Written by the Web Team
The Department of Agriculture recently awarded Dr. Manuel Jose C. Regalado, scientist and deputy executive director for research of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), as 2014 Gawad Saka Outstanding Agricultural Scientist for Central Luzon.
Regalado, the Region III`s bet in the national competition, was selected for his commendable and high-impact researches in agriculture. Gawad Saka Award is an annual search for outstanding achievers in agriculture and fisheries.
Conferred Scientist I in 2009 by the Philippine Scientific Career System, Regalado is known for his research and projects on renewable energy, farm machine development, and wind-pump system, which he had mostly accomplished during his more than 25 years work at PhilRice.
As an agricultural engineer, he co-developed bio-ethanol fuel injector for spark ignition engine, nipa hydrous bio-ethanol fermentation and distillation plant, and rice hull gasifier stove.
The rice hull gasifier stove, PhilRice`s major accomplishments last year, was developed as a cheaper alternative to LPG-fueled stove. It is also environment-friendly as it makes use of farm biomass.
Regalado said that the Kalinga-Apayao State College in Tabuk, Kalinga, which was given the license to commercialize the stove, had already sold 26 units. Moreover, 30 units are being manufactured for delivery to a cooperative in Samar.
He also co-developed the no-tillage and reduced tillage systems, laboy tiller, rice hull gasifier for mechanical drying and electric power generation, rotary reaper, panicle thresher, multi-crop flour mill, and the Maligaya flatbed dryer.
The laboy tiller, Regalado`s machine for the deep muddy farm environment, was found to be efficient in reducing labor and fuel costs and that it can also result in 1 ton-yield increase in rice.
“The laboy tiller, principally designed for deep mud paddy fields, is now used by many farmers in Aurora. Although initially for soft, deep, and very deep mud fields, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has procured 14 units and used the machine for tilling the soil surface of drained fishponds, ” Regalado said.
Before his designation as acting deputy executive director for research, he led the former Knowledge Management and Promotion program and headed the Rice Engineering and Mechanization Division for five years.
“As deputy executive director for research, this is my 3B platform – breakthroughs, business, and benefits. We need to generate more breakthroughs, innovations, and discoveries. From breakthroughs, we can create business; thus, more income will come in, and we will be able to give more benefits to our employees, and we can even afford to hire the best manpower for the institute,” the administrator explained.
Regalado said that doing research and management work at the same time is easier with reliable people helping him.
“But what keeps me well, sound, and on the ground is God,” he said.
Regalado still handles research projects and studies including the Philippine Council for Agriculture , Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development -approved program on mechanization and postharvest technologies with P23M fund.
He earned his BS and MS degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and PhD in Agricultural Science-graduate from Iwate University, Japan.