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DA Bicol hosts South Luzon 2018 Rice Achievers Awards

AWARDEES. The 2018 Rice Achievers Awards Outstanding Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) and Local Farmer Technicians (LFTs) from Bicol pose for a photo with DA officials. DA PHOTO

PILI, Camarines Sur --- The Department of Agriculture conferred the 2018 Rice Achievers Awards (RAA) to 74 agricultural extension workers (AEWs) and 11 local farmer technicians (LFTs) from Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Bicol during the South Luzon Cluster Awarding Ceremonies hosted by DA Bicol last July 24, 2019 in Naga City.

The RAA recognized the dedicated efforts of the local government stakeholders and agri extension workers to boost the country’s rice production. Each awardee received a plaque of recognition and P20,000 cash to further enhance their commitment and excellent performance.

DA Assistant Secretary Designate for Planning and Project Development Carlos L. Magnaye graced the event. Reading the message of Engr. Ariel T. Cayanan, DA Undersecretary for Operations, Magnaye addressed the awardees as modern heroes and acknowledged their contributions to the agriculture sector. He also challenged them to promote the adoption of modern technology among local farmers.

Newly-designated DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla reminded the awardees that more than the accolades that they received, what is more important is how they inspire the rice farmers to increase their harvest and how they encourage their colleagues to persevere.

Five of the 27 Outstanding AEWs from Bicol were declared as Hall of Famers this year, namely: Anicia P. Mancita of Magarao, Camarines Sur, Janice B. Orciga of Iriga City, Julieta G. Deris of Nabua, Camarines Sur, Rosa V. Belgica of Canaman, Camarines Sur and Celedonio O. Elevado Jr. of Nabua, Camarines Sur.

Other winners for the 2018 RAA Outstanding AEW category were from Magarao (1), Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) in Sorsogon (5), Iriga City, Camarines Sur (2), Tabaco City, Albay (1), Nabua, Camarines Sur (3), OPAg-Camarines Sur (1) Canaman, Camarines Sur (3), Manito (1), OPAg-Camarines Norte (3), Masbate City (1), San Jose, Camarines Sur (4), OPAg-Albay (1) and Pioduran, Albay (1).

Meanwhile, special recognition was given to Genaro A. Tamon Jr., a Hall of Famer for winning for three consecutive years in the Outstanding LFT category. The Outstanding LFT Award was also given to Librado Banastao Jr. of Canaman, CamSur, Salvacion C. Buena of Canaman, Camarines Sur, Dominador R. Paa of Canaman, Camarines Sur Rolando B. Oliver of Magarao, Camarines Sur, and Arnufo D. Bernas of Magarao, Camarines Sur.

Rodolfo Nuñez Jr., Outstanding AEW from Canaman, Camarines Sur and Librado Banastao, Outstanding LFT from Canaman, Camarines Sur, shared their success stories as well as their struggles in assisting rice farmers in the region. Nuñez asked the DA officials to remember the plight of AEWs and LFTs, particularly those devolved in 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities by pushing for the approval of the Magna Carta for AEW.

“This Rice Achievers Awarding will inspire more Agricultural Extension Workers as soldiers of the kingdom of the Department of Agriculture to strive more. Therefore, it will never deplete the purpose of encouraging commitment among the local government units… We are doing this not for ourselves but for our clienteles—the farmers,” Nuñez said.

Meanwhile, Banastao reassured the DA Management that the LFTs will continue to help strengthen the agriculture sector by intensifying their support services to the LGUs and fellow farmers. He also reiterated their request for an increase in their incentive.

Amelia Ramos, Outstanding LFT of Buenavista, Quezon, thanked the DA for its staunch support saying “Salamat di kami iniwan ng DA.”

Carlo Realeza, Outstanding AEW of Siniloan, Laguna, said that the recognition he received is a fruit of the interdependence and unity among the farmers, LGUs and the DA.

Dr. Santiago R. Obien, DA National Rice Program Consultant; Emerson S. Yago, Planning Officer III of the DA National Rice Program; Dennis Arpia, OIC-Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations and Extension of DA-Calabarzon; Ronie F Panoy, RTD for Operations and Extension of DA-Mimaropa and Adelina A. Losa, RTD for Operations and Extension of DA-Bicol also graced the activity.

“Mas kailangan natin ang mas mahigpit at mas matingkad na paglilingkod para masiguro na ang ating mga magsasaka ay hindi bibitiw sa kabila ng mga hamon,” Arpia said.

The RAA Awarding Ceremonies is an annual event by the DA to honor and celebrate all achievers who made exemplary contributions and wielded unwavering support towards the implementation of the National Food Staples Self-sufficiency Program.

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