COC filing for national posts moved elsewhere from Comelec Intramuros

The filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) of national candidates for the May 2022 elections, set to start next month has been reset elsewhere and will no longer be at the  Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body’s decision on the issue is in consideration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have to make sure the filing of the COCs will no longer  degenerate into a crowded circus as it normally does,” Jimenez  said, adding that for this year, the Comelec has decided to look for a bigger place that can accommodate 2,000 people.

He said candidates for president, vice presidential, senator, and  party-list representatives will be allowed to have limited sizes of entourage during the filing of COCs – three companions only for presidential and vice presidential candidate, two companions for  senatorial bets, and one companion only for party-list aspirants.

Comelec executive director Bartolome Sinocruz Jr. said the COC filing may be held at one of the tents of Sofitel hotel in Pasay City where “the doors will be open, amd there will be ventilation.”

The filing of COCs for national and local positions will be held from October 1 to 8. There are a total of 18,180 elective posts at stake in the May 9, 2022 elections.

Hybrid rice production scores food security gains

Hybrid rice production has significantly helped the country’s food security drive this year, according to Frisco Malabanan, senior technical consultant at SL Agritech Solutions.

“Hybrid rice technology is the way to food security. More than 600 thousand hectares were devoted to hybrid rice during the last 2021 dry cropping season. This means the average yield was 6.07 metric tons (MT) per hectare or 33 percent higher yield than the average yield of inbred certified seeds of 4.55 MT per hectare,” Malabanan shared in his Facebook.

Philippine Statistics Authority data show that the total production contributed by hybrid rice during the 2021 dry cropping season reached 3.67 million MT (MMT), or 37% of the last dry season’s total palay production.

The government targeted to produce 20.47 MMT of palay this year from the 4.74 million hectares (ha), where farmers were provided free seeds of inbred and hybrid rice varieties through major interventions, particularly the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), expanded RCEF, rice resiliency project (RRP), and regular national rice program (NRP).

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has attributed the feat to the timely and sustained interventions of the government’s “Plant, Plant, Plant” program, which includes provision of free certified inbred seeds under the RCEF, and hybrid seeds and fertilizers under the RRP and NRP, and the strong support farmers’groups, among others.