Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Angara urged Phl geodetic engineers to lead remote sensing in agriculture

MANILA, July 21, 2011-“I urged the country’s geodetic engineers to take the lead in researching the utilization of remote sensing technology for our agriculture to get precise agricultural information,” Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) said, citing the research undertaken by COMSTE.

In the recent induction ceremonies of the Geodetic Engineers’ Development Foundation, Inc., Angara said that there are numerous advantages of utilizing remote sensing data to get exact information on agriculture, saying that remote sensing technology allows farmers to make the best decisions in managing their crops properly through satellite images of agricultural crops and other relevant data on agriculture.

“Our farmers and fisherfolks will be guided on appropriate land use and cropping intensity through the use of remote sensing where it will provide with detection and early warning mechanisms against pest, diseases and inclement weather, Angara said, adding that they will also be better equipped to deal with pollution, disasters and health hazards; thus, remote sensing will be instrumental in averting food crises and attaining food security in the country.

Angara added that remote sensing can also be utilized in establishing information systems that reduce the risks arising from disasters and build up society's resilience to natural catastrophes and climate change. “This forms part of what I call technology-based disaster management. I believe that over the long term, mitigation will prove to be more valuable than relief,” Angara furthered. 

“Geodetic engineering has wide applications in land surverying; point positioning, which includes triangulation with Global Position System (GPS) satellites; remote sensing technologies; and geographic information systems (GIS) where it also involves gathering physical data on the surface of the earth through the use of precision instruments, as well as the scientific and methodical processing of data into graphs, plans, maps, charts or documents,” Angara ended. (Jason de Asis)

‘Silent march’ vs RH bill set on SONA day

MANILA, July 21, 2011— A “massive” rally will be staged on Monday, in time for President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address, to oppose the passage of the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill.
Dubbed as the “State of the Soul of the Nation Address,” the gathering will also mark the 43rd anniversary of the Humanae Vitae that deals with the Church’s uncompromising stand on artificial birth control.
Organized by the Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, the rally will also bring together various religious leaders from Muslim and Christian Churches.
“It is in these momentous events that we deem it necessary to hold an activity that calls for the restoration of moral integrity in our country especially on issues that largely affect the family and the sanctity of human life,” said Eric Manalang, president of Pro-Life Philippines.
The rally will be started with a Mass to be presided by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo with healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez inside the Santuario De San Jose Parish Church in Greenhills, San Juan at 9am.
After the liturgical celebration, a “silent march” to Club Filipino, also in Greenhills, will follow and culminate with a short program to be led by various heads of the inter-faith alliance at the Corazon Aquino Kalayaan Hall.
“A consolidated statement written by both religious and political leaders addressing the need to unite Filipinos in rekindling the deteriorating status of morality in governance will be read and will be conveyed to President Aquino himself during the activities,” Manalang said. [CBCPNews]

Hacienda Luisita’s ‘bungkalan’ garners support from city govt.

MANILA, July 21, 2011—Farmer-workers in the disputed Hacienda Luisista have found a new ally, as the Council of Tarlac City has unanimously approved City Resolution No. 293, supporting the move by the farm-worker beneficiaries to till the portion of the hacienda, now owned by the Yuchengco Group of Companies, under the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.
The Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) said in a statement that the resolution was ratified and adopted by the City Council last July 14.
The Resolution urges the Supreme Court to revoke its earlier decision for a referendum regarding the fate of the hacienda, and to distribute the lands of the hacienda without any condition.
Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) vice chair Fidel Castro said, it was City Councilor Emily L. Facunla who personally delivered the copy of the resolution to AMBALA’s campout, inside the hacienda. Facunla, the sister of the late Abel Ladera, who was shot by unknown assassins, on March 3, 2005, was the first city official to visit the farmers’ campout in Barangay Balite, where the RCBC land is found.
“The farm-workers are very happy with the visit of councilor Facunla, especially when she expressed support of the bungkalan (tilling). She is the first government official, aside from the barangay officials, who visited the camp-out,” Castro said.
The bungkalan, which has started last June 15th, is a very historic event, since the portion of the land in the hacienda is converted into a communal farm, Castro said.
Castro explained that they opt to defy the High Tribunal’s decision to have a referendum, and even to face the legal consequences of their actions, as land conversion will impede the productivity of the hacienda as food-producing farm.
The RCBC aims to develop the land into an industrial park, covering more than 1/5 of the 500 hectare property, to house different Japanese companies.
Today, the farm-workers in the hacienda will march to the streets of Tarlac City to protest the non-distribution of the land. Expected to join them are more than 1,000 farmers from different parts of Region 3.
Meanwhile, the farm-workers and their supporters will file, before the Supreme Court, a motion for reconsideration against the proposed referendum, and then later will join the interfaith rally, organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines [CBCP]-Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace (ECSA-JP) and the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. (Noel Sales Barcelona)


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