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10 February, 2021

To strengthen out linkages and commitment of Partido State University (ParSU) to the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Accelerated Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness: Niche Centers in the Regions for Research and Development (NICER) Program, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed during the Inception Meeting at the Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry (BUCAF), Guinobatan, Albay on October 28, 2019.

Dr. Raul G. Bradecina, SUC President III represented the university during the MOA signing. Dr. Bradecina and Ms. Emelita P. Bagsit, OIC of DOST Region V delivered their message of support and commitment to the project.

The inception meeting was held to launch the program and enable the program and project leaders to develop a better understanding of the goals, objectives, expected outputs, and activities of their respective programs/projects; and define and appreciate the roles and responsibilities of staff and stakeholders to be directly involved in the projects.

Furthermore, the meeting served as a venue to clarify the work plan, budget and other financial and administrative concerns relative to project implementation; and discuss the monitoring and evaluation guidelines (including reporting system and format).

Mr. Alvin Quiel C. Sabanal of Crops Research Division of PCAARRD gave the overview and rationale of the activity and Dr. Marissa E. Estrella, the program leader and a faculty-researcher of BUCAF, presented the Pili R&D Center program.

In the afternoon, Ms. Felicidad E. Baustista and Ms. Maria Adelia C. Belen of PCAARRD presented the DOST-GIA guidelines followed by the presentation of DOST’s Science for Change (S4C) Program. A short open forum was conducted before Mr. Sabanal delivered the synthesis and agreements.

Dr. Ronnel R. Atole, ParSU Information Communication Technology Management Office (ICTMO) Director, attended the meeting together with his project members Leo Constantine Bello, Rowell John Artiaga, and John Rey Lirag. Dr. Atole leads Project 4 of the NICER program entitled, “A Comprehensive PILI (Canarium ovatum Engl.) Information System Utilizing Web 2.0 Technologies: A Roadmap Towards KM Buildup.” Other participants from ParSU were Ms. Christine Pejo of the Accounting Office and Prof. Patricia M. Candelaria, Vice President for Research, Extension, and External Affairs.

NICER program encompasses six more projects entitled: Project 1 – Pili Genetic Resources in Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Albay Provinces; Project 2 – Geo-mapping and Characterization of Pili Farms in Four Major Producing Provinces in the Bicol Region; Project 3 – Enhancing Pilinut propagation and Distribution System; Project 5 – Identification and Regional Benchmark Survey of Emerging Diseases of Pili (Canarium ovatum Engl.), Canopy Microbial Diversity, and Molecular Study and Pathogenicity Test Establishment for ‘Tayangawon’; Project 6 – Growth and Yield Response of Pilinut (Canarium ovatum Engl.) to Bio-fertilizer Application; and Project 7 – Techno-Mapping and Retro-fitting of Existing Pili Postharvest Processing Equipment in the Bicol Region.

The objectives of the NICER program are to: a. develop and maintain an efficient and comprehensive pili knowledge management system; b. characterize the genetic attributes of the existing pili varieties in Bicol and eventually identify the varieties with superior quality for propagation; c. develop improved pili nut postharvest processing technologies and facilities; and d. increase the yield and production of pili nut.

DOST funded the project and is subject to monitoring by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). Other partner institutions are Bicol University (BU) and Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA).

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