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The National Postharvest Institute for Research and Extension (NAPHIRE), now PHilMech was created on May 24, 1978 through Presidential Decree 1380 signed by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It was tasked to spearhead the development of the postharvest industry. NAPHIRE was the first agency to specialize in postharvest.

Letter of Implementation No. 123 issued on May 22, 1980 made NAPHIRE a subsidiary of the National Grains Authority (NGA), now the National Food Authority.

Through Letter of Instruction 1142 signed on May 25, 1981, the powers and functions of NAPHIRE were expanded to other basic commodities other than rice and corn.

From the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) complex in Taguig, Metro Manila, NAPHIRE headquarters transferred to an 8.8 hectare lot within the compound of the Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija.

Through Executive Order 494, NAPHIRE became a regular agency under the Department of Agriculture.

NAPHIRE formally changed its name to the Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE).

During the year, the Agriculture and Fishery Modernization Act (AFMA) was signed into law. The enactment of AFMA recognized the important role of postharvest in agricultural development.

Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada signed proclamation No. 298 declaring every fourth week of May as Postharvest Loss Prevention Week.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the rationalization plan of BPRE as well as of the other agencies under the Department of Agriculture. It has reduced its manpower requirements and re-organized its organizational structure.

BPRE officially changed its name and started its operation as the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) under the government rationalization program or Executive Order 366.

PHilMech in collaboration with the DA-Regional Field Units and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) started a series of AgriMach Roadshows in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as opening salvo for the implementation of the Rice Mechanization Program.