EO Creating Corn Research Center Sought
Byline: MELODY M. AGUIBA
The Office of the President has to come up with an executive order (EO) creating the supposed-to-be Asian Development Bank (ADB)funded Philippine Corn Research Institute (PCRI) in order to obtain endorsement for its funding by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Rolando V. Labios, chief agriculturist of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), said BARs application for a JICA grant for PCRI has dragged since it was conceived about two years ago as the Department of Agriculture (DA) has not yet filed with Malacanang a draft EO on the PCRI creation. BAR is DAs attached agency but still operates independently.
NEDA requires an EO from Malacanang (in order to grant approval for the project). But DA has not yet endorsed a draft EO with Malacanang, Labios said in an interview.
Labios said the absence of a corn research-coordinating center in the country leaves a vacuum that could otherwise enhance productivity of the corn sector.
There is a local research center for rice while sugar and coconut are governed by separate agencies in the form of the Sugar Regulatory Administration and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
There is no center doing coordination even if corn is a major crop. There are separate agencies doing un-coordinated researches like the Institute of Plant Breeding (University of the PhilippinesLos Banos) is doing research on breeding and BPRE (Bureau of Post Harvest research and Extension) has researches on machinery, he said.
The research center is seen to be crucial in the countrys effort to raise corn productivity in light of a yearly production deficit of one million metric tons. …