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Over the years, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has delivered unparalleled service to the Filipino farmers by developing cost-effective technologies to make rice farming fulfilling and profitable—an accomplishment that was contributed for the most part by returning scholars, a PhilRice official said.

Dr. Manuel Jose C. Regalado, PhilRice’s deputy executive director for research and chair of the Staff Development Committee, said for close to three decades, PhilRice has reaped the benefits of strengthening its human resource as returning scholars, both local and international, have widened the Institute’s networks and continuously partnered with universities and scholarship grantors.

“PhilRice has many projects sourced externally, many of them from international donor agencies and had produced results that helped optimize rice farming and increased farmers’ yield. These are made possible because we have invested on our staff,” Regalado said.

Data from the Institute’s Human Resources Office revealed that 81 percent of PhilRice scholars have rendered or are rendering their return service obligations while about 19 percent did not finish their return service.

“The scholars are required to render two years of service for every year of the grant. We are delighted that most of our scholars have returned to serve the country despite more lucrative offers from other agencies. Meanwhile, most of the scholars who did not complete their return of service have either fully paid or are paying their scholarship obligation,” Regalado said.

With a pool of 38 PhD and 142 master’s degree holders, PhilRice had produced six recipients of the distinguished Ten Outstanding Young Men and The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service awards. These distinctions are awarded to Filipinos who have shown unwavering service to the country.

Regalado also stressed that the expertise gained by the scholars have helped the Institute in conducting studies and implementing projects that had improved the productivity and efficiency of rice farmers.

“In 2009, a study commissioned by the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture revealed that there was a 75 percent return on investment for PhilRice. This is something that the Institute tries to live up to and even improve on in our commitment to elevate the standards of public service in the Philippines with stronger human resource,” he said.

During its 26th anniversary late last year, PhilRice recognized the scholastic performance of its 10 scholars who have completed their programs from good universities in the country and abroad such as the University of the Philippines, Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands, and University of Queensland in Australia.

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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