The Philippines and China inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of a long-term and stable partnership among their research institutes in bamboo and rice.

The Philippines, through the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), signed recently the MOU with China’s Jiangxi Academy of Forestry (JAF) and with the Jiangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JxAAS).

The MOU was signed by DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo Ebora, JAF President Yang Jiefang, and JxAAs President Dai Xingzhao. 

The MOU was a product of the efforts of the Philippines’ DOST and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology that have been actively working together in identifying collaborative activities that will benefit both agencies in bamboo postharvest processing and rice research.

The areas of cooperation were identified during the 14th PH-China Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology in 2017, which was deemed as promising areas of cooperation for the revitalization of the existing biennial science and technology (S&T) platform between the two countries.

The fruitful relationship between the Philippines and China began in 1978. It was reinforced through the Basic Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation and through the Joint Commission Meetings, where priority areas for collaboration were identified.

Since October 2016, the several state visits of President Duterte to Beijing, China, reinvigorated the long-standing relationship between the two countries.

President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, then, issued a joint statement emphasizing collaboration between the two countries to “explore other areas of bilateral cooperation, including information technology, health, customs cooperation, research and development, education, and other fields that will be mutually beneficial to both countries.”

To effectively address these initiatives, DOST-PCAARRD and JAF agreed to collaborate on the establishment of the Philippines-China joint laboratory on bamboo, and research and technology promotion on advanced processing technology of bamboo resources.

The agreement also included the demonstration and showcasing of new technologies and products; and academic exchange, technical training, and capacity building services.

The JAF will be working with the Philippines’ Forest Products Research and Development Institute of DOST (DOST-FPRDI) under this area of cooperation.

On the other hand, DOST-PCAARRD and JxAAS, planned to implement the projects on adaptation trial and demonstration of green high-benefit and rice-fishery symbiotic farming models; rice breeding related to rice-fish farming; demonstration and showcase of relevant new technologies, products, models, and intelligent agriculture related to rice-fish farming.

It also involve the exchange visits of scientists, researchers, and S&T administrative staff; policy consultations; technical trainings and hosting of thesis/dissertation studies; aharing of information resources related to the joint program; and other forms of cooperation that may be mutually agreed upon.

JxAAS will be implementing the proposed projects with DOST-PCAARRD’s partners, such as the Philippine Rice Research Institute and the Central Luzon State University.

DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara and Assistant Secretary Leah J. Buendia affirmed the Philippines and DOST’s strong support and commitment to this revitalized partnership.

The DOST is looking forward to more partnership opportunities with MOST and other Chinese agencies and institutions to enhance and demonstrate the value of robust international cooperation in addressing the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We hope to continue to build our partnership by providing adequate avenues for  collaborative research and development, as well as other  capacity building mechanisms and people-to-people exchanges. Likewise, we hope that as we move forward, we continuously see the value of collaborating and helping each other towards our areas of common interest in order to strengthen our evolving and growing scientific community,” Buendia said in reference to the signed MOUs.

The MOU signing was also witnessed by Elaine Mae Laruan-Hernandez from the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen and DOST-PCAARRD’s partners: DOST-FPRDI Director Dr. Romulo Aggangan and Deputy Director Rico Cabangon; CLSU President Dr. Edgar Orden; and PhilRice Executive Director John de Leon, OIC Deputy Executive Director for Research Eduardo Jimmy Quilang, and Supervising Science Research Specialist Myrna Malabayabas. Alexandra E. Tamis and Cyrill S. Estimado/S&T Media Services

Image courtesy of DOST-ITCU photo

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