SAILILA E. ABDULAPhilRice Executive Director Sailila E. Abdula was recently recognized as Outstanding Rice Scientist of the Philippines by the ASEAN Rice Science and Technology Ambassadors Award Search Committee.

“As a government employee, this means that the we are doing what is expected from us to help the people and having this award is more than just an achievement, it is also a challenge for me to continue doing researches to help our farmers,” Dr. Abdula said.

Dr. Abdula helped develop tungro-resistant rice varieties such as NSIC Rc120 and Rc226 to help manage the disease in Southern Mindanao. These varieties were released when he was the branch director of PhilRice Midsayap in North Cotabato.

He also added that as a breeder, he needs to continuously develop disease-resistant, high-yielding, and climate-resilient rice varieties to increase farmers’ competitiveness and income.

Currently, he is developing transgressive lines, a possible rice variety whose performance is comparable with the expensive hybrid rice seeds developed by private companies.

Dr. Abdula is a Maguindanaon from West Patadon, Matalam, North Cotabato. In 2012, he obtained his PhD in agriculture, major in plant genetics from Chungbuk National University in Korea. He also finished his Master in Development Management degree in the Development Academy of the Philippines while his master’s degree in plant breeding in UP Los Banos.

Dr. Abdula started working as a junior researcher at PhilRice in September 1996 after finishing his bachelor’s degree in agriculture (cum laude) from the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato in 1995.

Aside from being a rice breeder, he led and implemented a collaborative project on rice-based farming system technology transfer system for Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The said project was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in partnership with PhilRice and the local government units in ARMM.

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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