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Mines bureau names 49 Bicol towns as landslide-prone areas

By Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 22:21:00 06/07/2010

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) on Monday identified some 49 towns in the Bicol Region as landslide-prone areas and warned residents in these areas to prepare and evacuate to safer ground when heavy rains and typhoons threaten.

This as the state weather bureau said that the development of a series of low pressure areas over the past days, which generated the southwesterly winds, has signaled the onset of the rainy season on the first week of June.

Reynaldo Juan, MGB-Bicol regional director, reiterated his warning to residents on the dangers posed to their lives and properties once floods and landslide hit these places.

Juan said places at high risk to landslide are eight towns and a city in Albay, eight towns in Camarines Norte, 12 in Camarines Sur, eight in Catanduanes, five in Masbate and seven in Sorsogon.

Juan said the residents of the following municipalities should be prepared and evacuate to safer grounds when continuous rain in their localities occurs: Bacacay, Libon, Malilipot, Malinao, Manito, Rapu-Rapu, Sto. Domingo, Tiwi and Ligao in Albay; Basud, Capalonga, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, and Sta. Elena in Camarines Norte;

Buhi, Caramoan, Garchitorena, Goa, Lagonoy, Libmanan, Lupi, Pasacao, Presentacion, Sagnay, Sipocot and Tinambac in Camarines Sur; Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, Panganiban, and San Andres in Catanduanes; Aroroy, Baleno, Mandaon, Milagros, and Mobo in Masbate; and Bulan, Irosin, Juban, Magallanes, Matnog, Sta. Magdalena and Sorsogon City in Sorsogon.

He clarified, however, that residents of other municipalities not named are encouraged to observe the necessary precaution and preparation to evacuate to safer grounds when their area show signs of an impending landslide or has a history of landslide.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that as of 2 a.m. Monday, a low pressure area was spotted at 760 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes.

Eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon experienced mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms while the rest of the country had partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms, mostly in the afternoon or evening.

The series of low pressure systems, also known as heat lows, in the southern part of mainland Asia that linked with the low pressure area near Northern Luzon has generated and sustained the southwesterly winds in the country which brought rains for several days especially in the western section of the country, said the Pagasa.

It added the onset of the wet season in areas under the type 1 climate covers the western parts of Luzon and Visayas.

The rainy season which is associated with the southwest monsoon is expected to last until the end of September. However, monsoon breaks or periods of no rain for a few weeks are expected during the season, clarified Pagasa in its bulletin issued Monday.
With the increasing probability of the occurrence of La Niña beginning on the third quarter of this year that can result to above normal rainfall, residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes were advised to take precautionary measures against possible flash floods and landslides during periods of heavy rains.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Business for OFW’s Returning to the Philippines

Identifying Small Business
Opportunities in the Philippines

Identify small business opportunities in the Philippines now and get started! Don’t wait until your contract abroad expires or until you retire before you start your own business.

You have the advantage of being gainfully employed as an Overseas Filipino.
Venture into a business using your specialized skill/knowledge, experience and capital that you gained from working and living abroad.

The process of identifying small business opportunities and choosing the number one opportunity should help you proceed.

Use these three simple steps to help you move forward.

Step 1: Create a list of potential small business opportunities in the Philippines and choose your top three options.

Write down ideas as they hit you – do not edit your thought. Make your list as ideas flow. Look for possibilities when reading the newspaper, or watching a talk show on TV, or browsing the Internet.

Take your time building this list, and then make a short list of three business opportunities. Choose the top three that you love the most. Get the three ideas that you are passionate about and that you think would appeal to customers.

Do not limit your choices to offline business ideas. The Web has provided a very good chance to set up a business and succeed online, so include online business ideas as well. Click here to find how you can take advantage of the way people use the internet for an online business.

Step 2: Assess and choose your number one from the list.
There is no magic formula in choosing the best small business opportunity that will succeed. Some guidelines can help, but use your own judgment in making a final decision.

  • Consider “profitability”. Demand and supply affects profitability. Demand is the desire of people to possess or make use of your product or service while supply is the amount of competition you face for your chosen business idea.
  • Reflect on your knowledge and passion. A business that you know best or are willing to learn and excites you the most would stand out. Malcolm Forbes once said, “The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.”
  • Look for a business idea that has a “fair” return on investment. Decide what is “fair” to you. It is ok to have a business and not make money if you do it as a hobby. But why not earn from your hobby as well?
Step 3: Consider franchising.

Your number one choice may be among the small business opportunities in the Philippines under franchising.

Franchising is a good option. You will enjoy the popularity and support of the franchiser and other franchise holders. The franchiser will guide you in running the business as you start out.

Check several franchisers of the same product or service. Visit their offices and attend product or service presentations to help you decide which is the best franchise for your business. Some may have special offers for Overseas Filipinos.

Finding the right franchiser to work with is just a part of running a successful business. What matters is your passion and interest to what you will be doing. Go back to Step 1 as needed to find the right business for you.

Go through these steps in identifying small business opportunities in the Philippines. The right business opportunity may be just under your nose…

Some Ideas for Small Business Opportunities in the Philippines

Learning how to invest in real estate with these 4 techniques can provide Overseas Filipino Workers extra income. Borrow private money and tell lenders that this is one of the safest ways to invest money.

Setting up an Internet cafe business offers huge potential for Overseas Filipinos. Start making your internet cafe business plan now before coming home for good to the Philippines.

Internet cafe business has a huge potential in the Philippines. This internet cafe business plan and franchise sets up the business right for OFWs and Overseas Filipinos.




Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Invest in Sorsogon, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner, OFW Livelihood Training,

Alternative Energy


Sun Shines on Solar Energy FutureThe chances of producing solar power as a more commercially viable source of alternative energy seem brighter now with the positive research results pioneered by University of Illinois professors. The Department of Energy and National Science Foundation-funded team led by Professors John Rogers, and Xiuling Li, has been exploring ways to find more optimal […]
Posted in: Future EnergyPhotoVoltaicsSolar Power

Renewable Energy From the Deep Ocean

Alternative Energy

Source: http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/

Filed under: Alternative Energy, New Invention, Sorsogon News Updates,

Return to botanical pesticides, farmers urged

By Danny O. Calleja/PIA

Castilla, Sorsogon (7 June) — Sorsogon Vice Governor Renato Laurinaria has urged farmers in the province to start participating in a nationwide drive against the extensive use of harmful agricultural chemicals particularly pesticides by way of returning to botanical pesticides.

“Let’s go back to the basics of using botanical pesticides in our farms and save lives while earning more profits from our crops,” Laurinaria told dozens of farmers from all over the province who visited his agro-tourism farm here over the weekend.

The two-hectare farm which the vice-governor started five years ago boasts of several species of high-yielding fruit trees, root crops, vegetables and other high value crops grown and maintained without the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides.

“I go natural and organic, and you see, without worrying about chemical farm inputs that are poisonous yet very expensive, my harvest gives me more profit than those who rely on chemicals,” he said.

It is a common knowledge that modern agriculture produces high yields but is often not sustainable. Expensive farm chemicals eat into profit. Pesticides upset the natural balance between predators and pests and chemicals poison groundwater and rivers.

He cited a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) saying every year, hundreds of thousands of people are killed due to accidental poisoning by agricultural chemicals.

“Three people are poisoned by pesticides every minute around the world and all in all, about 10,000 die annually due to pesticides,” the WHO report according to Laurinaria.

The AgribusinessWeek in its latest publication reports said that 62 percent of pesticides sold in the Philippines are insecticides. Of these, 46 percent are applied to rice and 20 percent to vegetables. Insecticides had become one of the major expenses of farmers that account for about 40 percent of total production cost.

Experts say people who are eating chemical-laced vegetables are risking their lives since chemicals are not always dissipated. Generally, chemicals are accumulated in the human body.

The lack of regulation in most developing countries like the Philippines often accounts for the importation of banned pesticides. In some instances, farmers try to apply untested chemicals which they think could drive away insects and pest. In 1992, the illegal use of cyanide compounds by cabbage farmers in the Cordillera region provoked a public outcry.

In time, the use of botanical pesticides again gains wider acceptance among farmers. Botanical pesticides are derived from plants which have been shown to have insecticidal properties. Used widely until the 1940s, these natural pesticides were displaced by modern synthetic pesticides that at that time seemed cheaper, easier, and longer lasting.

The increasing awareness of the dangers posed by chemical pesticides to human health is prompting many Filipino farmers to use botanical formulations that they themselves are preparing, the AgribusinessWeek said.

Eric Vinje of Planet Natural in an article said “natural pest controls like the botanicals are safer to the user and the environment because they break down into harmless compounds within hours or days in the presence of sunlight.”

They are also very close chemically to those plants from which they are derived, so they are easily decomposed by a variety of microbes common in most soils, Vinje added.

Many plants have insecticidal properties. Extracts of these plants can be sprayed on the crop to either kill or repel insects. Take the case of atis, which is best used against aphids, ants, and other crawling insects. The seed of the fruit is crushed and mixed with water. The solution is sprayed against target pests, according to Laurinaria.

Manzanilla, on the other hand, he said drives away a wide range of insects. To use it as a pesticide, dried flowers are finely chopped and mixed with fine clay loam and water at the rate of six to seven tablespoons of dried flowers per gallon of water. The mixture is sprayed on infested plant parts.

Tubli, a wild vine, has an ancient reputation as a botanical pesticide. Ethnic groups in the Philippines have long been using it to poison unwanted fish. In Brazilian rivers, it is used to eliminate the deadly piranha.

Tubli’s insecticidal properties were discovered in 1848, when the plant was first used against the nutmeg caterpillar. It was patented for use as an insecticide in England during the late 19th century, and American farmers started using it in 1911.

Applied as a powder or spray, tubli is toxic to a wide range of insect pests-aphids, beetles, borers, the diamondback moth, fruit flies, thrips, cabbage worms, fleas, flea beetles, lice, loopers, mites, mosquitoes, psyllids, and slugs. It is recommended for application on bush and vine crops, too, Laurinaria said.

Another excellent botanical pesticide is kakawate. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that kakawate leaves contain coumarin, which can be converted into an anticoagulant “discoumerol” found to be an efficient rat killer.

“Anticoagulants are an efficient natural method of pest control because they reduce the protein prothrombin, a clotting agent secreted in the liver, and eventually cause death from internal bleeding,” the FAO noted.

Tests have shown that while the toxin produced by kakawate does not act rapidly, repeated doses lead to fatal hemorrhaging within a few days. “Unlike many other poisons, anticoagulants do not produce bait shyness, which rodents tend to acquire as soon as the first victims of other poisons are taken,” the FAO said.

Aside from rodents, kakawate also acts potently on insects. In many countries, its leaves are placed in chicken runs, or left to soak in hot water and used to eliminate fleas and lice on domestic animals.

In Ilocos region, a study made by the Mariano Marcos State University found out that kakawate leaves can be used to control diseases that attack garlic like purple blotch and bulb rot. To prepare the concoction, the leaves are pounded using mortar and pestle.

After that, one liter of water is added to a kilogram of pounded kakawate leaves. The mixture is filtered and sprayed to the plants infested by pests.

In the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, organic rice farmers sprayed their crops with fermented leaves and twigs of kakawate and neem trees to control pests and diseases. Some farmers found it convenient and effective, also, to just allow the kakawate leaves to drift to their farm when they irrigate.

In Baguio, a botanical pesticide prepared from kakawate leaves and other herbals are used against pests that attack cabbage and broccoli like cabbage butterflies, diamondback moths, leafminers, and inchwoitits.

Many other plants can also be used to prepare extracts with pesticidal properties. A mixture of garlic, onion, marigold, and hot pepper can annihilate a wide range of insect pests.

To prepare the concoction, the following are boiled in water for 10 minutes: three to four garlic gloves, two handfuls of marigold leaves, two to three onion bulbs and two to three small hot peppers.

It is left to cool before diluting the mixture with water four to five times the quantity of the botanical materials. Stir thoroughly and spray on infested parts. The mixture is best used within two days.

“Botanical pesticides are one answer to the pest problem in developing countries,” says Gaby Stoll, a German agrobiologist and author of Natural Crop Protection. However, she sounds a word of warning: Not all botanicals are risk-free. “Some are as dangerous as chemical pesticides,” she warns.

But Stoll says the move from chemical to botanical pesticides is “an important step in the search for a balanced, self-regulating agricultural system.”

Another advantage of botanical products is that they are not very persistent. Most of them will break down quickly under influence of high temperature or sunshine. Therefore, they don’t have a long lasting contaminating effect on the environment. (PNA Bicol/CBD)

Filed under: Agriculture, Encouragement, People who inspired Us, Sorsogon News Updates,

Marine sponge drug extends breast cancer survival

CHICAGO (AFP) – – A new agent derived from a marine sponge can extend the survival rates of women with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer who already received extensive standard therapy, a new study unveiled Sunday found.

The synthetic component called eribulin mesylate mimics a component found naturally in sponges and can prevent cell division, which causes cells to self-destruct, said study authors who presented their findings at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.

In a randomized international trial, British researchers assessed the survival rates of 762 patients, treated either with eribulin or another therapy, almost always chemotherapy, and found the new therapy extended median overall survival by about 2.5 months.

“Until now, there hasn’t been a standard treatment for women with such advanced breast cancer. For those who have already received all of the recognized treatments, these are promising results,” said lead study author Christopher Twelves.

“These findings may establish eribulin as a new, effective option for women with heavily pre-treated metastatic breast cancer,” said Twelves, head of the Clinical Cancer Research Groups at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine in Britain.

Filed under: Health Tips, Medicine, New Ideas,

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