Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Philippines: IRRI takes part in Congress hearing on NM Rice commendation

The Committee on Information and Communications Technology of the Philippine House of Representatives has invited IRRI to share its views and recommendations regarding House Resolution 905, commending SMART Communications and Globe Telecoms in partnering with the Department of Agriculture and IRRI in the implementation of the NM Rice Mobile Project.

Bruce Tolentino, deputy director general for communications and partnerships, and Marco van den Berg, chief information officer, attended the committee hearing. HR 905 was authored by Angelo Palmones, AGHAM Party List representative.

The hearing also became an opportunity for Dr. Tolentino and Mr. van den Berg to inform committee members, composed of 51 congressmen, not only more about the NM Rice Project but about IRRI's other partnerships with the Philippine Government, especially with the Department of Agriculture.

Upon hearing these elaborations, Rep. Palmones amended the resolution to commend IRRI directly. He also called on SMART, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), and Sun Cellular to work on enabling NM Rice Mobile on their systems at the soonest possible time. At the moment, NM is operational only on the Globe network. 

Dr. Tolentino also met with Rep. Palmones for further briefing, and will follow up on collaborations between IRRI and AGHAM Party List.

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