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President Benigno S. Aquino III has thus far appointed three new members of the Board of Trustees (BOT), the highest policy-making body of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

Replacing former trustees who have finished their terms, Dr. Teodoro C. Mendoza now represents the academic community, Dr. Ma. Luisa R. Soliven, science community, and Edicio G. Dela Torre, consumer sector.

Mendoza comes from the academic community specializing in agronomy, soil sciences, and botany. Currently, he heads the Crop Ecology Division of the Crop Production and Management Institute of the Crop Science Department at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

On the other hand, Soliven is the incumbent President of the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Maramag, Bukidnon. She specializes in agricultural economics (marketing and prices) and international trade.

Meanwhile, Dela Torre is an advocate of grassroots community development and popular democracy, and former chaplain of the Federation of Free Farmers. Currently a member of the DA secretary’s Technical Assistance Group, Dela Torre joined the underground revolutionary movement and was a political detainee in 1974 through 1986. In 1998, he was appointed director-general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. He left government service to focus on rural development in 2001.

Chaired by the agriculture secretary in ex-officio capacity, PhilRice BOT has 12 members representing different stakeholders of the rice industry. They are appointed by the President for a definite two-year term. The Institute expects more new trustees to be appointed soon.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute