DA gave recognition to top rice performers for 2014 during the 4th Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers Awards held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Resorts World in Pasay City. Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on food and agriculture, and DA top officials led by Usec. Antonio A. Fleta, Usec. Emerson U. Palad and Asec. Edilberto M. de Luna graced the occasion.

This year’s rice achievers and champions include ten outstanding provinces, four provinces with special citations and 15 outstanding municipalities/cities.

Oriental Mindoro was among the province that received a special citation and received P200,000.00. Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro, on the other hand, was among the top 15 municipalities and received P1 million project grant and a trophy. Gov. Umali and Oriental Mindoro Provincial Agriculturist Christine Pine were there to recieve the citation while Calintaan Mun. Agriculturist Nelia Orcino accompanied with members of LGU officials and PA Carmelita Villanada recieved the municipality’s award. Atty. Cipriano Santiago, DA RFO-4B Regional Director and Ms. Ma. Theresa Aguilar, Regional Rice Focal Person were there to support the region’s top performers.

The 10 outstanding provinces that topped rice production in terms of production and yield increment and production performance over 2013 targets received P4 million project grant and a trophy each.

The awarding for the outstanding agricultural extension workers (AEWs), including the municipal agriculturists/agricultural officers and local farmer technicians, was done in their respective regions or clusters. For the Southern Luzon Cluster, awarding was done in Legazpi City, Albay.

MIMAROPA AEWs and LFTs came from the provinces of Palawan, Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. Each of them had received a cash prize of P20,000 for their continued support and assistance to rice farmers. They were accompanied by their respective Provincial Agriculturists who also recieved the same recognition.

As part of their incentive for being effective partners in reaching the rice farmers in their locality, awardees of MIMAROPA had an educational trip exposure in Albay. Cagsawa Ruins; PhilCeramics in Putsan; and Naglabong Geothermal People’s Park or NAG Park were among the spots visited. And when in Bicol, Albay most especially, one cannot miss the majestic and the almost-perfect-conedvolcano: the Mayon Volcano. Although clouds roofed over Mayon, AEWs and LFTs had the time of their lives and enjoyed the breeze and the sights of the Mayon Volcano National Park. As RD Santiago puts it, “Malaking tulong ang AEWs at LFTs and we are thankful for their contribution.”

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