NegOr Guv affirms commitment to promote sustainable fisheries

By Roi Lomotan


Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, University of Rhode Island President Dr. David Dooley, and Silliman University President Dr. Betty McCann (seated, l-r) take a group photo with the implementers of Fish Right Program and their partners in the province after Gov. Degamo signed the commitment on sustainable fisheries in a ceremony held on March 5, 2019, at Silliman University.(PIA7-NegOr)


Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo upheld the provincial government’s mandate to conserve and protect the province’s fishery resources by signing the commitment on sustainable fisheries in a simple ceremony held at Silliman University (SU) recently.

The signing of the document was the highlight of the fellowship activity hosted by the implementers of Fish Right (FR) Program in SU for its partners in Negros Oriental and counterparts in University of Rhode Island in the U.S.A.

SU President Dr. Betty McCann, University of Rhode Island (URI) President David Dooley, URI Coastal Resources Center Director JP Walsh, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Regional Governor for Central Visayas Ed Du, Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Francisco Martinez, and representatives of agencies involved in the implementation of FR program witnessed Gov. Degamo sign the said document.

Gov. Degamo signed the document in behalf of the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental after the Sangguniang Panglalawigan passed a resolution authorizing him to represent the provincial government in this endeavor.

In his short message, Gov. Degamo thanked the U.S. Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for choosing Negros Oriental as one of the three sites for the implementation of FR program.

Gov. Degamo underscored that project will benefit those people residing in coastal communities especially those who rely on fishing as their source of income and livelihood.

Moreover, he said, the FR project will be an opportunity for agencies to synergize their efforts towards a sustainable fish harvest.

“I will do what is necessary within my power and within my capability as provincial governor to make sure this project will be a success,” Gov. Degamo said.

The provincial government of Negros Oriental has projects regarding the conservation and protection of our seas through the Environment and Natural Resources Division under my office,” he added.

FR Principal Investigator Dr. Ben Malayang III disclosed the document was supposed to be signed by the governors of the two Negros provinces as affirmation of their commitment to promote sustainable fishery practices in Negros Island.

Negros Occidental Governor Alfred Marañon was not present during the activity.

Dr. Malayang still thinks this is a positive step to ensure there is enough fish supply for the people of Negros.

“It’s a good way of telling everybody that this whole program, initiatives in Negros Island will be led and involves the two governors,” Dr. Malayang remarked.

The FR program is an initiative between the Philippine and U.S. Governments to increase fish production and improve management of fisheries and coastal resources.

It is implemented in three sites namely, the Visayan Sea, Calamianes Group of Islands, and Negros Island.

Part of its objectives is to improve the income of fisherfolks and the well-being of people in terms of food and protein security and enhance the people’s ability to respond and manage climate change -related risks and threats to our fishery ecosystems.

“We use multi-sector partnerships and coalition building as our pedagogy for exhibiting our own objective of sustainable fisheries by way of, among others, righting the scale of our fishing efforts to within the carrying capacity of our fishery, hence, the term fish right,” Dr. Malayang explained.

“We believe, especially in Silliman and in greater Negros community that there is ethical and moral dimension of meeting to respect the rights of our fishes to continue and sustain their population and their species. It is a moral obligation,” he added.

On the other hand, URI President David Dooley looks forward to a strong partnership between SU, Provincial Government of Negros Oriental, and the agencies involved in the FR project in Negros Oriental.

He cited in his speech the need to protect and properly manage the country’s resources for the benefit of the future generations.

URI is SU’s counterpart in implementing the FR Program.


2018 McLuhan fellow highlights role of journalists during crises

By Roi Lomotan


JaffCanoy2 (2)
Broadcast journalist and 2018 Marshall McLuhan Fellow Jeff Canoy sharing his experience in covering the Marawi siege. He highlighted the role of journalists in covering crises and conflict situations during the Marshall McLuhan Forum on Responsible Media held Feb. 15, 2019 at Silliman University, Dumaguete City. (PIA7-Negros Oriental)


Broadcast journalist and 2018 Marshall McLuhan Awardee Jeff Canoy highlighted the significant role of journalists in covering crises and conflict situations in a forum with Mass Communication students held at Silliman University recently.

Canoy told his audience that in conflict situations like the Marawi crisis, journalists play the important role of watchdogs, making sure that every action is in accordance with human rights standards.

He noted that a conflict zone can be a venue for human rights abuse.

“We need to maintain na sige iha-highlight namin ang mga katapangan but tandaan niyo we’re here, nagbabantay kami to make sure what you’re doing is still respectful of human rights (While we are highlighting the stories of valor, we are also here to make sure that what they’re doing is still respectful of human rights),” Canoy said.

The broadcast journalist delivered a talk on “Reporting from the Margins: The role of journalism in covering crises and conflict situations” wherein he shared his experience, gaps, and challenges he encountered and the best practices in covering conflict situations like the Marawi siege.

Aside from raising awareness on the conflict and reporting verified information from the ground, another important role of a journalist that Canoy pointed out is to provide context on why the war is happening and change public perceptions.

“Kapag may ganitong conflict (If there’s a conflict like this), the big takeaway of many people is that this is a war of religions. It is not. It is a work of a terrorist group. Their ideology is to sow terror,” he said.

He added that journalists also play a crucial role in influencing humanitarian response in times of conflict.

Canoy recalled that the battle in Marawi was different because it is the first time that the Philippine military as well as the Philippine media faced a coverage involving urban warfare.

“This is the first time where a war was fought inside a city and there was no playbook on how to cover this and even for the military on how to handle this,” he added.

One of the challenges they had to face during that time is “bang-bang” journalism.

“Bang-bang” journalism, Canoy said, is a kind of journalism that reports only on the incidents of explosion, number of dead, and stories about the battle itself.

Canoy elaborated that journalists tend to chase after the videos and stories related to the said aspects of war.

He said it is important to go beyond “bang-bang” journalism because conflict stories are not just about gunfights, explosions, and body counts as there are other aspects of the conflict that can be reported.

Canoy also pointed out that “people stories” should be highlighted such as the situation in evacuation centers since life does not stop just because there is a war.

He showed clips from the television documentary “’Di Ka Pasisiil (Never shall be conquered)” which he did with fellow broadcast journalist Chiara Zambrano, showing ootages of Marawi during the warfare and interviews with soldiers who fought the war.

“When we did the story, we did not expect iyong toll of the warfare sa mga soldier na ganoon na katindi. It also gives a new dimension. This is why it’s very important to report from the ground because we can always report figures to you… Pero dito nakikita mo iyong kwento ng mga bawat bilang na iyon (When we did the story, we did not expect its toll on the soldiers would be that intense. It also gives a new dimension. That is why it’s very important to report from the ground because we can always report figures to you but here you will see the story behind the numbers),” Canoy shared.

He urged students to keep following stories about Marawi City.

“The story of Marawi is far from over. I hope you continue to follow the story of Marawi because it is very important that we know. Malayo man sa atin sila, at least alam natin ang mga pinagdadaanan ng mga kapwa natin Filipino (We may be far from them but at least we are aware of what they are going through),” he said.

The forum is part of the Marshall McLuhan Forum Series on Responsible Media organized by the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines and held in different universities across the country.

Students who attended the forum are from Silliman University, Negros Oriental State University, Foundation University, and St. Paul University.

The McLuhan award is given by the embassy to journalists who embodied outstanding qualities in the field of investigative reporting.

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.