Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biology

Subject Categories



College of Science



Thesis Advisor

Divina M. Amalin

Defense Panel Chair

Alberto T. Barrion

Defense Panel Member

Dionisio G. Alvindia
Aimee Lynn B. Dupo
Mary Jane C. Flores
Jose Isagani B. Janairo


Pesticide use can negatively affect the farming community health. Farmer perceptions regarding pesticide efficacy and hazardousness shape their habits. Eighty-five (85) farmers aged 30 to 79, from Calauan, Majayjay, and Victoria, Laguna, were interviewed from September 2018 to June 2019. Demographics, farming habits, crop type, pesticide usage, perceptions about pesticides, and history of adverse symptoms related to pesticides were collected. Respondent-farmers were largely male (89.4%) and married (96.5%), and middle-aged and older (75.3%). They relied on their partners, children, and dayworkers or arawan to help them work their fields. Dayworkers are seasonal contractually hired fieldhands. In Calauan, farmers planted rice (64.3%), farmed the same land for over 10 years (85.7%), and relied on dayworkers (78.6%). In Majayjay, farmers planted vegetables and rice (41.4%), farmed the same land for 15-20 years (41.4%), and worked with dayworkers (40.7%). In Victoria, farmers planted rice (92.3%), farmed the same field for over 30 years (76.9%) and relied on their families and dayworkers to manage their fields (46.2%). Ninety-six percent (96.4%) of farmer-respondents from Laguna sprayed their fields with pesticides. The rice black bug, Scotinophara sorsogonensis, and rice ear bug, Leptocorisa oratoria were the most reported pests in all three municipalities, Calauan (46.3%; 41.5%), Majayjay (65.5%; 62%) and Victoria (92.3%; 38.5). Respondents from Calauan used 19 pesticides, of which Brodan was most frequently reported (53.8%). Farmer-respondents said effectivity was the most important reason to use a pesticide (66.7%). They learned about pesticides from other farmers and the Municipal Agriculture Office technicians. However, farmer-respondents from Calauan relied mostly on self-study to learn how to use pesticides. Nearly 60% of farmer-respondents from Calauan attended seminars hosted by the MAO for safe usage (87.5%) and disposal (81.8%) of pesticides. Farmer-respondents from Majayjay used 28 pesticide brands, the most popular being Supermethrin and Laban (55.2%). They said effectivity is the most important for selecting a pesticide (63.6%). Private pesticide company agents were the way most farmer-respondents learned about (44.8%) and how to use (48.3%) pesticides. Farmer-respondents from Majayjay attended seminars hosted by the MAO about safe usage (71.4%) and disposal (75%) of pesticides. In Victoria, Laguna, farmer-respondents listed six pesticides. The most frequently used pesticide was Karate (46.2%). Farmer-respondents chose pesticides based on how they affected specific pests infesting their fields. They mostly learned about pesticides from pesticide company agents and other farmers (23.1%) and also learned to use these pesticides from other farmers (30.8%). Less than 60% of farmers-respondents from Victoria attended seminars on safe usage and disposal of pesticides hosted by the International Rice Research Institute. Farmer-respondents from Calauan, Majayjay, and Victoria used backpack sprayers to apply pesticides and 8.5% used gas-powered versions. In Calauan, dayworkers were responsible for spraying (60%). Dayworkers and farmers from Majayjay sprayed their fields with pesticides (44.8%). In Victoria, farmers, dayworkers, and family sprayed pesticides. Fifty percent of farmer-respondents from Calauan sprayed pesticides only when pests were present and 88% said they sprayed more than three times each year. Seventy-five percent (75.9%) of farmer-respondents from Majayjay sprayed fortnightly, and half would spray again if they saw new pests. Forty-six percent (46.2%) of farmer-respondents from Victoria sprayed at scheduled points during a season and again if they saw new pests. Most farmer-respondents wore protective gear when they sprayed, Calauan (87.5%), Majayjay (93.1%), and Victoria (86.4%). They could not guarantee dayworkers wore the gear even if it was already provided. Protective gear was said to be cumbersome and restrictive. All farmer-respondents stated they stored pesticides to keep them away from children and most did so, Calauan (67%), Majayjay (74.1%), and Victoria (69%). Farmer-respondents from Calauan washed their sprayers (92.5%) in either running water (37.5%) where residue would go downriver (21.1%) or in irrigation canals (32.5%) where they believed the residue would return to the field (28.9%). The most frequent method farmer-respondents from Calauan disposed of their empty pesticide containers was by pit-burying (28.2%). Farmer-respondents from Majayjay washed their pesticide sprayers (82.8%) in the field (63%) and believed the residue would stay there (85%). In Majayjay, the most frequent method farmer-respondents disposed of pesticide bottles was to bury them in a sack (22%). Farmer-respondents from Victoria washed their sprayers, 53.8% did so in the field where they believed the residue would stay (84.6%). Forty-six percent (46.2%) of farmer-respondents from Victoria buried empty pesticide containers. Farmer-respondents scored pesticides on perceived efficacy and hazardousness on a scale of 1 to 5. In Calauan, the highest scorers in perceived efficacy, 5, were Lannate and Rocket while the highest scorer in perceived hazardousness was Rocket, 5. In Majayjay, the highest-scoring pesticide in perceived efficacy was Tamaron, 4.5. Sumicidin and Siga both scored 5 in perceived hazardousness. In Victoria, Furadan scored the highest perceived efficacy, 4.7, and Brodan scored the highest perceived hazardousness, 3.3. Farmer-respondents experienced medical symptoms related to pesticide use (41.5%). The most reported symptom was dizziness (23.2%). Only 21.6% of the farmer-respondents with symptoms went for medical treatment. The rest used home remedies like drinking milk or sugary beverages. Farmer-respondents from Calauan, Victoria, and Majayjay were aware of the relationship between the safe usage of pesticides and human life due to seminars hosted by the MAO and private stakeholders. However, adherence to Fertilizer and Pesticide Agency regulatory guidelines was lacking, (1) identification of pests and pesticide matching, (2) following recommended spraying times, (3) storage of pesticides, (4) disposal of empty containers, and (5) adherence to medical protocols after pesticide exposure. Local pesticide dealers and manufacturers did not adhere to product stewardship guidelines, (1) provision of protective clothing and equipment for consumers, (2) provision of necessary training on safe handling, usage, and disposal of pesticide products and empty containers, and (3) participation in the safe disposal of pesticide containers. Farmer-respondents relied heavily on dayworkers that did not have the same access to information about safe pesticide handling and could not guarantee adherence to safety protocols. This research provides information that could help the FPA, MAOs, and local private stakeholders align programs with farmer perceptions and encourage outreach to dayworkers.

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xv, 101 leaves


Pesticides--Philippines (Laguna); Farmers--Philippines (Laguna)

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