MANILA—Sen. Cynthia Villar on Tuesday explained why she has “misgivings” over research projects, particularly in the agriculture industry.
Villar drew flak online for reprimanding Department of Agriculture officials for spending some P150 million for research instead of giving seeds to farmers during a Senate hearing in January.
“Kaya ako may misgivings sa research, ang cooperative nag-complain sa akin,” Villar said during a Senate hearing on the state of the Philippine dairy industry.
(I have misgivings against research because a cooperative complained to me.)
The said group from Antipolo received a P500,000 cash grant from a Rotary club to purchase banana seedlings from the University of the Philippine-Los Baños, the senator said.
An official from one of the research offices of UPLB told them to buy seedlings from her own company, she said.
“Namatay ’yung mga banana seedlings . . . Nu’ng bumabalik sila sa UP Los Baños, [para itanong] bakit namatay, nawala na ’yung company na nagtitinda sa kanila ng seedlings . . . Wala na silang mahabol,” she said.
(The banana seedlings died. When they went back to UP Los Baños to ask about why that happened, they could no longer find the company that sold them the seedlings . . . They could not go after it.)
“Kaya ako masama loob ko . . . Ikaw ang research institute ng isang SUC (state universities and colleges), tapos magtatayo ka ng negosyo?” she said.
(That’s why I’m dissatisfied . . . You’re the research institute of an SUC, and then you’ll just use it for business?)
Since January, Villar has repeatedly said that “research is useless” if scientists could not apply it to actual farming.
“Research is being done to help the production of farmers pero kung ’yung research mo gagawin mo lang para gumasta sa research at hindi para tulungan ang farmers, that’s useless,” she reiterated at the dairy industry hearing.