QA/QC in Analytical Laboratories for ASEAN 2015

by: Nykyle Patricia C. Buenviaje

QA/QC
Ms. Eden Walitang showing an image of the flags of the countries included in the ASEAN.

Animal Science 299 conducted a talk entitled “QA/QC in Analytical Laboratories for ASEAN 2015” last 14th of March 2014 at the Animal Science Lecture Hall (ASLH).

It was a talk open for laboratory staff, faculty, and students that focused on an excerpt from the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines Training/Workshop. This seminar aims to prepare Philippine analytical chemical laboratories for these challenges so that they can be at par with the best chemical testing labs in ASEAN. The seminar covered topics on standards for competence in laboratory testing, calibration, inspection and quality assurance/quality control procedures.

The invited resource speaker, Ms. Victoria Eden S. Walitang, is a university professor in the University of the Philippines, an animal nutrition analytical and a services librarian. She started her lecture by providing the outline of the topics she will be discussing which is as follow:

  • ASEAN 2015
  • QA/QC
  • Method Validation
  • ISO 17025 Awareness

The seminar ended with an open forum and an awarding of certificate for the resource speaker by the members of Animal Science 299.

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Awarding of certificate to Ms. Eden Walitang

ASEAN 2015

At the start of the resource speaker’s presentation, Ms. Walitang showed a video which explained what ASEAN is. She also explained why it is necessary for laboratories to have their accreditation done with relevance to ASEAN.

WATCH: The Video used by Ms. Walitang to explain what ASEAN is.

QA/QC and Method Validation

QA/QC stands for Quality Assurance / Quality Control. The resource speaker, Ms. Walitang, discussed this through a number of slide presentations. She discussed what QA/QC is, the ways through which a laboratory can attain QA/QC and why there is a need for a scientific laboratory to have. She also discussed method validation which is the process of establishing the performance characteristics and limitations of a method.

ISO 17025 Awareness

ISO is an abbreviation for International Organization for Standardization. The resource speaker, Ms. Walitang, ended her lecture with a brief discussion of what this ISO 17025 Awareness is. She also mentioned the Chemistry Act of 2010 which states that the head of a chemistry laboratory should be a real laboratory technician. This Chemistry Act of 2010 got the attention of the audience.

Read More on ISO 17025 Awareness

Read More on Chemistry Act of 2010

4Ps Withdrawal Reaches Los Baños

by: Neil Arwin Mercado

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Photo of a line of people waiting for their cash grants.

After seven months, finally, they will receive what was supposed to be theirs a long time ago.

 

Hundreds of people from Los Banos went to LandBank of the Philippines (LandBank), Los Banos Branch last March 15,2014 to withdraw their cash grants from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

 

As early as 7 AM, people started to arrive and flock in front of LandBank to claim their ATM cards and wait for their turn to withdraw their grants through the mobile ATM machines set-up Despite the heat, lines extended up to Mang Toto’s Chicken Restaurant until noon leaving many people’s stomachs empty.

 

Despite the heat, lines extended up to Mang Toto’s Chicken Restaurant leaving many people’s stomachs empty.

 

When asked about the importance of 4Ps for them, one grantee, Mrs. Rosario Tagle, said that the money she will get from the 4Ps will help her send his son to school.

 

“Malaki ang maitutulong (4Ps) sa pangangailangan, sa kalusugan, at sa pag-aaral ng aking mga anak.” Mrs. Tagle said.

 

Another grantee, Soledad Gallego, shared that though 4Ps has really helped her family, the interruption in the dissemination of cash grants equalizes the benefits of receiving cash grants from the government.

 

“Kung halimbawa man ay buwan-buwan o 2 months, malaki ang maitutulong, kaya lamang ay nade-delay kaya mahirap asahan.”, Mrs. Gallego explained.

 

Each barangay in Los Banos was given a specific time to claim their cash grants. Barangay Malinta, for instance, was assigned to claim their grants in LandBank at 10 AM but due to the huge number of people to be served, it took them until 1 PM to finish the whole process.

 

According to Mrs. Janela Raflores, muncipal link of the DSWD Region 4A (CALABARZON), Barangay Mayondon has the highest number of 4Ps beneficiaries in Los Banos with 157 families while Barangay Baybayin has the smallest with 23. (READ: 4P beneficiaries gather for First Payout Pantawid Pamilya LB)

 

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Photo of LandBank’s entrance

The 4Ps and its benefits

The 4Ps is the Philippine government’s flagship to poverty reduction. This invests in the health and education of poor households, particularly of children aged 0-14 years old. 

 

In line with the conditional cash transfer scheme in countries abroad, the Pantawid Pamilya provides cash grants to beneficiaries provided that they comply with the set of conditions required by the program. 

 

The conditions include the following:

  • Pregnant women must avail pre- and post-natal care and be attended during childbirth by a trained health professional;
  • Parents must attend Family Development Sessions (FDS);
  • 0-5 year old children must receive regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines;
  • 3-5 year old children must attend day care or pre-school classes at least 85% of the time.
  • 6-14 year old children must enroll in elementary or high school and must attend at least 85% of the time
  • 6-14 years old children must receive deworming pills twice a year.

 

To become 4P beneficiary, families go through interviews and are listed down as potential candidates for the program. They are further screened and reassessed. Gambling can lead to removed from the list of 4Ps beneficiaries for it is a major offense.(READ:  The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program)

 

DSWD Partners With LandBank

DSWD partnered with LandBank to provide convenient cash banking services and to provide faster distribution of 4Ps cash grants. LandBank set mobile ATM machines that are offsite ATMs that can be relocated from one place to another via customized vehicles..

 

But, recently, DSWD blamed LandBank for the delay in the release of the ATM cards to be used for the dissemination of cash grants to 4Ps beneficiaries which then LandBank gave a solution. (READ: LandBank launches offsite ATMs for 4Ps beneficiaries)

 

Related stories:

READ: 4Ps provides more basic, livelihood opportunities to IPs 

READ: Life A Lot Better Now, 4Ps Beneficiaries Say

READ: ‘4Ps Made Me Stop Gambling’

 

UPLB launches IDSC on Food Security

by Renz Celeridad

From left to right: College of Agriculture (CA) Dean Dr. Domingo Angeles, Department of Agriculture Chief on International Relations Noel De Luna, and Univesity of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz in the ribbon-cutting of the Interdisciplinary Studies Center (IDSC) on Food Security Launching Program.
From left to right: College of Agriculture (CA) Dean Dr. Domingo Angeles, Department of Agriculture Chief on International Relations Noel De Luna, and Univesity of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz in the ribbon-cutting of the Interdisciplinary Studies Center (IDSC) on Food Security Launching Program.

“Impact on development through sustainable commitment.”

This was how University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz defined the Interdisciplinary Studies Center (IDSC) on Food Security during his opening remarks in IDSC’s Launching Program Thursday, March 13, in the College of Agriculture (CA) Agronomy-Soils Horticulture Lobby.

He added that this is part of the university’s duty to conduct researches that will tackle developmental and environmental-related issues in the country today.

“This is our sacred duty in line with our mandate to be a public-service university.”

WATCH: UPLB Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz on IDSC

The Department of Agriculture (DA) led by Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and International Relations Chief Director Noel De Luna was also present in the program.

Usec.  Puyat delivered the speech of DA Secretary Proceso Alcala, who was not able to come because of other important matters.

Dir. De Luna talking with Dean Angeles

The roles of IDSC on Food Security

Usec. Puyat said that the IDSC will help on their “collaborative efforts in agriculture and food security” because it will further connect the public and private sectors through sharing of inputs and program results with policy recommendations.

WATCH: DA Usec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on IDSC

She also stressed that these collaborative efforts are being done to supply food for the people.

“It is important to emphasize that we have a common goal – to feed our people. Tungkulin po natin na tiyaking sapat, ligtas, masustansya at abot-kaya’ng pagkain para sa lahat.”

Usec. Puyat delivered the speech of DA Sec. Alcala
Usec. Puyat delivered the speech of DA Sec. Alcala

Dean Angeles also assured that food security in the country will flourish through partnerships of public and private sectors, specifically their colleagues, local government units, DA, and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“I am sure that we could have a more relevant food security program that will create a difference in the lives of the people.”

WATCH: CA Dean Domingo Angeles on IDSC

A global issue

Food security was obviously not a problem for the Philippines alone according to Dir. De Luna, who came in place of DA Usec. Segfredo Serrano. It had become a global issue that even United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon became alarmed.

This prompted UN to set up the Committee on World Food Security where De Luna himself was assigned as the head.

This committee believed that “if you have to empower the poor, you have to give them access to assets” like food and water.

The issue on food security also tangled with human rights as stated by Dir. De Luna.

“There is a recognition now globally that(…)every human being has a human right to food.”

“Think strategically”

Dir. De Luna also urged the students to be critical on this issue. He said the this generation will have to face the problems of the future where the world population will balloon to more than 9 Billion by 2050.

In the Philippines alone, there will be about 150 Million Filipinos during that same year.

Dir. De Luna to the students: "I'm leaving this problem (food security) to you."
Dir. De Luna to the future generation: “I’m leaving this problem (food security) to you.”

He challenged the youth to be able to increase the food production in order to feed all the people by that time. According to him, the IDSC would be relevant because it will build new paradigms, models, and realities in solving this kind of issue.

“Expect greater impacts on development”

Chancellor Cruz also said it is natural for all leading universities in the world like the UPLB to have many research centers.

According to him, UPLB is committed on important issues not just on food security but also on environment protection and alternative energy.

Through these plans, he said UPLB is expected to make “greater impacts on development.”

He also called on the other colleges to be active players on these issues. The UPLB Chancellor added that their researches will be more responsive and relevant if all the colleges will be able “to break barriers and cross boundaries.”

RELATED:

READ: Interdisciplinary Studies Centers

SEE: DA visited UPLB

WATCH: DA Int’l Relations Chief Dir. Noel De Luna on IDSC

Santiago visits IRRI for International Women’s Day

by Renee Marsha Babao

Purple and Proud. Santiago was confident that a woman can cause positive change.
Purple and Proud. Santiago was confident that a woman can cause positive change.

    LAGUNA, PHILIPPINES – She wore purple and she’s proud.

   Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago graced the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) celebration of International Women’s Day last March 11, 2014 at IRRI, Los Baňos, Laguna.

   With the theme Inspiring Change, the senator delivered a speech about women empowerment and stressed the importance of women as change-makers.

   “Research shows that empowering women benefit society as a whole,” the senator said. “When women are educated and empowered economically, their families become healthier, their children go to school, incomes increase, and communities thrive.

   Santiago further dwelled on the country’s current condition on gender gap by citing the 2011 Geneva-based World Economic Forum’s four categories that determines gender gap:

  • educational attainment
  • health and survival
  • economic participation and opportunities
  • political empowerment

   She also stated that there should be more women in the Philippine political scene. “When women are empowered as political leaders, countries often experience higher standards of living with positive developments in education, infrastructure and health care. ” (READ: Santiago: Next president should be female to meet PH gender equality goal)

   The senator also lauded IRRI for heading the advancement of women in the agriculture.

   Her speech also had her trademark punchlines and even included some remarks about former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

   The senator closed her speech with a tribute to mothers, who, according to her, are the source of comfort in a harsh and unintelligible world. (WATCH: Senator Santiago’s Speech at IRRI)

Group Photo. The senator posed for a shot with the crowd under the drizzle on the IRRI grounds.
Group Photo. The senator posed for a shot with the crowd under the drizzle on the IRRI grounds.

   Netizens present expressed excitement in social networking sites.

https://twitter.com/gailvier18/status/443376416022093824

 

 Santiago was invited as part of IRRI’s celebration of the International Women’s Day, which spanned March 10 and 11.

   She was among the pool of speakers on a series of talks which included Dr. Thelma Paris, Consultant and Gender Specialist of IRRI’s Social Sciences Division, Dr. Sarah Beebout,  Scientist II in IRRI’s Crop & Environmental Sciences Division  and Ms. Patricia A. Sto. Tomas, Chairman of the Philippine Civil Service Commission and Chairman of the Board of the Development Bank of the Philippines .

   As part of the said celebration, IRRI also held activities such as seminars, panel discussions, a showcase of national costumes and a Health & Wellness Fair which featured booths from food to cosmetics to clothing.

Booths set up in the DL Umali building.
Booths set up in the DL Umali building.
Booths situated outside the building.
Booths situated outside the building.

   According to internationalwomensday.com, International Women’s Day “is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future”, first held in 1911 in a handful of European countries, and is currently celebrated every March 8. (READ: About International Women’s Day)

   The website also stated that purple is the color to end violence against women

   In some countries like China and Russia, International Women’s Day is a national holiday. The event is also celebrated in the Philippines. (READ: Philippines bid to set world record for biggest ‘woman’ symbol)

Green minds in SciCom week

A capacity building seminar for Development Communication students in the University of the Philippines Los Baños was held last March 7, 2014, where the scientist and radio broadcaster Dr. Custer C. Deocaris was invited as speaker.

He started with a brief history on how he was very interested in science as a child that he took different science courses in different universities.

After a successful career outside of the country, he decided to go back to the Philippines to help his fellow Filipino scientists.

In his quest to help these scientists, Dr. Deocaris found himself producing and hosting his own radio program that features the works and achievements of his fellow scientists and inventors.

He gave the audience tips on how to make a science program interesting yet simple enough for the mass to understand. He also shared some of his advocacies such as animal welfare and vegetarianism.

Dr. Deocaris shared stories on how he succeeded promoting the global movement, Meatless Monday, where he says he “polices” schools and municipal offices who pledged to practice not eating meat on Mondays. He aims to make this movement a law just as he was part of legalizing the animal welfare act.

The event ended with the awarding of Dr. Custer C. Deocrasis with a certificate of appreciation for being the speaker of the capacity building seminar of SciCom week 2014.

Green minds seminar on SciCom week

by Rackelle-Anne Magtoto and Cres Joy Zurielle Zaide

Green Minds SciCom week 2014

A capacity building seminar for Development Communication students in the University of the Philippines Los Baños, which was organized by the College of Development Communication’s Science Communication Department, was held last March 7, 2014, where the scientist and radio broadcaster Dr. Custer C. Deocaris was invited as speaker.

The speaker started with a brief history on how he was very interested in science as a child that he took different science courses in different universities. After a successful career outside of the country, he decided to go back to the Philippines to help his fellow Filipino scientists.

On being  a radio anchor

In his quest to help these scientists, Dr. Deocaris found himself producing and hosting his own radio program that features the works and achievements of his fellow scientists and inventors.

Dr. Diocaris said that being a radio anchor of a radio show requires a lot of time and guts. He also said that people generally listen to only three things:

  • Food
  • Survival, and
  • Sex

Which he tries to incorporate into his program as much as he can though he is still restricted about sexual topics because of the religious background of the station he works in.

He gave the audience tips on how to make a science program interesting yet simple enough for the mass to understand.

Watch a portion of his speech here: http://youtu.be/JWVph7OMnO4

On Establising and Promoting His Advocacies

Dr. Diocaries also shared some of his advocacies such as animal welfare and vegetarianism. He shared stories on how he succeeded promoting the global movement “Meatless Monday” where he says he “polices” schools and municipal offices who pledged to practice not eating meat on Mondays. He aims to make this movement a law just as he was part of legalizing the animal welfare act.

The scientist said that he would want to promote and establish more advocacies in the future to help improve society as well as himself.

Certificate of appreciation awarded to Dr. Deocaris
Certificate of appreciation awarded to Dr. Deocaris

The event ended with the awarding of Dr. Custer C. Deocrasis with a certificate of appreciation for being the speaker of the capacity building seminar of SciCom week 2014.

For more information about Meatless Monday, visit http://www.meatlessmonday.com/

DSC-CDC conducts Green Horns

by Bianca Baraquio, Chester Pagulayan, Aleks Sarmiento and Hannah Tolentio

Preparing students. Taking initiative. Communicating science.

With the goal of equipping and promoting Science Communication (Sci Com), the Department of Science Communication (DSC) under the College of Development Communication (CDC) organized “Greenhorns: The Science of Communicating Science”, a seminar workshop for high school students, March 8 at CDC Lecture Room 1.

The participants of the said event were composed of three different schools; five students  from Canossa College – San Pablo, four students from University of the Philippines Rural  High School, and seven students from San Pablo City National High School.

Science of Communication

“Purpose ng scientific writing is to generate knowledge” states Mr. Aldo Lim, the resource speaker for the Introduction to Science Communication. Student Assistants (SA) also took part in the discussion about SciCom. The topics they discussed were:

· Popular Science Communication

· Principles of Popularization

· Reporting a process

· Visualization

A First Taste at SciCom

To apply what the students learned in the seminar, a workshop was given after the lecture session. The students were divided into four groups and were tasked to come up with an  infographic about different social issues like how Typhoon Yolanda was formed, Global  Warming and Speciation. The group with the best infograph was awarded.

Using #Greenhorns, some of the participants posted their comments via their twitter  accounts. Some of the tweets were:

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Greenhorns is a part of SciCom Week themed “SciC4D (Science Communication for  Development) 2014: SciCom Goes Green” on March 3 to 8. This year’s celebration focuses on environmental risk, and disaster communication.

Link to an overview of SciCom’s Green Horns: