Bill Gates Visits IRRI In Laguna
Ringo | On 09, Apr 2015
World’s richest man, Bill Gates was reportedly visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, Laguna.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Gates and his wife, Melinda arrived at the IRRI located at the campus of University of the Philippines (UP) in Laguba, about 8:00 a.m. along with some entourage via a private helicopter.
It was speculated that the couple visited the place due to the fact that their foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is the biggest single donor of the IRRI, giving about an estimated $18 million annually.
None of the officials wanted to confirm the visit. They, however, confirmed that the foundation’s head for agriculture, Pamela Anderson, was there.
Bruce Tolentino, the Deputy Director General of the IRRI, said that the institute received the support of big people like the Gates, because it is the only rice researcher in the world.
“The projects that they support are the same projects that other government supported,” said Tolentino. “Dapat matuwa tayong mga Pinoy na ang IRRI ay nandito sa Pilipinas, because there’s nowhere else in the world na may IRRI.”
IRRI is focusing in producing, safe but high-quality varieties rice that can suit to many different condition. So far, the group have produced rice that are tolerant to floods, drought and other extreme weather condition.
The Immigration officials confirmed the arrival of Gates. However, requested for confidentiality for security purposes. It was noted that he arrived in Palawan and went straight to a private resort to take a rest. The morning after the couple went to Laguna via a private aircraft.