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Home>News Articles>Highlights of Accomplishments in 2019>FFTC strengthens ties with Philippine partners
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 April 30 2019

Ties have been renewed, commitments were forged and relationships remained stronger as FFTC, through its Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin, headed a three-man delegation and visited and paid courtesy calls to six organizations in the Philippines. Through the help of one of its longest country partners, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), who helped organize and facilitated the logistics for the said courtesy calls, Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin, Information Officer Ronald Mangubat and Administrative Assistant Mr. Charles Wu stayed for four days in Los Baños and Manila to visit and meet the top officials of those six organizations.

PCAARRD, a Council under the Department of Science and Technology formulates policies, plans and programs for science and technology based R&D in the different sectors, has been a long-time partner of FFTC since the 1970s. Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin met Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, its Acting Executive Director, together with Dr. Edwin Villar, Acting Deputy Executive Director for Research and Development and Dr. Melvin Carlos, Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management and Support Services. Dr. Lin and his delegation were first escorted to the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC) wherein he viewed the interactive exhibit of PCAARRD’s main activities and products. They also had a guided tour of the herbal and landscape gardens, a joint project of PCAARRD and the Philippines’ Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). A briefing followed at the PCAARRD boardroom where Dr. Lin was introduced to the PCAARRD Directors’ Council and a meeting ensued regarding the upcoming FFTC-PCAARRD joint training workshop on “Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management” this coming September 30-October 4 in Iloilo City, Philippines.

FFTC also visited The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) campus. A meeting was held with Dr. Filberto Pollisco, the Centre’s Policy and Programme Development Specialist, Program Development and Implementation Unit. ACB’s mission is to take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity in the ASEAN region. It has a 10-year Strategic Plan for Biodiversity comprised of a shared vision, mission and strategic goals all aimed at restoring, using and maintaining ecosystem services towards a healthy planet. Director Dr. Lin, on the other hand, discussed FFTC’s projects similarly aligned to ACB’s current project, particularly the upcoming international workshop on “Satoyoma Initiative: Ecosystem Services Utilization for Balancing Development of Rural Communities” this September 16-20 in Hualien, Taiwan.

Two birds were hit with one stone when FFTC paid a courtesy call to the officials of UPLB, the country’s premiere agricultural university and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). Dr. Fernando Sanchez, UPLB’s Chancellor, who is also the Interim Director of SEARCA, briefed the FFTC delegation and introduced the officials of both institutions. UPLB is a founding member of SEARCA, with the latter aimed at fostering collaborative efforts with partner institutions to enhance graduate education in agriculture, environment and natural resources in the region. In the said meeting, the possibility of a planned renewal of the old Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UPLB and FFTC was also discussed. It has been agreed upon by both sides that preparations for the signing of the MOU will be drafted soon so that this can be signed by both parties this September when the FFTC-PCAARRD joint training workshop on “Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management” kicks off in Iloilo city, the Southeastern tip of Panay island in the Philippines.

In Manila, Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin had a luncheon meeting with the officials of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), headed by Mr. Michael P.Y. Hsu, Representative and Head of Mission, Mr. Hank H.C. Liu, Director of Political Affairs, and Ms. Yi-Nung Tsai, Assistant to the Representative, Political Division. TECO represents the interests of Taiwan in the Philippines, functioning as a de facto embassy in the absence of diplomatic relations. Director Lin and the Taiwanese delegates discussed mostly agricultural tie-ups between the Philippines and Taiwan as well as other trading partners.

The next stop was the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DA-BSWM) in Quezon City, where Director Dr. Lin met with its Officer-in-Charge and Assistant Director, Dr. Edna Samar, who is also one of FFTC’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) members. Joining Dr. Samar is Dr. Gina Nilo, Chief Agriculturist and Head of its Laboratory Services Division, who verbalized her gratefulness to FFTC for being part of last year’s training program on “Proficiency Testing of Soil, Plant Tissue and Fertilizer Analysis.”  As the nationally mandated authority on soils and water management for agriculture, the core function of the strengthened DA-BSWM is to provide leadership in the pursuit of R&D function for the two vital agricultural resources and provide recommendations to the office of the DA.

Last but not the least, FFTC visited the office of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Makati where Director Dr. Lin met with Director Cesar Drilon, Attorney Arthur Abiera, Jr., Assistant Corporate Secretary and Executive Officer and Ms. Joy Flanco, Administrative and Humanitarian and Special Concerns Officer.  MECO, as the duly designated instrumentality to promote and protect Philippine interests in Taiwan, has been authorized and conferred with authority to perform functions usually carried out by Philippine foreign missions but of a non-political, non-security measures. Discussions mostly revolved around the past and present workshops and training courses that FFTC have conducted in the Philippines and other agricultural endeavors that FFTC has been doing to promote sustainable agriculture in the Asian Pacific Region.

FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin and his three-team delegation meet the whole PCAARRD management at the PCAARRD main headquarters in Los Banos,m Laguna, Philippines. FFTC and PCAARRD have a long story of partnership which dates back from 1970s when the Center was established 50 years ago.

A toast for friendship and strong partnership. FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin (rightmost) toasts with the PCAARRD top management led by its Acting Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora during the luncheon meeting held in his honor.

Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin also visited The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) campus where he met Dr. Filberto Pollisco, the Centre’s Policy and Programme Development Specialist Program Development and Implementation Unit.

Hitting two birds with one stone. FFTC met UPLB Chancellor Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr. and Interim Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), together with the Directors of the Center.

FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin and UPLB Chancellor Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr.

At the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management, FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin (2nd from left) paid a courtesy call to its Officer-in Charge, Office of the Assistant Director Dr. Edna Samar (3rd from left) and Dr. Gina Nilo, Chief Agriculturist and Head, Laboratory Services Division (leftmost). Rightmost is FFTC Information Officer Mr. Ronald Mangubat

FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin paid a courtesy call to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office where he met Director Cesar Drilon.

The FFTC delegation had a luncheon meeting with the Officers of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) where Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin met Mr. Michael P.Y. Hsu, Representative and Head of Mission