The 38th Crop Science Society of the Philippines Conference
May 12-16, 2008, Iloilo Grand Hotel, Iloilo City
The 38th Biannual Crop Science Society of the Philipines (CSSP) was held on May 12 to 16, 2008 in Iloilo Grand Hotel, Iloilo City with the theme “Environmental Sustainability for Global Competitiveness through Crop Science”. The event was organized by the CSSP in cooperation with the DA-RFU VI, National Mango Research and Development Center, Aklan State University, Central Philippine University, Farmers Community Development Foundation, the City Government of Iloilo, Provincial Governmenst of Iloilo, Provincial Government of Guimaras, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research, and the Provincial Tourism Office.
The CSSP 2007-2008 Board members headed by the president Dr. Jose E. Hernandez was fully supported by the local organizing committee headed by Dr. Hernani Golez. Dr. Hector Penaranda acted as the co-chair of the local organizing committee during Dr. Golez’ absence in the conference, who was then on official duty in the USA.
The Opening Ceremony on the first day was highlighted by the keynote speech of the Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap which was read by the Regional Technical Director for Policy and Planning, Research and Support Services Dr. Joyce Wendam. In his speech, the secretary highlighted the strategic role that the crop scientists play in bringing new technological advances to farmers in order to solve the continuing problems of hunger. He emphasized that the society should continue conducting these kinds of fora not only for the consumption of the researchers but also for the extension workers and farmers. He congratulated all those involved in the organization and planning of the conference and looked forward to a successful conference. Welcome remarks were rendered by the Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and Iloilo Governor Niel D. Tupas. Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita, the vice president gave the opening remarks and acted as the master of ceremony.
The posters and exhibits display prepared by the Posters Committee headed by Mr. Ramon Oliveros was opened by Dr. Wendam and Gov. Tupas immediately after the opening ceremony. There were 128 posters presented on Plant Breeding and Genetics, Crop Production and Management, Extension and Education, Soils and Plant Nutrition, Socio-Economics, Crop Physiology and Biochemistry, PostHarvest Handling and Utilization and Crop Protection and Bioinformatics. Odd and even-numbered posters were viewed for two hours in the late afternoons of the first and second day, respectively. Best Poster judges obliged the authors to stand by their posters during the viewing time – a new initiative of the society.
Five plenary talks were presented during the first day. They were: The Climate Field School: The Iloilo Experience by Prov. Agriculturist Dr. Ildefonso Toledo; Corn Hybrids for Fuel Ethanol Production by Mr. Emmy Serrano of Pioneer Hi-Bred; Integrated Crop Management Program at AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center by Dr. Manuel Palada; Biotech Crops: Current Status and Future Prospects for Energy Sustainability by Dr. Randy Hautea; and Enhancing the Export Competitiveness of the Philippine Supermango: The National Survey of Mango Pulp and Mango Seed Weevil by Dr. Louella de Jesus.
In the evening of the first day, the lively socials night conceived by the Socials Committee headed by Mr. Tom Clemeno was held with the able support from the local organizers. There were dance and song numbers from the Aklan State University and Central Philippine University. A representative from the mayor's office came to give a message. Dr. Hector Penaranda also gave an inspirational message. There was dancing with the music of the live band until about 11 PM.
On the second day and in the morning of the third day, oral papers on different disciplines were presented during the concurrent sessions. There were 88 papers on various disciplines accepted for presentation by the Paper Committee headed by Dr. Aldemita.
The business meeting of the society was held during the early evening hours of the second day, but attendance was a bit low because some attendees were waiting for the judges to view their posters. In the business meeting, the president Dr. Hernandez presented the highlights of the CSSP activities for 2007-2008 which include the activation of the website, the ISI recognition of the Phil Journal of Crop Science in 2007, the donation of PhP30,000.00 by the Farmer group of Dr. Ponciano Batugal to the yearly CSSP Conference, the allotment of a CSSP office in the Old Agronomy Building, and the results of the election for the Board of Directors. Reports by the treasurer on the finances, and the secretary on the number of new members and attendees followed. There were 80 new members and a total of 323 attendees. To get the CSSP members get involved in the business meeting, it was resolved that in the next conference, the meeting should be held during the first day of the convention.
The Farmers’ Forum, organized by the committee headed by Mr. Renato Reaño was ably supported by the DA RFU VI through Dr. Larry Nacionales, in the morning of the third day. It was highlighted by the talks of Dr. Rolando T. Cruz on Low-External-Input Rice: Does it translate into increased yield and by Dr. Rene Rafael Espino on GMA (Commercial) High Value Commercial Crops Program: Direction and Thrust. Around 50 farmers were present, which was unexpectedly low because of the prevailing bad weather during the entire conference period. Panelists included Drs. Ponciano Batugal, Elda Esguerra, Manuel Gaspar, Norvie Manigbas, Manuel Palada, and Joyce Wendam.
The entire afternoon was devoted to the Best Paper Competition in three different categories. The best paper committee also headed by Dr. Aldemita with the help of distinguished judges from UPLB, PhilRice, and IRRI chose four papers in the upstream category, three for downstream and three for technology adoption/ extension, from among 32 papers submitted for competition.
The day culminated in the Awards and Recognition Night which was organized by the Socials Committee, with Dr. Nenita Desamero and Mr. Ramon Oliveros as hosts. The awards committee headed by Dr. Norvie Manigbas selected the Achievement Awardees that include: Dr. Rolando Cruz for Crop Science Research; Dr. Rita P. Laude for Teaching; Dr. Aladino Leccio for Extension; Mr. Alvaro M. Pamplona and Dr. Flora A. Jarilla for Technology Development and Dr. Manuel G. Gaspar for Sant Virmani Hybrid Rice Award. Dr. Laude gave the Inspirational Talk and Response from an Awardee and inducted the new members. Dr. Cesar P. Mamaril, a distinguished soil scientist and founding member of CSSP on the otherhand, inducted the new set of officers for 2008-2009 that included Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita as President; vice president: Dr. Emma K. Sales (USM); secretary: Mr. Ramon A. Oliveros (IRRI); treasurer: Dr. Jessica D. Rey (IRRI); PRO: Dr. Norvie L. Manigbas (PhilRice); auditor: Mr. Tomas P. Clemeno (IRRI); members: Dr. Nenita V. Desamero (PhilRice), Mr. Renato A. Reaño (IRRI), Dr. Sergio Francisco (PhilRice), Dr. Manuel Gaspar (PhilRice), Dr. Leoncia L. Tandang (BSU), and ex officio: Dr. Jose E. Hernandez (UPLB).
Four posters were given recognition with a cash award of 5,000 pesos and a plaque. The winners were: 1.) CO2 Compensation Point in the Wild Species of Rice by Mary Jacqueline A. Dionora, P.P. Pablico, R.T. Mogul, M. Orlina, K.G. Tan, F.R. Danila, and J.E. Sheehy, Crop and Environmental Sciences Division, IRRI for Upstream Research; 2) Conversion of Rice Mega Varieties to Submergence-Tolerant Rice Lines with the sub1 locus by Darlene L. Sanchez, A.M. Pamplona, E.M. Septiningsih, R.M. Rodriguez, C. Neeraja, K. Iftekharuddaula, S. Singh, G.V. Vergara, S. Heuer, A.M. Ismail, and D.J. Mackill, Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biochemistry Division, IRRI for downstream category; 3) Congressional Initiatives for Sustainable and Productive Rice Farming in the 4th District of Nueva Ecjia by O.C. Malonzo, A. B. Vasallo, E. B. Aurea, and B. O. Luis, PhilRice for extension/ education; and 4) A Feasibility Study of Establishing a Virus-Free Banana Seedling Propagation Facility in Bay, Masaya, Laguna by J. F. P. Rodriguez, M. B. Panabang, J. A. B. Madamba and F. Q. Arrienda II, UPLB for socio-economics.
The Best Paper awards which carry 7,500 pesos and a plaque were given to the papers: High Amylase Activity And High Ethylene Production In Rice Tolerant Of Flooding At Germination And Early Seedling Stage by Evangelina S. Ella, Georgina V. Vergara, and Abdelbagi M. Ismail, CESD, IRRI for the upstream category; Dynamics of Fruit Fly and Borer Infestations in Relation to their Biological Control Agents and Host Jackfruit Phenology by C.S. dela Cruz, C. S. Cotillas, B. B. Almeroda; J. A. Cantoneros; L.T. Villacarlos; N. M. Robin; E. C. Torres; R. B. Ayaso III and W. A. Cerbito of Visayas State University for downstream category; and Improving Farmer’s Lives through Partnership; the Nueva Ecija Experience by R. B. Miranda and C.G. Abadilla of PhilRice for Technology Adoption/ Extension
The night ended with a closing ceremony from the incoming president who stressed among others the need for young people to be involved and get groomed to become leaders of the society, and encouraged any suggestions and comments for the improvement of the society and its activities.
The last day, was an agri- eco-tour of the Guimaras island. There were around 120 participants who joined the tour. The visit included a courtesy call to the Provincial Governor of Guimaras, Dr. Felipe Hilan A. Nava, followed by a visit to the Trappist Monastery, a farm demonstration at the National Mango Research and Development Center, lunch and swimming at the beach in Raymen and culminated with a visit to the public market to buy mangoes.
Other BOD members helped in the implementation of the program: Dr. Emma K. Sales, Dr. Jessica Rey, Mr. Tamerlane Nas, and Dr. Manuel Gaspar in the registration and logistics; Dr. Aldemita and Dr. Rey, executive secretary Gretchen Ocampo-Nas and friends Darlene Sanchez and Venus Elec helped in the preparation of the souvenir program and the Book of Abstracts. Although the weather all throughout the conference was extremely bad (back to back typhoons), the 38th CSSP meeting was concluded with a resounding success.