Trough of LPA to bring scattered rains over Caraga, Davao Region


MANILA: Caraga and Davao Region will have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms due to the trough of a low pressure area (LPA), the weather bureau said Wednesday.

Flash floods or landslides may occur in these areas due to moderate to at times heavy rains, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 4 a.m. bulletin.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to the easterlies and localized thunderstorms, PAGASA said.

On the other hand, the northeast monsoon or ‘amihan’ will bring cloudy skies with light rains over Cagayan Valley and Aurora, as well as partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains over Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon and the whole Visayas.

Moderate to strong winds and moderate to rough coastal waters will be felt over Luzon, Visayas and the eastern sections of Mindanao, while the rest of Mindanao will experience light to modera
te winds and slight to moderate seas.

The temperature in Metro Manila will range from 22°C to 32°C; Baguio City, 14°C to 24°C; Laoag City, 21°C to 33°C; Legazpi City, 24°C to 30°C; Metro Cebu, 25°C to 31°C; Puerto Princesa City, 25°C to 32°C; and Metro Davao, 24°C to 30°C.

Trough of LPA to bring scattered rains over Caraga, Davao Region


MANILA: Caraga and Davao Region will have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms due to the trough of a low pressure area (LPA), the weather bureau said Wednesday.

Flash floods or landslides may occur in these areas due to moderate to at times heavy rains, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 4 a.m. bulletin.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to the easterlies and localized thunderstorms, PAGASA said.

On the other hand, the northeast monsoon or ‘amihan’ will bring cloudy skies with light rains over Cagayan Valley and Aurora, as well as partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains over Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon and the whole Visayas.

Moderate to strong winds and moderate to rough coastal waters will be felt over Luzon, Visayas and the eastern sections of Mindanao, while the rest of Mindanao will experience light to modera
te winds and slight to moderate seas.

The temperature in Metro Manila will range from 22°C to 32°C; Baguio City, 14°C to 24°C; Laoag City, 21°C to 33°C; Legazpi City, 24°C to 30°C; Metro Cebu, 25°C to 31°C; Puerto Princesa City, 25°C to 32°C; and Metro Davao, 24°C to 30°C.

Negros Occidental hog production drops 4.79% due to swine diseases


BACOLOD CITY: Hog production in Negros Occidental decreased by 4.79 percent in 2023 due to the effects of African swine fever (ASF) and hog cholera, figures of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released on Wednesday showed.

Last year, the province produced only 58,182.10 metric tons (MT) of hogs compared to 61,109.27 MT in 2022.

This brought a reduction of 2.62 percent in the total livestock production of Negros Occidental, including hog, carabao, cattle and goat, from 76,640.77 MT in 2022 to 74,633.05 MT in 2023.

‘The decline in production for swine due to the effects of hog cholera and ASF contributed to the decrease,’ PSA-Negros Occidental said in its annual livestock and poultry situation report.

On the other hand, carabao, cattle, and goat production increased by 4.39 percent, 11.77 percent, and 1.4 percent, respectively.

In 2023, carabao production totaled 8.921.51 MT, from 8,546.24 MT in 2022; cattle, 4,810.53 MT, from 4,303.81 MT; and goat, 2,718.91 MT, from 2,681.44 MT.

In terms of prod
uction distribution, swine contributed the most with 78 percent, followed by carabao, 12 percent; cattle, 6 percent; and goat, 4 percent.

Data further showed that swine inventory in January also declined by 16.21 percent to only 413,217 heads compared to 493,152 heads in January 2023.

For the same period, a decrease in inventory of carabao was noted at 6.23 percent, from 91,437 heads to 85,743 heads and also of goat, from 215,154 heads to 208,876 heads.

The 2023 data on poultry indicated an increase in chicken production by 14.42 percent, with a total of 40,350.82 MT, from 35,266,71 MT in 2022.

Duck production went down by 2.52 percent, from 752.61 percent in 2022 to 733.65 MT last year.

Both chicken and duck egg production also decreased by 0.82 percent and 2.47 percent, respectively.

According to the PSA, production data of livestock and poultry were generated based on the results of the Commercial Livestock and Poultry Survey and the Backyard Livestock and Poultry Survey conducted every quarter.

El Niño expected to affect up to 80 provinces – task force


MANILA: Task Force El Niño on Wednesday warned that about 80 provinces may experience the adverse effects of the weather phenomenon, sparing only two provinces in the country.

This is as the number of provinces currently affected by El Niño has already increased to 51 from the previous 41, as of Feb. 25, Task Force El Niño spokesperson, Communications Assistant Secretary Joey Villarama, said during the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon Program aired on state-run PTV-4.

‘Tataas pa iyan to 73 and then aabot ng 80 bago bumaba ulit sa 50 plus. So, sinabi natin na ang (It will rise to 73 and then reach 80 before dropping back to 50 plus. So, we said that the) effects ng (of) strong and mature El Niño ay magpe-persist (will persist) until May to June, so tingnan natin kung ano po ‘yung puwede pang gawin (let’s see what else can be done),’ Villarama said.

‘Pero sa ngayon po ay sapat po ang paghahanda ng mga ahensiya upang ma-avert at maabatan po iyong posibleng magiging epekto sa water resources, sa food supply, pati na ri
n po sa enerhiya at saka sa kalusugan (But for now, the agencies are prepared to avert and anticipate the possible impact on water resources, food supply, as well as energy and health).’

Metro Manila and 24 provinces may experience drought by the end of March, based on the government’s forecast.

The provinces are Abra, Apayo, Aurora, Bataan, Benguet, Cagayan, Cavite, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga, La Union, Mountain Province, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Pangasinan, Quirino, Rizal, and Zambales.

A total of 27 provinces are projected to be under a dry spell, while 21 provinces may experience dry conditions.

Dry spell may be felt in Antique, Batangas, Biliran, Bohol, Bulacan, Camiguin, Capiz, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Iloilo, Laguna, Lanao del Norte, Leyte, Masbate, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Oriental Mindoro, Samar, Siquijor, Southern Leyte, Sulu, Tarlac, Tawi-tawi, Zamboanga de Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, an
d Zamboanga Sibugay.

Dry conditions are expected in Aklan, Albay, Basilan, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Dinagat Islands, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Marinduque, North Cotabato, Northern Samar, Pampanga, Quezon, Romblon, Sarangani, Sorsogon, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

Villarama also noted that about 6,600 hectares of agricultural land have been damaged because of El Niño.

He, however, said the damage to agriculture would be minimal, considering that the National Irrigation Administration has projected El Niño to affect about 275,000 hectares of agricultural land.

DA exec pushes more funding for bamboo dev’t program


MANILA: The Department of Agriculture (DA) is urging national agencies involved in advancing the government’s bamboo industry development program to commit funds to the effort to move it forward.

In an interview on Wednesday, Agriculture Undersecretary Deogracias Victor Savellano said the departments of Trade and Industry, Environment and Natural Resources, and Education also have roles to play alongside the DA in developing the bamboo sector but the multi-agency initiative remains largely unfunded.

Savellano, who is undersecretary for livestock, said his office has been obliged to fund the regular meetings of bamboo sector stakeholders in government, including the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Council (PBIDC).

‘Processed bamboo can be a big dollar earner for the country. All concerned agencies should invest resources in the pursuit of this goal. The (bamboo) program is supported by legislation and state policies but it lacks money to get it going,’ he told the Philippine News Agency.

Savellano s
aid the Board of Investments (BOI), a DTI-attached agency, can support the bamboo sector by introducing more government incentives to investors seeking to open businesses related to processing bamboo into high-value finished products such as ‘engineered bamboo.’

Meanwhile, Savellano appealed to senators to hasten the passage of the ‘Kawayan Act’, otherwise known as an ‘Act Institutionalizing the Bamboo Industry Development in the Philippines and Appropriating Funds Therefor,’ which is the Senate’s version of a bill already approved by the Lower House in 2023.

He expressed confidence that the bill will be enacted soon, as President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and his allies in Congress strongly support efforts to grow the local bamboo industry and make it a major revenue earner.

‘Aside from earmarking funds to the cash-strapped PBIDC, it will also give the council broader powers, putting it in a better position to pursue our bamboo development roadmap. Right now, we (the Philippines) are only a distant fifth pl
ace (among countries) in the production of high-quality bamboo products… we can do much better considering our bamboo resources,’ he added.

Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual is the current chairman of the PBIDC while Savellano sits as the council’s vice chairman.

BTr lists record-high 5-year retail treasury bonds


MANILA: The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) on Wednesday listed before the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Board its five-year retail treasury bonds (RTB) due on Feb. 28, 2029, which registered a record volume of PHP584.86 billion.

The debt paper has a coupon rate of 6.25 per year and is 19 times oversubscribed from the initial offering of PHP30 billion during the rate-setting auction on Feb. 13, 2024.

The BTr raised PHP212.72 billion during the rate-setting auction for RTB 30, while PHP372.14 billion was raised during the nine-day offer period that ended on Feb. 23.

A bulk of the funds submitted during the offer period, amounting to PHP243.45 billion, came from the Switch Program, which allowed holders of previously issued debt paper to swap for the new issuance; while PHP128.69 billion was raised as new money.

The initial target issuance was PHP400 billion but this was exceeded because of the over 30 percent participation for the bond swap and the 8,120 transactions from more than 40 countries, which gener
ated PHP663.56 million, made through the BTr’s online and app-based investment channels.

RTBs are intended for small investors since the minimum placement is PHP5,000 and additional investments is in increments of PHP5,000.

Finance Secretary Ralph Recto, in a statement, congratulated the BTr, saying the latest bond issuance ‘is truly a big win for both the government and our people.’

‘I am very much grateful for the support of the investing public, most especially our retail sector, for making the wise decision to invest their hard-earned money in low-risk government securities and take part in nation-building. Rest assured, the government will continue to support every Filipino in their journey towards financial freedom. We will use every peso invested by our people for public programs that ensure prosperity for their lives and the future of their children,’ he said.