Isagani R. Serrano
President, Earth Day Network Philippines
President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
Our theme for this year’s Earth Day celebration “Green the Cities, Green the Oceans” is a response to the urgent call of the UN to clean up our oceans. It is also about the interconnectedness of things on this planet, among other ecological principles.
We say ‘Green the cities’ first because cities are the source of wastes that eventually end up in the ocean. Unless action happens in the cities and communities where we live, work and enjoy our lives, efforts at cleaning the ocean sink, also read cesspool, may not count for much.
There’s about a trillion single-use plastic bags used annually across our home planet. That amounts to millions every minute of every day. And single-use plastic is just one among dozens of plastic products that we use and eventually throw away. Yet we know there’s really no away to throw to.
If you’re not worried yet, let’s consider this scenario: in not so distant future there would be more plastic than fish in our oceans. And today so much plastic has already ended up in the body of the fish we eat.
We could resign in the fact that nature, with or without us, can very well take care of itself. It can clean up any shit we throw at it. As for plastic which may live for a hundred years or more, we could rest in the hope that anyway everything dissolves in water sooner or later. What’s 150 million tons of accumulated plastics in the oceans and eight million tons more dumped there each year. We can even turn the entire land area of the planet into a garbage pit and all of it, including us, can be accommodated in the ocean, no sweat. So why worry over a few waste patches here and there floating on our mighty oceans.
We do have good reason to worry, and not only for later, but here and now. There’s enough to cause us sleepless nights about the way things are, even without invoking some doomsday scenario of malfunctioning ocean ecosystem.
We know that ocean pollution impacts our health. Health is first and foremost what we eat and we eat a lot of fish that eat the plastic we dispose into the oceans. We know all too well that when health is on the line, nothing else matters.
Oceans provide scope for our diminishing terrestrial space. The state of land degradation now threatens our long-term food security. Our supply of fresh water resources is likewise at risk.
Oceans moderate the weather that affects us all, regardless of where we live, along the shore or deep into the continents. Oceans are crucial to the stability of the climate system. Well-functioning oceans can help avert catastrophic climate change.
Happiness is a green blue ocean. Let’s help clean it up so it will stay that way.
A world without waste is possible. Let’s help build it. And let’s begin at home.
By Isagani R Serrano
President & Country Coordinator, Earth Day Network Philippines
It’s been many, many years ago since the French mathematician Fourier introduced us to his discovery of an atmospheric planetary mirror that lets sunlight in easily but traps it when radiating back to outer space. That trick mirror we now know has been causing the so-called greenhouse effect and the global warming that for a good time up till so far had spared humanity from cringing and dying of freezing cold. That good time might soon be gone because the planetary warming is rising 1 or 2 degrees much too much for our level of comfort.
In December of 2015 members of the UN community signed up to an agreement in Paris to try, and try hard, hopefully enough, to prevent the global warming trajectory from going out of hand. Today, as we celebrate Earth Day, a big UN conference is happening in New York to kick off a formal signing process for that Paris Agreement. The Philippines is signing up and DENR Secretary Mon Paje and Climate Change Commission Vice Chair Manny de Guzman are there to represent us.
But Paris Agreement is only one of the agreements we have signed up to. In 2015, the Philippines, together with the UN community, committed anew to put an end to poverty, reduce inequality, share prosperity to everyone, on top of trying to save humanity from climate change catastrophe.
The pile of commitments the Philippines signed up to are contained in the outcome documents of a stream of UN events in 2015: the Addis Ababa Action Agenda from the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3) in Addis Ababa; the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction from the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan; and the Paris Agreement from the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC COP21 in Paris.
There had been so many such commitments since the Earth Day movement came into being 46 years ago on April 22, 1970. Those had been commitments to build a better world, a world where there is no poverty and hunger, where there is more fairness, a world out of harm’s way from natural and. especially, man-made disasters.
here had been so many such commitments since environment and climate change got into the development agenda in the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. We had all or most of these commitments translated into our own policies and legislations. All we need now is to see how these commitments get delivered to improve people’s lives.
All these may not mean much if you live in the middle of a vast ocean whose home might one day disappear because of sea level rise. They may not mean much to many of our people who continue to suffer the consequences of the monster Yolanda disaster. Or, if you are the farmer in Cotabato who could not grow anything because of searing drought and intensifying land degradation.
Imagine yourself in those situations and I’m sure you’ll see the urgency of delivering results from all those promises. Remember those promises had been made by a succession of political regimes from Marcos time when our first environmental policies and legislations were crafted.
We cannot go on the way we have been doing in the past up till now. We cannot continue with development that degrades the environment and leaves so many behind. We cannot go on seeing more than a third of over 100 million Filipinos live in poverty while the wealth of our nation gets more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Something’s got to give here.
The times demand big changes. The coming May elections might just be the opportunity we have been waiting for to finally see them. Just might, I really hope so. It’s about time, and we have waited much too long.
For the Earth Day Network, we really hope to find game-changing ways beyond planting a billion trees that would capture and store carbon and give us back clean air.
As we celebrate Mother Earth today, let’s together confront the problems before us as we try to build a better future for our children.
22 April 2016, DENR Social Hall
From 27-28 October 2016, PRRM facilitated a CSO conference in Upper Sierra Madre. The conference provided a venue for stocktaking and surfacing of emerging lessons by grantees of the UNDP Global Environment Facility (GEF) – Small Grants Programme Phase 5 (SGP5).
By Nappy R. Manegdeg
At least 800 households of Brgy. General Luna, Carranglan municipality in northern Nueva Ecija are now benefiting from a new water system installed in the area.
Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Brgy. General Luna, considered an upland barangay, is surrounded by mountains. Its rice fields are irrigated by a number of communal irrigation systems, whose source are the watersheds around it. Privately-owned artesian wells and a few communal pitcher pumps are the main sources of potable water for the residents of General Luna. However, water for domestic use is difficult during the summer months.
Partnership for water
PRRM, in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CCFI), installed the Level 2 water system composed of an intake dam, a 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cubic meter distribution tank, a three-kilometer pipeline from the intake dam to the distribution tank, and five kilometers of distribution pipeline from the distribution tank to the household clusters. This was turned over to the community residents through the General Luna Water Spring Association [GLUWASA] on 28 November 2014 in simple handover rites.
In the turnover ceremonies, PRRM President, Gani Serrano, emphasized that access to water, as a basic right, should be enjoyed by rural communities. Ms. Cecile Alcantara, CCFI President, explained that supporting the project was a way to “safely return to nature and to communities an amount of water equal to what is used in Coca Cola beverages and their production”.
Officials of the municipal and barangay local government units were present in the turnover program. They expressed that they will continue to support the project by helping GLUWASA in the maintenance of the water system.
Benefits to women and children
Margarita Gabriel, a longtime resident of General Luna, said that households like hers can do more today than in the past because of the water project. Mothers and grandmothers like her can do their laundry in shorter time, making more time for other livelihood or recreational activities. Also, their children and grandchildren do not have to walk far to fetch water as water tap stands are strategically located within household clusters.
EARTH DAY 2015 MESSAGE
By Isagani R. Serrano
Today we join the nation and the whole world in the commemoration of Earth Day.
We celebrate the efforts of so many people here and around the world who are making our planet—our only home—a livable and safer place for all of us.
We’ve come a long way from when the global Earth Day movement was first kicked off 45 years ago in the US, or even just from the birth of Earth Day Network Philippines in 2000.
Environmentalism, or the citizens’ movement to save themselves from the consequences of the harm they’d done to the environment, dates back to long past. We look further back for inspiration. We have our indigenous ancestors to teach us how it is to live in harmony with Nature and with each other.
The dangerous turn climate change is taking seems to be the ultimate outcome of everything we have done in the past. We must see and take it as an urgent wake up call, for our own sake.
We have seen what sort of monster Nature could unleash on us. We saw it in 2013 in the monster Typhoon Yolanda and the horrific tragedy it brought upon us. We see this in the many signs of Nature’s fury even before that, and in more recent events like the devastation of the small island state of Vanuatu in the Oceania. *
We have seen what could happen to us, regardless of our differing levels of preparedness and resilience. We saw how much it could hurt, especially the poor and most vulnerable among us, who had little responsibility for causing the problem.
The worst is yet to come.
The good news is, there are solutions and people everywhere are trying these out everyday to the extent they can and wherever possible. The bad news, however, is the situation—as indicated by the continuing destabilization of the climate system—seems to be worsening, suggesting to us that our collective strivings have not been good enough.
We can do more, much much more, if only we try hard enough, individually and collectively. The killer is in the way we live our everyday in pursuit of happiness. The elephant in the room, as it were, is the way we consume and produce the things we think could lead us to a life of dignity and happiness.
Sad to say, for many of us, happiness is based on fossil, depending so much on relentless burning of coal, oil, and gas that’s now feeding back on us with Nature’s vengeance. Sadly as well, that happiness is not shared by all.
Let’s not be satisfied with the small or big progress that we see in stopping, nay reversing, further environmental decline. It’s all so well that we’ve saved the rare Philippine Eagle, that our forest cover has been gradually recovering, that environmental protection is now uppermost in public consciousness.
It’s long ways to go from where we are to fully redress the harm we have done to our natural resources—to our land, water, air, and living environments—and to ourselves.
What we do today, in our homes, in our community, anywhere, will eventually tell on the kind of future we want to build. It’s our responsibility to do something as best we can. Nature can very well take care of itself, as it probably knows better. It’s us who needs saving.
There’s no individual way out. We can go on, business as usual, as if nothing’s changed, and then face a future nobody wants. We can do better and don’t deserve to suffer for much longer. We must hang on to each other like sister to sister, like brother to brother, as one family, as one community, as one world, or we will all go down together.
Mother Earth be with us!
Happy Earth Day to all of us!
By Merlinda P. Calubaquib
Last December 5, Vizcaya Fresh! (VF) Organic Advocates, Inc., received its Organic Agriculture Achiever’s award as regional winner for this year’s search For Outstanding Small Farmer (Group Category) of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Those who received the award in behalf of Vizcaya Fresh! were Ms. Merlinda P. Calubaquib, VF Director and Area Manager of PRRM Nueva Vizcaya, and Mr. Amos B. Dayag and Mr. Ronnel Acio, VF Production Unit staff members. Vizcaya Fresh participated in the DA organic agriculture search processes from April to June, leading to VF receiving the notice of winning last July.
The awarding ceremony was held at Pensione Roma Hotel and Restaurant in Tuguegarao City. Besides the plaque and certificate of recognition, the DA also granted Vizcaya Fresh a cash award of one hundred thousand pesos to support its projects and activities on organic agriculture.
Vizcaya Fresh! farmer-member, Ms. Daisy Barcelona of Tidang Village, Kayapa, also received her award as outstanding organic agriculture under the individual farmer category. Together with a plaque and a certificate, Ms. Barcelona also received a cash award of fifty thousand pesos.
The provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya was likewise awarded Outstanding Organic Agriculture Province by the DA-Region 02 as awards to seven of the nine search categories were brought home by Vizcayanos. Provincial Agriculture Officer, Mr. Alexander Domingo, joined the regional winners during the awarding ceremony.
On December 1, prior to the regional awarding event, the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya also conducted its own awarding ceremony held at the People’s Stage of the Provincial Capitol grounds in Bayombong to recognize Vizcayanos who have brought honor to the province via the DA search.
This gradual success of Vizcaya Fresh! is attributed to the initiatives of Japanese non-government organization, GLM Institute (GLMi) based in Tokyo, Japan, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), the Nueva Vizcaya provincial government, the partner municipal governments of Kasibu, Kayapa, Dupax del Sur and Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU), DA-Region 02, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and other committed Vizcayanos. ##
By Leopoldo "Pol" Camacho
Kalihim, Nagkakaisang Ugnayan ng mga Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan (NIUGAN)
Nobyembre 7, 2014. Ito ang ginawang aktibidad ng NIUGAN Camarines Norte (MAGSACA) noong ika-7 ng Nobyembre 2014 sa boundary ng Libmanan at Sipocot, Camarines Sur, ang pagsalubong sa Kilus Magniniyog (KM). Ang 71 na magsasaka sa niyugan na nagmartsa mula pa sa Davao patungong Malacañang. Layunin ng KM na pakinggan ng Pangulong Aquino ang hinaing ng maliliit na magniniyog na itatag ang Coco Trust Fund na siyang mamamahala sa 71B pesos para sa ika-uunlad ng industriya ng niyog at mga magsasaka sa niyugan.
Ang KM ay alyansa ng 10 pambansa at pangrehiyon na pederasyon ng mga magsasaka at manggagawa sa niyugan.
Ang 20 magniniyog mula sa Labo at Paracale, Camarines Norte ay pinangunahan nina Ka Rafael “Raffy” Sarucam at Ka Leopoldo “Pol” Camacho. Sumalubong sila sa boundary ng Libmanan at Sipocot at sumama sa martsa hanggang simbahan ng Saint Therese sa Brgy. Tara, Sipocot, Camarines Sur.
Sa daan, nananawagan ang grupo na lagdaan na ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino ang panukulang batas na magbubuo ng isang Coco Trust Fund Committee na siyang mamamahala, magpaplano at magpapatupad ng mga programa’t proyekto para sa pagpapaunland ng industriya ng niyugan at ng mga maliliit na magsasaka at manggagawa sa niyugan at gamit ang interest ng 71 bilyong peso na Coco Levy Fund. Sa pinakahuling balita ay may lumabas na bagong audit result na umaabot na ito ngayon sa 74B.
Ang mga marchers (kasama ang NIUGAN) ay pinatuloy ng mabait na pari ng parokya ng Saint Therese sa Tara, Sipocot, Camarines Sur, kung saan ang ilang mga taga-simbahan ay naghahanda ng tanghalian. Ang grupo ay magpapahinga sa nasabing simbahan hanggang kinabukasan. Sa tulong ng simbahan at LGU ng Sipocot sa pangunguna ni Vice Mayor Elizabeth Abergos ay nabigyan sila ng libreng tanghalian, hapunan at almusal kinabukasan. Ang tulong at suporta ng simbahan at LGU ay mahalagang bagay para sa mga marchers. Ito ay nagbibigay ng panibagong lakas ng katawan at kaisipan. Ito ay inspirasyon din, alam nila maraming sumusuporta sa kanilang layunin.
Sa loob at labas ng simbahan ay nagpahinga muna sila, bilang paghahanda sa susunod na araw na paglalakad, yan ay ang tinatayang 26 kilometro papuntang bayan ng Ragay kung saan naghihintay din ang ilang grupo ng magniniyog upang magbigay suporta.
Kitang kita ang pagod sa kanilang katawan. Isipan mo nga naman nagmula pa sila sa Davao at mahigit isang buwan nang naglalakad. Ang ilan sa kanila ay nakakatulog kahit nakaupo. Ang ilan kahit sa semento, masapinan lang ng panyo ay nakakatulog na.
Ang dalagang ito ay sugat-sugat na ang paa pero hindi pa rin siya sumusuko; itutuloy niya ang paglalakad hanggang Malacañang.
Habang natutulog ang mga kasamahan, ang mga lider ng KM, NIUGAN at Provincial Coordinator ng martsa (Tess ng PAKISAMA) ay naguusap tungkol sa naging takbo ng martsa at ang gagawing Coco Forum sa hapon. Ito ay isang malayang talakayan upang malaman ng iba pang magsasaka sa Sipocot ang isyu ng Coco Levy at kung ano ang layunin ng martsa. Ang ganitong aktibidad ay ginagawa ng grupo sa lahat ng lugar na kanilang tinitigilan.
Ang Coconut Farmers Forum na ginanap bandang alas 4:00 ng hapon noong ika-7 ng Nobyembre 2014 sa compound ng Saint Therese Church. Tinalakay dito kung papaano nagkaroon ng coco levy fund, ang mga kahirapang dinanas ng mga magniniyog sa pagbibigay ng coco levy, sino ang mga taong sangkot dito, papaano lumaki ang pera, ano ang ilang mga iligal na transaksyon upang manakaw ang levy at kung ano na ngayon ang status. Maraming magsasaka at lider ang nagpahayag ng kanilang karanasan, damdamin at mga aksyon na ginagawa para mabawi at magamit ng mga magniniyog ang pondo.
Si Sipocot Vice Mayor Abergos ay nagpahayag din ng kanyang supporta sa mga magsasaka at maggagawa sa niyugan. Ang kanyang pamilya ay magniniyog din at ang kanyang yumaong asawa ay dating empleyado ng PCA na nagmamalasakit sa industriya at mga magsasaka. Maraming magsasaka ang dumalo sa sa forum. Sila ay naimbita ng Kora Paroko, Vice Mayor at ng Provincial Coordinator.
Ang grupo ng NIUGAN Camarines Norte ay kasama sa mga nakipagtalakayan tungkol sa mga isyu ng industriya ng niyog at ng coco levy. Dito na rin sila natulog upang samahan ang mga marchers sa gabi at ihatid sila kinabukasan patungong Ragay, Camarines Cur. Sa Ragay ay magpapahinga sila bago tumulak puntang Del Gallego.
Kinabukasan, ika-8 Nobyembre 2014 ay maagang nagising ang mga marchers. Mga alas tres ng madaling araw ay lumakad na ang grupo papuntang Ragay. Inihatid namin ang marchers sa junction ng Tara, Sipocot.
Si dating senador Wigberto “Ka Bobby” Tañada, chairperson of the board ng PRRM at kampeon ng mga maliliit na magsasaka at manggagawang-bukid sa niyugan, ay sumalubong sa mga nagmartsang magniniyog sa bayan ng Gumaca, Quezon. Nakikipag-kwentuhan siya sa mga magniniyog hinggil sa kanilang martsa at nagbibigay din siya ng ulat hinggil sa kampanya para sa usaping ng coconut levy.
Sumalubong din ang dating Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives na si Lorenzo “Erin” R. Tañada, kinatawan ng ika-apat ng distrito ng Quezon, at si Atty. Toby R. Tañada sa mga magniniyog.
Representatives of PRRM and its partner, the Welthungerhilfe (WHH), a non-governmental organization based in Germany, paid a courtesy visit to Secretary Panfilo Lacson of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery, to introduce the WHH program and discuss its current work and future plans in the country. WHH is one of Germany’s largest non-governmental aid organizations with the goal of securing nourishment for all people. Its focus is providing “help towards self-help” and is also a reliable partner in emergency aid.
PRRM and WHH have been long time partners in relief and rehabilitation as well as in sustainable area development in several provinces in the Philippines, beginning in the early 1990s and spanning over more than a decade. After typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the two organizations renewed the partnership by providing temporary shelter kits to 5,000 families in Capiz and Aklan. At present, core shelter assistance continues to be provided in these two provinces.
In Capiz, WHH is directly providing shelter assistance to families in Pilar town. In Aklan, PRRM will extend similar assistance to affected families in the towns of Balete, Banga and Ibajay. The shelter assistance will help reconstruct the houses of affected families using locally available materials. Local carpenters and community artisans will be trained towards the “build back safer” approach to assure improved shelter resistance to future disasters. A limited water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) component will also be extended to the identified communities.
Mr. Crispin ‘Eboy’ Tria is PRRM’s Project Coordinator in Aklan.
By Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star)
I was a fledgling writer when I met Johnny Flavier. I wrote a series for the Bulletin’s human interest page on the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) of which Johnny was president. The series drew the attention of the eminent author Pearl S. Buck who asked that I be commissioned to write more stories about the organization. I was so inspired when I wrote that piece — the way writers are inspired by subjects they admire and respect. That was more than 50 years ago.
A few years ago, I dropped in at the home of the Flaviers in Tierra Pura, Quezon City. To my surprise Johnny asked his wife Susan to bring out an album of clippings that I had written about him, and the ones that Pearl S. Buck liked.
Writing about him was a breeze, for there were many things he did, and preached, among the rural folk that were so simple they were funny, and very practical. Like comparing family planning to chickens picking ipil-ipil seeds and not getting pregnant. Like popularizing a slogan that went like this: Lindol pa man ng lindol, pag uminom ng Midol, walang lalabas na sanggol.’’ Like using knives instead of slivers of bamboo which rural midwives used to cut newly born infants’ umbilical cords with. Like helping the men make toilet bowls (the grateful beneficiaries honored him by painting his name in the bowls so they will never forget him).
He liked to joke about his height – lower than 5 feet tall.
His accounts of his happy times with the barrio folk are contained in the eight books he has written. These are Doctors to the Barrios, Doctor To the Barrios, Experiences with the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (1970), My Friends in the Barrios (1974), Back to the Barrios: Balikbaryo (1978), Parables of the Barrio: Vol. I (1988), Parables of the Barrios: Vol. II, Nos. 51-100 (1989), Parables of the Barrio: Vol. III, Nos. 101-150 (1991), Let’s DOH It!: How We Did It (1998), and From Barrio to Senado: an Autobiography (2009).
Johnny wrote finis to his life October 30 due to complications of pneumonia. He was 79. But his admirers will never write the end to their memory of such a good man, a wit, a joker, an innovator, a friend to all he met. Just listen to the eulogies delivered at worship services at the Church of the Risen Lord, at the wakes at the Department of Health and at the Senate. They speak of the life lived so well by Johnny, who was born in Tondo, Manila, grew up in Baguio, earned his medical degree from the University of the Philippines Manila-College of Medicine in 1960, his masters in public health from Johns Hopkins University in 1969, became president of PRRM in 1967, president of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction from 1978 to 1992, secretary of health in 1992, and twice elected senator of the Republic of the Philippines (1995 and 2001 elections).
As senator, he authored and sponsored landmark legislation pieces such as the Traditional Medicine Law, the Poverty Alleviation Law, Clean Air Act, Indigenous People’s Rights Act, Anti-money Laundering Act of 2001, Barangay Micro-Business Enterprise, National Service Training Program for Tertiary Students of 2002, Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, Plant Variety Protection Act, Philippine Nursing Act of 2002 and the Tobacco Regulation Act.
Flavier implemented the country’s first human immuno-deficiency virus prevention program. He was Enemy No. 1 of the Catholic Church, which branded him “agent of Satan” for his promotion of artificial family planning methods and distribution of condoms. When he first ran for the Senate, the church criticized him severely, with one bishop publicly wishing that a stone mill be tied around his neck. But, Senator Flavier said, despite that, he was still called “Mr. Senator.”
Information material from the Department of Health says, “Perhaps the most popular Secretary of Health was Dr. JM Flavier. Buoyant and hilarious, he was right for the mass immunization and micronutrient implementation campaign that marked his administration. With the battle cry ‘Let’s DOH it’ he popularized the programs and projects of the Department and injected excitement in the early years of his administration. He encouraged participation of non-governmental organizations in the DOH projects and was able to tap industrial sectors. During his term, Barangay Health Workers were organized and among the many projects initiated were: Healthy Places Initiative, Stop DEATH Program, National Voluntary Blood Service Program, Oplan Sagip Mata, Yosi Kadiri, Doctors to the Barrios Project, Hataw Fitness Program, Pusong Pinoy, and Hospitals as Center for Wellness Program.
* * *
Johnny was a doting grandfather, his son James told me. “I remember Dad as putting very great importance to his grandchildren Carlo, Pau, Jesse, Jeid, Kia, Pio, Migo, Susan Jasmine and Juan Jericho, and great grandchild Jesse James. Even during his busy days as health secretary and later as senator, he always found time to be with them. On many occasions he would take them to the malls. Oftentimes he would be the driver. He never had a bodyguard so during those outings he was effectively both yaya and driver of his grandkids.”
Interestingly, all the Flavier children’s names start with the letter J. The oldest son, Jonathan, became a medical doctor. Articulate and charming like his dad, he was popular as a health program host in the TV show “Good morning Doc,” but had to give that up when he joined USAID. He is now executive director of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines. He is married to Patit.
Juanito is the businessman in the family. He and wife Marge own Little John Restaurant in Camp John Hay and manage the family’s Beyond the Sunset Memorial Park (a columbary and crematorium) in Baguio City.
James, married to Cibie, is property manager of the family corporation called Tambulilit, Inc.
The youngest, only daughter Mary Jocelyn or Joy, as she is popularly called, was her father’s secretary at the Department of Health. It was while working for her dad that she met her future husband, Roby Alampay, an executive at TV 5. Joy is regional communications manager of Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance based in Bangkok, Thailand.
My sincerest condolences to the Flavier children — and to Johnny’s widow — Susan Aguila Flavier, the inspiration behind Johnny’s successes.
The project “Sustainable Agriculture in Typhoon Haiyan-Affected Communties in Leyte” was recently launched in the remote village of General Roxas, municipality of Dulag in Leyte province. This is the first partnership project between the PRRM and the Japan-based Table for Two International (TfTI). The two organizations were represented by Ms. Ichika Cho of TfTI, and Mr. Isagani R. Serrano and Mr. Marlon P. Palomo, PRRM President and Vice President, respectively. Mr. Joselito Gonzales, PRRM’s Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, is Project Coordinator.
With the production assets of rice and coconut farmers severely affected by super typhoon Haiyan, their ability to produce and secure food for their families is compromised. Thus, this partnership project of rehabilitating damaged farmlands towards sustainable agriculture. The TfTI’s innovative calorie offset program aims to transfer excess calories from the rich developed nations to the poor communities where poverty and under-nutrition exist. This food security initiative seeks to help reverse this situation.
With an initial four villages as focus areas, General Roxas and Tigbao in Dulag town, and Hindang and Villa Hermosa in Julita town, the project will train 100 farmer-leaders on sustainable agriculture with a long-term view to food security. Focus will be on organic rice production using the System of Rice Intensification or SRI, food lot modules or vegetable gardening and production of organic livestock, among others. Diversified integrated farming technologies such as intercropping will also be implemented to maximize underutilized coconut farmlands.
Community consultations and area profiling have been commenced in the four barangays, and agreements have been secured with the local government units. A one-hectare parcel of agricultural land is currently being developed to demonstrate sustainable farming technologies and practices. This capacity building and food production project aims to help secure food and its sustainable production for the rural families. This is PRRM and Table for Two’s contribution to the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Leyte province.