NAGA CITY – As a fitting tribute to Bicol’s outstanding achievers in the agriculture sector, the Department of Agriculture staged the awarding ceremonies of the 2017 Regional Gawad Saka, Corn Quality and Rural Women Achievers on October 17 at the Avenue Plaza Hotel.
Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat, DA Undersecretary for Administration, Agribusiness and Marketing and Chairperson of the DA-GAD Focal System conferred the recognition and citations to 35 awardees who were elegantly attired in their Barong Tagalog and Filipiniana.
The Corn Quality Achievers awardees were composed of municipal/city Local Government Units; mun/city agriculturists; agricultural extension workers; and cassava cluster.
Three municipal and two city local government units (MLGUs/CLGUs) were adjudged as outstanding implementors of the DA Corn Program with strict adherence and compliance to quality corn standards. The awardees are Calabanga, Tigaon, Goa, Naga City and Iriga City. Mayor John Bongat and Mayor Pamela Rina Fuentebella of Naga City and Tigaon respectively received the award. The Municipal Agriculturists of the three other LGUs received the awards in behalf of their mayors.
Likewise, the municipal/city agriculturists of the outstanding LGUs were awarded as Outstanding Municipal City Agriculturists (MAs/CAs). Each awardee received a plaque of commendation and P20,000 cash award. They are: Gil Gabriel H. Bordado III of Calabanga; Felina A. Sanoy of Goa, Camarines Sur; Ruben delos Santos of Iriga City; Lea M. Beltran of Tigaon; and Maria Edna B. Bongalonta of Naga City.
Ten (10) outstanding Agricultural Extension Workers from the province of Camarines Sur were also awarded with plaques of recognition and cash prize of P15,000. They are: Joshua T. Ipo and Ryan F. Calatrava, both from Calabanga; Jerry M. Mercado of Goa; Marly L. Corporal, Honesto C. Sirios Jr. and Jonafel A. Taduran, all from Iriga City; Noel O. Manaog and Buster A. Ibarbia both of Buhi; Hector O. Llagas of Bato; and Annie C. Lumanog of Bula, Cam. Sur.
The Cassava Cluster Management Excellence Award (CCMEA) was given to Tuburan United Farmers Association of Cawayan, Masbate. Lorenzo Alvina, regional Corn Program coordinator said this award is an incentive to top 3 cluster organizations with outstanding performance.
Meanwhile, ten individuals and farmers/youth associations received the most prestigious Gawad Saka regional awards. For the individual categories, Valentin L. Lopez of Daraga, Albay is Outstanding High Value Crops Farmer. Edgar A. Pesebre of Polangui, Albay is Outstanding Rice Farmer. Joji A. Belodo of Oas, Albay is Outstanding Young Farmer. Rodolfo and Emerlita Briñola family of Castilla, Sorsogon is Outstanding Fisherfolk Family; HML Foods Corporation owned by Heriberto and Annie Llaguno of Daraga, Albay is Outstanding Agri-Entrepreneur. Each received P50,000 cash award and plaque of recognition.
For the group category, the Tigbao 4H Club of Aroroy, Masbate - Outstanding Young Farmer Organization. Ma. Arlene P. Toledo, the club president received the P75,000 cash award. The Gubat St. Anthony Cooperative (GSAC) in Sorsogon is Outstanding Small Farmer Organization. Ma. Aida F. Erestain, BOD Vice Chair received the P75,000 cash prize. The MAFC of Canaman, Camarines Sur is Outstanding Municipal Agricultural Fishery Council. MAFC Chair Hubert Baynas received the P75,000 cash award. The Inararan Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Bulan, Sorsogon is outstanding RIC. Marivic Delgado, club president and RIC officials received the P75,000 cash award. And the Kaburunyugang kabakaihan of Manito, and LGU-operated Barangay Food Terminal is outstanding BFT. The P75,000 cash award was received by Manager Amelia Danas.
The agricultural technicians who assisted in the preparation of their entries also received P15,000 cash award.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Sanches Purisima, chieftain of Agta Tabangnon tribe in Tigaon, Camarines Sur is this year’s regional outstanding Rural Woman. Lazara Nibungco of Guinobatan, Albay is 1st runner up and Hilda Martirez of Casiguran, Sorsogon is 2nd runner up. They also received a plaque and cash prizes of P30,000, P15,000, and P10,000 respectively. Special citations and P5,000 cash awards were given to Teresita M. Pisit and Norlinda Zaldua both of of Daet, Cam. Norte.
All the Corn Quality Achievers, Gawad Saka winners and the outstanding Rural Woman made it as finalist in the respective national search.
DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Elena B. delos Santos was represented by OIC RTD for Operations Rodel P. Tornilla during the awarding ceremony. Also present were RTD Edgar R. Madrid; ATI Center Director Vivien Carable; CDA regional director Atty. Ma. Lourdes Pacao; RAFC Chair Alfredo Rillo; provincial and municipal coordinators of Gawad Saka and Corn Quality Awards; provincial and municipal agriculturists; Rural Improvement Club leaders; GREAT Women project beneficiaries; and families of the awardees.
The Bicol Achievers awards is being conducted annually by the Institutional Development Section led by Aloha Gigi I. Bañaria, chief of the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division. (Lovella P. Guarin / photos by Jun Collantes & Emil Pasumbal)