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Bantay-Peste is launched to prevent pest damage and reduce its impact on the agriculture production of the country

DA launched ‘Bantay Peste’ to monitor pests and diseases

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) -Cordillera through its program Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  has embarked on  “Bantay Peste”,  where  farmers are asked to carry out  their task in preventing pest damage and reduce its impact  on their produce.

Marilyn Sta. Catalina, DA regional executive director, explained that  the “Bantay Peste”,  is   pest  and disease surveillance, and that there should be regular monitoring on the population dynamics of pest so that farmers will be advised  on the proper action to be undertaken.

A group of about 20 farmers under the  Bantay Peste Volunteer Brigade Field School shall monitor and observe their respective area and record their observations in a data checklist form which will be evaluated by the agricultural technicians,  according to  Sta. Catalina.

The data gathered, she  said will be processed and  assessed in order  make  necessary measures to address  the problem.

That is why our partner, the local government units (LGUs) play an important role in preparing  regular and timely reports which indicate the presence or absence of pest. The LGU will prepare regular monthly reports on evolving  pest and disease situation, she said.

To systematize  reporting, the DA will  standardize presentation of pest and surveillance monthly reports. Color coding schemes will be used to indicate status of pest and disease in the field.

Yellow color indicates that the pest or disease monitored should be closely observed, and that there is a warning.  Green is for  pest or disease which is negligible or does not have major effect in the crop. Red color indicates outbreak of  pest or disease.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.