National Scientist Emil Javier on PH agriculture: 'We have not done enough'

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2020 07:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2020 08:56 PM

National Scientist EMil Javier. Photo from UP Los Baños website

MANILA- An agriculture expert has expressed concern on the slow modernization efforts on agriculture in the Philippines, saying the country has "not done enough."

“Clearly, collectively, including myself, we have not done enough. For far too long, we have not invested enough and allowed agriculture to stagnate,” said Dr. Emil Javier, who was conferred on Tuesday the rank and title of National Scientist.

“...[W]e have the technology and expertise to move agriculture forward. We can do much better if only we can put our act together,” he added.

Duterte conferred on Tuesday the rank and title of National Scientist to agriculture expert Javier in a ceremony in Malacañang.

Javier received the highest national recognition for individual achievement in Science and Technology for his contributions to agricultural research and crop production. He is the 42nd Filipino to receive the prestigious title.

“Dr. Javier, your dedication to advance the frontiers of science and knowledge for the common good has played a significant role in alleviating poverty,” the President said in his speech.

National scientists are entitled to a P10,000 cash award upon conferment of the title, a monthly pension, medical and hospitalization benefits, and a state funeral to be shouldered by the government.

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña hailed Javier as a “scientist for Filipinos” during the ceremony.

The President on Aug. 2, 2019 signed Proclamation No. 781, conferring the title of National Scientist to Javier, an agriculture expert who served as head of the premiere state university between 1993 and 1999.

Javier earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, his master’s degree in Agronomy from the University of Illinois, and his doctorate in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Cornell University.

He also served as chair of the National Science Development Board, and as vice president of the National Academy of Science and Technology.