SL Agritech becomes Philippines’ first private corporation issuer of social finance instrument with P2 billion financing

April 1, 2022

Pioneer hybrid rice producer SL Agritech Corp. (SLAC) has become the Philippines’ first private corporation issuer of a social finance instrument with a P2 billion corporate note considered a “sustainable” or “social” financing owing to its socio-economic benefits.

   Issuance to be managed and arranged by MIB Capital Corp., the social finance instrument will support SLAC’s continuing expansion which has become critical as it pursues Philippines’ food security goals.

   “We are very proud to be the first receiver of a social finance instrument in the Philippines,”  said SLAC Chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong in an investors’ meeting Wednesday.

  SLAC’s financing has merited the approval of DNV Business Assurance Pty. Ltd., according to Thomas Leonard of DNV during the same investors’ meeting.

   DNV made a second party opinion assuring such fund will enable to raise capital for a project that has “social” benefits.  The funds will be drawn in one or more tranches over three years.

   DNV affirmed that “SLAC currently meets the criteria established in its Eligibility Assessment Protocol (that is) aligned with the stated definition of social bonds and loans.”

      Konsintr Puongsophol, Asian Development Bank (ADB) financial sector specialist, said that there has been a steadily increasing demand for sustainable bonds such as SLAC’s social finance instrument.  He said during the investors’ meeting that global sustainable bonds doubled to $1,478.6 billion in 2021 from $745.4 billion in 2020.

SL Agritech’s Dona Maria rice, SL hybrid rice seeds

   “Globally the volume of labelled sustainable finance products is not keeping up with investor demand.  All deals are seeing oversubscription and more favorable issuance,” said Puongsophol.

   ADB extends technical assistance to support issuers of sustainable bonds. The bonds should be issued in the local currency, Philippine peso, of ASEAN Plus 3 markets.

   SLAC has engaged in a continuing expansion every two years.  Its hybrid rice plant production and seed processing sites including expansion sites are in Talavera, Nueva Ecija; Banay Banay, Davao Oriental; Victoria, Tarlac; and Matanao, Davao del Sur.

   “Through our plant expansion program, we are able to help more farmers and provide employment to those in the agricultural sector.  We are contributing to the economic growth in the target locations and nearby rural communities,” said Lim.

   Lim stressed the significance of Philippines’ pursuing food sufficiency especially at the  height of today’s crisis.

   “Both oil and food are very important for us. Right now, during this Russia war, the price of wheat and food has risen. There is a good opportunity for farmers  to plant and yield  more for us to be self-sufficient.  In this season, we have to be self-sufficient in food,” he said.

   A review and finalization of the terms of the note will be done from April 18 to 27, 2022.  Signing of the financing facility will be on May 2.  The social financing instrument will be made available to a limited number –19 primary institutional lenders.

SL Agritech provides inputs to farmers to ensure best yield

   SLAC has recently established its Social Finance Framework (SFF) and Corporate Social and Sustainability Committee to oversee socio-economic development projects.

   Its SFF is aligned with International Capital Market Association Social Bond Principles (ICMA SBP) and ASEAN Capital Markets Forum ASEAN Social Bond Standards (ASBS), said Thomas Leonard of DNV.

   The following are SLAC’s socially eligible projects :

1.      Contract growing program for rice and hybrid seeds (Buyback Scheme for Rice and Seeds). SLAC provides farmers in advance with inputs, tools, and technology – seeds, fertilizers  to ensure good harvest. SLAC buys back farmers’ harvest at prevailing price plus a premium at assures net income of farmers.

2.       Hybrid Rice Technology Demonstration Program.  This is a nationwide farmers’ education program that guides farmers on implementing farming technology using hybrid seeds from planting to harvesting.

3.      Research and development of hybrid seed varieties. This is a continuous program for improving seed varieties in terms of yield, good tasting quality, and pest resistance to ensure a sustainable food system.

4.      Harvest Performance Award (Harvest Festivals) to motivate farmers to raise yield and productivity.  The Masaganang Ani 300 provides social recognition and financial rewards for farmers if they meet the potential optimum yield of hybrid seeds set at 300 cavans per hectare.

5.      Plant Expansion Programs aimed at generating more employment for farmers and agricultural sector, promoting economic growth in rural communities. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Bayer unveils guidelines on therapy of endometriosis, more popularly known for the symptom “dysmenorrhea,” affecting up to 10% of women

April 12, 2022

Bayer Pharmaceuticals has unveiled a new first-of-its-kind guideline for the early diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, more popularly known for the symptom “dysmenorrhea.” 

The guideline is a consensus among obstetrician-gynecologists and related medical experts in Asia. Endometriosis is known to affect 6-10% of Filipino women. 

   The guideline aligns with the latest 2022 guidelines published by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), which details the best practices of caring for women with endometriosis. 

    Both works emphasize the importance of non-invasive procedures in early diagnosis and treatment to allow for patient-centred care. 

   For instance, symptom recognition is recommended before utilising laparoscopy for diagnosis. One of endometriosis’s symptoms is dysmenorrhea, the medical term for painful menstrual period caused by uterine contractions.  Other symptoms, according to a Bayer primer, are non-cyclic pelvic pain, dyspareunia (painful intercouse), dysuria (pain when urinating), dyschesia (obstructed defecating syndrome), fatigue, and subfertility.   

Medical treatments are recommended for the management of pain post-surgery. 

    For treatment, the consensus recommends hormonal treatment for patients with no immediate pregnancy desires.  

   These treatments should be individually tailored by considering women’s presentation and therapeutic need. Medical treatment such as the use of GnRHa and progestin are also recommended for early treatment, and management of pain post-surgery. 

   “While the consensus is useful in guiding healthcare providers to recommend patient-centric treatment options, there is also a need for us to leverage the right platforms to educate women on endometriosis, empowering them to voice out their pain and seek treatment early by making informed decisions about their condition. 

   “These efforts are testament to our long-standing commitment to support our healthcare providers and patients, and ultimately improve women’s health,” added Catherine Donovan, Vice President Head of Medical Affairs Asia-Pacific, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Asia-Pacific. 

   Angela Aguilar, Past President of the Philippine Society for Reproductive Medicine and co-author of the “Clinical Diagnosis and Early Medical Management for Endometriosis: Consensus for Asia” said, “This is a huge progress in the management of endometriosis. 

   “Through this consensus, early diagnosis and better treatment options will be made available for women to help them achieve an overall improvement in quality of life.    Healthcare providers will be more equipped to deliver patient-centric care and help alleviate the burden brought about by this condition.” 

   The consensus serves as a summation of deliberations by clinicians with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis, where they convened in 2019 to critically evaluate evidence, international guidelines and consensus reports around the clinical diagnosis and early medical management of endometriosis in Asia.  

   Besides proposing an algorithm that utilizes both clinical diagnosis and early medical therapy which will require further evaluation to assess its effectiveness in diagnosis and patient outcomes, the work also provides guidance on clinical diagnosis and early empiric treatment. 

   Similar to ESHRE’s 2022 guidelines, the consensus suggests that laparoscopy is no longer considered the diagnostic gold standard. Instead, it proposes focusing on patient history and clinical examination to decrease diagnostic delay, especially in low resource settings. 

Bayer increases women’s access to modern contraception, promotes benefits of less cases of maternal deaths, unwanted pregnancies, child mortality

March 15, 2022

While pursuing research to find new treatment options for gynecological diseases with a high unmet medical need, Bayer is also working on addressing women’s health needs during menopause.

   For more than 50 years, Bayer has supported educational programs and rights-based family planning in more than 130 countries, particularly by increasing access to modern forms of contraception.

   In 2019, Bayer pledged to provide 100 million women in low-and-middle-income countries with access to family planning by 2030.

    This initiative is part of Bayer’s comprehensive set of sustainability measures and commitments and in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) .

   “We believe every girl and woman deserves the chance to determine her own future. That’s why Bayer is partnering with local and international organizations, such as the United Nations Population Fund and the United States Agency for International Development, to empower women to make informed decisions about family planning,” said Mildred Nadah Pita, Head of Global Healthcare Programs/Sustainability Middle Africa at Bayer.

   “With Bayer’s commitment to provide 100 million women in low- and middle-income countries with access to modern contraception by 2030, we are making an important contribution to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by improving the health, rights and economic status of women around the world, which is a fundamental prerequisite for greater equality, education and prosperity for all.”

   As part of this commitment, Bayer recently announced an investment of over €400 million in new production facilities for long-acting reversible contraceptives, including the construction of a new production site in Alajuela, Costa Rica and the expansion of production capabilities in Turku, Finland.

Shaping women’s health from menarche to menopause

  Elinzanetant, a non[1]hormonal development compound, is currently being investigated in the Phase III clinical development program OASIS for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms during menopause.

   “Every year 47 million women enter menopause, a period where women are at the peak of their life’s activity, personally and professionally. With increased longevity, maintaining functional ability and good quality of life is extremely relevant from both a healthcare and a socio-economic perspective. Unfortunately, menopause remains a taboo topic, leaving many women untreated,” said Cecilia Caetano, MD, Head of Medical Affairs Menopause at Bayer.    

   “With our strong heritage and deeply rooted expertise in women’s health, we continue to focus on providing innovative science, solutions and education to support the individual health need of women.”

Batas upang isa institusyon ang online learning isinulong ng isang think tank na pang edukasyon

10 Abril 2021

Melody Mendoza Aguiba

   Isinulong ng isang think tank sa edukasyon na gawing pormal na institusyon ang “online” o “blended” na pamamaraan ng pag-aaral.

   Sa pag uudyok na rin ng sitwasyon dulot ng pandemyang Covid 19,  napilitan ang mga paaralan sa Pilipinas na yakapin ang online na paraan ng pag-aaral.

   Mula sa resulta ng mga pananaliksik ukol sa online learning, isinulong ng  Educational Policy Research and Development Center (EPRDC) ang isang lehislatura na naglalayong gawing pormal na institusyon ang online na edukasyon o ang tinatawag na pinaghalo o “blended” na edukasyon.   

   Ayon sa Department of Education (DepEd), ang blended learning ay parehong niyayakap ang tradisyonal na personal na harapan na pag-aaral (face-to-face learning) at ang pag-gamit ng radyo at telebisyon sa pag-aaral.

   At ngayon ay kasama na rin sa mga medium na ito ang mga internet platforms o online na medium.

   Sinabi ng EPRDC na mula sa ekstensibong pag aaral ng Philippine Normal University (PNU), napag alaman na ang online na edukasyon ay “nagbubunga ng pina-igting na pagiging masigasig sa pag-aaral sa mga batang mag-aaral sa halos lahat ng baitang.”

   Ang pananaliksik na ito ng EPRDC-PNU ay napag obserbahan sa loob ng sampung (10) taon. Ang pag aaral ay pinag sama-sama ni Dr.  Edna Luz Raymundo-Abulon.

Blended Learning. Hango sa Let’s Learn English

   Inihayag pa nang may diin ng EPRDC-PNU na maaring mapaglabanan ng Pilipinas ang phenomenon na “brain drain” sa pamamagitan ng ganitong bagong teknolohiya.  Ang brain drain ay ang pagkaubos ng mga Pilipinong skilled na piniling mag abroad.

   “Ang brain drain phenomenon — kung saan ang mga Pilipinong guro ay pinipili na mag-trabaho sa ibang bansa kaysa dito — ay dulot ng mababang sahod.  Ito rin ay dahil sa kakulangan ng oportunidad sa paglago ng propesyon sa Pilipinas,” ayon sa think tank.

   Ang pananaliksik ng PNU ay napapaloob sa walumpu’t sya (89) na nai-lathalang pag aaral.  Ito rin ay kinikilala ng mga refereed scientific journals o kinalalahukan ng mga batikang siyentista.  Sakop nito ay tatlumpu’t walong (38) proyektong pananaliksik. 

   Ito ay isinagawa ng mga propesyunal na guro ng PNU na nagsimula pa noong 2010 hanggang 2020.

   Ang pagaaral ni Balagtas et al. (2018), halimbawa na, ay nagpakita na ang teknolohiya sa pamamagitan ng blended modality sa mataas na paaralan sa kolehiyo ay napatunayang epektibo.  Ito ay partikular na sa pagtuturo sa Learning Management Systems (LMS).   

   Ang LMS ay isang programa sa computer o software para patakbuhin ang isang programang pang edukasyon na ang layon ay magturo ng skills o ng trabahong pang-kabuhayan o kakayahan.

   Sa pag aaral naman ni Sarmiento at Prudente, napag-alaman na isang praktikal na gamit ng MyOpenMath, isa ring software o programa sa computer, ay pigilan ang pangongopya ng mga mag aaral sa sagot o homework ng iba.

   Sa isa pang pag aaral sa PNU (nila Mancao, Morales, Abulon, Ermita at David), ipinakita na ang mga mag aaral ay may positibong perception o pananaw  sa pag gamit ng online na pagtuturo kahalo ang pagtuturo sa silid-paaralan (classroom). 

DepEd Blended Learning Mode

   Naniniwala ang mga mag aaral na ang blended learning  ay isang epektibo at mahusay na paraan na matuto ng mga kursong pang kolehiyo.

   Masaya at nakaka-aliw ring paraan para matuto ang online learning, ayon sa isang pananaliksik mula sa sa isang klase ng Teacher Education Institution (TEI).  Ang TEI ay may layon na mag hubog ng skills ng mga guro.

   “Ang pag gamit ng low-cost tablets (portable computers) – online o offline man – ay isinagawa ng isang semester sa isang TEI.  Napag alaman rito na ang online learning ay naging masayang paraan para matuto gamit ang tablet at mga apps (Cacho et. Al., 2017.”

   Ang pag gamit ng smartphones, sa loob man ng klase o pagkatapos ng klase, ay sinubukan ng mga pre-service na guro (Cacho 2017).

“Ini-ugnay ng pag aaral na ito ang mabisang pag-gamit ng mga apps sa android phones sa epektibong pag-alam ng mga mag aaral ng mga mahalagang kaalaman o heneral na impormasyon.   May pagkakaisa ang mga mag-aaral sa mga aktibidad na nangangailangan ng  collaborative o pagtulung-tulong sa pagaaral.”

   Subalit sa kabila ng masidhing pagnanais ng mga mag-aaral sa kolehiyo sa pag-gamit ng ganitong teknolohiya, ang nagiging balakid ay ang kawalan ng mga qualified na guro na may kasanayang gumamit ng mga software at hardware.

   Kasama na rin  nito ang prublema sa kakulangan ng mga gadgets at koneksyon sa internet na isa sa mga pangunahing balakid.

   Ang pag-aaral ni Mancao et al. noong 2015 ay nagsabi, “Kailangan ng angkop na tulong ng mga unibersidad sa pagsasagawa ng ganitong pedagohiya o bagong pamamaraan ng pagtuturo.   Kailangan na magkaroon ng mga standard templates, class schedules, at mga alituntunin sa online learning.“

   “Sa bawat makabagong istratehiya, kailangan muna ang sapat na pasilidad at mga guro na may kaalaman at mastery.  Dapat rin lumahok ang mga mag-aaral upang ang mga alintuntunin ay masunod.“

   Maari rin matugunan ng blended learning ang suliranin sa kakulangan ng mga silid paaralan.  Ang ideyal na size ng klase ay dalawampu (20) hanggang tatlumpu (30).

   Sa kabila nito, hindi kakaiba na makakita ng klase na may apatnapung (40) mag-aaral sa mababang paaralan.

   “Isang pagaaral ang nagsuri  ng pamamaraan ng pagtuturo na epektibo sa malaking klase (Reyes & Dumanhug, 2015).   Ito rin ay may kinalaman sa blended learning,” sabi ni Abulon.

   Ang isa pang mahalagang pasilidad sa pag-aaral sa mataas na paaralan ay ang online library, ayon kay Abulon.

   Ang PNU mismo ay may web-based research management system.  Ito ay bahagi ng research portal ng PNU. Mayroon itong mabilis at may sistemang paraan sa pagmo-monitor ng lahat ng sipi ng mga pananaliksik ng PNU.

   Nanawagan rin ang EPRDC-PNU na siguruhin ng gubyerno na ang curriculum sa mataas na paaralan ay tumutugon sa pangkasalukuyang pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan.

   Sinabi raw ni Anito and Morales sa isang report na, “Ang archaic (o makalumang) paraan ay hindi na tumutugon sa kanyang mga hangarin.” (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Bayer donates Php 2.7 million to Philippine Red Cross for Typhoon Odette operation

Typhoon Odette relief operations

February 3, 2022

Bayer is supporting communities impacted by Typhoon Odette with a donation of Php 2.7 million to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). The donation will be used by the PRC to address the urgent need of families in evacuation centers and typhoon affected areas for clean drinking water and food.

   “Seeing the impact of Typhoon Odette and the severe damage on so many homes and livelihoods in the process – it was without question that Bayer would support relief efforts through organizations like the Philippine Red Cross. We want to help enable access to food and clean drinking water which are necessary for good health” said Angel Michael Evangelista, Managing Director for Bayer Philippines, Inc.

   The PRC is a foremost humanitarian organization actively aiding families whose homes and livelihoods were either partially or totally damaged by the typhoon.

   “On behalf of the staff and volunteers of the Philippine Red Cross, we would like to thank Bayer for their humanitarian aid. Bayer is certainly a company we’ve worked with in the past for Typhoons Yolanda and Ulysses” said PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Richard Gordon.

   “Typhoon Odette must not be a forgotten disaster. With this donation from Bayer, we clearly see that there are still good companies who are conscious of their social responsibility and helping people in need.”

Virtual turnover call between Bayer Philippines Inc. Managing Director Angel Michael Evangelista, Bayer Communications Manager Nadira Abubakar, and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chairman and CEO Senator Richard Gordon, PRC Secretary Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, and PRC Fund Generation Manager Michael Jalbuena

   As a life science company, Bayer provides solutions in pharmaceuticals, consumer health, and in agriculture. “Our vision at Bayer is ‘health for all, hunger for none’, and this aligns with what we want to achieve both as an organization and as individuals,” added Evangelista.

   According to PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, they aim to provide aid to 29,900 families in the form of shelter and cash, to give food and non-food items to 20,000 families, and supply as much water as needed. So far they have provided over 4 million liters of water in the affected areas of Cebu, Bohol, Siargao Island, Agusan del Norte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Palawan, Lapu-Lapu, and Southern Leyte.

Bayer- Red Cross aids in Cebu’s restoration

   In line with its vision of “Health for all, hunger for none”, Bayer also donated Php 4 million in 2020 during Typhoon Ulysses, and donated products in 2013 during Typhoon Yolanda to the PRC. 

Innovations in sustainable agriculture sought to be recognized amid typhoon destructions from climate change, Covid 19 pandemic

January 18, 2022

With the Philippines’ growing population and the many challenges faced by the agricultural sector already burdened by the pandemic situation to sustainably meet demand for food supply, the need to help both people and planet thrive is stronger than ever.

   To recognize and support much needed sustainable agriculture programs in the country, the Pest Management Council of the Philippines, Inc. (PMCP) and Bayer CropScience Philippines is now opening the PMCP-Bayer Agricultural Sustainability Award for nominees.    

   The Award aims to put the spotlight on high-impact programs and initiatives accomplished by individuals contributing towards promoting and strengthening agricultural sustainability in the country.

   The PMCP-Bayer Agricultural Sustainability Award is open to individuals from the private and public sector – such as researchers, scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs, government officials, employees, or part of the academe.

   Individuals should have accomplished either of the following within the scope of both pest management and agricultural sustainability:

• Developed a research paper contributing to sustainable pest management practices

• Demonstrated the importance of sustainable use of agricultural technologies for small holder farmers

• Conducted a field trial or experiment that resulted to a milestone or learning on sustainable pest management

• Spearheaded an initiative leading to advocacy or promotion (ex. educational programs) of sustainable pest management practices and adoption of sustainable agricultural practices

• Contributed to enactment of significant policies or guidelines on sustainable pest management

• Acted as a catalyst within his/her community or organization that led to shift in pest management practices with sustainability principles

   A newly established Award, the nominee’s accomplishments should have been completed within 2019-2021 with sufficient documentation to show evidence of his/her accomplishment and its PMCP-Bayer Agricultural Sustainability Award open for Filipino agri changemakers — impact on agricultural sustainability, including letters of recommendation from the nominee’s network.

   Nomination period runs from January 15, 2022 to March 31, 2022 with an evaluation period from March-April 2022. Nominations must be sent via email to

   After the evaluation period, the chosen awardee will be announced during the PMCP Annual Scientific Conference in July 2022.

   He or she will receive a plaque and 50,000 pesos cash prize. About the PMCP-Bayer Agricultural Sustainability Award Guided by its vision of “Health for all, Hunger for none”,    

   Bayer promotes inclusive growth and responsible use of resources to help people and planet thrive.

Bayer’s Sustainable Agriculture practices contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals

   Sustainability is an integral part of its strategy and values, with sustainability targets that include reducing the environmental impact of crop protection while promoting sustainable production and circular options that reduce, recycle, reuse and replace.

    Thus, recognizing the vital role of experts and stakeholders in agricultural pest management to deliver effective & practical solutions for farmers, the PMCP-Bayer Agricultural Sustainability Award aims to highlight high-impact initiatives geared towards agricultural sustainability.

   For more information, please email

Phil. Science High School teachers continue to inspire in CMB Natatanging Guro Awards 2021

November 21, 2021

Teaching in the middle of a pandemic is no easy feat, but three teachers from the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) continued to level up and inspire teaching excellence in the 5th Cleofe M. Bacungan Natatanging Guro Awards ceremony (CMB NGA) held online last November 19, 2021.

   This year, the CMB Natatanging Guro awardees are Kristine Joy Aguila of the PSHS Main Campus (Humanities and Social Sciences category); Ronna Magto of the PSHS Western Mindanao Campus (Mathematics and Computer Science category); and Erika Eunice Salvador of the PSHS Western Visayas Campus (Natural Sciences category).

   The CMB Natatanging Guro Awards aim to help maintain the high teaching excellence in the PSHS to shape globally competitive Filipino scientists equipped with 21st century skills.        

   The keynote message was delivered by Vice President Leni Robredo, who thanked the PSHS faculty and expressed her appreciation for all their extra effort in developing the country’s next professionals and leaders in science and technology despite the challenging pandemic situation.

   “Maraming salamat sa lahat ng sakripisyo ninyo para sa kabataan at para sa bayan. Bilang dating guro, alam ko yung bigat ng responsibilidad na hubugin ang values at thought processes ng susunod na henerasyon. Kaya saludo ako sa bawat isa sa inyo. This responsibility takes on even more gravity as we face the greatest challenge of our time. Edukasyon ang isa sa mga pinaka apektadong sektor at hanggang ngayon patuloy ang pag-aadjust natin sa online classes at modular learning” said Vice President Robredo.

   Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena of the Department of Science and Technology also congratulated the awardees, highlighting the critical role of teachers in social growth.

   He emphasized that the awardees performed beyond the minimum requirements of their duties and met the standards of the CMB Natatanging Guro Awards. 

   This made the Philippine Science High School the “home of exceptional teachers who are our engineers of learning, our advocates of critical thinking, and our partners in creating a new breed of Filipinos who will create a positive impact on our country” said Sec. Dela Pena.

   Bayer Philippines Inc., a global life science company and CMB Natatanging Guro Awards event partner this year, expressed appreciation for the PSHS teachers and the importance of supporting science education.

   “Bayer is here with the Philippine Science High School in support of science – to appreciate the teachers who are developing this country’s scientific talent,” said Angel-Michael Evangelista, Managing Director and Country Division Head for Pharmaceuticals at Bayer Philippines.

   “We look forward to collaborating more with the Philippine Science High School in the future because our country needs your scientific talent now more than ever. In the face of so many challenges like food security, climate change, and this pandemic – the world needs us to make science for a better life”

   Inspiring excellence in teaching the CMB Natatanging Guro Awards is the flagship program of the Cleofe M. Bacuñgan Natatanging Guro Endowment Fund instituted by PSHS Alumni Batch 1982 in 2007. It has since evolved into tripartite endeavor of the PSHS System; the PSHS National Alumni Association and the PSHS Foundation, Inc. The CMB Natatanging Guro Awards are open every three years to all PSHS faculty in its campuses across the country.  It aims to help maintain high teaching excellence in the PSHS.  This is key to producing globally competitive Filipino scientists equipped with 21st century skills guided by core values of truth, excellence, and service to the nation.

   The Awards are given to outstanding teachers in the following categories: Natural Sciences; Mathematics and Computer Science and Humanities. Criteria for selection are: Teaching Effectiveness; Research and Creative Work; Academic Background and Professional Development; and Administrative and Extension Work.

   The winning Natatanging Guros are awarded P50,000.00 and given the CMB Natatanging Guro trophy. This year’s awarding ceremony was held virtually and streamed live over the PSHS Facebook Page and on YouTube.

New genetically modified hybrid corn gives stable yield with additional 1.7 MT per hectare; farmers to net as much as P70,000 per hectare

October 19, 2021

A new corn hybrid with superior performance that can yield an additional 1.7 metric tons (MT) per hectare has been released by Bayer CropScience Philippines Inc.

   Called Dekalb 8282S, it has shown reliable performance in both wet and dry seasons with strong resistance to a wide variety of pests, protecting potential yield that can bring Filipino farmers an estimated net income of as much as P70,000 per hectare.

Two modes of action that kill four highly destructive pests

   Given recent challenges in local corn production and high demand from the feeds industry, the new hybrid can help farmers increase their production and match those demand.

   “We’ve called it a ‘blockbuster’ hybrid because we have that much faith in this new hybrid. It will be a big help to our farmers in the corn business and they can be assured of the high quality that has always been associated with the Dekalb brand” says Iiinas Ivan Lao, Country Commercial Lead of Bayer CropScience (BCS) Philippines during the online launch at the BCS Philippines Facebook page.

   “The corn market in the Philippines is continuously evolving. Year on year, farmer demands change, price fluctuations, drought or heavy rains contribute to farmers’ unstable production. This is why Bayer is launching Dekalb 8282S in the Philippines,” Erwin Vibal, Grower Marketing Head at BCS.

Dekalb 8282S gives additional yield of 1.7 metric tons per hectare versus other hybrids

   “We want farmers to have a stable, reliable product that they can count on to perform despite difficult market and weather conditions and infestations – and Dekalb has a hybrid that provides that protection from risks and losses in corn production.”

   Potential to earn higher than average yield

   Achieving full maturity at 110 days, Dekalb 8282S has a relatively high shelling recovery at 84% which is higher than the 72% of other hybrids.

   It is also capable of yielding up to of 6.2 to 8 MT per hectare, which is an increase of 1.7 MT per hectare compared to the Philippines’ national corn average yield of 4.5 to 5 MT per hectare.    

   Given a conservative price of P15 per kilo at farm gate, farmers can earn a gross revenue of P120,000. This is equivalent to P50,000 to P70,000 net income given cost of P50,000 and yield of 8 MT per hectare.

Dekalb8282S has high shelling recovery of 84% compared to 72% in other hybrids

   This is true to farmers who follow experts’ recommendations including their adaption to recommended agronomic practices such as the ideal planting population of 80,000 to 90,000 plants per hectare.

   Strong resistance to FAW, variety of pests Dekalb 8282S also has strong resistance to the highly destructive Fall Army Worm (FAW) which has infested corn farms across the Philippines.

   It is the only corn seed in the market that has full approval for FAW-resistance from the Fertilizer and Pest Authority (FPA).

   “Fall Army Worm is very destructive because it is not selective. It does not only attack for one cycle. But it can attack two or three times over seasons,” said Vibal.

   The hybrid can also resist other highly destructive pests such as the Asiatic Corn Borer, Common Cutworm, and Earworm.

   Field trials showed that the corn variety has 46% less damaged kernels versus other varieties due to its VT DoublePro which has two modes of action in killing pests.

   Ready for rain or drought

   Another notable trait of Dekalb 8282S is its durability in either rainy or drought periods as evidenced by its stable high yield whether in drought-prone Isabela or the rain-rich farms in Pangasinan.

   “Whether it’s dry season or wet season, farmers have 88% winning chance in using Dekalb 8282S—whether it’s corn after rice planting or corn after corn,” said Vibal.

   “Not all hybrids have that trait. We strive to bring new technologies to farmers. Our vision is ‘Health for All, Hunger for None,’” said Vibal. “It’s not only for business, but we want to address hunger and the food security crisis by offering technologies. It’s not enough for  farmers to earn. We want them to prosper. We want to take them to a different dimension, to the next level.”

Dekalb 8282S gives an additional 1.7 metric tons per hectare versus other hybrids

   New interactive, digital experience for farmers Aside from the new hybrid, Bayer CropScience Philippines also introduced the DEKALB 360 Virtual Bayer Learning Center featuring Dekalb 8282S. This interactive virtual experience brings the Bayer Learning Center to life online which farmers can explore and learn from while in the safety of their homes. They can watch yield and grain quality tests and listen to experts and farmer feedback about the new Dekalb hybrid. It can be accessed via any Internet browser on any device or via their smartphone which can also be complemented with a clip-on VR device. For more information, follow the Bayer CropScience Philippines and Dekalb Philippines Facebook pages. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Online loyalty portal and ordering platform gives farmers digital farming advantage

October 14, 2021

Filipino farmers who want easier access to agricultural  supplies can now place orders online and earn rewards via a website called “myAgroLink”. 

   Launched by Bayer CropScience Philippines Inc. (BCS), “myAgroLink” is an online ordering platform and  loyalty portal that enables farmers to place an order for a variety of agricultural supplies.  That is whether  for high-yielding seeds or crop protection products, it can now be done all from the comfort of his home. 

   “At Bayer, we continue to research and develop ways to help our agricultural community. In this  digital age, we’re looking at what we can do to help make farming easier.  In a  pandemic where movement is limited, this can help ensure the continuity of farming activities to  secure food production and supply” said Erwin Vibal, Grower Marketing Head at Bayer  CropScience Philippines.

   Through myAgroLink, farmers can choose their dealer or distributor of choice to place their order  which can be paid and picked up at the store.

myAGroLink online ordering platform helps in continuity of countryside farming amid pandemic

   It’s also a rewards system for loyal customers who can earn points from their purchases and instantly claim those points to get a prize.

   “What’s good  about the reward system is that it’s an instant reward. You get points that can be claimed as  vouchers for mobile load, SM, Jollibee, Puregold, 7-11 and other establishments once you place  your order” said Aaron N. Cano, BCS New Business Activation Head.

   Bayer is targeting that a majority of the 3,000 plus dealer networks for agricultural inputs be  registered on the platform to serve farmers.

   “We are convincing more dealers to sign-up and  register to serve farmers’ orders” said Cano.          

  “The farmer places his order on myAgroLink, and the  dealer is notified of this order. Both farmer and dealer earn loyalty points once the purchase is validated.”

   Dealers nationwide are likewise expected to be linked to networks and they can also  register to become a dealer of choice for farmers.

Accessible, adaptable platform for Filipino farmers

   There’s also no need to download a specific app since myAgrolink can be accessed via Android  or iOS smartphones through any mobile browser, or via any laptop or PC that has Google  Chrome, Firefox, or equivalent web browsers while connected to the Internet.

How to claim reward from using myAgroLink online ordering platform

   Considering the growing trend of farming communities connected to the internet via smartphones  and other devices, there’s potential for the platform to take off.

   “We’re going there (full internet  connectivity). We want to introduce myAgroLink while farmers are getting connected to the  internet and see how we can improve as we get feedback from farmers on what is important to  them” said Cano.

   “This pilot program will help us to determine the acceptance and user  experience. We want to have a system that is relatable, easy to use and meaningful, not just any  off-the-rack solution that is available. We want myAgroLink adapted to the Philippine condition.”

   To explore myAgroLink, visit their website at and reach their  support chat via 0926-653-2733 or 09685452264. For more information, check out the Bayer  CropScience Philippines Facebook Page and watch their Facebook Live event recording of the  online launch. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

Philippines’ population to grow at a slower pace to 110.881 million in 2021, Family Planning and contraceptives remain imperative to economic growth

October 3, 2021

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) noted that Philippines’ population will grow in 2021— at a slower pace though—as the number is projected to reach  110,881,756..

   The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) latest Census of Population announced the country’s population in 2020 at 109,035,906.

  “Despite the rise in absolute numbers, the population grew gradually to 1.31% by the start of 2021,” POPCOM reported. 

   In comparison over the last decade, Philippines traditionally posted a 2.3% population growth pe

   However, this remains to highlight the need  to empower women to take control of their health and make their own choices on family planning and contraception in the digital age amidst challenges due COVID-19.

   During the World Contraception Day online event last September 23 by the Department of Health (DOH), POPCOM and Bayer Philippines, Inc, POPCOM highlighted the impact of the pandemic on access to  contraception and family planning, particularly for adolescents.

   “Worldwide, the COVID-19 outbreak has significantly impaired access  to and awareness of the far-reaching benefits of contraception. It’s essential that we continue to support self-determined family planning and make contraceptives more accessible to a greater number of Filipinos,”said POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III.

   “During this pandemic, our plans for our families, led by mothers who are minors or teenagers, can be easily compromised by this health emergency,” Perez said.

   Angel-Michael Evangelista, managing director and Pharmaceuticals head  of Bayer Philippines, Inc., said Bayer has intensified its commitment to providing unbiased, accurate, and  trusted information about contraceptive methods.

   “In 2019, we launched the Ask Mara automated chat via Facebook where you can know more about pregnancy, the pill and other contraceptive methods,” Evangelista said.

  “Educating and enabling women, especially adolescents, to make more informed choices on contraception helps improve their quality of life and economic capability. Together with our partners, I’m sure we can contribute to enhancing young women’s knowledge about the different contraceptive choices and importance of family planning.”

Slower population growth in NCR

   The foreseen slower population growth is attributable to government’s having stepped up efforts to reverse the adverse effect of the Covid 19 pandemic. Thus, in 2020, Metro Manila registered significant gains for having had among the lowest population growth of only 0.97% in the last five years. 

    POPCOM reported a favourable development that many Filipino women in Metro Manila (National Capital Region) now opt for smaller families. 

   It resulted from lower fertility rate, POPCOM disclosed.  Sizes of families are trending lower at 4 members, POPCOM reported. That is compared to family size of at least 7 members in previous years.

Women’s reasons for using birth control methods. Credit-Guttmacher

Supporting women in the Philippines and across Asia Pacific

   Recognizing the urgent need for more dedicated work to secure continuity of access to healthcare, Bayer convened an Asia Pacific virtual roundtable last September 24, 2021 titled

#TakeControl: Shaping Digital Health for Women in the COVID Decade.

   The virtual event gathered healthcare professionals, policymakers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), telehealth providers, industry associations, and digital influencers and underlined their commitment to support women in taking control of their health.

   Comprised of 3 distinct expert panels, the virtual roundtable also marks the 15th anniversary of

World Contraception Day with 15 key partners.  Among these are the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Pathfinder International, POPCOM,  Indonesia Midwives Association, Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology (TAOG), DOC2US, Malaysian Pharmacists Society and Reach52.

   The first expert panel “No Woman Left Behind: COVID-19 and Unplanned Pregnancies” drew

attention to the urgent impact of COVID-19 on women’s access to healthcare and family planning resources and the burden of unplanned pregnancies.

   “With a third of the country affected, health services for the women of reproductive age have been reduced.  One-third of our women have had to take difficult transportation means to get to health services” said Perez.

   He also stressed that “the most important problem women experienced in the middle of the pandemic is unplanned pregnancies ranging from teen pregnancies to pregnancies among the general population.”

    “Women today in the Philippines are also concerned about violence during the period of pandemic– emotional, physical, sexual violence.”

   Movement restrictions (lockdowns) have driven women to go online for more information on healthcare and family planning. However, misconceptions and cultural and social stigma are still challenges within these topics.

   The second expert panel “Step Into Her World: Engaging to Empower Online” discussed key drivers of misinformation on family planning and contraception online, the need for credible voices on popular platforms, and the importance of sustained dialogue.

   “A lot of women in the Philippines are going online now. I’ve seen a shift in attitude and demand for more doctors to also be online. What’s sad is that many women are online, but not the doctors,” said Dr. Michelle Dado, OBGYN and president of Quezon City Medical Society District IV.

   “Education is the only way to encourage healthcare professionals to become more digitally savvy and translate what they do in a face-to-face consultation onto an online platform. This will help to break the endless cycle of misinformation online that may in turn lead to many young women making misinformed contraceptive choices.”

   The pandemic has also accelerated healthcare digitization on an unprecedented scale.

   Experts on the third concluding panel “The New Phygital: Innovating Expanded Access to Women’s Health” shed light on how technology has been a critical enabler in the recovery and  resilience of today’s health systems.

   At the conclusion of the virtual roundtable, all 16 panelists collectively pledged to renew their

commitment to empower women to take control of their health and lives despite the pandemic.

   They also called for wider public support to join in the pledge and give voice to women’s health needs and empowerment.

   Across Asia Pacific, Bayer has been collaborating with governments and organizations to introduce initiatives that promote greater contraception awareness and education.

   The partnerships are with the BKKBN in Indonesia, POPCOM in the Philippines, Department of Health’s Bureau of Reproductive Health in Thailand, and the Family Planning and Women’s Union (FPWU) and Government Office of Family Planning (GOPFP) in Vietnam. For more information on contraception awareness and education, please visit