Farming entrepreneurs asked govt to allocate budget for palay buying in Central Luzon

Farmer-entrepreneur Simeon T. Sioson

Farming entrepreneurs asked govt to allocate budget for palay buying in Central Luzon

May 28, 2019

For any questions or interview requests, please contact 0929-715-8669, 0917-102-6734 (Growth Publishing for PCAFI)

Farmer-entrepreneurs have asked government to allocate budget for the purchase of palay in Central Luzon as it is the farmers that have extended credit to DA for a buyer’s credit, rather than government lending to farmers.

   Rather than the Department of Agriculture (DA) lending to farmers, it is farmers from the Federation of Central Luzon Farmers Cooperative (FCLFC) that have extended supply credit to government because DA’s National Food Authority (NFA) apparently does not have the budget for buying already sold palay (husked rice).

   In a letter to DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol last May 20, FCLFC asked for an adequate and uninterrupted funding for NFA.

   “Magalang po naming hinihiling sa inyong tanggapan na mapagkalooban ng sapat at tuloy tuloy na pondo ang NFA Bulacan . (We kindly request you to grant sufficient and continuous funding for NFA Bulacan),” said FCLFC Chairman Simeon T. Sioson.

   NFA has owed farmers for the purchased palay even before the May 13 national elections.

   Sioson also said in a forum led by Philippine Chamber of Agriculture & Food Inc (PCAFI) President DAnilo V. Fausto that farmers are already losing significantly from the decline in palay price since the ratification of the Rice Tariffication Act (RTA).

   Palay’s farmgate price in some parts of Central Luzon had already dropped to P11 to P13 or even P10 per kilo since RTA, Sioson said.

   This brings farmers a loss of P5  to per kilo from the price of P18-P19 per kilo prior to RTA passage.

   Fausto said that with the RTA’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), government should be able to strengthen credit to farmers – meeting whatever financing need to help them upgrade into becoming entrepreneurs.

  PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto

RCEF allocates P1 billion yearly for six years for a credit program to farmers called “Expanded Rice Credit Assistance” (ERCA).

   ERCA fund will be equally managed by Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines. 

   It bears “minimal interest and with minimum collateral requirements.”

   Fausto said the credit should be an integrated facility not only for financing rice farming, but agriculture-related activities that will raise farmers’ income and add value to their produce. It should include financing for livestock, poultry, and farming of fruits and vegetables.

   In boosting credit supply to the agriculture sector in order to maximize its contribution to economic development,

   Fausto said PCAFI is also urging government to strengthen implementation of the Bangko Sentral ng PIlipinas’s Agricultural Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Program.

   Sioson said Central Luzon farmers are experiencing difficulty selling their entire rice produce to NFA.

   “Nung ang bigas nasa 14.4 % moisture content, nireject nila kasi i-dry muna raw.  Nung ibinalik namin at less than 10% ang moisture content, ni reject rin kasi overdried raw.  (NFA rejected our rice (unhusked rice) when it was at 14.4% moisture content. So we dried it first.  But when we returned at less than 10% moisture content, NFA also rejected it saying it’s overdried,” said Simeon.

   Ironically NFA traditionally imports rice from Thailand and Vietnam whose quality has been mired with controversy due to pests (bukbok) infecting the imported rice due to their old stock nature.

   “Ano ba kaibahan ng bigas na may bukbok na inisprayan ng insecticide na ini-import ng NFA dun sa mga palay ng magsasaka na di raw katanggap-tanggap.  Kahit lugi kami ng P5 sa palay ok lang, pero bukbok at overdried, that’s unfair.” 

   (What’s the difference between NFA’s imported, pest-laden, and insecticide-sprayed rice from the rice produce of Filipino farmers that are said to be unacceptable? Even if we lose P5 per kilo from farmgate, that’s just ok.  But to say that our rice should be rejected because it’s overdried, that’s unfair.).

   Roger Navarro of the Phil. Maize Federation Inc  during the PCAFI meeting that the same rejection in post harvest-related activities in corn has been experienced by farmers with NFA.

   “NFA should rather adjust pricing, whether it’s at 14% moisture content or should compensate farmers with any equitable pay for drying instead of asking farmers to return their produce home,” said Navarro.

   “Since NFA has its own drying facility, it should rather dry the ones with higher moisture so farmers will already be assisted in the sale of the grain.”(Growth Publishing for PCAFI)

Rice Tariffication pours tons of poor quality, pesticide-sprayed imported rice to Ph, stripped P95B income of Filipino farmers

May 24, 2019

The private sector expressed fear the Rice Tariffication Act will pour tons of poor quality, pesticide-sprayed imported rice and has so far stripped away P95 billion in income to Filipino farmers at a P5 per kilo farmgate loss.

   Companies participating in a dialogue of the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture & Food Inc. (PCAFI) with Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Ariel T Cayanan disclosed the present reality of previous fears prior to RTA ratification.

   “Before importation was only for buffer stocking.  But now, importation is the rule.  It becomes a permanent solution to the rice shortage.  Rice from Thailand and Vietnam is not as good as local rice,” said an entrepreneur of Chen Yi Agventures which built Visayas’s most modern rice complex in Alang Alang, Leyte.

   “We produce local rice; we do not mix with imports.  It’s entirely good– much better quality than imported.  But their rice has long been stocked in the warehouse, shipped for some time, and stocked again in local warehouses.  Their rice is sprayed with pesticides because of bukbok (pests) and  with artificial fragrance because it smells old.”

   Frisco M. Malabanan, SL Agritech Corp. rice consultant, said at the prevailing price of palay (rice husk) at farmgate which declined by around P5 per kilo, Filipino farmers are deprived with as much as P95 billion in income. 

   It is based on the country’s local palay production of 19 million metric tons.

Dr. Frisco M. Malabanan

Palay’s farmgate price in some parts of Central Luzon had already dropped to P11 to P13 or even P10 per kilo since RTA, according to Federation of Central Luzon Farmers’ Cooperatives (FCLFC) Chairman Simeon Sioson. 

   This is from the previous P17 to P20 per kilo at farmgate.

   In the market, imported rice looks new, shiny, fragrant (because of the pandan flavour spray) and nice as some of them appear to be whole grains and not broken rice (at times due to mixture with local rice).

   But indeed, these are the poorest of all rice as Philippines imports the cheaper, broken rice, according to the Chen Yi investor.

   Even the P10 billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEP) may not be effectively implemented.

   This is as DA had failed to raise many farmers’ living levels even despite the ACEF (Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Fund).

   PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto said DA does not appear prepared (in technical, staff capability, administrative capability) to implement the P5 billion RCEP mechanization program.

PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto

   PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto said DA does not appear prepared (in technical, staff capability, administrative capability) to implement the P5 billion RCEP mechanization program.

   “As to the beneficiaries, how will you identify them? About 80% of cooperatives are non-compliant with CDA (Cooperatives Devt Authority) certification.  If you deal with them, you will be dealing with non-existent institutions,” said Fausto.

   DA-Philmech (Phil. Center for Postharvest Devt. & Mechanization) hardly has people and equipment to carry out distribution of P5 billion RCEF fund. 

   “Even Amtech (Agricultural Machinery Testing Evaluation Center)  under the University of the Philippines’ Los Banos is not capable of such supporting that huge task of testing machines to support the RCEP mechanization program,” said Fausto.

  He said machines should not be carelessly distributed to farmers if they do not have resources to at least maintain the machines – or these machines will just be sold or abandoned.

   This is much as the Philippine Carabao Center does not just give away buffaloes to farmers who do not have the resources (land, feeding/milking facilities, etc) to raise them well .

   Amtech is the agency tasked to test quality of imported machines.  However, even its legal mandate is questionable in order to support DA.

   Nevertheless, Cayanan, who represented DA Sec. Emmanuel F. Pinol during the PCAFI dialogue, said RCEF will tap resources of the DA Regional Field Units (RFO).  Initial beneficiaries will be farmers in irrigators’ associations.

   DA also started reviewing its beneficiary list after farmers’ benefit programs had been transferred from the Department of Social Welfare & Devt (DSWD) to DA due to the Napoles controversy, said Cayanan.

   Chen Yi was concerned the RTA will sidetrack government’s focus on modernizing local agriculture.

   “It will be very easy to get import permit. We’ll not work on productivity.   We’re putting food security at risk.  What happens if Thailand and Vietnam can longer supply us because they also have their own food security issues or if China or US will import more?  They can pay more money.”

   Chen Yi poured since 2014 a huge investment of P1.7 billion in an integrated rice complex in Alang Alang, Leyte in order to help uplift farmers from poverty after it was devastated by typhoon Yolanda.

   The company was since alarmed on the Philippines’ rice situation since the 2008 crisis caused the country to import more than one million metric tons with some volume reaching  a high price of $1,800 per metric ton.

   With the financing of Land Bank of the Philippines,  Chen Yi put up the rice operation engaged in growing seeds, planting rice, harvest, drying and processing, and distribution.  Its aim is to cut production cost from P14 per kilo to P6 per kilo to be competitive with Thailand and Vietnam.

   As to the training component of RCEP, Cayanan said Sec. Gen. Isidro Lapena (Technical Education & Skills Devt. Authority) committed to deploying trainers for farmers’ use of machines. (Growth Publishing for PCAFI)

DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol with Chen Yi investors

Private rice sector pressed DA to partner with private enterprises in P10B rice fund implementation, buy farmers’ palay at all costs

Most modern integrated rice complex in Alang Alang, Leyte

May 23, 2019

For any questions or interview requests, please contact 0929-715-8669, 0917-1026734; Growth Publishing for PCAFI)

The private rice sector has pressed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to partner with private enterprises on the implementation of the P10 billion Rice Fund and to unequivocally buy farmers’ palay as a commitment to local rice industry despite liberalization.

   Enterprises participating under a Philippine Chamber of Agriculture & Food Inc. (PCAFI) forum asserted the private sector’s role in the effective implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) as government may fail to properly implement it.

   In a PCAFI dialogue with DA Undersecretary (Operations) Ariel T. Cayanan,  Chen Yi Agventures, a company that built the most modern rice processing plant in Alang Alang, Leyte. asked DA to allow participation in 4 subsectors of rice operations.

   These are mechanization, seeds distribution, lending and extension – where the private sector has expertise in.

   The Federation of Central Luzon Farmers’ Cooperatives (FCLFC) also pressed DA to buy farmers’ palay—at a price based on quality offered, rather than reject these as rice farmers had disappointedly experienced.

   The proposal of Chen Yi Agventures has been filed earlier with DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol.

   “As one from the private sector, we’re very grateful for Secretary Pinol’s  help.  He loves our program. He said we will work together to help implement the Rice Fund,” said a Chen Yi Agventures entrepreneur. “Our proposal is with the DA. We discussed it at length with Secretary Pinol.  And it’s not a new dialogue.”

DA Secretary Emmanuel Pinol with Chen Yi Agventures investor  

Providing these services (seeds supply, mechanization, lending, training & extension) on a large scale to farmers needs private enterprise.

   “Implementation is something the government is not good at. But the private sector can teach farmers how to plant seeds and monitor these daily.  It can own and maintain the machines, and teach farmers how to use these,” said the Chen Yi entrepreneur.

   “Merely giving machines away to farmers is not the solution. The problem DA encountered is farmers just abandon or sell the machines because they don’t know how to use these.”

   Chen Yi stressed the importance of raising rice farmers’ productivity.

   “That rice price will go down due to the rice tariffication law is only one concern. The most basic question is not whether price will go down, but that the yield of farmers remains low.  Even if palay price goes up, farmers’ income is low.”

   “Their ability to get out of poverty is not dependent on price of rice, but on productivity. You think it’s not relevant, it’s very important.  Productivity is what the Rice Fund should address.”

   Chenyi put in P1.7 billion investment in a highly-mechanized, integrated rice plant in Leyte which uses the most advanced technology in Visayas and Mindanao. Its operation is from planting seeds to planting rice, harvesting,  drying-processing, and distribution.

   The program’s target is to lower production cost from P14 per kilo to P6 per kilo, competitive to Thailand and Vietnam.  That uplifts Filipino farmers out of poverty through a contract farming scheme.

   “We want Filipino farmers to experience how it is to have money in their hands. French farmers are so successful in making a lot of money. They have comfortable living because France is taking care of its farmers. Farming is abt food security,”  said Patrick Renucci, Chen Yi French investor, said earlier on national television.

   “France has changed its farming system a long time ago while the Philippines is so behind.  That’s why we believe we have to change how people are framing because food is so important.”

  PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto said during the dialogue that DA has to beef up capability to implement RCEP considering the present limited budget and capable staff it has.

   DA-Philmech (Phil. Center for Postharvest Devt. & Mechanization) hardly has people and equipment to carry out distribution of P5 billion RCEF fund. 

   “Even Amtech (Agricultural Machinery Testing Evaluation Center)  under the University of the Philippines’ Los Banos is not capable of such supporting that huge task of testing machines to support the RCEP mechanization program,” said Fausto.

PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto

   Amtech is the agency tasked to test quality of imported machines.  However, even its legal mandate is questionable in order to support DA.

   FCLFC Chairman Simeon T. Sioson also said during the PCAFI dialogue that poor rice farmers in Central Luzon have experienced several rejections from the DA-National Food Authority (NFA) when they sell their palay. 

   NFA had claimed that it buys farmers’ palay at a higher price when dried with a 14% moisture content, but still buy their produce if it’s not dried, only at a lower price.

   However, Sioson said, Central Luzon farmers were compelled to dry their palay after initial NFA rejections. However, when moisture content went below 12%, NFA also rejected them.

   It is unfair to poor Filipino rice farmers that NFA buys Vietnamese and Thai rice at whatever quality they’re in. 

   Even if these are old, long-stocked rice that need spraying for pesticide and bad smell, these are accepted by NFA, Sioson said, while rejecting newly-harvested rice from local farmers.

   Also, Sioson said government still owes farmers in Central Luzon payment for accepted palay—instead of lending to farmers.

Farmer-leader Simeon T. Sioson on Maunlad na Agrikultura

   “Magsasaka po kami ng San Miguel, Bulacan.  Hindi po kami nababayaran ng NFA mula sa mga palay na ibinenta naming. May mga recibo po kami—bago pa mag halalan.  Meron pa nga po na may 10 araw na ngayon, hindi pa nababayaran.  Sana po mabigyan ng sapat at tuloy tuloy na pondo sa Bulacan.” (Growth Publishing for PCAFI)

PHOTO CAPTIONS

  1. DA Sec. Emmanuel Pinol with Chenyi Agventures investors
  2. Chenyi’s integrated rice processing complex, Alang Alang, Leyte
  3. PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto
  4. Farmer-leader Simeon T. Sioson

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DOST-X strengthens Food Safety in NorMin

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May 14, 2019
Cagayan de Oro City – The Department of Science and Technology-X trained the representatives from the Northern Mindanao Food Safety Regulation Coordinating Board (FSRCB-X) to become Food Safety trainers on April 29-30, 2019.

One of the purposes of the activity is to form a pool of Food Safety trainers who can be tapped by the industries and MSMEs in the region by using a harmonized training manual.

The training manual included topics about Food Safety Hazards, Basic Food Hygiene, and current Good Manufacturing Practices.

It also aims to capacitate stakeholders in the use of science and risk-based analysis in compliance with food safety regulations, promote food safety awareness, and address food safety issues and concerns in Northern Mindanao.

The trained Food Safety trainers are expected to conduct series of Food Safety trainings that are lined up for MSMEs, hotels, restaurants, street vendors, and other food handlers.

The primary objective of the FSRCB-X is to promote and enhance collaboration between the various government agencies, the local government units (LGUs), and the private sector in addressing food safety concerns and issues in the region per RA 1061.

To know more about Food Safety trainings, contact DOST-X through landline at (088) 858-3931 or through Facebook at facebook.com/dostregion10/. (Julie Anne H. Baculio, DOST-X)

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Participants observed the microbial results from samples obtained from their personal belongings and surroundings.
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Fish Be With You gathers Batangas Fish Processor

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May 8,2019

In preparation for the Lenten Season, DOST Batangas held a three-day seminar workshop on fish processing entitled “FISH BE WITH YOU” in benefit of the fish processors in Batangas province in partnership with BatStateU’s Food Innovation Center (FIC), April 10-12.

Fish processing industry in the Batangas province has continuously developed over the years through innovation and technological advancement. Prominently known for sinaing na tulingan, tilapia, and various sardine products, Batangueños really take pride when it comes to fish processing.

Fish Be With You was a solution to the upgrading of Batangas processed fish products. This activity helped encourage fish processors to enhance further their manufacturing practices, upgrade their processed fish products, and comply with the food safety requirements. Students and faculty members from BatStateU also partook in the said activity showing a gesture of interest to learn and improve products processed in the FIC.
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A Forum on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) on Fish Processing was pursued on the first day of the activity. Ms. Ma. Lorelie Dorado, Science Research Specialist II of DOST CALABARZON, facilitated the discussion on GMP. The discussion prompted the participants to share and raise their concerns regarding technical problems experienced during food preparation and product handling.

Ms. Natividad Efondo, Chief-Fish Inspection Unit of BFAR IV-A, facilitated the discussion on HACCP and regulations in fish processing. The discussion provided the participants with the step by step procedures of the regulatory requirements needed to comply with HACCP standards. Moreover, market advantage of fish manufacturing firms with HACCP Certification was also detailed out by Ms. Efondo.

Meanwhile, fish processing training pursued on the second day of the activity. Dr. Ma. Josie Sumague of UPLB’s Institute of Food Science and Technology facilitated the said training which comprised the processing of five fish products such as sardines, bagoong, fishball, smoked and marinated milkfish.
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The last day of the activity was allocated for the project visit. DOST Batangas Team together with Dr. Sumague visited the processing facility of FilEntreps Multipurpose Cooperative in Lipa, Batangas, a GIA-CBP beneficiary of DOST, to provide them inputs in upgrading their fish processing business. The cooperative produces skipjack tuna or sinaing na tulingan and continuously market their products within Batangas province. Observation on each process from raw material preparation to packaging and labelling was done in order to specify problems and upgrade the quality of their fish products.
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Region X Junior Health Researchers: Producing Quality Researches for the People

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April 30, 2019
Twenty-five (25) junior researchers from different member-institutions of the Northern Mindanao Consortium for Health Research and Development (NorMinCoHRD) attended the Training on Basic Research Methods on April 10-12, 2019 at N Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

The training focused on enhancing the capacities of the young researchers in health research proposal preparation. A total of eleven (11) health research problems were identified and presented before the plenary and critiqued by the trainers during the three-day workshop. Among the research problems identified were prevalence of heterophyiasis, resilience in post-war, relapse after rehabilitation, breastfeeding practices, care of dementia patients, suicidal ideation, portable database for health information collection, mobile application for diabetic individuals’ data and information technology (IT) wearables.

Participants of the training were from Bukidnon State University (BukSU), Cagayan de Oro College – PHINMA (COC-PHINMA), Capitol University (CU), Central Mindanao University (CMU), Iligan Medical Center College (IMCC), Liceo de Cagayan University (LDCU), Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), Xavier University (XU) and Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC).

The trainers were the consortium’s very own officers/members, Dr. Peter R. Orbase of CMU, Dr. Ester L. Raagas of XU and Dr. Fidela B. Ansale of CU. They have been trained and completed the PCHRD-initiated Basic Research Methods Training of Trainers on December 11-13, 2018 at Davao City and the Research Proposal Critiquing Workshop on March 14, 2019 at Manila Manor Hotel, Manila.
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SEARCA redefines value chain ‘inclusivity’ for regional agricultural and rural economy

May 2,2019
To continually promote inclusivity and sustainability in the agricultural value chain development, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) offered its Value Chain Development Course for the second time last April 22-26.

Research and development professionals and practitioners representing the academe and government in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, participated in the course.

In its second offering, the course looked through the agricultural value chain lens to analyze and design interventions to promote value addition for various players, especially the marginalized actors in the process, but this time integrating the gender element.

The course covered the fundamental frameworks, principles, components and processes of the value chain system, and their practical skills and application.

A more well-balanced facet of inclusivity was introduced through a session on gender mainstreaming in agricultural value chains and integrating gender in workshop discussions and outputs throughout the course.

SEARCA Governing Board Chair Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., currently the University of the Philippines Los Baños Chancellor, shared that the vitality of capitalizing on social inclusion has been the core of SEARCA’s campaign for inclusive and sustainable rural development (ISARD) in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 8: “Promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all.”

“The challenge therefore is for various institutions and stakeholders, especially smallholder farmers and small-scale rural entrepreneurs, to step up to the plate and maximize the benefits of borderless trade,” Sanchez said.

UPLB College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf) professors served as resource persons and training facilitators of the training-workshop.

At the outset of the course, UPLB CPAf professor Wilfredo Carada stressed the imperative of developing an inclusive value chain to steer increased vibrancy and productivity for the overall improvement of the agriculture and rural sector in ASEAN countries.

He explained that inclusivity means bringing positive and desirable change in the activities in the agricultural value chain, wherein advanced competency and productivity would also create an enabling environment for marginalized smallholder farmers and fisherfolks, and increase their integration and opportunities to secure a fair share in the value chain process.

In the same vein, NEXUS Agribusiness Solutions Managing Director Nerlita M. Manalili, one of the course lecturers, pointed out that greater capacities for the farmers should always be accompanied with increased market access and opportunities for sustainable growth and food security down to the household level.

Dr. Manalili also enthused the participants to fully understand the value chain context, wherein she highlighted the need to add “value” on product transformation across the stages and processes of the value chain.

She noted, however, that challenges brought about by the changing mix and dynamism of existing market players, commodities should be addressed by ASEAN countries towards efficiency-driven market integration in the current globalization of agricultural production.

The course participants identified gaps and designed interventions on how inclusivity could be integrated, considering the current socioeconomic dynamism, production technologies, and government and market structures in both national and regional context across Southeast Asia.

Value chain analyses and interventions for cinnamon, rice, mango, high-value crops, and white potato were developed by participants organized into one group per commodity. Each intervention design included a sector situationer, value chain analysis and mapping, value chain development strategy, organizational and institutional arrangements for value chain development, and a monitoring and evaluation plan.
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Eminent rice scientist and academician appointed new SEARCA Director

May 2, 2019

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Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio has been appointed as new Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), an inter-government treaty organization hosted by the Philippine government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), for a three-year term and he assumed office on 1 May 2019.

Dr. Gregorio is the eleventh to hold the top SEARCA post since its establishment in November 1966 by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO).

Dr. Gregorio is also an Academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the Philippines and is currently a professor at the Institute of Crop Science of the UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science.

A distinguished rice scientist, Dr. Gregorio served the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for almost 30 years, including a five-year stint as IRRI’s rice breeder in Africa based at Africa Rice Centre station at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria from 2004 to 2009.

Throughout his career, Dr. Gregorio has bred more than 15 rice varieties, most of which are salt-tolerant varieties that have greatly helped farmers in Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, and the Philippines. He also led efforts to develop micronutrient-dense rice varieties to address anemia and malnutrition in Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

But rice breeding is not Dr. Gregorio’s only forte. Prior to his appointment as SEARCA Director, he also served as Crop Breeding Manager for Corn at the East-West Seed Company, Inc. from 2015 to 2018 where he was the global lead of the sweet corn and waxy corn breeding programs for South and Southeast Asia, the Latin Americas, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Gregorio has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Outstanding Young Scientist Award (OYS 2004) and Outstanding Publication Award given by NAST; The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM 2004) in the field of Agriculture-Plant Breeding and Genetics; the Ho Chi Minh Medal Award for great contribution to the cause of agriculture and rural development in Vietnam; Ten Outstanding Youth Scientists (TOYS 1981) of the Philippines given by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines; Honorary Scientist, Rural Development Administration (RDA), Korea; and other awards for his outstanding research and research management achievements.

He has authored and co-authored at least 90 articles published in various scientific journals, chapters on rice breeding in 14 books, and five scientific manuals and bulletins. He mentored and supervised 20 PhD and 27 MS graduate students and more than 40 BS students in plant breeding and genetics at UPLB and other universities in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America; and he continues to hone scientists and future scientists as a mentor and teacher.

Dr. Gregorio obtained his PhD in Genetics, MS in Plant Breeding, and BS in Agriculture at UPLB.
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DOST highlights sustainable development at Luzon Regional Scientific Meeting

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May 2,2019
For its third year, the Luzon Regional Scientific Meeting (Luzon RSM) was attended by over 300 scientists, academicians, researchers, and private and public stakeholders held at Don Leopoldo Convention Center in Alaminos, Pangasinan last April 24-25.

With a theme of “Caring for the Country’s Carrying Capacity”, the two-day convention was filled with topics and discussions focusing on three United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely: Goal 4 – Quality Education, Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production, and Goal 14 – Life below Water.

Alaminos City Mayor Arthur F. Celeste welcomed the participants while DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña was represented by DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano to deliver his message.

The scientific meeting was divided into four plenary sessions where experts from government, academe, and private sector gave a talk and discussed essentially about plastic waste, sustainable marine food security, sustainable education, talent development, and retention, and updates from the National Academy of Science and Technology – Philippines (NAST PHL).

More than 20 entries from higher education institutes (HEIs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) joined in the scientific poster session. The team of Mr. Elfritszon Peralta from the University of Santo Tomas won the Best Scientific Poster for their study entitled “Life below water in the Anthropocene: Using ecological and isotopic approaches to trace human impacts in Laguna de Bay and its watersheds”.

Resolutions and policy recommendations were drafted and presented to be lobbied for possible legislation that will hopefully address the problems related to the SDGs.

This event was led by NAST PHL and co-organized by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Luzon Cluster (NCR, CAR, Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, and V) with DOST 1 as this year’s host. Regional scientific meetings are conducted in preparation for this year’s NAST 40th Annual Scientific Meeting.
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Media Advisory_DOST-PCHRD holds media conference on Diagnostics Program

May 3,2019
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) will be holding a Talakayang HeaRT Beat (Health Research and Technology) media and press conference which will highlight the accomplishment of the Council’s Diagnostic Program specifically on HIV.

WHEN: May 21, 2019, 11 AM to 2 PM
WHERE: Autumn Function Room, Luxent Hotel, Timog Ave., Quezon City

PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya will lead the discussion along with other project leaders in the Diagnostics Program.

Attached is the press conference details along with the program.