Sunday, April 19, 2009

Margarita Manibay de la Torre-de la Cruz:
An Expert on Community Based-Coastal Resource Management


Melchor F. Cichon
April 20, 2009

Prof. Margarita de la Torre-de la Cruz was born on September 19, 1953 in Bobon, Northern, Samar. Her parents are Pedro de la Torre and Monserrat Manibay. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Fisheries major in Fish Processing Technology degree in October 1973 at the UP College of Fisheries, Diliman, Quezon City. After teaching at the Bobon School of Fisheries for two years, she transferred to the Development Academy of the Philippines as a project assistant for four years. She then joined the faculty of the UPV College Tacloban wherein she got a local fellowship from the U.P. System. She took a Master of Science in Fisheries Biology degree and graduated in May 1986. Her thesis is entitled: Catch composition and seasonal abundance of fish corral caught fishes in Guiuan, Eastern Samar with notes on the biology of some commercially important species.

This study became her turning point in her scientific studies.

Here are some of her researches and published articles:

De la Cruz, Margarita de la Torre. 1986. Catch composition and seasonal abundance of fish corral caught fishes in Guiuan, Eastern Samar with notes on the biology of some commercially important species. May 1986. 157 leaves. Thesis (M.S. in Fisheries)—U.P. in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo.

De la Cruz, Margarita de la Torre, K. Muroga. 1989. The effects of Vibrio anguillarum extracellular products on Japanese eels. Aquaculture 80:201-210.

De la Cruz, Margarita de la Torre, G Erazo, MN Bautista. 1989. Effect of storage temperature on the quality of diets for the prawn, Penaeus monodon Fabricius. Aquaculture 80:87-95

De la Cruz, M. T. 1994. Preliminary observation on the spawning grounds and embryonic development of cuttlefish, Sepia latimus, in Leyte Gulf. UP Tacloban College, Tacloban City. Terminal Report.

De la Cruz, M. T. and Sape, R. M. 1998. Preliminary assessment of the water quality of Bao River, Leyte. UP Tacloban College, Tacloban City. Terminal Report.

De la Cruz, Margarita de la Torre. 2007. Growth performance and survival of abalones Haliotis asinina Linnaeus reared in different salinities. UPV J Nat Sci 12(1):129-133.

Prof. De la Cruz teaches at the UP Tacloban College, Tacloban City. She is married to Engr. Wilfredo de la Cruz, with whom she has two sons.

Source: UPV Directory of Expertise; A Guide to University Human Resources, University of the Philippines in the Visayas. Miag-ao, Iloilo: Office of Research Coordination, UPV, 1996.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Carmen Camacho Velasquez: Distinguished Fish Parasitologist

One of a few Filipino experts on fish parasitology is Dr. Carmen Camacho Velasquez. A former professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, she published a pioneering book titled Digenetic Trematodes of Philippine Fishes (1975). This book provides a comprehensive summary of the classification, structure, life histories and distribution of known digenetic trematodes of Philippine fishes.

Here is an excerpt of an article about her in the nast.dost website: “Dr. Velasquez's contributions to science include thirty-two new species and one new genus of digenetic trematodes from Philippine food fishes, two from birds and five from mammals; nine life cycles of trematodes of the family Transversotrematidae, Echinostromatidae, Notocotylidae (2), Plagiorchidae, Heterophyidae (2), Microphallidae and Philophtalmidae. In addition, two new species of nematodes from Philippine fishes and a new species of Capillaria from the intestine of man. Also, a new species of parasitic copepod in Glossogobius giurus (Goby). Most of these works are published in international journals and cited in a number of journals abroad.”

Dr. Velasquez holds the following degrees: BS (Zoology), University of the Philippines, 1934; MS (Zoology), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1937 ; Ph. D. (Parasitology) University of the Philippines, 1954.

She received, among others, the following awards and honors:
1. Guggenheim fellowship (1957 and 1963)
2. The Presidential Distinguished Service Medal and Diploma of Honor (1965)
3. The Professional Chair in Zoology, University of the Philippines, 1973-1977.
4. The Special Award of the Biology Teachers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (1975)
5. Outstanding Woman in Science in the Philippines (1975)
6. National Scientist, 1983.

Dr. Velaquez is listed in the following prestigious directories:
American Men and Women of Science
International Scholars' Directory
International Who's Who of Intellectuals
World Whos' Who of Women

Dr. Carmen C. Velasquez was born in 1913 and died in 1994.

Anon. Apr-Sept 1989. In Memoriam. The Carillon Newsletter, p. 8.
Anon. Carmen C. Velasquez. Retrieved: April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dr. Arsenio S. Camacho: A Fish Nutrition Expert

Melchor F. Cichon

Dr. Arsemio S. Camacho was a professor at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines Visayas before he became its Chancellor from November 1, 1993 to August 16, 1998. He took his Ph. D. degree (Fisheries Management) at Auburn University, U.S.A.

Dr. Camacho was born on Janaury 23, 1945.

Aside from staying in America for his Ph. D. degree, Dr. Camacho had some overseas experiences. In 1977, he went to Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore for a study tour of Southeast Asian educational institutions and aquaculture nutrition laboratories. He also went to France in 1980 on a study tour of aquaculture institutions in that country.

Before he migrated to the United States of America, Dr. Camacho published several articles on fisheries more particularly on fish nutrition.

Here are some of them:

Camacho, AS. 1976. Mono and polyculture of bangus and all-male Tilapia mosambica in brackishwater ponds (Trial II). Inland Fisheries Project Technical Report no. 8, UP College of Fisheries, Diliman, Quezon City, pp. 16-26.

Camacho, AS. 1977. Implication of acid sulfate soils in tropical fish culture. In: Proceedings Joint South China Sea Fisheries Program and SEAFDEC Workshop on Aquaculture Engineering SCSP/GEN/7715, vol II, Manila, Philippines, pp. 97-102.

Camacho, AS. 1979. Nutrition in milkfish. In: Technical Consultation on Available Aquaculture Technology in the Philippines. SEAFDEC Aquaculture Dept. Tigbauan, Iloilo, pp. 43-47.

Camacho, AS. and Dureza, L.A. 1977. Feeding trial using treated and untreated ipil-ipil leaf meal in pelleted feed for tilapia. In: Inland Fisheries technical report nos. 11-12, U.P. College of Fisheries, Brackishwater Aquaculture Center, Leganes, iloilo, pp. 87-89.

Camacho, AS. and Corre, VL, Jr. 1987. The status of the Philippine shrimp farming industry. In: Report of the Workshop on the conversion of Mangrove Areas to Aquaculture held in Iloilo City, Philippines, April 24-26, 1986. UNDP/UNESCO research and training Pilot Programme on Mangrove Ecosystem in Asia and Pacific (RAS/79/002), New Delhi, 1987, pp. 128-145.

Camacho, AS. Corre, VL, Jr., Bien, N. 1982. Development of artificial feeds for milkfish fry for an extensive milkfish fingerling production. I. Optimum requirement of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and fats. In: Technical Report. Brackishwater Aquaculture Center, College of Fisheries, U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo, Philippines.

Camacho, AS, Corre, VL, Jr., Tubongbanua, ES. 1982. Use of agriculural by-products and waste substitutes. Iloilo. Technical Report. Brackishwater Aquaculture Center, College of Fisheries, U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo, Philippines.

Camacho, AS, Dureza, L., Gempis,C. 1977. the effects of varying salinity and hormone levels on growth, survival and sex reversal of the cichlid fry Tilapia mossambica. In: Inland Fisheries Technical Report nos. 11-12. U.P. College of Fisheries. brackishwater Aquaculture Center, Leganes, Iloilo,pp. 114-126.

Camacho, AS, Corre, VL, Jr., Bien, NB, Palao, JM. 1982. The development of artificial feeds for milkfish fry for an intensive milkfish fingerling production: optimum requirement of protein, carbohydates, vitamins and fats. In: Technical Report, 1978-1980. Brackishwater Aquaculture Center, College of Fisheries, U.P. in the Visayas, Leganes, Iloilo, pp. 1.2-1.34.

Camacho, AS and Bagarinao, T. 1986. Impact of fish pond management on the mangrove ecosystem. In: Mangroves of Asia and the Pacific: Status and Management; Technical Report of Asia of the UNDP/UNESCO research and Pilot Program on Mangrove Ecosystem in Asia and the Pacific. Quezon City, Philippines: Ministry of Natural Resources Management Center and national Mangrove Committee, pp. 383-406.

Camacho, AS. 1975. Status and needs of fish nutrition. In: PCAR Fisheries Research Congress, Ist, Legaspi City, 1975. Proceedings. Makati: SEAFDEC, PP. 97-105.

Camacho, AS. Fineman-Kaliao, A. 1987. the effects of supplemental feeds containing different protein energy ratios on the growth and survival of Oreochromis niloticus (L) in brackishwater ponds. Aquaculture and Fisheries Management 18:139-149.

When Dr. Camacho left the Philippines, the Filipinos lost an expert on fish nutrition, aquaculture, and invertebrate zoology.

Santos B. Rasalan: Early Leader In Philippine Fisheries

One of the early leaders and fisheries scientists in the Philippines was Santos B. Rasalan.

Born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, on October 29, 1905, the young Santos finished the degree of Bachelor of Science in Zoology at the University of the Philippines in 1903. He has five children with the former Calixta Balicanta also of Sarrat.

In 1934, he worked as a student assistant in the Fish and Game Administration of the Department of Agriculture and Commerce in 1934. It was through this assistantship that his interest on fisheries developed. He worked as Ichthyologist, Assistant Fish Culturist, Fishing Gear Specialist, Fishery Technologist, Chief of the Marine Fisheries Division. The highest position he handled was Deputy Commissioner of the Fisheries and Officer-in-Charge when Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos appointed him to that position in March 1966. On July 5, 1967, the Commission on Appointment confirmed his appointment as Deputy Commissioner for fisheries services, information and regulation.

Mr. Rasalan served as official Philippine delegate to various meetings abroad.

According to Nellie M. Anorico, Mr. Rasalan was the lone Philippine delegate to the 2nd FAO Technical Conference on Fishery Research Craft held at Seattle, Washington last May 1968. He was also the lone Philippine government delegate to the 10th session of the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council held at Seoul, Korea in 1962. He again attended the 12th session of the IPFC held at Honolulu, Hawaii from October 2-17, 1966.

During his term as Deputy Commissioner, he proposed, and was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Fernando Lopez, the amendment of Section 2 of the Fisheries Administrative Orders (FAO) no. 84.

Section two of the approved FAO says: "Section 2. Prohibition. - It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in electro-fishing or to catch fish by the use of electric current in freshwater fisheries in the Philippines such as rivers, lakes, swamps, dams, irrigation canals and other bodies of freshwater except for research, educational and scientific purposes which must be covered by a permit issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources which shall be carried at all times."

As a scientist, Mr. Rasalan contributed the following:

Rasalan, S. B. Si-si fishery of Samar, Philippine Islands. Phil J. Sci. 64 (1937).

Rasalan, S. B. Methods of preserving fishing appliances in Samar province. Phil. J. Sci. 73 (1940)

Rasalan, S. B. New methods of fish capture in the Philippines. Bull. Fish. Soc. Phil. 1(1950):57-66.

Rasalan, S. B. and D. V. Villadolid. The basnig, a bag net for pelagic fishing in the Philippines. Dept. of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Manila, Philippines. Tech. Bull. 21. In press.(as of 1951)

Rasalan, SB. 1953. Fish corral fishing in the Philippines. bull. Fish. Soc. Philipp. 3&4:45-63.

Rasalan, SB. 1950. New methods of fish capture in the Philippines. bull. Fish. Soc. Philipp. 1:57-68.

Rasalan, SB. 1952. Fishing gear commonly used in Philippine fishing. Philippine Fisheries, a handbook prepared by the Technical Staff of the Bureau of Fisheries, pp. 53-69.

Rasalan, SB and B. Y.Datingaling. 1952-1953. Bull. fish. Soc. Philipp 3/4:64-72.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dr. Minda J. Formacion: A Profile


Melchor F. Cichon

The third lady UP Visayas Chancellor is a zoologist, and an administrator of the highest order.

The UP Board of Regents approved her appointment during its 123th meeting on September 29, 2008. She will serve as UPV Chancellor effective November 1, 2008 until October 31, 2011.

Born in 1946, in Sta Cruz, Ilocos Sur, Dr. Minda J.Formacion is married and has two children.

Although her background is zoology (BS (Zoology, UP Diliman, 1966; M.A. in teching (Biology), U.P. Diliman, 1975; MS (Zoology), U.P. Diliman, 1983, and Ph.D (Zoology), National University of Singapore, 1992), her recent researches focus mostly on fisheries.

So far her researches include microalgae as sources of bioactive compounds for fish health and nutirion; reproductive biology of the mudclam, Imbaw, the farming of sea cucumber and sea urchin.

Before this, she worked on the overripening of ovulated eggs of goldfish,the focus of her dissertation.

Dr. Formacion co-authored two textbooks entitled Basic Concept in Biology, 2003, and Introduction to Biological Sciences, 2000. Her creative work, a learning object is "Sex Cells in the Making," considered as the first Learning Object to be uploaded in the UP Visayas website.

Dr. Formacion has been invited to present scientific papers in international conferences. In 1989, she was in Malaga, Spain during the 11th International Symposium on comparative Endocrinology. In 1992, she attended the 3rd Asian Fisheries Forum held in Singapore. This was followed in 1995 when she attended the 4th Asian Fisheries Forum in Beijing, China. In 2002, she attended the World Aquaculture 2002 Conference, also in Beijing, China.

Dr. Formacion had undergone research trainings in Japan on various occasions. She was an exchange researcher in Kagoshima University in 2006 in JSPS-DOST Core University Program in Fisheries Sciences. In 1982, she attended the 2nd International Training Course on Cell Biology of Early Development,sponsored by UNESCO, in Shimoda Marine Research Station and Sugashima Marine biological Station, Japan.

Her awards , grants and scholarships are many. Here are some:

Research Grants, Creative and Research Program, UP system (2004-2005)
Best Adviser Award, Natural Sciences Cluster, 1st UPV graduate research conference, UPV, 2005.
UPV Chancellor's Awrd for Outstanding Published research (1995)
RP/IBRD Scholarship award, National University of Singapore, 1985-1989.
Monbusho Research Scholarship, Nagoya University, Japan, 1981-1983.

Because of her outstanding contributions to Philippine sciences, she has been elected member of both local and international professional organizations. She is a member, among others, of Women Association of Scientists of the Philippines (WASP), International Society for Molecular and Cell Biology Protocols and Researches (ISMCBPR), and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Aside from being a scientist, Dr. Formacion is an administrator. For two decades, Dr. Formacion has held several administrative positions which very few people had the opportunity to hold on. Before she became the third lady UPV Chancellor, she was the Chair of the Division of Biological Sciences, UPV College of Arts and Sciences (UV-CAS) from 1979-1981; 1983-1985. In 1994, she became a Faculty Regent, Board of Regents, UP System. From 1996 to 2002, she was the Dean of the UPV CAS. In 2005, she was the Chair of the Search Committee for Chancellor,UP Mindanao, and consequently, became Chair of the Search Committee for Chancellor, UP Visayas.

Here is one philosophy that she holds on: "Once I arrived at a certain decision, that's it." That is how methodological and firm she is in her decision making.

These academic, administrative and other qualities of a lady made her the best choice for the UPV Chancellor.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dr. Jesus Juario

Dr. Jesus Juario: The A1 Filipino Fisheries Scientist


Melchor F. Cichon

Revised version received from Dr. Juario, July 31, 2008

In 2007, I prepared a site that features the birthdays of famous Filipinos in different fields like sports, business, movies, and science.

One of those that I included was Dr. Jesus Juario, a Filipino fisheries scientist.

I have read a lot about him, especially his contribution in the spawning of captured milkfish that became the basis for the development of the milkfish, siganid and seabass hatchery technologies at SEAFDEC AQD (1977 – 1986).

Since I am biased towards people who are trailblazers, I wanted to interview Dr. Juario to know more about him. Unfortunately, I really had no chance to be near him. If ever I had the chance to be close to him, I could not also talk to him as he was always busy.

When I became a member of the search committee to select a dean of the UPV Cebu College, I was in this college for about two days. I thought it was a good chance for me to interview him. I was not lucky. He was too busy for me.

Meanwhile, I collected some articles about him and compiled a list of his publications.

Of course, that collection of mine was not enough. I knew he has done so much that I was not aware of.

Then one afternoon someone told me that Dr. Juario wanted to get my email address.

Unfortunately, again, I could not give one because somebody hacked my email and I had not applied for a new one.

Two months after, I accidentally found his email address.

I emailed him and inquired why he was asking for my email address.

He said he found in a google site that I wrote something about him and he wanted to update me of his many accomplishments particularly his publications, the seminars/workshops he attended and more.

In our next email exchanges, he hinted that he was already in the United States of America. I had been thinking that he was still teaching in UPV Cebu College, Cebu City, Philippines where many of his brilliant ideas flourished. I did not remember that he turned down the offer to run as UPV Chancellor in 2005 because he only had about a year and a half left before his retirement, and he wanted to join his wife and children in the US upon retirement from UP Visayas as a faculty member.

To quench my thirst, he sent me a copy of his biobrief and a summary of his accomplishments. With very little editing, I am presenting here his inspiring profile:

Dr. Jesus Villarosa Juario was born on August 6, 1942 in Carcar, Cebu. He is the youngest son in a family of five. He graduated Bachelor of Science in Zoology magna cum laude from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, in March 1963, and finished his Master of Science in Zoology at the University of Hawaii, U.S.A., in May 1967 through an East-West Center Graduate Scholarship. His Ph.D. degree focused on Biology (Marine Biology) with a grade of "sehr gut" at the University of Hamburg, Germany through a German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Graduate Scholarship in July 1974.

Developed to become a scientist, Dr. Juario worked on marine nematodes.

As a scientist, Dr. Juario erected one genus and described 11 new species of free-living marine nematodes while working for his doctoral degree at the Institute for Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany. Together with other scientists from the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC AQD), he developed the technique to capture and transport wild adult milkfish and rear them in captivity. In April 1977, together with Dr. Hiralal Chaudhuri, he spawned for the first time wild adult milkfish in captivity and subsequently confirmed that the fry collected by Delsman in 1929 from Indonesian waters and identified by him as milkfish were indeed milkfish fry. The results of their study were presented in Paimpont, France during the international symposium on the Reproductive Physiology of Fishes (Sept. 19-22, 1977). In the years that followed, he developed together with Ms. Marietta N. Duray, the technique to spawn milkfish, Chanos chanos, in captivity and later on the technique to spawn the siganid, Siganus guttatus, and the sea bass, Lates calcarifer, in captivity and rear the resulting larvae to metamorphosis. This formed as the basis for the development of the milkfish, siganid and seabass hatchery technology at SEAFDEC AQD (1977 – 1986). In 1979, he had a chance to work with Dr. I-Chiu Liao as an exchange scientist at the Tungkang Marine Laboratory in Taiwan on the hatchery of the grey mullet, Mugil cephalus, and with Dr. Ching Ming Kuo in 1980 as an exchange scientist at the Oceanic Institute in Hawaii to work on milkfish hatchery. As a research fellow at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Frankfurt, Germany, he worked with Prof. Dr. R. Reinboth (June to July 1982) on certain aspects of milkfish reproduction and with Prof. Dr. Volker Storch (August to September 1982) of the University of Heidelberg to develop a rapid technique of assessing the nutritional quality of feed/diets through electron microscopy. Together with Prof. Storch and Mr. Helmut Segner, a doctoral candidate, he has shown for the first time through electron microscopy that milkfish larvae could not digest Chlorella, the phytoplankton commonly used at that time together with rotifers to rear milkfish larvae to metamorphosis.

Because of his expertise in milkfish/finfish hatchery and culture, he was hired by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as the UNDP Aquaculture Expert for the Republic of Kiribati (September 1984 to June 1986) to explore the possibility of establishing a milkfish hatchery in Christmas Island (Kiritimati) and to develop, using local resources, a technique of producing milkfish fingerlings in ponds to be used as tuna baits.

In September 1986, Dr. Juario decided to leave SEAFDEC AQD and teach full time at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas Cebu College (UPVCC) so he could be with his family. While teaching at UPVCC, he was hired as a consultant by several private companies that were into milkfish/finfish and prawn hatchery and culture. One of the companies that hired him as a consultant was the Atlas Prawn Corporation in Balamban, Cebu. Together with its Fisheries Technicians, he developed a pond culture technique for the production of grouper fingerlings from fry collected from the wild, a technique for the commercial production of marketable-sized grouper in cages, and for the live transport of grouper fingerlings and marketable-sized fish.

In recognition of his works and significant contribution to Marine Biology, especially to the aquaculture industry in the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology, Region VII, chose him in 1990 as the Outstanding Scientist for Region VII.

In 1995-1996, Dr. Juario together with a DED consultant, Dr. Jörg Pilz used GIS to develop a Coastal Environmental Information System (CEIS) for the Management of Marine Resources in Cebu. After the institution of the CEIS Project at UPVCC, he was able to get research grants from USAID, DED, BFAR-FRMP and GTZ. This enabled him to involve several biology, social sciences faculty and graduate students to conduct studies related to coastal resource management and encouraged them to publish their results in peer-reviewed journals.

While a faculty member at UPVCC, he was also hired as a World Bank consultant for the preparation of the Central Visayas Regional Project Phase 2 Proposal for the Fisheries Sector – a community-based coastal resource management approach (Jan. 15, 1995 – April 15, 1995) and as PRIMEX consultant for the preparation of a project proposal supported by Asian Development Bank on "Integrated Milkfish Broodstock and Hatchery Fry Production for Western Visayas," (April 16, 1995 to May 15, 1995).

He was appointed chairperson of CHED’s Regional Quality Assessment Team for Science and Mathematics (1995 to 2000), of the Technical Evaluation Committee for the multimillion Fisheries Sector Research Projects (Aquaculture Research Projects) of the Dept. of Agriculture (1995,1996), of the Technical Evaluation Committee of the multimillion high impact AFMA Projects of the Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Research (1999), of the Technical Committee that reviews research proposals from the Visayas for PCAMRD-DOST funding (1995 to 2004) and of the Technical Committee of BFAR-VII that reviews research proposals and determines together with participants from different universities and colleges, the private sector, people’s and non-government organizations, the research directions of BFAR-VII (1990-2006).

In addition, he usually chaired the Technical Committee created by DENR-VII to review EIA, IEE and EIS (Feb. 2000 – 2006) before the issuance of ECCs. He was also a member of the screening committee created by NEDA to award graduate degree scholarships and training grants to applicants from the Visayas.

Dr. Juario, has been invited as speaker/resource person in many seminars, workshops and short term trainings related to aquaculture including the series of seminars held by the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center in Manila and to speak on topics related to Environmental/Coastal Resource Management and preparing research proposals and scientific papers for publication in peer reviewed journals.

During his sabbatical leave in 2003-2004, he was hired by USAID through DAI (Development Alternatives Inc.) as Fisheries Specialist and as LGU CRM Planning Specialist to facilitate the formulation of the CRM Plan for the Municipalities of Poro and Tudela in Camotes and Balamban, Cebu.

Together with some UPV faculty, he also facilitated the formulation of the CRM Plan for the municipality of Dumangas through a CIDA-funded project, "Principles in Practice in Ocean and Coastal Governance."

His legendary examinations and teaching methods had given him a very special place in the hearts of the many undergraduate and graduate students he had taught through the years. His unwavering principle and emphasis on academic excellence has made him a standard for the UPVCC biology faculty and students to emulate. His commitment to students is not only limited to class hours. He offers tutorials and group reviews and makes his consultation hours enjoyable.

In recognition of his accomplishments as a teacher and researcher and his services to the community, he was chosen by the University of the Philippines in the Visayas as the most Outstanding Faculty of UPVCC for 1986-1989 and by Metrobank as the Most Outstanding Teacher (College Level) for 1992 representing the provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

As the former Chairperson of the Natural Sciences Division and Dean of UPVCC, Dr. Juario had accomplished considerable and significant improvements and projects that far exceeded the achievements of previous administrators of the College.
To put everything in a nutshell, he was the very first Dean to be awarded a resolution by the UPVCC Student Council acknowledging his exceptional legacies and major contributions to the College. In addition, he received a Plaque of Recognition from the Civil Service Commission for being chosen as the semi-finalist from the Visayas for the Civil Service Pag-asa Award as an Academic Administrator and a very aptly worded Certificate of Appreciation from the UPV Chancellor which any Dean would surely dream to have.

Popularly known to the faculty, staff and students as a "hands-on" Dean, during his term new laboratories (biology, computer science, physics, chemistry, psychology, computerized radio room, TV production room, newsroom, the darkroom and workshop for the Fine Arts) were constructed, sophisticated laboratory and audio-visual equipment were acquired and other facilities were built through the financial grants he procured from the Government of Japan, Senator John Osmeña and the late Senator Marcelo Fernan.

This truly reflects his commitment to provide UPVCC students with quality education and service. He firmly believes that if students and faculty members are provided with well equipped laboratories and comfortable and clean classrooms, then teaching and learning will be effective and creativity among faculty and students will be greatly enhanced. His professional work attitude, work ethics and dedication have been a model to his staff and colleagues, making them more efficient and accommodating, perhaps as a consequence of his strong belief in leadership by example.

Dr. Juario has authored and co-authored 19 papers published in ISI-indexed journals, 11 in peer–reviewed national journals, 5 in International Scientific Proceedings, 5 in other national journals and newsletters, and a chapter of the book, "Production of Aquatic Animals – Fishes" a World Animal Science Series published by Elsevier and edited by C.E. Nash and A.J. Novotny, and 16 technical reports. He edited 2 and co-edited 1 international scientific proceedings and had been the executive editor of the peer reviewed UPV Journal of Natural Sciences from 1995-2006. In addition, he has presented 19 papers in international and national conferences, symposia and workshops. As a service to the private sector, to the aquaculture industry, and to the community he has authored and co-authored 15 extension manuals on either the hatchery or culture of milkfish, siganids and groupers, on the culture of Eucheuma and Caulerpa and on coastal resource management. As a teacher and trainor, he prepared 10 lecture notes for the international and national training programs of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, the UNDP/FAO Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and lecture notes on Genetics, Animal Physiology, General Physiology, G.E. Biology and Scientific Writing for UPVCC students.

Dr. Juario is married to Dr. Hosanna A. Famador, an obstetrician-gynecologist and a registered nurse presently (2008) working in Florida. They are blessed with three sons: two are both doctors of medicine and physical therapists and are now working in Florida; the youngest, a nurse, will join them soon.

Looking back, here are some illuminating words from Dr. Juario when this writer asked his opinions on various issues that relate to Philippine fisheries science and Philippine fisheries industry.

M. Cichon (MC) 1. What made you focus your career in fisheries?

Dr. Juario (Dr. J) Our fishery resources are dwindling not only because of the destruction of natural habitats but also because of ineffective implementation of our fishery laws. I believe I would be helping our country a lot and could help most especially the municipal fishermen to improve their lives if I will focus my career in fisheries and aquaculture and develop techniques or resource management schemes that would improve our dwindling fishery resources.

MC) 2. What do you consider your most important contribution to Philippine Fisheries?

Dr. J) 2a. The development of techniques, together with other SEAFDEC researchers, to spawn milkfish, Chanos chanos, the siganid, Siganus guttatus, and the seabass, Lates calcarifer, in captivity and rearing their resultant larvae to metamorphosis. The development of these techniques would improve the availability or supply of the fingerlings of these species for culture in ponds and cages. The results of my studies connected with the development of these techniques have been published in ISI-indexed journals (please refer to my list of publications).

Dr. J) 2b. The development of techniques, together with fisheries technicians from the Soriano – owned Atlas Prawn Corporation, to produce grouper fingerlings from wild caught fry for stocking in cages and the development of a technique to rear grouper fingerlings to marketable size in floating net cages. The results of these studies were presented in an international scientific conference.

(MC) 3. What makes Philippine Fisheries Science and Fisheries Industry so slow in their development and how can we tackle these two issues so that our future generations will have good memories about us?

(Dr. J) 3a. I think these are some of the most important reasons why Philippine Fisheries Science is so slow in its development:

(Dr. J) 3a.1 Unfortunately, the majority of our fisheries scientists do not and, in fact, many can not publish their works in ISI-indexed journals because there is something wrong with either the review of literature, data collection, experimental design or the way the paper is written. They would rather write a technical report, which is very easy to do, or publish their findings in local journals which do not require any peer review.

3a. 2) There are many colleges and universities offering graduate (masteral and doctoral) programs in Fisheries but their graduate faculty have not published a single paper in ISI-indexed journal or even in national peer-reviewed journals. Worse, most of these colleges and universities do not have subscriptions to or can not access ISI-indexed journals or at least Current Contents or Abstracts that would include ISI-indexed journals. This in turn would make it very difficult for fisheries scientists in these colleges or universities to write papers that could be published in ISI-indexed journals.

These two alone would significantly hinder the rapid development of fisheries science in the Philippines. To improve the rate of development of Philippine Fisheries Science: a) fisheries scientists should be encouraged to publish their works in ISI-indexed journals, for example, UP and SEAFDEC AQD give significant monetary rewards if their faculty members will publish in ISI-indexed journals; b) only colleges and universities that have the faculty with the appropriate graduate degree and publications in ISI-indexed or at least peer-reviewed journals and with appropriate journal subscriptions in their library should be allowed to offer graduate degrees in Fisheries.

(Dr. J) 3b. I think these are some of the most important reasons why The Fisheries Industry in the Philippines is slow in its development:

(Dr. J) 3b.1. Based on my personal observations, there is no effective coordination among the three national agencies (PCAMRD of DOST, BAR-BFAR of DA, and the ERDB of DENR) involved in Fisheries Research and Development. To worsen the situation, another R&D agency, the NFRDI, was created. It appears to me that NFRDI and PCAMRD may have more or less the same functions; I hope each institution will define their specific functions to avoid duplication in their activities. If coordination among these agencies are significantly improved or if there is only one agency that will be in charge of R&D in Fisheries, then it would be easier to identify research directions and priorities which in turn will facilitate or hasten the development of much needed technologies to improve fisheries or aquaculture production and the development of management schemes that will significantly increase fish population or significantly improve our fisheries and prevent further destruction of our coastal and/or marine resources.

(Dr. J) 3b.2. Unfortunately, there are still national funding agencies that give financial support to researchers who have never published in ISI-indexed nor even in national peer-reviewed journals. Usually the output of these researchers are not or can not be published in ISI-indexed nor in national peer-reviewed journals and will just end up as technical reports or papers published in local journals that are not included in Abstracts nor in Current Contents. Consequently, the output of these researchers will just fall under unverified techniques or technologies since experts from different parts of the world or even from the Philippines will have difficulty in accessing their papers or reports. Worse, the same national funding agencies continuously give financial support to these researchers or research institutions even if they have not published their findings in ISI-indexed journals especially if they have good connections with the funding institutions. This is, of course, a very big hindrance to the rapid development of our fisheries industry. National funding agencies should stop giving financial support to researchers who have not published their previous works in ISI-indexed journals to significantly improve the rate of development of our fisheries industry; or national funding agencies should make it a condition sine qua non for researchers to publish their findings in ISI-indexed journals if they will be given financial support. In addition, national funding agencies should also stop giving awards to papers that have not been previously published in ISI-indexed journals or papers that are presented in national conferences but which are not publishable even in national peer reviewed journals because there is something wrong with the review of literature, the experimental design and analysis of data. If our national funding agencies will continue to award papers which are not even publishable in national peer reviewed journals, this will give a wrong signal especially to our budding fisheries scientists and will surely be a hindrance to the rapid development of our fisheries science and industry.

(Dr. J) 3b.3. There is a very serious lack of good extension workers who can extend promising research results to our fisheries industry. A very good group of extension workers is a very important link between good research institutions/fisheries scientists and the industry. I firmly believe that if a very good group of extension workers would be available, this will enhance or significantly improve the rate of development of our fisheries industry. This same group of extension workers should be able to give a feedback to the scientists or generators of technology or management schemes as to how a newly developed production technique/technology or management scheme be improved to suit the needs of the local environment. Production technologies/techniques especially for fisheries and aquaculture and management schemes for coastal resources are very often not only species but also location specific.

(Dr. J.) 3b.4. The national government and the private sector do not give sufficient financial support to improve the capability of fisheries research institutions so these could contribute to the rapid development of fisheries science and industry.. Perhaps it might be better to have a separate Department of Fisheries so our government and, perhaps the private sector, can focus its attention on how to improve the rate of the development of our fisheries science and industry.
(Dr. J) 3b.5. Unfortunately, the implementation of our Fishery Laws is poor and ineffective. Violators (most especially owners of commercial fishing vessels) should be penalized regardless of who they are or regardless of their connections - political or personal. For as long as government officials will base their decision on patronage or electoral votes, the Fisheries Industry will stay as it is now in our country.

(Dr. J) 3b.6. Unfortunately, there are still a good number of people in the fisheries industry who would believe more in foreign or imported technology rather than help support or improve those generated by Filipino scientists who publish their results in ISI- indexed journals. This is, of course, very much related to our crab mentality. The Fisheries Industry can encourage or motivate Filipino scientists to be more creative and develop or improve better production techniques or better resource management schemes if the industry support them either by giving them financial support for their work or acknowledging what they have done for the industry.

(With additional inputs from Dr. Jesus Juario)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer:
The Restless Beauty and Brain


Melchor F. Cichon
February 6, 2008

“I am restless and I feel guilty when I do nothing.”

This was her response when I asked her how she describes herself.

And her restlessness pays.

Since her graduation from college in 1991, she has been involved in scientific researches, and creative works, including dream analysis. Her latest craze is painting on egg shells.

Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer, or Alice, as she is fondly called by her colleagues, was born in Dumangas, Iloilo. But her family moved to Jaro, Iloilo City when she was already 13 years old, about to start first year high school. But now she resides in Guimaras with her husband, Jerry, and her three children. Her eldest, a girl, is taking up nursing.

Alice is the fourth of the five siblings. Two of her sisters are chemical engineers, while her other sister is a medical doctor. Their youngest, a boy, is a police officer.

After graduation from high school as salutatorian from the West Visayas State University, she enrolled at the UP Visayas College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in economics and psychology.

“Truly”, she said, “I did not like economics. In fact, it was not me who filled up my UPCAT application form. My sister’s boyfriend did it for me. My mother wanted me to take up law to help the poor. But truly I did not know what to get in college.”

After studying some units in economics, she thought of shifting to management. But she disregarded the idea when she realized that it would take her longer time to finish her degree.

But eventually, she loved the course. She in fact was a Drillon-Fonacier Scholar for two years.

After graduation in 1991, she was hired by her alma mater as a faculty. In 1993, while teaching, she enrolled in the Master in Management (Public Management) program of the College of Management, U.P. Visayas, Iloilo City. Unfortunately, she was not able to take the comprehensive exam for graduation because in June 1995 she started graduate school in UP Diliman.

In 1996, she received her MA in economics degree, and in 2003 her Ph.D. in Economics also in UP Diliman. She was actually one of the two students in their batch of 24 students who was invited to continue their second year in the PhD program as a straight program. She accepted the invitation and at the same time made sure she would receive her master’s diploma ahead of time. She got it after 1.5 years. That is, she still continued with the requirements of a master’s degree for one semester, while at the same time was in the PhD program.

On her return to the CAS, UPV, after Ph.D., she conducted her first research entitled: Sexuality Education in Secondary High Schools in Iloilo City. She did it, as she wanted to do something different from economics

Then she was given a Chancellor Grant for a returning Ph. D. holder.

That started her romance with fisheries research, although her undergraduate thesis was on the economics of milkfish in Iloilo City.

Her thesis is so relevant to the fisheries industry in the Philippines as it was cited in one of the big projects funded by the Dutch government by a professor from the College of Fisheries, UP Visayas in the early 1990s. She was informed that the proponent saved a lot of money because of her thesis.

And in a span of four years, Alice was able to complete 20 researches, published 8 scientific articles and two poems. She has presented 15 papers in various conferences and symposia, both local and abroad. She also received 4 awards, and had gone to Malaysia, China, India, and People’s Republic of China.

She was also a member of the CIDA project, ISLE Health Team, even while she was away in graduate school. She worked with Dr. Ida Siason and Prof. Nera Katalbas in the health team from UPV. The BS in Public Health was one of the outputs and the course PH101 (Health Challenges in Island Context). With ISLE she was able to visit Jamaica twice (University of West Indies) and Canada (Dalhousie University). ISLE is Island Sustainability Livelihood and Equity.

Also, she was invited for a study mission in Newfoundland, Canada by the International Development Research Centre to look at the experience of the province with cod moratorium for 15 years.

So it seems that this busy lady has no more time for her kids and her husband.

“I make it a point that I eat supper with them, and when they wake up I am with them. And on weekends, if I am not in the field conducting research, I spent my time with them. But even then, I do something to keep me busy. I either write or paint.”

And when I asked Alice what triggered her to go to fisheries, she said: “There are a lot of opportunities, challenges, and happiness in fisheries, especially when I see the finished reports, beside the money and travel.”

She enjoyed going to different places in the country to interview fishers, government officials, government planners. And in the past years, she was able to visit the People's Republic of China, India, Thailand and Malaysia to present her research findings and get more foreign contacts.

Here are some of the titles of her researches and published works on fisheries:

Project Leader: Health Assessment Component. Social and Health Assessment and Economic Valuation of MT Solar 1-Petron Oil Spill Off Guimaras Island, Philippines. September 2006 – January 31, 2007. Funded by the National Disaster and Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Study leader. “Health Care Services Utilization and Cost Among Residents of Mt Solar 1 Oil Spill- Affected Coastal Barangays In Guimaras.” Social and Health Assessment and Economic Valuation of MT Solar 1-Petron Oil Spill Off Guimaras Island, Philippines. September 2006 – January 31, 2007. Funded by the National Disaster and Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Study Leader. “Understanding the Responses To Oil Spill of the Residents of Affected Coastal Barangays In Guimaras.” Social and Health Assessment and Economic Valuation of MT Solar 1-Petron Oil Spill Off Guimaras Island, Philippines. September 2006 – January 31, 2007. Funded by the National Disaster and Coordinating Council (NDCC)

Study Leader. “Acute Health Problems Among Cleanup Workers of MT Solar 1 Oil Spill In Guimaras, Philippines.” Social and Health Assessment and Economic Valuation of MT Solar 1-Petron Oil Spill Off Guimaras Island, Philippines. September 2006 – January 31, 2007. Funded by the National Disaster and Coordinating Council (NDCC)

Co-Study Leader. Health Situation and Health Protection Practices Among Clean Up Workers in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. Social and Health Assessment and Economic Valuation of MT Solar 1-Petron Oil Spill Off Guimaras Island, Philippines. September 2006 January 31, 2007. Funded by the National Disaster and Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Project Leader. “Assessment of the Nature and Viability of the Northern Iloilo Alliance for Coastal Development.” Funded by the VisSea Project of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR). July 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005.

Project Leader. “Assessment of the Operation of the Bantay Dagat in Iloilo Province and Sagay City, Negros Occidental.” Funded by the VisSea Project of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resourcces (DA-BFAR). July 15, 2004 to March 31, 2005.

Project Leader. “Factors Influencing the Entry of Young People into the Fishing Sector of the Visayan Sea.” Funded by the VisSea Project of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resourcces (DA-BFAR). July 23, 2004 to March 31, 2005.

Assistant Project Coordinator and Team Leader for the Concepcion Study. “Fish Fights over Fish Rights: Managing Exit from the Fisheries and Security Implications for Southeast Asia – the Philippine Case Study.” Funded by The WorldFish Center and the Ford Foundation. May 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004

Researcher. “Sex and Nutritional Status of Underseven Children in the Coastal Barangays in Buenavista, Guimaras.” Self-financed research. May 2004 to July 2004.

Co-Project Leader. “The Philippine Fish Processing and Postharvest Industry: An Assessment and Review of Resources, Technology and Socioeconomics.” August 1, 2001 to July 31, 2002. Funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research, Department of Agriculture.

Project Leader. “Devolution of Health Care Services in the Philippines.” A joint project entitled, “Decentralization Experience ISLE-Health Partner Countries”, of the Island Sustainability, Livelihood and Equity-Health Committee with members from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Dalhousie University(Canada), University of Prince Edward Island (Canada), Hassanudin University (Indonesia), and University of the West Indies (Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago). January 1999 to November 2000. Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Co-Project Leader, Economics and Management of Gillnet and Seine Fishing in Guimaras Strait and Adjacent Waters, 1993. Funded by Asian Fisheries Social Science Research Network-International Center for Living Aquatic Resources and management. (AFSSRN-ICLARM).

Project Leader. Evaluation of Fisheries Management Options for the Visayan Sea: The case of northern Iloilo. August 1, 2007 to July 30, 2008. Funded by the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia. (on-going)

Health Assessment and Monitoring of Residents of Lapaz and San Roque, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Exposed to MT Solar 1 Oil Spill. October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008. Funded by the National Disaster and Coordinating Council (NDCC).


Ferrer, AJG. 2006. “Gender and Nutritional Status of Underseven Children in the Coastal Barangays in Buenavista, Guimaras.” Edited by Choo, P.S., S.J. Hall and M.J. Williams. Global Symposium on Gender and Fisheries: Seventh Asian Fisheries Forum, 1-2 December 2004, Penang, Malaysia. Malaysia: WorldFish Center. Pp 59-68.

Ferrer, Alice Joan G., Michele Amor Maroliña, and Yoko Tampos. 2004. “Profitability of Sergisted Shrimp (Acetes spp.) Catching Using Saludan and Sungkit in Tigbauan, Iloilo.” Danyag (UPV Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities), 7(1&2, June): 19-33.

Pestaño, M.C., A.J. Ferrer and J.A. Jusayan. 1998. “The Economics of Gillnet Fishing in the Philippines”, In: J Roch, S. Nurhakim, J. Widodo and A. Poernomo (eds), Proceedings of the Social-Economics Innovation and Management (SOSEKIMA) of Java Sea Pelagic Fisheries. 4-7 December 1995. Bandungan, Semarang, Indonesia.

She said that since the Philippine fisheries is such a complex entity, it is difficult to solve its many problems.

And the main culprit of these problems are the people themselves and their desire for more money. This is simply a case of mismanagement.

With the increase of Philippine population, which is now about 88.7 millions, and with their increasing average life span, more and more fish are needed to meet their basic needs. This includes sustainable livelihood and enough income. And once people start fishing, it is difficult to get them out of this system, especially so with the sustenance fishermen. With their low income, their children will eventually follow the footsteps of their fathers since going to school is almost next to impossible. So they end up as fishers.

One way of changing this vicious cycle, according to Dr. Ferrer, is to bring the schools where these children are. But then again, do we have the money to establish and maintain them?

According to Dr. Ferrer, the other problem why the Philippine fisheries is not that much developed is because of the lack of logistics on the part of the planners and the law enforcers and the technical assistance being provided to all stakeholders. And there is a possibility that the law enforcers can be corrupted by the commercial fishermen or be pressured by the politicians to do unlawful fishing activities.

This reminds me of the article of Aguilar et al.(2003). He said:

”With the implementation of the Fisheries Code or RA 8550 and the definition of municipal waters in the Local Government Code, the mode has shifted from an open access fishery where everyone can fish anywhere to a territorial based one where local control of municipal waters is left to the Local government Unit. While accommodations to commercial fisheries from the 10.1 to 15 kilometers distance to the municipal within the law, local control of municipal waters represents a challenge to the municipal fisheries in terms of balancing sustainability with production requirements. Periodical comprehensive socio-economic and ecosystem evaluation is required to assess effectiveness and efficiency of mechanisms defined by the provision of the law.

“Two weaknesses in the local government units are identified as a major hindrance in implementing the laws mandated for coastal resources management. One is the lack of technical assistance to help them in understanding fisheries management in relation to the national laws. Second is the lack of funds to institute fisheries patrols, surveillance systems and effective legal procedures to assess fines and other such legal procedures,” (pp. 193-194).

So how can these problems be solved?

According to Dr. Ferrer, with more than half of the 1650 municipalities in the country are coastal municipalities, and with the vast marine waters around us which are now almost depleted, there must be an independent department to oversee the Philippine fisheries, not just a bureau of the Department of Agriculture so that it can have its own budget and can drive its own course.

Meanwhile, she wishes to work on the Visayan Sea (VisSea) because though it has so much marine resources, it is least studied, although, VisSea has its own problems. Hopefully, there will be a management regime that can minimize if not eradicate its current problems and this management program can be replicated in other fishing grounds in the country.

Indeed the Visayan Sea is one of the most productive fishing grounds in the Philippines.

It is enclosed by the island-provinces of Cebu, Masbate, Iloilo and Negros Occidental and it is located between 11 and 12 degrees North latitude and 123 and 124 degrees East longitude. It is approximately 10,000 square kilometers wide.

A large amount of fishes and other fishery products are caught in this area like: barracudas, big-eyed scad, bogies, dolphin fishes, eels, flatfishes, frigate tuna, gizzard shads (kabasi), goatfishes, groupers, lizard fishes, marlin, milkfish, moonfish, moray, rays, round herring, roundscad, sailfish, sea bass, sea catfishes, shark, siganids, skipjack, slipmouths, snapper (maya-maya), Spanish mackerels, surgeon fish, sword fish, and threadfin breams (bisugo).

The Visayan sea is also abundant of the following: abalones, clams, cockles, crabs, lobsters, mussels, oysters, prawns, scallops, seaweeds.shells,.shrimps, sponges, squids, and turtles.

Below is the commercial production of Visayan Sea from 1953 to 1995.

Year Visayan Sea (in kg) Philippines (in kg)

1953 17,673,216 305,626,141
1954 27,225,157 343,624,987
1955 25,086,591 362,927,057
1956 28,270,623 393,648,000
1957 not available 387,170,000
1958 29,503,014 426,666,000
1959 28,859,710 436,481,000
1960 25,977,720 444,622,000
1961 31,220,390 454,899,000
1962 32,530,320 483,948,000
1963 43,560,840 547,354,000
1964 53,926,880 603,506,000
1965 70,148,280 667,202,000
1966 85,812,320 705,278,000
1967 118,265,160 746,063,000
1968 124,163,520 937,684,000
1969 112,735,480 940,792,000
1970 89,992,640 988,884,000
1971 72,477,320 1,023,095,000
1972 81,115,190 1,122,410,000
1973 169,393,470 1,204,837,000
1974 161,448,840 1,268,368,000
1975 181,030,900 1,336,803,000
1976 151,237,120 1,393,483,000
1977 175,080,000 1,508,855,000
1978 185,358,000 1,580,404,000
1979 197,874,000 1,581,303,000
1980 135,226,000 1,672,254,000
1981 125,559,000 1,772,897,000
1982 121,894,000 1,896,983,000
1983 130,528,000 2,110,230,000
1984 141,991,000 2,080,439,000
1985 not available 2,052,111,000
1986 126,181,000 2,089,484,000
1987 135,137,000 2,213,040,000
1988 137,196,000 2,269,744,000
1989 137,196,000 2,371,109,000
1990 150,854,000 2,503,546,000
1991 159,657,000 2,598,981,000
1992 165,256,000 2,625,607,000
1993 131,709,000 2,631,945,000
1994 134,537,000 2,720,989,000
1995 120,267,000 2,785,085,000

Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer is young, but her accomplishments as a researcher is legion. For sure her thoughts as reflected in her numerous researches and publications will have a far-reaching impacts on the way we manage our natural resources.


Aguilar, Glenn D. et al. 2003. Knowledge based tools for supporting fisheries management. UPV Journal of. Natural Science 8:192-204.

Fisheries Statistics of the Philippines. Manila: BFAR.

Hermes, R. et al. 2004. Overexploitation in the Visayan Sea: Designing a project solution, p. 312-317. In DA-BFR (Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources). In Turbulent seas: The status of Philippine marine fisheries. Coastal Resource Management Project, Cebu City, Philippines. 378p.

Philippine Fisheries Profile. Manila: BFAR.

"Philippine Visayan Sea Close to Depletion",The Catch from News Reports from Around the World. STREAM Media Monitoring Report, June 2004, p.6

Friday, December 07, 2007

Dr. Rodolfo B. Baldevarona:
The Underdog Filipino Fisheries Scientist


Melchor F. Cichon
December 8, 2007
updated: August 13, 2009

Note: Dr. Baldevarona died on September 1, 2009, Philippine time.

One of the most interesting figures in the University of the Philippines Visayas is Dr. Rodolfo B. Baldevarona.

Each time he opens his mouth, many people make different faces.

Some are happy, but the majority of his colleagues are not. In the shuttle bus, everybody is familiar with his laughter.

And his laughter is contagious. To some.

What makes him interesting?

"I have a foresight, but some people do not agree with my ideas. And since I am alone, my suggestions are always turned down by the majority rule. No problem."

Not only foresight, but he has a lot of bright ideas if only one has the ear to listen to him.

There were several occasions where he had clashed with his colleagues on university policies but this aspect of his life requires a longer paper.

And if you happen to be one of his students, better attend regularly to his class because you will surely miss a lot of insights that will greatly benefit your professional career, particularly in fish physiology for he is one of the few Filipino experts on the subject in the Philippines today.

I will focus on his life as a fisheries scientist.

Dr. Baldevarona has been a faculty member of the University of the Philippines Visayas since 1972. Presently, he is Professor 3.

Born from poor parents, Prof. Baldevarona graduated Valedictorian at Culasi Elementary School, Culasi, Ajuy, Iloilo,from 1952 to 1958, and graduated First Honors and Corp Commander in 1965 at Victorino Salcedo High School at Sara, Iloilo.
He received three other awards: Historian of the year; Physicist of the Year; and, Most Military-Minded graduate.

From then he took up B.S. Engineering in 1965-67, but shifted to BS Education, majoring in Mathematics-Chemistry with Physics at UP College Iloilo, Iloilo City in 1969, and became the Corp Commander of UP Vanguard, Inc., UP College Iloilo (UPCI), in Iloilo City (now the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.

After graduation from college, he taught at Luca Barrio High School in 1969-70, then he transferred to Victorino Salcedo High School, his alma mater, in 1970. He stayed there until 1972 when he was hired as an Instructor at UP College Iloilo. After 7 years, he was promoted to Instructor IV.

While teaching at University of the Philippines College Iloilo (UPCI), now the UP Visayas, he took up units in Master in Public Administration and in Master in Arts Teaching majoring in physics. But then he switched to fisheries when there was a move to create the UPV with the College of Fisheries as its flagship college.

After his master’s degree in fisheries, he was appointed as Assistant College Secretary of the UPV College of Fisheries.

His other administrative works include the following: Philippine Army Active Duty, Cebu City 1971-72; Head, DYD/CAT, UPCI High School, 1974-75; Commandant, CAT I, UPCI High School, 1979-80; Asst. College Secretary UP in the Visayas-College of Fisheries Program Iloilo (UPV-CFPI) 1981-1983; Technical Assistant UPV, Food System Development Program 1988-89; OIC UPV Office of research Coordination 1988-89; director, UPV ORC 1989-92; OIC Vice- chancellor for Administration, 9/1/89-12/31/89; OIC UPV security Force 9/1/89-04/30/90 and Station Head, BAC, Leganes, 1/1/99-12/31/99.

When his field of study switched to fisheries, he has no other recourse but to focus on this discipline, more particularly on mangrove reforestation.

And his knowledge on chemistry and physics came as a big help as fisheries deals much on these two sciences. Both chemistry and physics can be applied in marine sciences.

In 1987, he received his PhD degree from the University of South Carolina, USA.

Aside from his World-Bank Scholarship grant for his doctorate degree at the University of South Carolina, he received other awards.

While studying at Ajuy High School, he received the Ajuy Municipal Council Scholarship. When he entered UP College Iloilo in 1965, he was an entrance scholar. In his second year, he was a UP Glee Club Scholar from 1966 to 1969. In 1974, he received the UP Local Faculty Fellowship Grant for his MS in Fisheries degree at the College of Fisheries, UP in the Visayas.

Dr. Baldevarona is so blessed that he received more awards than some of his colleagues. From 1973 to 2008, he received eleven (11) prestigious awards.

Some of these are the following:

In 1973, he was awarded the S.S. Soreach Modern Mathematics Award. In 1991, he was an Outstanding Technology Awardee for his reforestation and management of mangrove swamp in Taklong Island, Guimaras.

His other awards include the Roberto S. Benedicto Diamond Jubilee Professional Chair award.

In 2007, he received two international publication awards from the University of the Philippines System for his two journal articles on mud crab, Scylla serrata.

In 2005, he ran for chancellor of the University of the Philippines Visayas together with Dr. Glenn Aguilar, his fellow Ilonggo and a colleague at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UPV.

Unfortunately, he was not chosen.

Dr. Aguilar was selected as the new UPV Chancellor, vice Dr. Ida Siason.

Dr. Baldevarona honorably accepted his defeat.

As a scientists, Dr. Baldevarona has conducted several projects from 1978 to 1999.

This include the following:

1978-1980. Development of management procedures to improve fish production in ponds affected by acid-sulphate soils. IV. Effects of different fertilizer combinations.

1987-1990. Reforeastation and management of mangrove swamp in Taklong Island, Guimaras.

1989-1991. Transplantation and culture en masse of green mussel, Perna viridis, from a stable community to Taklong Ilsand, Guimaras.

1992-1993. Coral reef management in Taklong Island, Guimaras: age and recruitment studies of selected marine fisheries.

1995-1998. Textbook in coastal resource management, "Pangangalaga ng mga Kabuhayan sa Tabing Dagat".

1999-2000. Socio-economic impact of the UPV-BAC on the neighboring communities at the immediate vicinity of the Center.

From these projects and his other researches, Dr. Baldevarona was able to produce some publications:

Baldevarona, RB. 1979. Basic flow of phosphorus in brackishwater fishponds. MS thesis. Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the University of the Philippines System in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Fisheries (major in aquaculture). 78 leaves.

Baldevarona, R,B. 1983. Quantitative methods of applying organic matter in fishponds. Danyag, UP in the Visayas 2(1):102-109.

Baldevarona, RB. 1987. Effects of feeding and stocking density on growth and survival of spot, Leiostomius xanthurus Lacepede. PhD. Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Marine Science Program, University of South Carolina. 117 leaves.

Baldevarona, RB and JM Dean. 1988. Abundance estimate and population structure of spot, Leiostomus xanthurus Lacepede. Kinaalam, UP in the Visayas 2(1):50-62.

Secor, D., JM Dean and RB Baldevarona. 1989. Comparison of otolith and somatic growth in larval and juvenile fishes based on otolith length/fish length relationship. Rapp.p.v.Reun. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer. 191:431-438

Baldevarona, RB. 1990. Chemistry in aquaculture. I. Soil quality management. Kinaalam, UP in the Visayas 3(1):139-146.

Baldevarona, RB and CG Rendon. 1991. Toxic effects of selected plants for pest and predators control in prawn ponds. Philippine Technology Journal 16(4):3-24.

Baldevarona, RB. 1992. The role of mangrove in the Philippine coastal environment. Mangrove Productivity. DOST-PCARRD. 127:25-33.

Baldevarona, RB. 1992. Reforestation and management of mangrove swamp in Taklong island, Guimaras. Mangrove Productivity 127:107-114.

Tambasen-Cheong, MV, J. Tan-Fermin, LM Garcia and RB Baldevarona. 1995. Milt-egg ration in artificial fertilization of the Asian freshwater catfish Clarias macrocephalus, injected salmon gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue and domperidone. Aquatic Living Resources 8:303-307.

La Sara, JA Ingles, RB Baldevarona, RO Aguilar, LV Laureta and S Watanabe. 2002. Reproductive biology of mud crab, Scylla serrata in Lawelle Bay, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. JSPS-DGHE International Seminar. Crustacean Fisheries, pp. 88-95.

This year, 2007, is his luckiest year in his career as a scientist.

His two papers were published in two prestigious journals making him a dual recipient of the International Publication Awards 2007 given by the University of the Philippines:

"The Natural Diet of the Mud Crab (Scylla serrata) in Lawele Bay, Southeast Sulawasi, Indonesia, " published in The Philippine Agricultural Scientist 90 (1):6-14, 2007, and the

"Abundance and distribution Patterns of Scylla spp. in the Lawele Bay, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesian," published in Asian Fisheries Science 19:331-347, 2006.

Now, can we still say that he is an underdog fisheries scientist?

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