LGU to boost coffee production in La Trinidad Benguet

admin   •   May 17, 2017   •   6385

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET — La Trinidad Benguet is known as the primary producer and supplier of strawberries, flowers and vegetables.

But the local government also wants for the province to be known as a coffee producer is the primary supplier of Arabica coffee in the country.

“What we produce is the premium Arabica coffee and the price…. Almost twice the price of Robusta. Robusta is produced in hot places. We are very thankful that we are endowed with high elevation. Arabica thrives in elevated areas,” DTI Regional Director Myrna Pablo said.

There are many farm lands in Cordillera where more coffee can be grown.

It takes about one year before coffee is harvested so farmers do not grow coffee. La Trinidad Mayor Romea Salda said they are ready to support anyone who wants to venture into coffee farming.

“Ngayon na dumating yung mga market natin and some line agencies are very willing to help yung mga coffee farmers natin, we will be supporting them,” Mayor Salda said. (Now our market just arrived and some line agencies are very willing help our coffee farmers. We will be supporting them.)

Coffee farmers believe that hard work and perseverance are needed to meet the demands and be competitive in the coffee industry.

“Kase yung kape once a year lang yung harvest kaya talagang tiyaga lang ang pagtatanim ng kape,” Cristy Carame, a coffee farmer said. (Coffee harvest is just once a year. Patience is needed in growing coffee.)

“Basta yung may lupa silang pwedeng pagtaniman ng Arabica coffee magtanim tayo kase yung coffee ay lifetime,” Joseph Carlos, a coffee farmer said. (As long as there is available land to plant Arabica coffee on, just plant, because coffee is a lifetime [endeavor].) — Marvin Calas | UNTV News & Rescue

Higit na 300,000 manggagawa naka-depende sa pagbubukas ng mga sinehan—DTI

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Kinakailangan nang maibalik ang operasyon ng mga sinehan dahil dito nakasalalay ang kabuhayan ng halos 300,000 mga manggagawa, ayon sa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Ayon sa Consumer Protection Group ng DTI na si Usec.Ruth Castelo, maraming manggagawa sa sinehan ang halos isang taon nang nahinto sa pagtratrabaho kayat umaasa ang nga ito na muli na silang makababalik sa kanilang hanapbuhay.

“Recommendation ng NEDA and the DTI Secretary Lopez na i-allow na para makabalik na sa trabaho yung mga tao ng income, makagenerate sila ng income at makasuporta doon sa mga pamilya nila,” aniya.

Nag-inspeksyon din ang DTI noong Miyerkules (ika-16 ng Pebrero) sa ilang mga sinehan upang makita ang kanilang paghahanda sakaling mag-umpisa na muli ang kanilang operasyon.

Bagaman wala pang guidelines na inilalabas ang national government, ginagawan na ng paraan ng mga mall operator na magkaroon nang maayos na bentilasyon sa loob ng mga sinehan.

Paliwanag pa ng nga ito, bago pa ang pandemya ay sinisuguro na nila na malinis at tama ang sirkulasyon ng hangin dito.

“Two hours prior to the cinema opening we started operating our fresh air and exhaust system to ensure na fresh ang air natin sa loob ng cinema then while you are watching there are six air exchange happening in the cinema. So ibig sabihin kahit nakaupo ka lang nagpapalit ang hanging sa loob ng 6 na beses sa isang oras,” ayon kay Gerson Dela Cruz, Senior Engineer Facilities Management ng Ayala Malls.

Mahigpit na ring ipagbabawal ang pagkain sa loob ng mga sinehan upang maiwasan ang posibleng hawaan ng COVID-19.

“So that all facemasks must be worn all the time while inside the cinema and of course we’re waiting for the additional guidelines, safety guidelines that will come out before we open the cinemas required by the LGUs and IATF,” ayon naman kay Bomboy Lim, ang General Manager ng Robinsons Movie World.

Sa ngayon ay hinihintay pa rin ang guidelines na babalangkasin ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)  na dapat masunod sa mga enclosed na establisyimento gaya ng mga sinehan.

Pero nauna na ring sinabi ng IATF na bukod sa guidelines, kinakailangan din na aprubado ng mga alkalde na nakakasakop sa kanilang mga lugar ang muling pagbubukas ng mga sinehan at arcade.

Una nang sinabi ni Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso na magkakaloob sila ng libreng swab test sa mga cinema worker at hindi niya papayagan na magbukas ito hangga’t hindi sumasailalim sa pagsusuri ang mga manggagawa nito.

“Pinag-aaralan pa namin kasi while it is true that we wanted to open businesses, are they ready to come up with a plan yung katulad ng cinema o yung mga nabanggit? Hindi naman po pwede na bibiglain natin. Kailangan responsable pa rin,” aniya.

DTI’s SB Corp. approves over 20,000 loans for small businesses

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 21,695 loan applications under the Bayanihan COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises (CARES) program for small enterprises have been approved by the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) as of February 9, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

SB Corp. is the financing arm of DTI. Its CARES program seeks to provide micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) with urgent relief needed to restart their businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our efforts to provide relief and assistance to MSMEs through the CARES program are further strengthened, especially as we work towards the sustainable and inclusive recovery of our nation,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“Over 20,000 MSMEs have already benefitted from this loan portfolio, which has helped businesses survive from permanent closure, recover from the effects of the pandemic, save or even create more jobs, and provide income to millions of Filipinos and their families,” he added.

Applications approved are equivalent to a loan amount of P2.35 billion, according to SB Corp. President and CEO Ma. Luna Cacanando.

Under the Republic Act No. 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act” (Bayanihan 2), financial support amounting to P10 billion has been allotted to the CARES program to help mitigate the adverse impact of the pandemic on MSMEs.

Lopez said the application process for CARES program have been simplified “to ensure that more businesses are able to avail of this service.”

The loan application and evaluation process, as well as the releasing process, have also been shifted online to reduce physical contact amid the pandemic.

He said the SB Corp. completes its evaluation of loan requests within seven working days, even faster if the documents are complete.

“Submission of documents such as BIR tax return can fast-track approval,” he said.

“There is currently no backlog on its loan evaluation work contrary to what other reports say. We are even promoting the program to more MSMEs applicants,” he added.

The trade chief emphasized that MSMEs are a key pillar of the country’s economy, which contribute 35.7% to GDP, employ 62.5% of the labor force, and constitute 99.5% of all business establishments in the country.

Based on a nationwide survey of over 3,000 MSMEs conducted by DTI, around 38% were forced to close down during the height of lockdown in April to June last year, and this number went down to 5% towards yearend 2020, as more sectors were gradually reopening. 

“Loans from the Bayanihan CARES Program are interest-free, collateral-free, and are available to MSMEs, cooperatives, hospitals, and tourism businesses that have been in operation for at least one year,” Lopez said.

“Repatriated or returning OFWs who wish to engage in start-up business may also apply for a loan under the program after some trainings,” he added.

Loan terms can be up to four years, including a grace period of up to 12 months, giving MSMEs enough breathing space for the business to recover, and time to pivot and innovate their business models.  

“We encourage all MSMEs across the country in all regions to consider taking the step in reopening or reconfiguring your respective businesses. The features of the Bayanihan CARES loan are intended to allow entrepreneurs to restart their businesses with ample elbow room.  There is no need to worry about loan repayments for one year. There is also no need to worry about escalating financing costs,” Lopez said.

Interested applicants may submit their loan requests through www.BayanihanCARES.ph or contact the CARES Hotline at 8651-3333, and at 1-800-10-651-3333 (nationwide toll-free) for inquiries.

DILG tells LGUs: Ensure strict implementation of Duterte order on pork, chicken price cap

Robie de Guzman   •   February 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday directed local government units in Metro Manila to ensure that the 60-day price ceiling on pork and chicken will be strictly imposed within their jurisdictions.

The DILG issued the directive after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 124 putting a threshold on the prices of pork and chicken in Metro Manila within 60 days. After the period lapses, the Department of Agriculture has the option of extending its effectivity.

The order seeks to curb the soaring prices of pork and chicken products across the region due to the impact of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

DILG officer-in-charge, Undersecretary Bernardo Florece said EO 124 will address the plight of the consumers as the DILG has been flooded with reports from the public complaining about the excessive pork and chicken prices in markets.

“Umaaray na ang ating mga kababayan sa taas ng presyo ng mga bilihin partikular ang baboy at manok and we have to act on their complaints. We therefore direct our Metro Manila Mayors to comply with EO 124 signed by the President and ensure that prices of pork and chicken are regulated in their localities,” Florece said in a statement.

“Many have lost their jobs and are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, hence, we owe it to them to make their lives easier by ensuring that the cost of basic commodities does not burden them any further,” he added.

Since the order only covers within Metro Manila, Florece also urged LGUs outside of NCR to activate their Local Price Coordinating Council (LPCC) to ensure that prices of commodities sold in public and private markets down to talipapas in barangays are in check and valued accordingly.

Under DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2018-128, LPCC shall address or forestall and monitor exorbitant, excessive, and unreasonable price increases within their jurisdiction.

It may also conduct inspections in private and public markets; deputize barangay officials to monitor price hikes in communities, and coordinate with other appropriate agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry to prevent unwarranted price increases.

The DILG warned of slapping charges against those who will violate the price cap.

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