HQ Visitor Information
Important information for visitors to IRRI Headquarters

About IRRI

Los Baños is home to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), an autonomous, nonprofit agricultural research and training institute established to improve the well-being of present and future generations of rice farmers and consumers, particularly those with low incomes.

Established in 1960, IRRI performs research and training on rice, and serves as an international bank for rice germplasm. The research center includes laboratories and training facilities on a 252-hectare experimental farm at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) campus.

IRRI generates and disseminates rice-related knowledge and technology of short- and long-term environmental, social, and economic benefit. The institute also helps improve the National Agricultural Rice Research and Extension Services (NARES) of its partner countries.

One of IRRI’s major thrusts is the development of technologies that improve the well-being of farmers and consumers, particularly those with low incomes. IRRI not only offers training and professional advancement in NARES scientists, but also provide an equitable access to information and knowledge on rice, and so helps develop a critical mass of professionals working to advance rice science.

About Los Baños

Los Baños, the special Science and Nature City of the Philippines, hosts different local and international academic and research institutions. It is home to the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), the country’s premier state university in agriculture.

Located 63 kilometers south of Manila, the town sits on the narrow southern shoreline of Laguna Bay and the northern foothills of the legendary Mount Makiling.

As its name suggests, “Los Baños”, Spanish for “The Baths”, is known for many springs where one can bathe and keep cool.

As scholars and trainees of IRRI, you may either stay at Harrar Hall or at Swaminathan Hall. Other guests may opt to stay at IRRI Guesthouse. The Front Desk is located at the ground fl oor of Harrar Hall (near the staircase). Laundry and housekeeping services are provided in these residences.

At the airport

IRRI GRS staff with 9(E) visas are permitted to use the diplomatic line at the immigration desk, which is often the shortest queue. You will be met by a driver at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport upon your arrival (NAIA) and then transported to IRRI (usually a 2-hour journey). In the airport, you can first pick up your luggage and then pass through customs. Customs officials are aware of IRRI, and luggage checks are usually no problem. After that, you can proceed to the receiving area where an IRRI representative will make himself known. If no one is there, proceed to the International Organizations desk. The agent there will contact the IRRI driver for you. Someone bound for IRRI arrives every day and, even if the driver is late, wait for him.

If you have any problems at the airport, the person at the International Organizations desk can:

  • call the IRRI Manila office at (02) 856-6133 or (02) 856-6129 between 0800h and 1700h, or
  • call IRRI-Los Baños at (02) 580-5600, (02) 845-0563, or 812-7686 after 1700h.

If all this fails, check into any hotel in Manila and call IRRI the following morning. Do not take a taxi to IRRI. An IRRI driver will take you to your accommodations at IRRI.

Upon arrival at IRRI

Please read through the orientation schedule placed in your room. The Family Liaison Officer from Human Resources Services and/or a host/host family will be available to help you upon your arrival. Contact information will be placed in your room or sent to you by email before you arrive. The Family Liaison and the host/host family will try to contact you on the first or second day. They will assist you in learning about IRRI and Los Baños, and introduce you to the community. Feel free to contact them if you need assistance at any time.

Food

IRRI’s main cafeteria at Harrar Hall serves a variety of Filipino, Asian, and Western dishes. Halal and vegetarian food choices are also available. It also offers a selection of fruits, pastries, baked goods, grains, legumes, cereals, bottled or canned beverages, brewed coffee, tea, and fresh fruit juices. Native delicacies are also available.

The main cafeteria is open every day from 6:30 AM to 7:00 PM, including holidays.

Aside from the main cafeteria, IRRI also has a coffee shop which is open weekdays from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM

You may also eat at the IRRI Employees’ Canteen beside the Service Building (near the clinic) and another one inside the D.L. Umali Laboratory. These canteens are open weekdays from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Cafeterias, fast food joints, bars and restaurants can also be found near the UPLB campus.

Communication

trainees, you can send emails and use the computer facilities at the IRRI Cybercafe located at the Ronald P. Cantrell Bldg. It is open from Monday to Friday, 5:00-9:00 p.m., and on Saturdays, 8:00-5:00 p.m.

Phone Calls

PHONE CALLS To make a local call from inside IRRI, dial 8 then the number (outside calls are not possible from some phones). If you wish to call IRRI just dial these numbers (049) 536-2701 to 05; or 856-6133; 856-6129.

An automated voice will answer your call and help you connect to IRRI.

WiFi Connection

Wireless internet connection is available in all buildings. To connect, one must read and agree fi rst to the terms and conditions that will appear on the internet browser.

Emergency Numbers

Emergency Hotline 2222
IRRI Emergency Mobile No. +63 9189234798
Operator 0
IRRI Helpdesk 2111
IRRI Clinic 2333/ 2297
IRRI Safety Offi ce 2340
IRRI Security Desk 2316
Staff Housing Guard Post 2888
Police Hotline Patrol 2117
UPLB Police Force 536-2419/536-2243
Los Baños Police Station 827-2854
Los Baños Doctors Hospital 536-0100/536-1825
St. Jude Family Clinic 536-1232
Los Baños Fire Station 536-7965
HealthServ Medical Center 536-4858

IRRI Security Guard Posts:

Post 1 (Staff Housing) 2240
N. C. Brady Lab (NCBL) 2203
K. Hemmi Lab (KHL) 2599
F.F. Hill (FFH) 2641
Chandler Hall (CH) 2672
Security Offi ce (SO) 2316
M. S. Swaminathan Hall
(MSSH)/Training Center 2486
D.L. Umali Lab (DLUL) 2395

IRRI Services

Residence 1 (2/F-Harrar Hall) 2313
Residence 1 (3/F) 2319
Residence 2 (G/F-Drilon Hall) 2314
Residence 2 (2-3/F) 2357
Residence 3 (2-3F) 2451
Residence 4 (MSSH) (2-3F) 2443
Matron’s Apt. (Harrar Hall) 2352/2356
Guesthouse (Staff Housing) 2237/2491/2492
Library 2231/2515/2812

Send letters, documents, and packages through the local mailroom at the Harrar Hall lobby or through the UPLB Postal Service Office. The mailroom is open for IRRI guests from 4pm to 5pm weekdays; the UPLB Postal Service Offi ce is open from 8am to 5pm weekdays.

Library Access and schedule

You can study or just read for pleasure at the IRRI Library. It is open:

Days
Mondays - Fridays

Time
8:00am - 5:00pm

The library is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays:

New Year’s Day January 1
Araw ng Kagitingan April 9
Maundy Thursday (different dates Good Friday from year to year)
Labor Day May 1
Independence Day June 12
Ninoy Aquino Day August 21
National Heroes Day August 27
All Saint’s Day November 1
Bonifacio Day November 30
Christmas Day December 25
Rizal Day December 30
You can request a 30-minute tour of the Library or reserve a place to work by calling the secretary at local extension # 2515.

Transportation

IRRI has bus services for employees, scholars, trainees, and visitors:

Time Pick-up points Drop-off points

Morning

0620
Pick-up: Brgy. Mainit
Drop-off: ExperimentStation (ES)/Research Center

0645
Pick-up: University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) Gate
Drop-off: K. Hemmi Laboratory (Hemmi)/D.L. Umali Laboratory (Umali)/N.C. Brady Laboratory (NCBL)/ES/Harrar Hall (HH)

0710
Pick-up:
Forestry Apartment
Drop-off:
Research Center (Via Kanluran cor Lanzones St.)

0745
Pick-up: Forestry Apt
Drop-off: Research Center (Via Physical Science (PhySci) Bldg)

0750
Pick-up: UPOU Gate
Drop-off: Hemmi/Umali/NCBL/HH/TS Parking Area

0845
Pick-up: NCBL/Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: PhySci/Biological Science (BioSci)/Library (UPLB)

0915
Pick-up: PhySci
Drop-off: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi

0945
Pick-up: NCBL/Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: PhySci/BioSci/Library (UPLB)

1015
Pick-up: PhySci
Drop-off: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi

1045
Pick-up: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi
Drop-off: PhySci/BioSci/Library (UPLB)

1115
Pick-up: PhySci
Drop-off: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi

Afternoon

1200
Pick-up: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi
Drop-off: UPOU Gate

1200
Pick-up: NCBL/Hemmi/Umali/HH
Drop-off: UP Gate

1200
Pick-up: NCBL/Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: Forestry Apt

1245
Pick-up: UPOU
Drop-off: Hemmi/Umali/NCBL/Harrar

1245
Pick-up: UP Gate-Kanluran cor. Lanzones St.
Drop-off: Research Center

1250
Pick-up: Forestry Apt
Drop-off: Research Center via PhySci

1345
Pick-up: NCBL/Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: Physci/Biosci/Library (UPLB)

1415
Pick-up: Physci
Drop-off: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi

1445
Pick-up: NCBL/Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: PhySci-BioSci-Library (UPLB)

1515
Pick-up: Physci
Drop-off: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi

1605
Pick-up: HH
Drop-off: UPOU Gate

1620
Pick-up: North Rd. 14
Drop-off: ES/Barangay Mainit

1705
Pick-up: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi
Drop-off: UPOU Gate

1720
Pick-up: NCBL/ Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: UP Gate/Forestry Apt.

Evening

1805
Pick-up: HH/NCBL/Umali/Hemmi
Drop-off: UPOU Gate/UP Gate/Forestry via Kanluran

1900
Pick-up: NCBL/Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: UP Gate/Forestry Apt.

1925
Pick-up: UP Gate
Drop-off: Research Center

2115
Pick-up: NCBL/Umali/Hemmi/HH
Drop-off: UP Gate/Forestry Apt.

2125
Pick-up: UP Gate
Drop-off: Research center

2230
Pick-up: Hemmi/Umali
Drop-off: UP Gate/Forestry Apt./NCBL/HH

2240
Pick-up: Forestry Apt
Drop-off: International House/UP Gate/Research Center

You can take jeepneys and buses from Los Baños to Manila and neighboring towns and provinces. Jeepneys carry passengers inside and outside the IRRI campus and stop at designated loading and unloading areas.

Money matters

Currency

The Peso (PhP) is the Philippine currency. One hundred centavos equals PhP1. Coin denominations are: 5, 10, and 25 centavos; 1, 5, and 10 pesos. Bill denominations are: 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 pesos. The IRRI Treasury offi ce offers foreign currency exchange services on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm to 4pm. You can also exchange other currencies for pesos at large department stores, banks, and authorized money changing shops. It is illegal to exchange money anywhere else (laws are strictly enforced).

Health and Personal Care

You can visit the IRRI clinic for all your medical and health needs. The clinic is open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The Philippines’ humid climate may make you perspire easily. Regular showers or baths are a healthy way to stay cool and comfortable.

Religion

If you want to fulfi ll your religious commitments, the following places of worship are close to IRRI:

Roman Catholic

Immaculate Concepcion Church (Bayan)
San Antonio de Padua Parish Church (Crossing)
St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish (Silangan Rd., UPLB campus)

Protestant

Church Among the Palms (Kanluran Rd. UPLB campus)
The Los Baños Presbyterian Church (Lopez Ave.)

Muslim

Jammi Al Khair Mosque Islamic Center (Umali Subd.)

Liesure

Gyms, Clubs, and Sports Facilities

IRRI understands the importance of keeping yourself in good physical shape. The institute has facilities for activities such as tennis, football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, and badminton. You are welcome to use the athletic facilities at the IRRI Club on the ground fl oor of the Khush Hall. You can also borrow sports equipment from the Matron’s Office.

The IRRI Club is open from 5pm to 10pm weekdays and 8:30am to 10pm on weekends.

Museums, Parks, and Tourists Spots

IRRI is home to the renowned Riceworld Museum and Learning Center, which was created in 1994 through German government funds. Each year, thousands of people from around the world experience Riceworld when they visit the institute.

Museum highlights include:

  • MOMI (Japanese sculpture of wild rice)
  • Collection of farmers’ costumes from different countries
  • Traditional rice farming implements
  • Rice products and by-products
  • Wild rice collection
  • Modern rice varieties

Visit Riceworld on weekdays from 8am to 5pm. You can request a guided tour. See www. riceworld.org for more details.

The Riceworld bookstore and souvernir shop offers different IRRI publications and various souvenir items such as shirts, mugs, keyholders, bags, and other products of the Philippines.

Climate

The Philippines has a tropical climate with three distinct seasons: rainy season (June to September); cool and dry (October to February); and hot and dry (March to May). Typhoons normally occur between June and September.

Clothing

Most of the time you can wear lightweight cottons and linens. You may want some warmer clothes for cooler evenings. Women wear casual clothes such as light blouses and shorts/skirts Men wear polo (button) shirts or t-shirts over slacks jeans.

Formal wear for women includes simple evening dresses or gowns. The Barong Tagalog is the most common formal wear for men, but a jacket or coat and a tie over a polo shirt is suitable for formal occasions.

Use rainwear and umbrellas during the rainy season.