The first Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Dr. Gerardo P. Sicat, visited the Visayas State University (VSU) on May 7-8, 2015 to discuss about agricultural situation in the region with some VSU key officials. Dr. Sicat was warmly welcomed by Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, VSU President, and afforded a tour around the campus with the VSU President as the tour guide.  He personally observed the different facilities of the University including the research centers, academic departments, and other laboratories. 

In a dinner at the VSU Guesthouse, Dr. Sicat chanced to talk with some VSU officials regarding the different agricultural activities initiated by the University, especially after the Typhoon Yolanda, as well as on various research studies conducted about root crops, coconut, abaca, sugar, rainforest conservation initiatives, student housing facilities, and other programs being implemented by the institution.

Dr. Sicat also had a lengthy discussion about the sugar industry in this part of Leyte with Atty. Roy Bernard C. Fiel, owner of a sugar plantation in Ormoc City.  Likewise, he was able to visit the rainforestation project of the University early in the morning of May 8, 2015 with Dr. Marlito Bande of the Institute of Tropical Ecology and Environmental Management.

Other personalities present during his visit included: Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin, VP for Instruction; Dr. Marcelo A. Quevedo, Director of PhilRootcrops; Assoc. Prof. Manolo B. Loreto Jr., Dean of Students; Prof. Alan B. Loreto, Executive Officer; and Mr. Jesus Freddy M. Baldos of the Information Office.

Dr. Sicat is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at UP Diliman, considered as the father of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), a book writer, and a columnist of the Philippine Star.  JFMBaldos