Silliman University opens food lab to MSMEs in NegOr

By Roi Lomotan

Representatives of different sectors take a look at the food processing equipment which will be used in the SUNDD-DOST Food Laboratory. The food laboratory located at Silliman University – Nutrition and Dietetics Department (SUNDD) Building in Dumaguete City was formally opened on September 27, 2018. This is a joint project between SUNDD and the Department of Science and Technology which aims to assist MSMEs engaged in food business in their product development. (ral/PIA7-NegOr)

The Silliman University – Nutrition and Dietetics Department (SUNDD) opened its food laboratory to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise  (MSMES) engaged in food industry who seek assistance in improving and developing their products in Negros Oriental.

On Sept. 27, SUNDD together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Negros Oriental officially launched the SUNND- DOST Food Laboratory located inside the university.

The event was attended by university officials led by SU President Dr. Betty Cernol-McCann, DOST-7 Assistant Regional Director Engr. Jesus Zamora, DOST-Negros Oriental team headed by Provincial Director Engr. Gilbert Arbon, and local partners of DOST.

The food laboratory is equipped with pulverizer, blender or grinder, moisture analyzer, vacuum sealer, band sealer, dryer, refractometer, water activity meter, and PH meter.

The food laboratory aims to support the local food processing industry including community-based livelihood groups with enterprise development services related to product strategy development and product design and development including scientific research or testing, technology training, information and advisory services, and kitchen – scale trial productions.

“We have product development, we also have product testing, we can check the shelf life of your food, the PH, the moisture of your product, and we can also help you develop your food,” said Asst. Prof. Jin Genove, chairperson of HE-ND Department of Silliman University.

“The packaging, that is in partnership with Foundation University. They have two faculties there who are trained in packaging. Whenever it’s about packaging design, we ask their help,” she added.

Genove explained that MSMEs can approach SUNDD and have a consultation meeting with them and the department will assign one faculty member who will be the director of the said project.

The food laboratory is a joint endeavour of SUNDD and DOST under the Grants in Aid (GIA) Project.

It was SUNDD who submitted the proposal to DOST and it was the department that granted the equipment estimated to cost P500,000.

SU official Dr. Michele Naranjo said the idea for the establishment of a food laboratory came after the university and DOST had initial talks on how to help food establishments in Negros Oriental.

Based on the business name registration data of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), there are more than 2,000 food processing enterprises in the province and most of them are MSMEs.

“These food processors do not do product development mainly due to lack of resources and most of their products may be described as traditional, copycat or generic. MSMEs are therefore most vulnerable to competition from foreign firms especially now where is an integrated ASEAN market,” Naranjo explained.

“With new acquisitions of equipment, it is our hope that our students, our partners, our MSMEs, our stakeholders will avail of the food technology expert services via training, consultancy, and product development program that will improve capabilities and will enable us to be more creative in developing new recipes or product formulation which you can use to start or improve your business,” She elaborated.

Meanwhile, DOST-7 Assistant Regional Director Engr. Jesus Zamora expressed his support to the project noting that the department is just “sowing seeds” and it gave his assurance that DOST will provide more assistance to the academic institution.

Zamora also urged the university to link up with its Food Innovation Centers (FIC) to for further assistance and development.

Aside from helping MSMEs, the food laboratory will also be utilized to enhance food research and development know-how of SUNND faculty and staff through training or consultancy.


‘Fish Right’ pushed to improve fish production in Negros

By Jennifer C. Tilos


SU Former President Dr. Ben Malayang takes the lead in creating local partnerships for a major project on ‘Fish Rights’ to improve or increase some percentage in fish biomass in Southern Negros. (PIA/Negros Oriental)

The dwindling supply of fish in some parts of Negros Island’s major fishing ground is now up for rehabilitation.

Silliman University (SU) together with University of Rhode Islands and University of the Philippines (UP) are putting into action the ‘Fish Right’ program to promote the right fishing and improve the struggling fishing industry in the island as well as the country’s food security.

The over population, coastal degradation, destructive fishing practices and overfishing are some of the causes cited in the decline of fish production in the region, said SU former President Dr. Ben Malayang.

Malayang explained that fishing and fish are among the fundamental resources that backstops the economy in the province and the country in general.

“Most of the people are dependent on protein from fish and many of the marginalized folks are also dependent on income from fishing and fishery trade,” said Dr. Malayang.

The project is implemented to make sure that stakeholders will do their best in ensuring fish supplies are sustained and improved.

Through improved management of fisheries, mangroves, and other coastal resources, the program is seen to increase resilience and improve livelihood among households engaged in the fisheries within the Southern Negros areas.

The key marine biodiversity areas for this project will cover from the coastline of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental to Cauayan, Negros Occidental with 13 municipalities and cities in Southern Negros.

Together, the team from Fish Right and its local partners will work toward building the resilience of fishing communities and improving the management of fisheries.

Malayang said, “The project is not only about doing things that needs to be done. It is about partnership with different key players of the fish, trade fishing and fish trade economy of the province, improving people’s value and consciousness to protect our fishery and improving our ability to protect our fish.”

Malayang hopes that through the “Fish Right” Project, people in Negros Island will no longer need to import ‘Galunggong’.

Malayang said that illegal fishing has to be addressed by those who are actually in the local communities, and be given the capacity to do not only rulemaking but also rule enforcement.

“The rule users need to be rule makers and also the rule enforcers in the sense that whenever there are national laws, [these] will be translated into what would be appropriate ways in enforcing the laws among themselves,” added Malayang.

The project employs behavior change in the community to achieve lifelong conservation results to protect the fish.

Republic Act 8550, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, prohibits unauthorized fishing or fishing without a permit in municipal waters and fishing with the use of active fishing gear in the municipal waters. Under the law, active fishing gear is banned as it also catches smaller fish.

Aside from Galunggong, other small fishes like Malangsi, Tulingan, small fishes  are the major fisheries of the municipal fishers.

Dumaguete City gets P17.5M modern fire truck

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Dumaguete City has received a ‘state of the art’ brand new Rosenbauer fire truck worth P17.5 million from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Local firefighters, during the turn over rites of the unit, expressed thanks saying this will boost their morale in the Bureau of Fire Protection and increase their firefighting capability.

The modern fire truck is described as among the “finest and is top of the line” today.

Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, who supported the acquisition of the equipment, said this is just one of his administration’s plans to modernize and improve the firefighting capability of the local firemen.

He has also provided funds for the purchase of rescue equipment, water tanker, generators and logistical support to the local fire department.

The city government will also donate a 1.5 hectare lot as the site for the new fire station in Barangay Talay in addition to the sub-station in Barangay Daro, the mayor said.

For his part, city fire marshal, Chief Inspector Manases Bautista stressed, “We are fortunate that among the hundreds of cities and municipalities in the country, Dumaguete City became one of the few recipients of the newest, modern and brand new Rosenbauer fire truck through the efforts of mayor Remollo and provincial fire marshal, Superintendent Mary Joy Candelario.”

During the demonstration, the new Rosenbauer showed that it is capable of discharging water in solid stream up to 2,400 liters per minute, which can reach to 62 meters horizontally and 24 meter horizontally or to the top of an 8-storey building.

It is capable of five simultaneous discharges of water in different nozzles and can operate in mountainous high-incline areas with its 240 horse power engine, BFP authorities said.

Mayor Remollo said that this is part of the efforts to modernize the firefighting capabilities of [our] local firemen with the support of the DILG.