The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-Philippines, and Rome-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) organized the High-Level Policy Forum on Rural Transformation in the Philippines: Pathways, Policies, and Prospects to be held on 8-9 September 2022 at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City and via Zoom.

According to SEARCA Director Glenn B. Gregorio, the hybrid event will convene stakeholders from relevant Philippine government agencies, development and research organizations and think tanks, civil society and farmers organizations, the academe, and the private sector to discuss the state of rural transformation in the country.

He said their discussion will take off from the outputs produced during the implementation of the Philippine component of the IFAD-funded project on rural transformation.

Speaking at the forum along with the SEARCA Director are Dr. Rosemarie G. Edillon, Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Group of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), who will give the keynote message, and Dr. Francisco Javier Pichon, Head of the Mekong Hub of IFAD Asia and the Pacific Division.

Also joining the forum as session facilitators, presenters, and discussants are Dr. Gerlie T. Tatlonghari, SEARCA Program Head for Research and Thought Leadership; Dr. Reehana Raza, Regional Director, and Mr. Abdelkarim Sma, Lead Regional Economist, both of IFAD Asia and the Pacific Division; Mr. Yolando C. Arban, Acting Programme Officer and Senior Advisor of IFAD-Philippines; Dr. Shahidur Rashid, IFPRI Director-South Asia; Ms. Marlene D. Ramirez, Secretary-General of the Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (AsiaDHRRA); Dr. Roehlano M. Briones, Senior Research Fellow of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS); Dr. Agham C. Cuevas, Professor and Dean of the University of the Philippines Los Baños-College of Economics and Management (UPLB-CEM); and Asst. Prof. Karen P. Quilloy of UPLB-CEM.

“Stakeholders from other Asia-Pacific countries who will participate in the forum will provide insights on the rural transformation in their countries,” Dr. Gregorio said. He added that their insights will contribute to identifying the challenges, gaps, and opportunities toward achieving faster and more inclusive rural transformation and poverty eradication in the Philippines.

“The forum will also gather policy recommendations that will serve as inputs in the development of plans of action on how to support rural transformation in the Philippines,” Dr. Gregorio said.

Moreover, the participating stakeholders will also provide inputs to the action plan for the organization of the Technical Working Group on Agriculture and Rural Development under the Network of Policy Advisors and Analysts in the ASEAN Region (NePAAA).