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The Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC) welcomed the appointment of Dr. Emma K. Sales, Agricultural Scientist and retired professor of the University of Southern Mindanao, as its new chairperson, succeeding the former chairman, Dr. Fortunato A. Battad after having taken her oath of office on June 21, 2021 in a simple virtual ceremony.

Among the four candidates for the position, she was nominated by the Philippine Association of Agriculturist, Inc. and was finally appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. In her acceptance speech during the ceremony, she humbly accepts her appointment despite the daunting and challenging roles attached to it.

“ I believe that by God’s grace and guidance, I, together with the other members of the Board, can do our very best to make positive contributions in the promotion and the advancement of the thrust and priorities of the Agriculture profession in the country.”

Dr. Sales, with her incredible track record in the Philippine Agriculture development, is one of the few women to sit as chairperson of  the Professional Regulatory Board of Agriculture. Prior to her new appointment, she served as Professor VI from November 2010 to September 2019 at the University of Southern Mindanao. She is a renowned researcher and has led several projects. One of her completed projects is the “Development of Molecular Markers for Identification and Authentication of Rubber Clones” which developed procedures for reliable rapid detection and sorting of rubber planting materials; established molecular markers for identifying genotypes; and packaged technologies that were made available to rubber stakeholders. This project resulted to the publication of a handbook entitled, “Hevealogue: A Catalogue of Hevea Germplasm in the Philippines”.

She is a trailblazer in the fields of Molecular Genetics, Plant Tissue Culture, Agricultural Biotechnology, and Postharvest Physiology.  She is one of the leading lady scientists in the country. Sales received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and in 2001, she finished her doctorate degree from the same University and received the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society for Agriculture.

Born in Tiaong, Quezon, Sales received numerous international and national awards. She was named as one of The Asian Scientist 100 in year 2019 by the Asian Scientist Magazine and was conferred as the “2017 Outstanding Agricultural Scientist” by the Department of Agriculture in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the overall growth of the agriculture and fisheries sector in the Philippines.

Prior to her retirement at USM, she implemented several research projects from the 30 projects she sourced out and funded by both national and international funding agencies and donors. One of these is the “Natural Resources Utilization for Increased Productivity and Climate Resilient Agricultural Production” with funds amounting to Php 15,000,000.00 from CHED-DARETO.

She became the Vice President for Research and Extension of the University of Southern Mindanao from 2011-2013. She served as Adjunct Professor of the UPLB Graduate School in 2013 then as Director of the USM CHED Higher Education Regional Research Center (USM CHED-HERRC) from 2013 to 2019. Sales also chaired the Institutional Biosafety Committee at the University of Southern Mindanao from 2010 until her retirement in the University.

Truly she is a woman who radiates humility, with all her international and national recognitions and accomplishments, she owes everything to the Almighty God. Guided by the virtue in Colossians 3:23, Sales promises to religiously abide to what the Lord has commanded her to do.

“…I can assure you of my commitment, integrity and honesty in the performance of my responsibilities.”

            In the recent interview with her, Dr. Sales shares that one of the most challenging moments for her in this journey is the change in her social lifestyle as she will limit her contact and interactions with her friends and former colleagues in the University. She once again emphasized that working with PRC needs the highest integrity and confidentiality where she vowed to follow.

“I feel sad knowing that I will no longer be with my friends and colleagues on a regular basis, during parties, travels, and food trips since USM has a Board in Agriculture. I need to put certain barrier to avoid issues.”

Sales will hold office for a term of three (3) years after appointment or until her successor shall have been appointed and duly qualified according to PRC Resolution No. 2000-663 series of 2000 and in Section 75 of Republic Act No. 8435 otherwise known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997.