Tuesday, March 15, 2016

DA-Bicol revives use of ‘Panatang Makapalay’ during flag rites
By Danny O. Calleja

SORSOGON CITY, March 14 (PNA) -– The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol regional office has renewed the recitation of “Panatang Makapalay” at the end of flag-raising ceremonies of government offices, two years after the practice, started with the takeoff of the 2013 National Year of the Rice celebration, fizzled out.

The renewal came with the revival of the same occasion this month, agriculture officials on Monday said here.

The “Panatang Makapalay” (Rice Pledge), which is originally written in Filipino language to promote rice- saving attitude among Filipinos, goes this way:

Bilang isang mamayang Filipino, nakikiisa ako sa panatang huwag magsayang ng kanin at bigas (Being a Filipino citizen, I am promising not to waste cooked rice and raw rice grains).

Magsasaing ako nang sapat lamang at sisiguraduhing tamang-tama and pagkakaluto nito (I will cook just enough rice for consumption and will ensure that every batch is well done).

Kukuha ako nang kaya ko lang ubusin upang sa aking pinggan ay walang matirang kanin. Ganu'n din ang aking gagawin kung may handaan o kung sa labas ako kakain (I will get a serving that I can consume so there will be no leftover on my plate. I will practice the same whenever I eat in fiestas, parties, restaurants or whenever I eat outside my home).

Ang brown rice or pinawa ay susubukan kong kainin, pati na ang ibang pagkain bukod sa kanin tulad ng saba, kamote at mais (I will try eating brown rice and other energy-giving foods such as saba banana, camote and corn).

Ituturo ko sa iba ang responsableng pagkonsumo nang mabigyang-halaga ang pagod ng mga magsasaka at nang makatulong na maging sapat ang bigas sa Pilipinas (I will preach to others the responsible rice consumption in order to give importance to farmers’ hard work and help in attaining and maintaining adequate rice supply).

Aking isasapuso ang panatang ito dahil sa bawat butil ng bigas o kanin na aking matitipid ay may buhay na masasagip (I will practice this pledge with all my heart, because for every rice and rice grain I save, there is a life that can be saved).

According to Thess Destura, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) chief, the revival of the pledge comes with efforts to help the DA and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRICE) in the renewed campaign to prevent rice wastage amid the dry spell confronting some areas of the country and promote the consumption of healthier varieties of the staple.

Taking off from the National Year of Rice in 2013 as declared by President Benigno Aquino III, the campaign, dubbed as “BE RICEponsible”, is a crusade that aims to encourage farmers, legislators, and the people to be responsible rice consumers in their own way.

The campaign is contained in Presidential Proclamation No. 494 that declared year 2013 as National Year of Rice with the theme, "Sapat na Bigas, Kaya ng Pinas" as part of the Philippine Government bid to achieve rice sufficiency starting 2013.

This advocacy campaign is aimed at promoting productive farming and responsible rice consumption for better health and less rice wastage.

In line with such proclamation, the DA-Bicol has sought the approval of the Regional Development Council (RDC) of a resolution enjoining all government offices and LGUs in the region, including secondary and elementary schools to recite the "Panatang Makapalay" during flag-raising ceremonies every Monday.

With the RDC approval, flag-raising ceremonies in government offices and schools were held not only with the singing of the National Anthem and with the recitation of the "Panatang Makabayan" but also included the recitation of the "Panatang Makapalay"—a practice that did not last long, however.

Destura said the BE RICEponsible campaign is informing everybody, particularly the consumers, on how they can help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency.

As part of the sustained campaign, she said, PhilRice started last year urging government organizations (GOs), local government units (LGUs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) to support the campaign.

The institute has also sponsored the “Be RICEponsible Contest”, a year-long search that started last Oct. 15 for GOs, LGUs and HEIs that best implement the campaign.

According to Destura, OPAg-Sorsogon is joining the contest in support to the campaign and has re-launched the “Panatang Makapalay” to strengthen the office’s commitment towards responsible rice consumption and encourage, as well, other employees of the provincial government to do the same.

The recitation of the pledge was re-started with the flag-raising ceremony on the first Monday of this month and will go on with the same activity with each of the next flag-raising ceremonies being conducted in front of the Capitol every Monday, she said.

“This is also our way to make the people pay gratitude to our farmers who sweat out to provide us rice to eat three times a day,” she added. (PNA) LAP/FGS/DOC/CBD