SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (left) and Provincial Government of Laguna Governor Ramil L. Hernandez exchange copies of the MOU between SEARCA and Province of Laguna they signed on 15 October 2020. The Provincial Government of Laguna (PGL) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for institutional cooperation on 15 October 2020 at the Provincial Capitol Extension in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines. Under the MOU, SEARCA and PGL committed to partner on a number of programs and projects, including joint capacity building activities and exchange scientific materials, publications, and information. SEARCA Director Glenn B. Gregorio emphasized that SEARCA puts premium in establishing “a better, bigger, and smarter academe-industry-government relationship in line with its 11th Five-Year Plan (2020-2025)” and that this partnership with the Province of Laguna is an essential move to help the farmers and farming communities in the province. In attendance at the MOU signing ceremony (from left) were Dr. Romeo V. Labios, SEARCA Technical Advisor for Partnerships; Mr. Joselito G. Florendo, SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration; Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director; Hon. Ramil L. Hernandez, Provincial Government of Laguna Governor; Cong. Ruth M. Hernandez, Second District of Laguna Representative; Atty. Dulce H. Rebanal, Provincial Administrator, and Mr. Marlon P. Tobias, Provincial Agriculturist, both of the Provincial Government of Laguna. Governor Ramil L. Hernandez said SEARCA’s focus on scientific inquiry, agricultural extension, and rural development is vital to Laguna’s growth and development. “We believe that SEARCA has the technical knowledge and skills to address the plight of our community. The Provincial Government of Laguna is willing to participate,” he said. Congresswoman Ruth Mariano Hernandez of the Second District of Laguna also expressed the same sentiments. She said “we are looking forward for an open-collaboration to help our farming communities here in Laguna to add yield on their crops especially with your research on rice fortified with iron and zinc.” The five-year accord is also expected to develop and set up a model of community or home vegetable production supporting the elderly, mothers, and youth in the Second District of Laguna, which includes the municipalities of Bay, Cabuyao, and Los Baños. Signatories to the agreement are Dr. Gregorio and Provincial Government of Laguna Governor Ramil L. Hernandez. Mr. Joselito G. Florendo, SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration, and Atty. Dulce H. Rebanal, Provincial Administrator of the Provincial Government of Laguna, also signed the MOU as witnesses.