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House OKs bill creating the Bataan Rice Research and Development Center

The House Committee on Agriculture and Food has passed a bill seeking the creation of the Bataan Rice Research and Development Center, which seeks to assist rice farmers in producing and marketing rice-based products.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO

The panel, chaired by Quezon 1st District Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga approved the amended House Bill No. 4626, principally authored by Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman during its recent virtual meeting.

“HB 4626 aims to establish a Rice Research Development Centre in the first district of Bataan. The original idea is to establish it in a town of Dinalupihan, after consultations with the president and members of the College of Agriculture of the Bataan Peninsula State University, I have decided and I am proposing for your consideration to amend the bill to rename it as Bataan Rice Research and Development Center to be located in the Abucay campus of the Bataan Peninsula State University,” Roman said in her sponsorship speech.

She said the Abucay campus of the state university is solely dedicated to students of agriculture.

“The idea is basically there will be research on how to develop rice derivatives and also teach our farmers. We will have laboratories there,” the House leader said.

“Bataan Peninsula State University, through its president, has expressed its excitement over this recent development.”

During the virtual deliberation on the bill, Philippine Rice Research Institute ( PhilRice) Executive Director John de Leon said they do not have disagreement with Roman’s proposal, but he suggested that PhilRice be considered as one of the agencies that “will collaborate” with the proposed Center.

HB 4626 seeks to help rice farmers augment their income by promoting and assisting them in the manufacture and marketing of rice-based products.

Roman said among the duties and functions of the proposed Center are to integrate, collate, and support research, programs and studies on rice-based product development and marketing; conduct continuing research on rice-based product development; undertake research and generate relevant, efficient, cost effective and scientifically viable approaches to achieve greater sustainability in rice-based product development; impart technical knowledge and train rice farmers on rice-based product development; and upgrade the entrepreneurial skills of rice farmers through training courses, seminars, and workshops.

She said the Center is also expected to collaborate with national, regional, and international research institutions with knowledge and expertise on rice-based product research and development. It shall coordinate with local government units, non-government organisations, and private sector groups and interests involved in rice-based product development, she added.

Roman said the Center is also tasked to facilitate access to loans to establish and operate a rice-based product development business, and encourage the creation of farmer cooperatives to achieve efficiencies in rice-based product development, better qualify for business loans, and boost marketing initiatives.

“It shall also receive and manage grants, aid, donations, or any kind of assistance or gratuity from donors, foreign or domestic, to better achieve the Center’s objectives,” she said.

Under the bill, the Center will be headed by an Executive Director who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA)

The Executive Director shall be a recognized agriculturalist with extensive experience in rice-based product research and development or a highly regarded entrepreneur in the field.

HB 4626 provides that the amount necessary for the implementation of the proposed Act shall be charged affairs the appropriations of the DA. Thereafter, the required budget for the continued implementation of the proposed Act shall be submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for inclusion in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

The DA Secretary shall issue the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act within 60 days from its effectivity.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/08/21/house-oks-bill-creating-the-bataan-rice-research-and-development-center/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=house-oks-bill-creating-the-bataan-rice-research-and-development-center)

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