June 18, 2021

Experts from DA-PhilRice have been acknowledged and promoted in rank

Scientists from the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to rice science research.

The DA announced on Friday that Dr. Reynante L. Ordonio, Scientist I, has been named the National Academy of Science and Technology’s Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) in the area of Agricultural Science for 2021.

Previously, the 40-year-old scientist worked for the government as a molecular breeding researcher. Science, Nature Cell Study and Scientific Reports, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences-USA have all published his research. These are regarded high-impact journals in their area of research, according to DA.

Ordonio is currently the project manager for DA-Healthier PhilRice’s Rice Initiative, a large-scale project that uses contemporary biotechnology to breed high beta carotene rice (Golden Rice) and high iron and zinc rice. He is also the project leader for the Institute’s first rice gene-editing project, which is sponsored by the DA-Biotech Program Office.

As head of the ad hoc technical working group under the National Committee on Biosafety of the Philippines, Ordonio recently made a significant contribution to the country’s first policy on the evaluation of products of New Plant Breeding Techniques, which includes gene editing.

“This will have an effect on international commerce in the long run, and it will enable contemporary biotech research in the country,” DA added.

Young Filipino scientists under the age of 41 who have made major contributions to science and technology are honored with the OYS.

The Scientific Career Council, on the other hand, elevated Dr. Roel R. Suralta, an OYS awardee in 2010, to Career Scientist III. He is the Institute’s sole career scientist with that status to date.

Suralta is a multi-award-winning scientist with expertise in environmental stress physiology and root developmental biology, according to DA. He was also honored by the Civil Service Commission with the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award in 2013. (CSC).

His studies on rice root plasticity have been published in prestigious publications and have received hundreds of citations from academics in the Philippines and across the world.

His research, which he carried out with the help of colleagues from DA-PhilRice, the International Rice Research Institute, Nagoya University, and other local and international organizations, has opened up new avenues for rice root adaptation in abiotic stress-prone growing environments influenced by climate change.

“The Scientific Career System is concerned with the recruitment, advancement, recognition, and reward of scientists in the public sector in order to create a pool of highly qualified and productive scientists. The CSC and the Department of Science and Technology are working together to implement the system “According to the DA.

Ordonio and Suralta are two of just 12 current professional scientists at DA-PhilRice.

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