Saturday, May 25, 2013

Metrobank Foundation donates to the Philippine Press Institute

Mr. Aniceto ‘Chito’ SobrepeƱa, president of the Metrobank Foundation Inc. (MBFI) awards the check of P70,000.00 (seventy thousand pesos) to PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino to support its ongoing outreach program for journalism and communications students.  

It will fund initially a half-day forum in Manila in cooperation with the Philippines Communication Society (PCS) which will be in charge of inviting students and teachers.  

The PPI for the last two years has started engaging the academic community to a separate activity known as the Scholastic Press Program which already brought it in the cities of Davao, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, and Cebu in partnership with its member-community newspapers for topics like journalism ethics and excellence, press freedom and civic journalism.  

The said amount will be modestly spread across other areas that will be covered this year such as Bacolod and Bulacan.

Holcim, SHDA inks cement deal

Leading cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines, Inc. and the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association of the Philippines (SHDA) signed a deal to ensure steady supply to the group's members at a competitive price, in support of the latter’s goal to build quality but affordable homes.

Signing the agreement last May 7 were Holcim Philippines CEO Eduardo Sahagun and Vice President for Commercial William Sumalinog along with SHDA Chairman and National President Paul Tanchi and Auditor Rodelio Racadio.

Tanchi acknowledged that the agreement is particularly significant during this time of high demand. 

“Cement is obviously an important aspect of our projects, and securing a steady supply of quality products at competitive prices from Holcim  Philippines is very important to us. This allows our developer members to build better and more affordable houses for the millions of aspiring homeowners,” Tanchi aded.

This is the fifth straight year that the SHDA, a top organization of housing developers in the country with over 200 members, has signed up with Holcim Philippines. Tanchi commended Holcim Philippines for being a reliable supplier and said that SHDA was confident that its members would continue to benefit from the partnership.

Sumalinog explained that partnerships with associations like SHDA are part of Holcim's efforts to build mutually-beneficial relationships with its customers.

"By providing SHDA with reliable supply, we help them with their goal of providing homes for Filipinos and, in turn, they help us move towards our vision of building foundations for society's future. We will also continue to look for innovative products and solutions to help our partners reduce their cost like our Holcim Wallright for masonry applications."

DOST’s Project NOAH adopts Indonesian technology for disaster mitigation

Dealing with climate change today and in the future
By Rodolfo P. de Guzman, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII

The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) is adopting the disaster mitigating technology called InaSAFE from Indonesia.  InaSAFE is an acronym for Indonesia Scenario Assessment for Emergency. It is an open source technology, which means it is free, readily accessed from the internet and may be modified by users. With this technology, data coming from weather scientists, local government units and the communities are gathered and consolidated to provide accurate information on future disaster events.

NOAH adopted Indonesis’s InaSAFE as it has a lot in common with the Philippines, especially in topography and natural hazards.

This was disclosed during the multi-stakeholder assembly titled “Enhancing Community Resilience Through the Use of New Technology” conducted by Project NOAH recently held at the Oracle Hotel in Quezon City.

Abigail Baca, disaster and risk management officer of the World Bank East Asia and Pacific Region said that InaSAFE proved effective during the recent floods in Jakarta, Indonesia and it can be applied in the Philippines.

Dr. Alfredo Francisco Mahar Lagmay of Project NOAH disclosed that InaSAFE will be integrated into Project NOAH to supplement existing technologies used to mitigate, if not totally prevent, massive destruction caused by strong typhoons similar to Sendong in 2011 and Pablo in December 2012.

During his presentation, Dr. Lagmay said, “It is important to develop information tools that will help centralize risk information at the NOAH website and make them available to a wider community.”

Since its launch in July 2012 in Marikina City, Project NOAH has continuously upgraded and strengthened its capability through installation of various weather forecasting equipmentin various disaster-prone areas in the country. Among these are the Hydromet water level sensors and Doppler radars used to measure amount of rainfall in a specific area.

To date, there are 525 Hydromet sensors installed in different river systems including those in Tullahan River, Marikina River and San Juan River in Metro Manila. Likewise, the Project NOAH team has put up billboards in Pampanga showing flood maps to inform residents of the high-risk areas in their communities.

Further, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, project leader of NOAH’s DREAM LiDAR (Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation-Light Detection and Ranging) said, “ Since November 2012, we were able to do three-dimensional or 3D mapping of the Pampanga river basin, Agno River, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. By the end of May this year, 3D mapping for Iloilo will be complete and next in line is the Panay river basin.”

DOST’s new fruit drinks to help cool down your summer

By Rodolfo de Guzman, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII

The Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) recently came up with natural fresh fruit drinks perfect for  summer and beyond. Next to ice water, there is no better way to beat the tropical heat but drink fresh and nutritious fruit juices, au naturel!

The new concoctions come in two types: one as ready-to-drink fruit juices and  another in concentrated form.

The ready-to-drink juice products are available in three flavors:  guyabano-nata, ripe mango-nata, and green mango-nata.

The Guyabano-Nata Fruit drink is a mixture of sweetened nata de coco, natural guyabano juice, and sugar.  Every 100 ml contains fruit fiber (2.1 g), vitamin C (134.6mg) and energy (139 Kcal).

Meanwhile, the Ripe Mango-Nata Fruit drink is a blend of ripe mango fruit juice, sweetened nata de coco, and sugar. One serving of 200 ml juice is equal to 55 percentRecommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C and 7 percent RDA for energy for an adult male. Because of its nutritional content, the juice is ideal for the prevention and management of constipation, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

On the other hand, the Green Mango-Nata Fruit drink is an alternate variant of the Ripe Mango-Nata  drink.   It contains the same nutritional benefits as the ripe mango flavor. Every 100 ml has 130.22 mg vitamin C, 140 Kcal energy and 2 g  fiber.

The juice type is available in 500 ml and one-liter bottles and has a shelf life of up to six months.

Meanwhile, the concentrated form has two variants, the Carrot-Pineapple and the Carrot-Mango, that come in 375 ml glass bottles. The juices can be stored up to a year at room temperatures between 28 to 32 degrees Celsius.

Both variants contain natural carrot juice and sugar as sweetener. These drinks are rich in B-carotene and vitamin A, thus increasing body resistance  against infections and help facilitate  fast recovery from illnesses. To prepare a 250 ml drink, one has to mix one part concentrate and one part water.