Almost two weeks after a fire razed its administration building, the Dairy Training and Research Institute shows that it can rise from the ashes.
“Hindi naman pwedeng umatras. Puwedeng humakbang sideways, pero never paatras (We cannot step back. We can walk sideways, but we would not step back),” maintained Dr. Amado Angeles, director of DTRI, as he emphasized that it is business as usual for UPLB’s dairy science authority.
“Building po ang nasunog – hindi ang DTRI. Buhay pa po ang pinaka-puso nito (It was the building that was destroyed by fire, not the institution. DTRI’s core remains alive,” declared DTRI on its official Facebook page the night after the incident on July 8.
The fire ravaged DTRI’s 58-year-old building that housed the Director’s Office, Finance Unit, Services and Training Unit, Nutrition and Pasture Unit, Physiology Unit, and DTRI Library.
The incident also razed to the ground the institute’s three laboratories, each dedicated to the study of animal nutrition, physiology, and pasture tissue culture.
Dr. Angeles said that about PhP 26 million worth of equipment and supplies was lost to the flames, based on a preliminary assessment. These include several genetic samples that were purchased recently.
He noted that they are now reviewing DTRI’s current programs and projects to see how their deliverables could still be met in the wake of the fire.
As reported earlier, no one was hurt in the incident. The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing.
In the meantime, DTRI’s administrative staff are temporarily holding office at the nearby Institute of Animal Science (IAS), its fellow unit at the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS).
DTRI also continues to sell and deliver its dairy products, including the bestselling fresh milk. The institute’s dairy plant, dairy farm, and other facilities were not affected by fire.
Dr. Angeles added that various benefactors, including the alumni, have expressed support for DTRI’s rehabilitation.
DTRI was officially established in 1957 through the initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization. But as early as 1909, when the UP College of Agriculture was established, the university had been offering subjects and conducting research in animal husbandry.
The institute recently regained its status as an independent research center of CAFS when the latter reorganized in December 2016.
Twelve years prior to that, DTRI was merged with IAS to form the then Animal and Dairy Sciences Cluster. (Albert Geoffred B. Peralta)