13 Aug 2014

CapSU ethnobotanical dewormer featured in nat'l inventions exhibit

By Niño Manaog
Extension Associate

On July 2125, 2014, the ethnobotanical team of CapSU Dumarao Satellite College composed of Dr. Bede Ozaraga, Dr. Ma Sylvia Inting Ozaraga and Dr. Maryneth Baticbatic Barrios brought the Capiz State University to the national limelight during the National Invention Contests and Exhibits 2014 at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

For three days, the CapSU team showcased the award-winning ethnobotanical dewormers originally produced for native chickens, an innovative technology tagged along with the nation's finest technologies and innovations. NICE 2014 brought all these advancements in science and technology as part of this year's celebration of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).

Dr. Maryneth Barrios answers queries from a walk-in visitor.

Previously in September 2013, CapSU's ethnobotanical team clinched the regional Likha (Creative Research) award conferred by the TechnologyApplication and Promotion Institute (TAPI) of the Department of Science and Technology. The group was led by Dr. Pedro Gavino, vice-president for research and extension, and supported by Engr. Ef Ren Linan, intellectual property director and Mr. Niño Manaog, university extension associate. In the same event, Manaog also joined the PCAARRD photo contest.

Dr. Sylvia Ozaraga, Dr. Bede Ozaraga and Dr. Maryneth Barriosbrought pride to CapSU with their award-winning ethnobotanical dewormer. 

11 Aug 2014

Award-winning Research


Engr. Efren Linan (left), CapSU’s Intellectual Property director, hogs the limelight with Dr. Aladino Leccio (right), vice-president for Administration and Finance, after winning Best Paper Award for his study titled “DRASTIC Model and GIS-based Assessment of Groundwater Vulnerability to Contamination in Boracay Island” during the ASEE 2014 International Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 1–3, 2014. The said study beat 36 other entries from around the world.(Niño Manaog/Extension Institute)

8 Aug 2014

Jennifer Perez-Benliro, The Accomplished Advocate

By Niño Manaog
Extension Associate
Capiz State University

HAVE YOURSELF A JENNY LITTLE CHRISTMAS. Jennifer Perez Benliro follows the Santa Claus tradition of giving to fellow Yolanda victims days before Christmas. Here she helps dispense chocolate candies to some 250 kids in Sitio Baybay, Bgy. Natividad, Pilar, Capiz in December 2013.
“As a nurse, I took the oath of literally lending a hand to people. I also believe that I have the responsibility to do so,” says Jennifer Perez Benliro, Nurse II of the Capiz State University (CapSU) Pilar Campus who is profiled for Extension for this issue.

Born on July 10, 1972 in Pilar, Capiz, Benliro is a registered nurse who also holds a graduate degree in public administration. She has also started her doctoral studies in the same field. Currently, she is the extension chairperson of the Capiz State University (CapSU) Pilar Campus.

“Months after I started work at then Panay State Polytechnic College (PSPC) Pilar Campus, I organized the Red Cross Youth (RCY), a group of volunteers who were trained on first-aid services.” Since then, she has always been involved in extension activities of the campus helping and serving the underprivileged sectors of their community.

In various instances, she led the activities of RCY volunteers in conducting first-aid, and also assisted the activities of the Philippine Red Cross. In these activities, Benliro is inspired by the principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies—among them, voluntary service, impartiality and humanity.

Appointed chair of the health services from 2003 up to the present, Benliro has also served as the guidance counselor of the CapSU Pilar Campus since 2011.

For years, she has been Teen Center coordinator for CapSU Pilar, also holding several positions and capacities and helping facilitate medical services and advocacies that have not only engaged and catered to the youth but also helped uplift the welfare of the other sectors of the neighboring communities.

“I grew up surrounded by politicians and public officials mandated to cater to the needs of people; in the same setting I have come to love service for the public,” Benliro says, citing how the place where she lived has inspired her on what to do—or to keep doing what she has been doing.

A graduate of the PSPC High School in 1989, Jennifer Perez Benliro has been doing extension work since 1993, the year she graduated from college. In high school, she also served as regional public relations officer for the Future Farmers of the Philippines. She says that it was during this opportunity that she developed volunteerism and leadership.

“Such involvement and exposures contributed to my personal and professional growth, leading to the years in service which have motivated me to work harder for the University.”

Then after being appointed extension chair in 2011, Benliro’s conceptualized “Skills Development, Advocacy, Volunteerism and Empowerment (S.A.V.E.) Program on Health,” which reaches out to a number of sectors of the community and later benefited hundreds of constituents in Pilar, Capiz.

Three years into its launch, the program covered a big number of extension activities, namely: advocacy and health services and literacy trainings, first-aid services, feeding program, tooth extraction, Oplan Tsinelas, gift-giving, personality development training, blood sugar testing and blood pressure monitoring.

From the beginning, the volunteers consisted of students from the different departments who also composed the first aid team of the campus, supervised by Ms. Benliro.

“Engaging four fields of human activity and cooperation, namely: skills training, advocacy, volunteerism and empowerment, the S.A.V.E. Program is one extension agenda which seeks to make a difference in the communities where CapSU is located,” she says.

Originally intended for health advocacy via volunteerism, the program was later enhanced and expanded to include skills training, advocacy and empowerment of the sectors in the community. In fact, the program was enhanced and polished by CapSU’s RDE team—consisting of Dr. Marcela Buenvenida, Dr. Evelyn Borgonia, Dr. Guillermo Legada, Jr., Dr. Emelita Solante, and Dr. Cora Ferrer Navarra, then vice-president for Research, Development and Extension, who particularly advised her to include skills development in the project.

Among others, the program has instilled the spirit of volunteerism in the students. Sometimes even with scarce resources and faced with difficulties in reaching the target areas, student volunteers still supported the programs with their participation and initiative.

In recent months, the program also included skills development among the youth on the visual arts and other disciplines.  Through its varied activities since its beginnings, the program has taught youth participants that nothing could repay the happiness and contentment given by the opportunity of being able to help others.

During the 4th Regional Extension Symposium sponsored by the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) VI held in September 2013 at the Punta Villa Resort in Villa, Iloilo City, the S.A.V.E. Program was cited first runner-up in the Health Category. It also won first runner-up in Poster Category.

With this towering achievement both in the recognition by her peers and the benefit to the community, Benliro feels “fulfilled that through the little things—activities and involvements in the community—I am able to make it a bit better.”

Though I have not served as a nurse in the hospital, directly tending to the sick people and the patients, I feel that my involvement in the activities in the communities enabled me to help more people and make a difference.”

Having launched the S.A.V.E. Program in 2012, it is noteworthy to say that Benliro has broken new ground for CapSU—blazing the trail for others to follow.

The advocacy program she launched could serve as prototype for others, even as they are also mandated to make a difference in their respective communities.

“I believe that the advocacy I started in our campus will serve as an example to others,” she confides.

For now, Benliro only wishes that hazard pay be given to medical or public health workers of the university like her. She is also concerned about how CapSU’s extension programs can be effectively funded and sustained. For her, addressing these issues will reinforce the efforts of extension workers like her to be able to reach out to more people and even create more impact in the communities.

Jennifer Benliro takes to relief the fellow members of the community where they are coming from. As the community nurse, she makes sure that the health of basic sectors—from the children to the elderly—are literally kept in check.

Emelita Solante, The Mushroom Queen

Dr. Emelita Solante, director for extension at the Capiz State University (CapSU), presents her hanging oyster mushrooms at the Mushroom Training Center based in CapSU Burias Campus, Mambusao, Capiz. Funded since in 2011 by the Japan International Cooperating Agency under KR2 Fund through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 6, the Mushroom Production and Extension Project has already benefited some farmer beneficiaries and entrepreneurs around the community. (Photo by Niño Manaog)

"To share what I know" is the credo of Dr. Emelita Pongcol Solante, the 53-year old Cebuana from Alburquerque, Bohol, who is currently the extension director of the Capiz State University (CapSU).

With such words, she describes her commitment to extension work even as she finds fulfilment from the fact that ordinary people would learn something from her in order to improve their lives.

Born on June 30, 1961, Solante finished Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, major in Plant Protection in 1982 at the Visayas State College of Agriculture (ViSCA), now Visayas State University.

Shortly after college graduation, Solante worked as research assistant at the ViSCA, where she helped conduct the research on the Etiology of Stem Twisting Disease of Abaca.

And in June 1984, she came to Mambusao, Capiz to teach at the Panay State Polytechnic College (PSPC) Burias Campus, where she would teach for the rest of her life.

From 1990 to 1993, as a scholar of the International Rice Research Institute at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Dr. Solante’s thesis titled “Biological Control of Rice Blast” garnered 1.25 rating from the advisory panel.

From 1996 to 2000, Solante qualified for a Monbukagakusho Scholarship to study in Ehime University in Japan and in 2012, she completed her Ph.D. in Agronomy at the CapSU Poblacion Mambusao Campus. Currently, she holds the position of Professor V with teaching load at the CapSU Burias Campus.

The road to Dr. Solante’s success in the professional ladder in the university was paved with simple intentions, so to speak.

Back in the early 1990s, during her doctoral studies at the University of the Philippines Los Banos, Solante was drawn to the work of Dr. Teresita Quimio, who was then in charge of the mushroom project in UPLB.

“I became curious of what she was doing inside the Mycology laboratory and later, I was inspired by her passion in culturing mushroom and producing them for food and business,” Solante says.

Dr. Emelita Solante has had a string of accomplishments in extension work through the years. From 1990 to 1993, she was part of the Municipal Science and Technology Advisory Program, which allowed her to work with a people’s organization in Ivisan, Capiz. Along with Dr. Cora Ferrer Navarra, who served as vice-president for research and extension, she also served as consultant for the farmers owing to her engagement in the biological control of rice blast.

Dr. Solante also shared her expertise in mushroom culture and production during the Uswag Info Caravans initiated by the Regional Applied Communication Group (RACG) of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC). Initiated by then RAC Coordinator Cora Ferrer Navarra, these exposures also brought her to several towns of Capiz, Antique and Iloilo.

In 2011, she was named project-in-charge of the Mushroom Production Project of the Capiz State University. Funded by the Japan International Cooperating Agency under the Kennedy Round 2 (KR2) Fund channelled through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region 6, the Project seeks to increase the productivity of farmer beneficiaries and entrepreneurs around the community.

Since its launch, the project has produced oyster mushrooms to cater to the protein or health requirements of the community, while providing for the production needs of the farmer beneficiaries.

To date, the Mushroom Training Center has also trained at least 600 mushroom producers and 100 product entrepreneurs from around the community—even as the entire intervention has generated additional income for mushroom farmer-beneficiaries and product entrepreneurs.

Solante’s passion in the study of mushrooms did not stop in the culture and production of straw mushroom. While studying at the UPLB, she began culturing and producing oyster mushroom varieties and later shared her discoveries in her subsequent extension activities.

Then, more recently, Solante took on the task of experimenting with cooking the mushroom recipes which she integrated and adopted from popular culinary dishes, namely: mushroom siomai; mushroom achara (pickles); burger patties; crispy mushroom fries; CapSU Express (a la Bicol express) and mushroom lumpia.

More important, she has shared this technology to the household women of her locality. Under the Mushroom Production Project, household women and ordinary barangay folk are being trained on cooking mushroom recipes at the Mushroom Production and Training Center in CapSU Burias in Mambusao, Capiz.

For Dr. Solante, these community interventions “give them the realization that mushroom is not just an ordinary food—it can also be cooked and prepared for profit.” Solante also promotes the commodity not only because it is high in protein and a cost-effective meat substitute, which cannot only augment livelihood but also give health benefits to consumers.

Solante claims that all these involvements in extension work helped her overcome her own shyness and stage fright because she would speak in front of people from all walks of life.
For her, such involvements helped her enhance her communication skills owing to her participation in varied trainings and lectures on mushroom culture and production. These activities which were held across the province of Capiz and Iloilo also afforded her the opportunity to travel and see other localities in the region.

Looking ahead, Solante says that it is important that the University’s Extension agenda prioritize choosing and adopting depressed barangays where CapSU’s interventions can be poured in and implemented.

Per 4K, the extension agenda she submitted as her final paper for the Executive Course required by PASUC, CHED and Development Academy of the Philippines, each of the CapSU campuses will have one adopted barangay in their jurisdiction.

To begin with, she has short-listed the barangays of Pangpang Sur, Pangpang Norte, Liboo and Sinundujan—one of which will be the adopted barangay of the Extension Institute based in Poblacion Mambusao Campus.

For now, she has challenged herself to devise ways and approaches by which she can package the mushroom culture and make it appear practical and lucrative to the communities. As part of her prospective research, Solante is studying the social acceptability of mushroom culture and production among the poor and the middle-income classes. (Niño Manaog/Extension Associate)