The Department of Agriculture in Bicol bestowed cash awards and plaques of recognition to the 2019 regional Rice Achievers Awards to 32 Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) and one municipal LGU in a simple ceremony held at DA RFO 5 on December 10, 2020.

The municipality of San Jose, Camarines Sur was the lone awardee for the LGU category. This is the 3rd year that said LGU has been recognized in said category.

The Outstanding AEWs from Albay are: Provincial Agriculturist Cheryl O. Rebeta, Aaron Israel T. Losabia (Pioduran), Rochelle R. Adivino (OPAG), Rosalinda B. Belodo (OPAG Albay), Maria Ailene C. Bombon (Tabaco), Ronald R. Saulon (OPAG), and Felix Gino G. Murillo (Ligao City).

The Outstanding AEWs from Camarines Norte are Ronnie R. Asis and Cesar R. Miraña (OPAG).

The Outstanding AEWs from Camarines Sur are : Aldrin A. Bigay (Baao), Grace Santelices (San Jose), Dominador R. Paa (Canaman), Librado B. Banastao (Canaman), Salvacion Buena (Canaman), William B. Bisenio (Baao), R-Jay N. Romero (Bula), Jessica SD. Quintana (Canaman), Aira T. Rivero (San Jose), Arjay Ramirez (Iriga City), Arlene Repaso (Nabua), Francis T. Abasola (Naga City), Jose G. Pollero (San Jose), Benedict D. Almario (Ragay), Angelito Philip N. Ignao (Buhi), Allan P. Salvador (San Fernando), Raul G. Conmigo (Sagñay), Rodolfo DC. Nuñez, Jr. (Canaman)The Outstanding AEWs from Sorsogon include: Provincial Agriculturist Nestor A. Nava, Levi G. Barcelona (OPAG), Danilo M. Ocmer (OPAG), Ariane D. Duka (OPAG), John Rey F. Olivenza (OPAG).

The AEWs received P25,000.00 cash and plaque of recognition from the DA regional office.

The LGU of San Jose will receive a P1M project grant from DA Central office based on their project proposal.

Rodel. P. Tornilla, DA RFO 5 Regional Executive Director, salute the AEW awardees. “Despite the strong typhoons, the COVID-19 pandemic, problems on African Swine Fever (ASF) and Fall Army Worm (FAW), hindi pa rin nagkukulang ang mga AEWs sa pagtulong sa agriculture sector.”Tornilla said that Palay production increased by 10% in the first semester of 2020 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). All the six provinces except Catanduanes registered an increase in volume of palay production with Camarines Sur having the highest produce.Tornilla added that rice adequacy remains the important goal of DA under Secretary Dar.

Dr. Marco P. Chavez, Mayor of San Jose, Camarines Sur, recipient of P1M project grant as national outstanding LGU, said that their award was a result of the collective efforts of the Officials and AEWs of LGU San Jose with the huge contribution from the rice farmers of San Jose.

“Huwag natin tanungin kung ano ang magagawa ng DA sa atin, kundi kung ano ang magagawa natin para sa DA,” Outstanding Local Farmer Technician Dominador Paa of Canaman, Camarines Sur said in his testimony.

According to Dr. Edgar R. Madrid, RTD for Research and Regulations, the Rice Achievers Awards boost the morale of the AEWs to perform their best. “Therefore, and pinakawinner dito ay hindi ang mga AEWs kundi ang mga farmers.(Lovella P. Guarin / photos by RAFIS 5)