Grant for GRE examination

Through the initiative of current PPS President, Dr. Teresita U. Dalisay, another grant is available. Through this grant, the recipient will receive financial support to the GRE examination for graduate study in the USA. The "M.E. Lopez Pre-Admission Support for Graduate Study in the USA" is in honor of the late Mr. Melencio E. Lopez, a founding member of PPS and a former scientist and research administrator with the Philippine Sugar Institute in Quezon City. He is the father of Dr. Pamela Lopez-Kemerait, wife of Dr. Robert Kemerait. Both are PPS members

The President’s Report

Being requested to hand in the President's report would mean that you are ready to step down, reminiscing what you have done and relinquishing to the next president the activities you have started and worth continuing. Duties and responsibilities were done with the help of my committees. Efforts, time, knowledge, cooperation and their commitments were the reasons why this success happened.

The Board initiated new grants to support students taking up Plant Pathology as their field of specialization. One of these grants is the "R. G. Davide Undergraduate Thesis Writing Support Grant", named in honor of Dr. Romulo G. Davide, a prominent figure in the field of Plant Pathology. He holds a position as Professor Emeritus with the Crop Protection Cluster, College of Agriculture, UPLB. He is a highly distinguished educator, researcher in the area of biological control of nematode causing diseases on economically important crops, and continuing advocate of giving extension service to the people by implementation of generated technologies in field of agriculture. It will be annually offered and the recipient will receive P7,000. He or she will come from a university where the PMCP convention is to be held. First donors to support the grant are Dr. Arnold B. Estrada, Asia-Pacific Biotech/Trait Adoption Model Manager of Monsanto Asia-Pacific, Singapore and Dr. Robert Kemerait, Professor at the University of Georgia. Both are UPPS members.

Another grant is the "M.E. Lopez Pre-Admission Support for Graduate Study in the USA". The grant is in honor of the late Mr. Melencio E. Lopez, a founding member of PPS and a scientist and research administrator with the Philippine Sugar Institute PhilSugin) in Quezon City. As stated by his daughter – Dr. Pamela Lopez Kemerait - he would be most remembered for championing the importance of a good education in life and had always underscored the need for young people to have a good start in life through education. A support to the GRE examination will be given to a recipient for study in USA.

The project we called "Plant Doctors on Wheels" with the objective of helping the farmers solve crop's disease problems through funding by PMCP, and in collaboration with Provincial Agricultural Office was successfully held in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan last September, 2009. It was attended by 119 participants.

On the following month, training on seed health testing was conducted by PPS in U.P. Los Banos. The training was facilitated by Ms. Patria G. Gonzales of Seed Health Unit, IRRI. Researchers from Cornworld Breeding Systems, Inc., Hyrice Seed Technology, Inc., and East West Seed, Co. participated in this training. The participants indicated their willingness to become members of the Society; thus, they were inducted during the closing program.

Publication to be released by PPS includes Compendium on Diseases of crops such as abaca, bell pepper, corn, dragon fruit, papaya, and sugarcane. Symptoms and signs, and management of diseases are well presented. We are now sourcing out for financial support for the success of this publication. Some members are already looking forward to a 2nd series of the compendium and have signified their willingness to make a write up on a particular commodity

A day before the PMCP Convention, PPS will hold a Forum on Biotechnology with the theme "Agricultural Biotechnology: Opening doors and creating opportunities for food sustainability". The forum will be held at the University of Southeastern Philippines, Obrero, Davao. Participants will come from the different SCUs, LGUs, and members of the consortium. The workshop aims to help students, faculty, researchers and other stakeholders gain an in-depth knowledge of the principles and applications of agri-biotechnology, regulatory policies, information and socio-economics of biotechnology products. Invited speakers are deeply thanked for their unselfish sharing of their knowledge and expertise. They are Ms. Jenny A. Panopio, Special Project Coordinator and BIC Network Administrator, Biotech Information Center of SEARCA; Dr. Antonio C. Laurena, Resarch Professor of IPB-Crop Science Cluster; Ms. Merle B. Palacpac, Head of the Central Post-entry Quarantine Station, BPI; Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, Executive Director of PCASTRD; and Dr. Jocelyn E. Eusebio, Director, Crops Research Division of PCARRD, Los Banos.

Another major activity of the society is the spearheading of a plenary session at the PMCP convention about Sigatoka on banana. Sets of information include the following: infection cycle, epidemic development, integrated management and its paradox, status, technical issues, concerns, and impacts of aerial spraying. Plenary speakers will come from academic institutions, private companies, and government agencies.

A very important workshop will happen during the last day of PPS scientific session. The objective of the workshop is to come up with research and development proposals to address the problem of Sigatoka on Banana. Mr. Ceferino A. Baniqued, energetic consultant of the PPS board, shall act as moderator while Dr. Avelino D. Raymundo, Director of the Crop Protection Cluster, College of Agriculture, UPLB shall present the objectives of the workshop.

The PPS BOD has also started planning for its Golden Anniversary with the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee chaired by Mr. Luben Q. Marasigan, BPI, PQS.

The society is also proud to present the PMCP and PPS awardees for 2010. Dr. Jaime C. Silvestre from the University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, North Cotabato is this years Pest Management Awardee in Instruction while Dr. Agustin B. Molina Jr. from the Bioversity International, IRRI, Lso Banos, Laguna is this years Pest Management Awardee in Research. The PMCP-Bayer CropScience Best Undergraduate Thesis in Plant Pathology is won by Marjohn Ceneza Nino, a graduate of the Visayas State University, Baybay, Leyte under the tutelage of Dr. Lucia M. Borines, who is also a PPS member. The G.O. Ocfemia Outstanding Plant Pathologist awardee is Dr. Teodora O. Dizon from the Crop Science Cluster, UPLB-CA.

In this journey, I would like to take this opportunity to give my deepest gratitude to the current Officers and Board Members who have given most of their time and efforts to ensure the successful PPS initiatives for year 2009-2010, particularly to Ms Lolita M. Dolores who work extensively and will no doubt be an excellent President, to Dr. Fe dela Cueva and Ms Merle B. Palacpac who have strived so hard to solicit funds in support of the activities, they are great assets to the society; to the chairpersons and members of the different standing and ad hoc committees for the smooth implementation of the activities, particularly the PPS Forum on Biotechnology that is co-organized by the PPS-Southern Mindanao Division; to our Sustaining Associates namely: Leads Agri, Arysta LifeScience Phils.,Inc., Jocanima, Kemistar, and Dow Agro, my heartfelt gratitude for their continuous financial support that keeps the journal and other activities going; to the co-sponsors, donors, and contributors to the Biotechnology Forum like, Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI)-Manila, Biotech Coalition of the Philippines (BCP), Crop Life Phils, Pioneer Hibred Phils., DA Biotech Program Implementation Unit, Bioseed, SEARCA, Philsurin, PMCPFI, Sterix Incorporated, BASF, Monsanto, Saizen, Nestle Phils., and USeP, our sincere gratefulness.

The ideals of the PPS have been accomplished fruitfully by the present board and members, with guidance from God Almighty. The term of the new set of officers and board members are faced with the challenges for the innovative activities to be pursued to a greater height.

Congratulations and good luck to us all!

Teresita U. Dalisay

President

2009-2010

MC Nino won the 2010 PMCP-Bayer CropScience Best Undergraduate Thesis Award in Plant Pathology

Marjohn Ceneza Nino, a young man from Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, bagged this year's PMCP-Bayer Crop Science Best Undergraduate Thesis in Plant Pathology. The thesis which won for him this prestigious award is entitled "Pathogenicity, characterization, identification of a bacterium causing heart rot disease in abaca and its control through elicitors".

The same research also won him the PhiDelta Best Undergraduate Thesis Pure Life Science Category. This award is given annually by the VSU-based PhiDelta Honor Society in Science during the VSU commencement exercises.

Marjohn is a graduate of the Department of Pest Management, Visayas State University in Baybay Leyte under the tutelage of Dr. Lucia M. Borines. He graduated magna cum laude and the topnotcher of the 2009 batch of VSU graduates. In his college years, he enjoyed several scholarships like the VSU Full Scholarship and the Philippine Agriculture Resource Research Foundation, Inc (PARRFI) scholarship. He also enjoyed one year stint in Japan as an exchange student of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Techno Technology's Short Term Exchange Program (STEP-TUAT) with a JASSO scholarship.

He spent his early years of education in Melale Elementary School and Laak National High School in Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte and graduated with flying colors. In his college days at VSU, he was not only good in his academics but was also a student leader and officer in various civic and religious campus organizations such as the Plant Protection Majors Association and the VSU Polyohonics.

Marjohn is currently working as a Science Research Specialist at the Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Division of PhilRice in Nueva Ecija

TO DIZON : 2010 PPS GO Ocfemia Outstanding Plant Pathologist Awardee

Dr. Teodora O. Dizon, is this year's G.O. Ocfemia Outstanding Plant Pathologist Awardee. She is a native of Los Baños, Laguna and took her primary, secondary and college education in her hometown. She graduated Bachelor of Science in Agriculture major in microbiology in 1973 at UPLB, College, Laguna. She started working at UPLB in 1974 at the Department of Food Science, and in 1978 at the Institute of Plant Breeding, UPLB. While working as University Research Associate, she continued her post graduate studies, finishing her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Pathology in 1983 and 1991, respectively.

Dr. Dizon has been teaching at the Crop Science Cluster, UPLB-CA since 2003. She has conducted plant pathological studies and host resistance studies in important and major diseases of cotton, ramie, avocado, salago, ornamental plants, banana and abaca. She is a member of a team that develop a gamma irradiated banana cv Lakatan with resistance to banana bunchy top disease. She has authored and co-authored publications in scientific journals some of which won Best Paper Awards given by national and international Societies/ Organization. She has served as lecturer/resource speaker and conducted trainings on management of ornamentals diseases sponsored by private organizations in the Visayas and Mindanao, on management of banana diseases and insect pests to banana growers in Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Quezon Province and Quirino. She has been a member of the PCARRD's Technical Working Group for Fiber Crops. Since 2002, she is a member of the basic and applied research evaluation team of UPLB, evaluating basic research proposals and on going projects funded by government agencies. She is a member of Crop Science Society of the Philippines, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society for Agriculture, and Mycological Society of the Philippines where she served as president in 2002-2003 and officer and board of director for ten consecutive years.

Dr. Dizon has spent more than half of her career life with the Philippine Phytopathologial Society, Inc., 22 years to be exact. She was assigned as member of the Program Committee in 1988 although she has not yet been officially recognized as member of the Society. Formally, she became a regular member in 1988 during the 25th Anniversary of the Society held at Cebu City. Since then, she has been an officer and board of director up to the present, serving as President in 1993-1994. While serving as officer of the Society, she became the President of the Pest Management Council of the Philippines (PMCP) in 2007-2008. She has served as Editor-In-Chief and Associate Editor and Circulation Manager of the official journal of the Society, Journal of Tropical Plant Pathology, formerly Philippine Phytopathology, for three consecutive years and seven years, respectively and as associate editor of the Proceedings of workshops conducted by the Society and PMCP Annual Conferences. At present, Dr. Dizon is the head of the Plant Pathology Laboratory of the Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture, UPLB.

AB Molina, Jr. is 2010 PMCP Pest Management Awardee in Research

Dr. Agustin "Gus" B. Molina, Jr. is a native of Santa, Ilocos Sur and received the highest honor – as valedictorian- when he graduated from Ilocos Sur Agricultural College. He took his baccalaureate (as an undergraduate fellow) and Master of Science (as an IPB scholar) at UP Los Banos, College, Laguna. He pursued his doctorate studies under the USAID Graduate Scholarship at the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Molina worked with different agencies, both national and international and started doing research in 1978 as a Research Associate at the Department of Plant Pathology, UP Los Banos, College, Laguna. He became Regional Coordinator/Senior Scientist of Bioversity International – Asia and the Pacific Commodities for Livelihoods – Musa Programme in 1998 and still holds the position up to the present.

Throughout his career, he authored and co authored many papers published in various scientific journals/publications, attended and participated in numerous national and international meetings/ conferences not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well. He also received numerous honors and awards such as the G.O. Ocfemia Outstanding plant Pathologist Award and the Kadali Purashkar Award: Distinguised Achievement in Banana R&D.

He is a member of various scientific and honor societies such as Gamma Sigma Delta (Honor Society of Agriculture) and Phi Kappa Phi at the Pennsylvania State University.

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