BSU celebrates 32nd Charter Anniversary, agribusiness expert is guest speaker

By BSU UPAO - Posted on 02 February 2018

Benguet State University celebrated its 32nd Charter Anniversary through a series of programs, forums and activities on January 29-31, 2018 with the theme, “Food and Health Security through Convergence with Glocal partners”.

The celebration began with an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on January 29 at the University Gymnasium. It was officiated by the La Trinidad Ecumenical Council of Churches (LTECC) who acknowledged BSU as its birthplace. This was followed by the Opening Program attended by former Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary Salvador S. Salacup who served as the guest speaker. Salacup is now the representative of the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture & Food Inc.(PCAFI) Agri Trading Centers.

Since the celebration’s theme focused on food security and health, Salacup recalled the vegetable crisis in Manila caused by numerous typhoons in 2006. This led to the convergence of Benguet Province and Mountain Province to supply 80% of the vegetable requirements of Metro Manila and even as far as Visayas and Mindanao. “Hindi ko makakalimutan yon (I will not forget that),” he said.

“I congratulate Benguet and Mountain Province, you are still the top supplier of highland-type vegetables for our country, a big hand to you and your farmers.”

Salacup said that food security still pose a global problem. “No matter the definition, food security continues to be a challenge and an important issue for all societies not least in the Philippines. Access to food and sufficient quantities and nutritive quality is obviously a basic human need and right”.

He emphasized that the challenge of food security is becoming tougher to address amidst population growth. “These nuances in the markets will have to be factored if we are to be realistic in achieving food security.”

Salacup then concluded that non-government players, and the academic community have a large role in encountering the myopic tendencies of political interests. He also stated that agriculture and agribusiness is a key sector since it contributes directly and indirectly, (approximately 37%) to the country’s GDP, it produces food for the urban sector and raw materials for agro-industrial businesses and contributes greatly to the export portfolio of our nation.

He challenged BSU, “There are many policy questions that remain poorly answered. For the BSU, I enjoin you to remain engaged in answering these questions to be more demanding that answers be provided through thoughtful process I think the academic, the research community has much to say in influencing the rigour of policy making,”

“BSU is in a special position as center of excellence for research and expertise in high value highland type vegetable and crop production, rural development, environmental science, resource management, cooperative management, economics and of course agribusiness management to name a few”, Salacup emphasized.

Salacup then congratulated President Calora and his officers for sustaining an educational curriculum that will ensure that the future graduates of this prestigious university will be contributory to the competitiveness and sustainability of Philippines Agriculture and Agribusiness.

On the same occasion, previous members of the BSU Board of Regents, Dr. Alex B. Brillantes, Jr., Dr. Lorenzo M. Caranguian, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino III, and Mr. Mark Neil B. Pageet, were recognized together with the Loyalty Awardees.

Guests from various agencies such as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Regional Office, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office, Saint Luis University.

Other agencies such as ATI-Department of Agriculture (DA), BSU Multi-purpose Cooperative, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Benguet, also joined the opening program.

The BSU Charter Anniversary is celebrated annually to commemorate the elevation of Mountain State Agricultural College (MSAC) into Benguet State University in 1985 through PD 2010 signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.//Carl John Pagada