President Benigno Aquino III appointed Dr. Eufemio Rasco, a plant breeder and academician, as new Executive Director of the Philippine Rice Institute (PhilRice) on July 4, replacing Atty. Ronilo Beronio.
On July 13, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala led Rasco’s oath taking ceremony as Executive Director of PhiliRice, at his office.
In the turnover ceremony held on July 18, Rasco mentioned some reminders of Alcala to him, most important is to ensure the support of PhilRice in the Aquino Administration in its aim to achieve sufficient supply of rice in 2013.
Also included in the reminders are the availability of high quality seeds and the development of technology for upland rice farming.
Rasco was a recipient of various awards from prestigious organizations like the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and Philippine Jaycees on account of his contributions in the field of breeding and agricultural education.
He was a professor at the University of the Philippines Mindanao, and later dean, a coordinating scientist at the International Potato Center, a director at Institute of Plant Breeding, a founding director and member of the board of the East-West Seed Company.
In these institutions, Rasco has conducted comprehensive studies and observations on vegetable farms, potato and sweet potato farms, and other non-useful plants, upland farming and maintenance of modern farming.
He has also published what he has learned from his studies in some books abroad and also has prepared a general education course in plant biotechnology which is the first of its kind in the Philippines.
Rasco graduated magna cum laude in Agriculture at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna and decorate degree in plant breeding at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
He is the fourth Executive Director of PhilRice. Ester Gallardo, PSciJourn MegaManila