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PhilRice engineers recognized in ASEAN

SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija, Jan. 31 — Two engineers from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) are the new members of the ASEAN Engineering Register (AER).

Established in 2001, AER is a trade register that provides complete database of practicing engineers in the member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Dr. Caesar Joventino M. Tado, PhilRice director for administration and Engr. Alexis T. Belonio, PhilRice consultant, were granted membership owing to their contributions to improve quality of life.

Tado said the inclusion in the ASEAN engineers’ registry would expand networks that would provide the rice research and development sector with updated information and research collaborations.

Tado is the current president of the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers. He is an outstanding agricultural engineer in farm power and machinery recognized by the Philippine Society of Agricultural Engineers.

He led a team that improved and tested the PhilRice-BS rice mini combine harvester, a machine that simultaneously reaps, gathers, threshes, cleans, and bags rice in a single operation. The machine helps farmers save around P3,000 a hectare in labor cost and reduces post-harvest grain losses from one to three percent.

He also patented a seed cleaner model and pioneered the creation of PhilRice’s Rice Engineering and Mechanization Center in 2009.

Belonio, on the other hand, is the first Filipino to receive the Rolex Award for enterprise in 2008.

He is known for his creation of a low-cost and environment friendly rice husk stove.

The stove gave huge savings for households not only in the Philippines but also in Indonesia as a ton of rice husk can replace 2,311-kilogram tanks of LPG.

“Before, a Filipino working abroad could only be a technician. This is the highest designation we could get even if we are doing real engineering work. It`s difficult for us to get the same recognition abroad as standards vary. But with an AER membership, Filipino engineers could get more projects, more leadership posts in collaborative undertakings, and receive higher acceptance and credibility in the international community,” Tado added.(PNA)

PDS/ZST/MCV/PS/PJN

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