Maguindanaon agri scientist named OIC Director of Bureau of Agricultural Research

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 August) — Maguindanaon agricultural scientist Sailila E. Abdula has been designated as the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

Agriculture undersecretary Leocadio S. Sebastian signed last August 3 a special order on Abdula’s designation as OIC Director effective August 15.

“As such, Dir. Abdula shall perform the functions, duties and responsibilities inherent to the designation and such others as directed by the undersigned and the secretary,” the order reads.

Former Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol said Abdula is a “good pick” for the position.

He said Abdula, as a rice breeder, helped develop varieties of rice, particularly NSIC Rc120 and Rc226, to combat rice tungro disease in Southern Mindanao.

Dr. Sailila E. Abdula, OIC Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture. Photo from Philrice website

The 50-year-old Abdula, who hails from West Patadon, Matalam town in North Cotabato was Executive Director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute from July 2016 to September 2019. He also chaired the regional Research and Development Coordinating Council (RRDCC) of the Soccsksargen Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research, Development and Extension Consortium.

Abdula earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture at University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato cum laude, and joined PhilRice as a junior researcher in September 1996. He took his master’s degree in plant breeding at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos and master’s degree in Development Management at the Development Academy of the Philippines and his doctorate in agriculture, major in plant genetics at Chungbuk National University in Korea in 2012.

Created by virtue of Executive Order 116 signed in 1987, BAR is mandated to ensure “that agricultural research is coordinated and undertaken for maximum utility to agriculture.”  

As the country’s central coordinating agency for agricultural research and development (R&D), BAR’s core functions include, among others, promoting the integration of research and development functions and enhance the participation of farmers, fisherfolk, the industry, and the private sector in the development of the national research, development and agenda; preparing and overseeing the implementation of a comprehensive program of R&D to enhance, support, consolidate, and make full use of the capabilities of the interlinked National Research and Development System for Agriculture and Fisheries, including the review and rationalization of the roles, functions, and organization of the various agriculture and fisheries national research, development and extension institutions; and setting policies in agriculture and fishery national research and development in order to ensure sustainable food security, alleviate poverty, promote people empowerment, agricultural productivity and development and promote internationally competitive agribusiness and fishery sector. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)