Being the warehouseman in the field office for 3 years, I always have gave importance and strengthened my core functions for attaining the o bjectives of our warehouse and that is – to maintain the rice seeds high-quality and accurately check seeds inventory stored in the warehouse, and generally in achieving PhilRice's overall goal that is to provide high-quality rice seeds to seed growers and farmers in area near our office.
Having one (1) warehouse of 95.34 hectares rice seed production was my greatest challenge of accomplishing my task and attaining office o bjectives. During the wet season in 2018, My greatest challenge was to manage the storage and handling of 423, 693 kilograms or 21,659 bags foundation seeds, registered seeds, certified seeds and good seeds with only one (1) warehouse. Fortunately, I was able to manage the rice seeds by maintaining its quality and attaining seeds inventory accuracy. As of June 10, 2019 Seeds Inventory has 121,950 kilograms or 6,397 bags of various seeds from DS 2018 and WS 2018.
Aside from accomplishing these responsibilities of work as a government employee, the most important work is to give significance in professionalism with positive behavior and good values, and to set a good example and make an optimistic environment in the workplace.
Q2. What made you participate in KAPEX, and what did you want to learn through KAPEX?
It was my great honor and privileged that PhilRice included me in the list of participants for the Philippines team of 2019 Kapex Academy. It was on June 4, 2019 when Ma’am Fidela Bonggat, PhilRice Business Development Division (BDD) Head in PhilRice Central Experiment Station, called and informed me that I was recommended for 1 month training in South Korea and I had to process all the requirements needed. My thoughts about the news were both excited and anxious, excited because I would be able to learn many things in Korea and anxious because I was really concerned for my 5 children. But when I relayed the good news to my family- my husband, children and parents, they were very supportive and even showed cooperation to me in pursuing the said opportunity. Because as for them, it was a great opportunity and they were so proud of me.
Personally, when I heard from Ma’am Bonggat about the training that include warehousing aspect, I was really excited to learn Korea’s warehouse management practices and I really told myself that KAPEX Academy would offer great impact and significance in the delivery of my duties and responsibilities as Warehouseman at PhilRice Field Office – CMU. Through this training, I could impose and implement possible learning acquired specifically about Warehouse Management Practices that could lead to improvements in my performance of key initiatives in warehousing aspects. But when I knew about the course information, that it was not only about warehousing but generally includes the rice seed system, I opened my mind to accept information that is above and beyond my scope of responsibility. I looked forward for the significant information that could be applied to Philippines Rice Seeds System specifically the Policies, Programs, Systems and Development of Korea rice sector in agriculture. I gather myself and stay focus in determining and gathering information related and in support to the joint research topic assigned to us and that is “Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Source of High-Quality Seeds for Distribution in the Philippines”.
I did keen analysis, when I learned about the requirements set for us as participants of 2019 Kapex Academy. The requirements were submission of feedback reports, country report and final report. Being one of the participants of team Philippines, I really told myself to give my best even if I didn’t have much knowledge of the assigned topic, but I am very optimistic that we can comply what was required. All these, I was willing to achieve as my gratitude and appreciation to Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) for trusting us and letting us experience this rare opportunity. And it was a great platform to showcase my skills and furthermore recognize the need for effective reports.
Q3. What was most impressive or useful during the KAPEX program?
For me, there were 3 most impressive or useful during the KAPEX Program as follows:
① The Overall quality of the program content
I really appreciate what the KAPEX program offered to its participants. The training from the Korean Agricultural Policy Experiences (KAPEX) provided us an opportunity to gain lessons and experiences that were essential in helping improve the Philippine rice seed system. The On-site lecture specifically on National Certificated Seeds and Its Distribution System given by Mr. Hoon Hwang Boo provided us relevant and useful information to support the KREI-DA-PhilRice project on “Capacity Enhancement for Sustainable Source of High- Quality Seeds for Distribution in the Philippines”. Mr. Hwang Boo clearly discussed about how centralized the production and distribution of high quality rice seeds through Korea Seed and Variety System (KSVS). Korea government through KSVS provided rice seeds system that produces certified seeds that are pure and original. It also conducts Seed Distribution Research to prevent unauthorized distribution and in general made sure that its farmers are given high-quality rice seeds. Generally, the overall program provided us clarity in attaining our research o bjectives as follows: determine success factors of the Korean government which are inputs to the Philippine rice seed industry, generate baseline information on essential requirements of the rice seed industry, and provide opportunities to transform the lessons learned into recommendations or practices. I also appreciate highly mechanized facilities in seed production and the post-harvest management was immensely automated from drying, seed cleaning and seed storage. It truly represented how determined and serious Korea in producing and preserving the vigor of high quality rice seeds.
② The overall accommodation given by KREI to its participants
I am really thankful for the excellent overall accommodation of KREI given to us. For providing us round-trip air ticket, accommodating us when we arrived from our respective country to Incheon Airport, providing us with very comfortable KREI private bus as we travel from Incheon Airport to Naju City and vice versa, for a great lodging in luxurious hotel, for letting us explore varieties of delicious and spicy Korean food, for giving us sufficient learning materials, for incredible technology venues and facilities in policy lectures, on-site lectures and field visits, for the hospitable and accommodating KREI officials and staff – country coordinators and buddy system, and providing us an organized and well managed program from the start to the end of the training course. appreciate, the overall program provide us clarity in attaining our research o bjectives and that is during the discussions.
③ Development of Korea and the Korean character
I was really amazed about the multifunctionality of agriculture and the rapid economic growth of Korea that also resulted to self-sufficiency for staple food including rice. I am amazed how it successfully moved from being an aid recipient to becoming an aid donor. Korea is the only country evolved from recipient to donor country in the world, receiving a total of US$13 billion from 1945 to late 1990 from other countries and offering more than US$8 billion since 1987 to other countries including Philippines. I am most amazed when Korea established its social responsibility by its willingness to share the experience to other countries and international community by implementing structure of Official Development Assistance (ODA) under Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA). All these were realized because of the Korean characteristic. I really appreciate how passionate and determined Korean people in achieving their aims and o bjectives. Korean people are serious and focus in doing its best to achieve the Korea holistic goal.
Q4. Do you have a plan to apply the lessons from KAPEX to your country?
DEFINITELY YES! Generally, I have learned three (3) most important lessons from Kapex Academy that I can apply to my country as follows:
① The Rice Seeds System of Korea
Since Philippines is still struggling to attain food self-sufficiency, the focus of the government is still to increase farmers’ productivity for inclusive growth. The lessons and experiences gain from Korean agricultural programs, policies and development specifically the Korea rice seeds system are important contributions relevant to base upon in drawing out plans, strategies and procedures that help improve the Philippine rice seed system. With these related policies and programs, expected outcomes through adoption of these policies are easy access and high utilization of certified seeds by farmers, thereby increasing farmers yield and income, more production of quality seeds and longer viability of seeds.
② Leadership and optimistic in attaining holistic goal
Information that particularly caught my attention in relation to being optimistic in attaining general goal was the message of one of the policy lecturer. According to Dr. Eung-gi Jeong that “Every worker should think as a Leader in doing his or her job” and I definitely agree with that. For me, leadership is not about the position, title or role you possess, but being a leader is always about having positive attitude and behavior of doing his or her best in attaining the common goal and in the long run set a good example to other people. By having an attitude of being a leader from top officials to rank &file worker is really essential to carry on the best output and achieve the universal goal.
Leadership is really important for me- being a mother of 5 children and a government employee. Being a mother of 5 is not an easy mission, but I take it as a challenge because they are my inspiration. By being a leader in my own way, I have to set a good example to my children and to the Filipino people I serve not only in words but most especially in action. Indeed, to be a leader I have to walk my talk in a positive and industrious way and by showing these, it can affect other people positively, influence them to promote positivity and in the long run achieve holistic productivity.
③ Unity and Collaboration for Sustainability
Unity and collaboration are essential to any country, for it will spark like an engine that ignites to start its function. Everyone should be enthusiastic to cooperate and coordinate in order to come up with a common strategy and further attain sustainability. As what i said in the final presentation, “When there’s a will, there’s a way.” It means that no matter what difficulties and failures the country is facing, if it’s determined and willing to find solutions and strategies, there’s always way to achieve its aims, like what Korea did. If Korea could do it, then Philippines can do it too! Gamsahabnida!