A Pagasa awardee, PhilRice Negros Branch Director Rizal G. Corales received his plaque from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and CSC Chairperson Alicia Bala. The Pagasa award is one of the highest awards to be given to a government employee for outstanding contribution resulting from an idea or performance, which directly benefited more than one department of the government.
“This award translates to motivation not just for me but also for the Institute to continue its function as a government agency— to help our farmers to be more successful in land cultivation,” Corales said.
Corales leads PhilRice’s Palayamanan Plus program, a rice-based farming systems model that helps increase farmer’s income and profitability. It advocates the adoption of diversification, intensification, and integration of farming activities such as crops, livestock, mushroom, vermicomposting among others.
Palayaman Plus pilot sites were established in Aurora, Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Isabela, and Agusan del Norte in 2014. Their activities helped 627 farming households covering 221 ha to reach an average yield of 4.5-6t/ha during the dry and wet seasons.
In 2016, Corales managed the Palayamanan Plus model farm in Nueva Ecija, which generated more than P1,000,000 gross income or an aggregate income of P230,000.00/ha – much higher than the annual income (P180,000/ha) from rice production in Central Luzon.
He also introduced the rice-duck and mushroom production systems in the model farm. Both farming systems, which is being promoted nationwide, have generated additional income to farmers.
According to Corales, the conceptualization and direction-setting of the said program from 2014-2017 resulted in easy adaptation of rice-based technologies across eight PhilRice stations nationwide.
Also, the sorjan production system and floating vegetable gardens are among his projects for farmers in swampy and flood-prone communities to enhance their productivity and food availability. These systems were adopted by PhilRice’s branch stations and certain local government units in the country.
Jaime Manalo IV of the Development Communication (DevCom) Division was one of the national semi-finalists for the Presidential Lingkod Bayan award. Manalo and Hazel Antonio also from DevCom were among the regional awardees for the same award under the individual category.
Dr. Karen Eloisa Barroga, Lea Abaoag, Dr. Irene Tanzo, and Ev Angeles of the project IPaD team and Dr. Flordeliza Bordey, Rowena Manalili, Ronell Malasa, Alice Mataia, Aileen Litonjua, Dr. Tanzo, Rhemilyn Z. Relado, and Dr. Jesusa Beltran of the Benchmarking team were regional nominees for the same award under the group category.
The Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award is given to an individual or group of individuals for exceptional or extraordinary contributions resulting from an idea or performance that had nationwide impact on public interest, security, and patrimony. The contribution may be a suggestion, innovation, invention or superior accomplishment.
Marissa Romero, on the other hand, was a regional nominee for the Dangal ng Bayan Award. Romero is a food scientist from the Rice Chemistry and Food Science Division.
The Dangal ng Bayan Award is conferred to an individual for his/her performance of an extraordinary act or public service and consistent demonstration of exemplary ethical behavior on the basis of his/her observance of the eight norms of behavior provided under Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.