Recognizing the efforts and valuable contributions of the agricultural extension workers (AEWs) as partners in the implementation of agri-fishery programs and projects on the ground, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) awarded three (3) outstanding AEWs in the region during the High Value Crops (HVC) Achievers’ Awards on November 17, 2023, at the Benguet Cold Chain in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
The awardees are Benguet Provincial Agriculturist Ms. Delinia D. Juan as the top AEW at the provincial level; and municipal HVC coordinators Ms. Novy L. Canggat (Mankayan, Benguet) and Ms. Jun Ann C. Esteban (Kapangan, Benguet), as the Top 1 and Top 2 AEWs at the municipal level, respectively. They will be receiving a Php20,000.00 cash award each in addition to their Plaques of Recognition and Tokens of Appreciation.
Only the three awardees heed the call for the Search for HVC Achievers which was first communicated to the LGUs region-wide in July 2023. They were nominated and evaluated based on the regional guidelines namely: their provision of technical assistance; provision of post-harvest, processing, logistics, and marketing support; timely submission of accomplishments/status report/data/requirements; contribution to social development, and self-growth and development.
In her message, DA-CAR OIC-Regional Executive Director Atty. Jennilyn M. Dawayan congratulated the awardees for their dedication and commitment to the benefit of the farmers in their respective areas noting that high value crops, particularly vegetables, are among the primary crops of the region. She encouraged everyone to work together hoping that in the coming days, there will be improved policies and guidelines to improve agricultural production and marketing, especially with the appointment of a new DA Secretary in the person of Mr. Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr.
Ms. Juan, on behalf of the awardees, thanked the DA-CAR management for giving them recognition and appreciation for the different endeavors they have been collaborating with the Department. She expressed her gratitude, in particular, to the HVCDP headed by its Regional Focal Person Ms. Joan D. Bacbac who, accordingly, developed her into becoming a dedicated extension worker.
“Sala-salamat met for all your assistance and cooperation, ta nu awan kayo nga farmers nga nakicocooperate kadami ken tinmultulong kadami especially in the good agricultural practices ket awan kami tadta ditoy,” Juan added.
[We are also grateful for all the assistance and cooperation of the farmers, specifically in the implementation of the good agricultural practices program because without them, we would not be here.]
Meanwhile, four (4) LGU employees were also commended for their invaluable service in assisting farmers’ cooperatives and associations for the year. Ms. Canggat and Mr. Inocencio B. Bernard of the Benguet Provincial Agriculture Office were recognized as the Best Implementer for Philippine Good Agricultural Practices or PhilGAP. Moreover, Engr. Marcelina T. Tabelin of the Baguio City Veterinary and Agriculture Office and Engr. Denecia P. Luces of Kalinga-Office of the Provincial Agricultural Service were awarded as the Best Coordinator for Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering Management Information System (ABEMIS).
The HVCAA is a first-time activity in the region by the DA-CAR and is planned to be held annually. It aims to give due recognition to the AEWs who have demonstrated exemplary performance in the field of the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP); to encourage active or strong support of AEWs in the provision of technical assistance to HVC farmers including monitoring of programs and projects, and to sustain the support, commitment, and partnership between DA and its stakeholders for further development of the HVC industry. This is a collaborative activity between the DA-CAR, DA-Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center (ATI-RTC), and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) whose representatives compose the Regional Technical Working Group.//JBAgrifino