI) said that it set a capital expediture (capex) budget of P130 billion this year, up from P110.1 billion a year earlier with the largest portion of the capex funding its residential projects.

RHI to seek expansion opportunities after PCC rejects deal

ROXAS Holdings Inc (RHI) said that it will continue to pursue further options to expand its operations in Batangas and Negros after the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) rejected the proposed sale of its Nasugbu sugar mill to Universal Robina Corp, (URC).

DA’s Piñol warns against heavy dependence on rice imports

AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol warned against heavy reliance on imported rice amid plans to liberalize imports and doubled down on his earlier support for rice self-sufficiency.

Output of industrial crops mostly higher in fourth quarter

PRODUCTION of abaca, coconut, coffee, rubber, and tobacco increased while sugarcane production decreased during the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Time needed to adjust to rice tariffication — IRRI

TIME is needed to prepare rice farmers for the adjustment to heightened competition to be brought by rice tariffication, the head of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.

Fruit output mainly higher in fourth quarter led by banana, mango...

BANANA, mango and pineapple production rose in the fourth quarter of 2018, while calamansi production declined during the period, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday.

Singapore delegation inspecting PHL farms

SINGAPORE’s Agriculture and Veterinary Agency (AVA) has begun its 10-day on-site inspection of farms in the Philippines which it might tap to supply the small island republic with vegetables, fruit, hogs, poultry and eggs, agriculture officials said.

Sugar industry lobbying for revival of Philsucor

THE sugar industry is batting for the revival of the Philippine Sugar Corp. (Philsucor), a government company abolished by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last year.

Sugar production estimate cut amid reduced tonnage, rising yields

THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) reduced its estimate for sugar production for the crop year 2018-2019 to 2.079 million metric tons (MMT) from 2.225 MMT previously, with gross tonnage declining while favorable weather produced higher yields.

PHL sweet potato farmers need access to more tech

THE International Potato Center (CIP) said the sweet potato industry in the Philippines is not pushing out processing technology to the farm level and in many cases has insufficient linkages between the producers and markets.

DA signals Palace may intervene to shield farmers from tariff bill

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) indicated that Malacañang will be open to changes to the rice tariffication bill that will benefit rice farmers in the country, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said.

Israeli firm to submit P44-billion solar irrigation proposal

ISRAELI agro-industrial firm LR Group is set to submit a P44 billion proposal to the Philippine government this month to fund the deployment of 6,200 Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS).

Imports of Japanese pork banned as more cases of African Swine...

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to ban pork imports from Japan due to the discovery there of African Swine Fever (ASF), Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Sunday.

DOTr clarifies liquid ban on MRT

THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) has clarified what items are exempt from the liquid ban it has imposed on the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT3), allowing some liquid products provided these have clearances from security officers and police assigned at the train stations.

Rice stocks climb at start of 2019

THE COUNTRY’S rice stocks totalled 2.55 million metric tons (MT) as of Jan. 1, up by 11.40% from the previous year’s level of 2.29 million MT, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Friday.

DA eyes export of coconut oil, bananas, shrimps to Russia

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) aims to tap the unexplored markets of Russia for possible export of coconut oil, banana and shrimps, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Friday.

More Manila Bay establishments cited for violations

MORE establishments near Manila Bay have been cited for violations of pollution laws, according to authorities.

ATI eyes new projects

ASIAN Terminal Inc (ATI) on Friday said it is planning to launch new projects such as off-dock container yards and empty container depots, as it seeks to expand beyond its port operations in Batangas and Manila.

PMFTC inks leaf supply deal with Universal

UNIVERSAL Corp. on Thursday said its subsidiary is increasing sales of leaf tobaccos in the Philippines as it signed a new leaf supply agreement with Philip Morris International Management SA (PMIMSA).

Rice farmers see tariffication law benefiting big business

THE Provincial Farmers’ Action Council (PFAC) of Bulacan said that the reduced role of the National Food Authority (NFA) when rice tariffication is implemented is detrimental to small farmers and will favor big business.

US provides technical assistance grant for broadband

THE US EMBASSY in Manila, through the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), awarded P23.8 million in grant money to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to fund technical assistance in implementing the National Broadband Network Project.

Researcher touts mine site rehab using microbes

THE National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) proposed on Thursday to rehabilitate degraded mining sites by deploying microbes into the soil, a process called bioremediation.

DENR enlists top businessmen for river rehabilitation projects

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is in discussions with businessmen Ramon S. Ang and Lucio C. Tan, Sr. for possible cooperation in river clean-ups around Metro Manila to support the government’s Manila Bay rehabilitation program.

DA reminds airline passengers not to import produce

THE Department of Agriculture warned air travelers not to violate quarantine rules against the import of fresh fruit, plants and meat, citing the threat to the hog and banana industries in particular.

Rice output seen hitting 20 million metric tons in 2019

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is expecting a rebound in rice production this year, projecting a harvest of 20 million metric tons (MT), Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said.

Palay average price down by 0.30% in mid-January

PALAY average farmgate price went down by 0.30% to P19.79 per kilogram in the third week of January from P19.85 per kg in the second week, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Monday.

Agri dep’t seeking to tap drones for disaster damage validation

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is seeking to establish a drone technology center with the help of universities, in order to map disaster-prone areas and facilitate faster field validation of damage caused to agriculture by calamities.

PHL inks MoU with Papua New Guinea on fisheries ventures

THE Philippines’ Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Independent State of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) National Fisheries Authority (NFA) to develop stronger fisheries ties between the two countries.

DENR creates four field offices for Metro Manila

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Thursday that it created four City Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) in Metro Manila to strengthen the implementation of environmental laws in the region.

SRA asserts legal authority to oversee sugar importation

THE Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) has filed a resolution asserting its legal authority to regulate sugar imports amid proposals to liberalize the import rules governing the commodity modeled after rice tariffication.

DoF launches sewage treatment plant amid Manila Bay cleanup

THE Department of Finance (DoF) said that its office along Roxas Boulevard in Manila has commissioned and launched a P2.8 million state-of-the-art sewage treatment facility, in line with the government’s efforts to rehabilitate the Manila Bay.

Long-term measures needed to save tawilis: NGO

ENVIRONMENT protection group Oceana Philippines is urging the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to implement a temporary ban on fishing for tawilis in Taal Lake after the species was classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

NFA says over half of rice import orders have arrived as...

THE National Food Authority (NFA) said 258,854.80 metric tons (MT) or about 53.77% of the 500,000 MT of rice contracted for import has arrived in the Philippines as of Jan. 29.

East-West Seed tops 2019 SSEA index

East-West Seed topped the 2019 South and Southeast Asia (SSEA) Seed Index, which evaluates seed companies in terms of their accessibility, especially to small farmers.

Bukidnon officials express opposition to plans to import sugar more liberally

OFFICIALS from Bukidnon province filed a resolution urging the national government not to liberalize the sugar industry, noting that the province accounts for 72% of the land planted to sugar in Mindanao and 75% of the island’s output production.

Only a minority of farmers prefer hybrid rice seed

MOST rice farmers in the Philippines still prefer inbred seed instead of hybrid varieties despite the latter’s higher yields, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said.

Soybean R&D program hoping to boost yields

THE Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) said it launched a soybean research and development (R&D) program with the aim of increasing farmers’ incomes by boosting production and lowering post-harvest losses.

PHilMech to launch three demonstration centers

THREE technology demonstration centers will be set up in Camarines Sur, Leyte and Davao this year by the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech).