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Be rice-ponsible!

This was the pledge of the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) during the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) flag-raising ceremony, in support to the National Year of Rice.

The National Year of Rice is part of the Philippine government’s campaign to achieve rice self-sufficiency beginning 2013 through the promotion of responsible rice consumption and productive rice farming.

“We join the nation’s goal of achieving rice self-sufficiency by sharing the message of being rice-ponsible. We all have a role to play in ensuring that the country has sufficient rice to eat, and we need to start now,” said Executive Director Cynthia R. Cruz of the ILS.

The ILS, the policy research and advocacy arm of the DOLE, was the host of the DOLE flag ceremony for the first Monday of March. This year, the theme for this month-long ceremony was anchored in Presidential Proclamation No. 494, declaring 2013 as the National Year of the Rice, “Sapat na Bigas, Kaya ng Pinas.”

Invited to speak at the DOLE Flag Ceremony was DA National Rice Program Coordinator and Assistant Secretary Dante Delima, who spoke of the nationwide food staples campaign and emphasized everybody’s role in ensuring rice sufficiency in the country.

“Many times we took for granted the rice that we ate every day, not knowing that every grain of rice consumed influences the lives of many. From the time rice is planted in the farm to the moment it is served on our table, the lives and jobs of farmers and their families are affected,” said Cruz.

According the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, 12 million persons are employed in the agriculture sector, representing 33% of the country’s total employment.

“Rice is at the very core of the lives of every Filipino. We should all do our part in sharing the information and contributing our resources toward ensuring rice supply for future generations. We hope that through this information campaign, we can share to others what we need to know and do to keep the country rice sufficient,” concluded Cruz.

The flag ceremony ended on a high note with DOLE employees reciting the “Panatang Makapalay” led by DA Asec. Delima.

ILS was created in July 1987 by Executive Order No. 257. Since its creation, the Institute has been at the forefront of labor and employment policy research and advocacy providing strategic policy research support to the Department of Labor and Employment.

(For more information on this press release, please contact Ms. Linartes M. Viloria, Chief Labor and Employment Officer, Advocacy and Publications Division, Institute for Labor Studies, Telephone Nos. 5273490 / 5273447)

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