Written by the Web Team
The province of Negros has come a long way in attaining rice self-sufficiency from 10 years ago with help from the Philippine Rice Research Institute based in Negros Occidental, which celebrated that achievement and its 10th anniversary by staging a fun run from Bacolod City to its station on July 27.
In his opening remarks, Dr Eufemio T. Rasco Jr, PhilRice executive director, acknowledged the improvement of the rice self-sufficiency level of the province from 64 percent in 2003 to 95 percent in 2013, or 10 years after PhilRice Negros was established.
Rasco also acknowledged the significant contributions of the partners of PhilRice Negros in helping the province attain a high level of rice self-sufficiency in 10 years.
He added that the attainment of rice self-sufficiency in the country lies not only in the hands of the farmers-producers but also with consumers, who should start practicing responsible consumption of the staple.
The executive director also encouraged rice stakeholders in the province to actively participate in the three-point advocacy of the National Year of Rice (NYR 2013), which includes reducing rice wastage, eating other staples, and consuming brown rice, as this will help increase rice supplies and help consumers attain better health.
The centerprice of the fun run was a 10-kilometer Trail Run from Bacolod City to the PhilRice Negros station. The event also included a 5-k fun run which started simultaneously with the 10-k trail run at 5:30 in the morning. The runners for 10-k trail run and the 5-k fun run conquered the undulating stretch of alternate concrete and rough road from Bacolod City to the Experiment Station in Murcia via Handumanan and Felisa roads.
Before the awarding ceremonies, NYR videos and music were played in the venue, and the participants pledged their support in conserving rice by reciting the Panatang Makapalay.
Winners for the 5-k fun run were Dexter Galos (1st place men category), Jelyn Duran (1st place women category), Jason Libuna (2nd place men category), Jeraldine Hulleza (2nd place women category), Michael Mijares (3rd place men category) and Helen Ison (3rd place women category).
Winners for the 10-k trail run were Maclin Sadia (1st place men category), Stephanie Cadosale (1st place women category), Rommell Hulleza (2nd place male category), Gella Mayang (2nd place women category), Joel Alcorin (3rd place men category) and Weng Chang (3rd place women category).
Winners received cash prizes, medals and certificate. First place winners of the 10-k event received P3,000, while the second and third placers received P2,000 and P1,000, respectively. Winners in the 5-k fun run received P1,500, P1,000 and P500 for the first, second and third placers, correspondingly.
Edgar Libetario, PhilRice Negros station manager, said that the fun run not only promoted healthier eating of rice, but also healthy physical activities like running. He said that the lands where the station currently stands, which used to be sugar cane farms, can become an eco-tourism area. He also promised that the station will continue its efforts to cater to the rice needs in the Visayas – organic rice seeds and rice-based production technologies.
The fun run was a kick-off to the much bigger run on November 2013, or the National Rice Awareness Month, where the National Year of Rice Run will be held simultaneously at PhilRice Los Banos.
Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Bacolod City Plant, Oriental Recycler, Dynamic Builders and Construction Company, and the Run Club Bacolod City sponsored the event.