NAGA CITY - Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat, DA Undersecretary for Administration, Agribusiness and Marketing and Chairperson of the DA-GAD Focal System conferred the most prestigious GAWAD SAKA awards to five outstanding individuals and five outstanding groups. The awarding ceremonies of the 2017 Regional Gawad Saka regional winners, together with the Corn Quality and Rural Women Achievers was held on October 17 at the Avenue Plaza Hotel.

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.

Aloha Gigi I. Bañaria, Gawad Saka focal person said all the regional winners made it as finalist in the national search. (Lovella Guarin /photos by Jun Collantes and Emil Pasumbal of RAFIS)