Effective Dec. 3, Dr. John C. De Leon is the full-fledged executive director (ED) of PhilRice, as he took his oath
before Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte in Malacañang.
Specializing on genomic selection,aromatic traditional varieties, seed technology, and genetic diversity, De Leon has earned 30 years of wellrounded work experience in managing rice R4D programs. He specializes on commercial seed product development and testing, seed systems, and multi-national breeding systems.
One of the prominent varieties he co-developed was Mestiso 59, with a yield record of 12t/ha. It was hailed as the highest yielder during the Northern Mindanao Hybrid Rice Derby in 2017, outshining 12 other varieties.
De Leon was also PhilRice’s hybrid rice program leader in the early 2000s. He came back to the Institute after 10 years of working for the private sector as senior breeder at DevGen and head of rice breeding in Syngenta.