“This is the last quarter of the game,” Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala announced, urging employees of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) to exert their best efforts to accomplish targets set by the Aquino government.

“If we liken our work with a basketball game, we would be in the last quarter. We should not be complacent then. We still have the chance to advantage [of the time] and at the end of the game, our agencies and the PNoy administration will be winners,” Alcala said during the 85th Anniversary celebration of BPI on January 21, 2015.

Alcala also encouraged the bureau’s personnel not to dwell on accusations against the agency and instead give full attention on their work as an active partner of the government and farmers in providing sufficient and healthy planting materials.

“I know that mudslinging has negatively affected the morale of BPI workers. But don’t be disheartened; there will come a time when the truth shall prevail and everyone will know that their allegations are wrong,” Alcala said.

The Secretary highlighted the big role BPI has played in developing the agriculture sector, particularly in increasing production of plant and plant-based commodities. He stressed that through the efforts of BPI, the government has proved that the country is capable of producing better planting stocks to meet production targets, as well as to clinch the export market.

“We also cannot discount the frontline role of BPI in preventing the entry of pests and diseases. We thank your employees who control our borders against threats to our plant industry; hence, helping us to maintain safe domestic food supply and good reputation in the international market,” Alcala added.

According to Alcala, BPI has been instrumental in facilitating partnerships with private organizations like Nestlé Philippines, as well as initiatives in organic and Good Agricultural Practices certifications of farmers.

“These has been very useful tools in increasing export market potential for Philippine plant-based products,” he said.

Alcala hopes that BPI will continue to conform to the principles of delivering good and efficient service to its clientele and prepare the agency sustain this even after the PNoy administration ends. ### (Jan P. Dacumos, DA-AFID)