Dr. William Dar, acting Department of Agriculture secretary, had recognized the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) as a lead agency in research during his recent visit at the Institute’s Central Experiment Station in Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
“I’ve [already said this] and I will always mention that the number 1 research institute in the country, comparing any research institute, is PhilRice. [This is not to flatter you. I know because I have worked with you],” Dar said.
“I am a returnee to the department, and I’ve seen 21 years ago, how good PhilRice is. I would like to recognize the leadership and all of you for having sustained and having alleviated your responsibilities and your way of serving the country,” the servant-leader in agriculture, who had served as DA secretary from 1998 to 1999, said.
Since 1985, PhilRice has received citations from government officials and award-giving bodies including the Civil Service Commission. PhilRice human resources, which has seven ranked scientists, are also recipients of national and international accolades in conferences and in their field of specializations. In 2018, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte conferred outstanding public servant awards to three PhilRice officials.
As research institution, PhilRice has registered the highest number of patents granted among government agencies – a feat recognized early this year by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
Among the rice varieties planted by farmers, study showed that PhilRice-bred NSIC Rc 216, Rc 160, and Rc 300 were included in the top four most preferred rice varieties in irrigated lowland fields, both for dry and wet seasons.
The Rice-Based Farming Household Survey, conducted every five years, showed that the use of PhilRice’s inbred rice varieties had increased from about 5% in 1996 to about 34% in 2017.
The study also showed that use of certified seeds, which is promoted by PhilRice, is practiced by 48% of the farmer-respondents. Certified inbred seeds are promoted in the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.
Moreover, 12% of the farmer-respondents plant hybrid rice. Among hybrid rice varieties, PhilRice-bred Mestiso 20 had shown consistent good yield at 6-11t/ha in farmers’ demonstration sites across the country.
Meanwhile, minicombine harvester – a machine that can harvest, thresh, clean, and bag grains in one passing, has high adoption rate in some of the top-producing provinces including Isabela. In San Mateo, extension workers noted that almost all of the farmers use the machine, which reduces labor costs.
PhilRice also had conducted season-long farming training program for African extension workers; trainings for farmers, rice specialists, seed growers; Infomediary module training; Training of Trainers on PalayCheck System; and Rice Boot Camp, totaling to more than 500,000 training alumni.
In 2016, PhilRice ranked 37th in the web ranking of research institutions in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, it ranked better than institutes conducting researches on natural science, medicine, and education.
The Civil Service Commission also grants bronze award to PhilRice Human Resource and Management Office recognizing its excellence in human resource management systems, practices, and competencies of government agencies.
It is also one of the first government institutions to receive ISO 14001 certificate on environmental management system, and certifications on Integrated Quality, Environment, and Health and Safety Management Systems.
In January 1994, former Sen. Blas Ople announced PhilRice as one of the country’s 33 Centers of Excellence. It can also be recalled that four years following its establishment, former Pres. Corazon Aquino lauded the Institute in unifying the country’s rice research efforts.
To know more of the recent accomplishments of PhilRice, you may access the PhilRice 2018 Milestone at https://www.philrice.gov.ph/databases/milestones/.