SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (right) and PSFI Executive Director Sebastian C. Quinones, Jr. each holds a copy of the MOU between SEARCA and PSFI that they signed in a virtual ceremony on 20 July 2020. In a virtual signing ceremony, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) institutionalized their mutual desire to partner on areas of common interest such as education, training, and research. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on 20 July 2020 by SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio and PSFI Executive Director Sebastian C. Quinones, Jr. and witnessed by officers and staff from both institutions. Dr. Gregorio stressed that SEARCA gives high priority to fostering a stronger academe-industry-government interconnectivity as part of its 11th Five-Year Plan (2020-2025) and that this partnership with PSFI and other private sector groups is an important step in this direction. Mr. Sebastian said SEARCA's focus on accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation (ATTAIN) resonates with PSFI, especially SEARCA's commitment to elevate the quality of life of agricultural families through sustainable livelihoods and access to modern networks and innovative markets. On the other hand, Dr. Gregorio said SEARCA shares PSFI's commitment to alleviate the standard of living of our fellow countrymen by enabling them to be self-sufficient. "Through this MOU, PSFI will now join the roster of our many institutional partners in the region and around the globe whom we rely on to expand our reach and amplify the impacts of our programs. We hope that in turn, PSFI will benefit from the cross exchanges opened up by our MOU and also allow you to further your mandate and enrich your ties with our networks of universities, and national and international development organizations," said Mr. Joselito G. Florendo, SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration. "We have also seen how commendable your network is with your experience in working closely with the provincial and local government," Dr. Gregorio told the PSFI team. "We take pride that we are now going to be working with SEARCA. Your institution is very well known for the technology and capabilities that you will be able to use whenever we go to our areas. That is something that we really treasure and that we know will enable us to deliver the maximum impact to help our communities," Mr. Sebastian said. "Together we can attain a better, bigger, smarter future for our farmers and their families," Dr. Gregorio affirmed. The PSFI officers present during the signing ceremony were Ms. Pamela Castro, Program Manager for Agriculture and Livelihood; and Ms. Anna Pauline Paguia, Research, Information, and Communications Officer. Witnesses to the signing from SEARCA were Mr. Florendo; Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Program Head for Research and Thought Leadership; Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Operations Consultant for Emerging Innovation for Growth; Dr. Romeo V. Labios, Operations Consultant for Partnerships; Ms. Corinta C. Guerta, Technical Advisor to the Director; Mr. Manuel S. Alejar, Community Relations Consultant; Ms. Beatrisa L. Martinez, Executive Assistant to the Director; Ms. Leah Lyn D. Domingo, Public Relations Specialist; Mr. Sonny P. Pasiona, Communications Associate; and Ms. Maria Teresa B. Ferino, Administrative Associate. The MOU signing was witnessed by SEARCA and PSFI staff including (clockwise from top right): Ms. Beatrisa L. Martinez, SEARCA Executive Assistant to the Director; Dr. Rico C. Ancog, SEARCA Operations Consultant for Emerging Innovation for Growth; Dr. Romeo V. Labios, Operations Consultant for Partnerships; Ms. Anna Pauline Paguia, PSFI Research, Information, and Communications Officer; Mr. Sonny P. Pasiona, Communications Associate; Mr. Manuel S. Alejar, Community Relations Consultant; Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Program Head for Research and Thought Leadership; Mr. Joselito G. Florendo, SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration; and (center) Ms. Pamela Castro, Program Manager for Agriculture and Livelihood.