The Visayas State University (VSU) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in pursuit of the goals and objectives of the two institutions' rice R&D programs. Both parties agreed to collaborate extensively on rice research, training, communication, extension, and human resource development projects.

 

The MOU was signed by VSU President, Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, and PhilRice Executive Director, Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., in the presence of Dr. Othello B. Capuno, VSU's VP for Research and Extension, and Dr. Caesar Joventino M. Tado, PhilRice's Acting Director for Administration who is a VSU alumnus.

The collaborative undertaking shall be determined by a Management Committee composed of VSU's VP for Research and Extension as chair, PhilRice's Deputy Executive Director (DED) for Research and DED for Development as co-chairs, and VSU's dean of the College of Agriculture as member. The Committee shall conduct periodic planning and review as well as formulate policies and guidelines for prioritizing projects, fund allocation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of various collaborative rice RDE activities.

The MOU signing paved the way for a collaborative research undertaking between the two institutions based on the approved project proposals submitted by any researchers from either parties who have the manpower and expertise for the implementation of the project. The staff member who shall work in the approved project may be detailed in a project or may be designated as an affiliate staff and properly compensated based on his/her rank or qualifications as prescribed in both parties' guidelines.

PhilRice shall also provide logistical and financial support to VSU students who will do thesis research on rice for as long as the study is within its priorities. VSU's undergraduate and graduate students may now have their on-the-job training/thesis research at PhilRice under the supervision of a PhilRice staff member who shall be designated by VSU as an affiliate faculty member who will serve as member of the thesis advisory committee. Its faculty members may also work temporarily as research/postdoctoral fellows under the PhilRice's priority research agenda. PhilRice is a chartered government corporate entity under the Department of Agriculture (DA) located at the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, mandated to lead, develop and implement a national rice research and development program that will sustain and further improve rice production, improve the income and socio-economic condition of small farmers, expand employment opportunities in rural areas, and help the country attain rice self-sufficiency.

Furthermore, to effectively implement its program of activities, it is tasked to establish a national rice R&D network, and strengthen linkages with national and international agencies/institutions.

VSU, being a research and academic institution that generates bodies of knowledge on agriculture and rural development, and helps provide improved technology, information, training, and technical expertise to national programs, has been collaborating with DA and its attached agencies in the implementation of agricultural and development programs in its area of coverage.