Dr. Ricardo F. Orge, supervising science research specialist, was conferred by President Rodrigo R. Duterte as one of this year’s eight Presidential Lingkod Bayan Awardees.
Given at the Malacañang in fitting ceremonies for 2019 Outstanding Government Worker, Sept. 10, the award is bestowed to “individuals 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.”
Orge’s research interests largely focus on helping Filipino rice farmers increase their income and overcome challenges brought by climate change, such as drought, floods, and typhoons.
His inventions include the Continuous-type Rice Hull Carbonizer that processes rice hull into biochar while making use of the generated heat as alternative source of energy instead of petroleum. He also developed Kwebo, from Filipino words – kweba (cave) and kubo (nipa hut), an affordable multi-purpose and typhoon-resistant farm structure. The low-cost structure for small farm holders can withstand typhoon signal 4 and 200 km/h wind.
Hailing from Merida, Leyte, Orge was also given the 2017 Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence Award and Alfredo M. Yao Intellectual Property Awards 2017 for the CtRH carbonizer.
“When I became a researcher and a scientist, I told myself that I wouldn’t let local farmers experience the same hardships that my father had been through. I promised to do my best to make sure that the farmers will get the help they need,” the scientist said referring to the lack of technical support they had in farming during his childhood.
Meanwhile, food scientist Dr. Marissa V. Romero was also given the Lingkod Bayan Award by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Region III. She was also the regional nominee for the Dangal ng Bayan Award in 2017.
PhilRice’s roster of CSC awardees include the Rice Varietal Improvement Group (1992) and Rice Engineering and Mechanization Division (2000) as Pagasa awardee for the group category and Virgilio M. Alata (2001), Imelda A. Dela Cruz (2002), Aurora M. Corales (2006), Rizal G. Corales (2017), and Roger F. Barroga (2018) for the individual category. Roel R. Suralta (2013), Norvie L. Manigbas (2018), and former executive directors Santiago R. Obien (1999) and Sailila E. Abdula (2018) were named Presidential Lingkod Bayan awardee.
The Presidential Lingkod Bayan and Pagasa Awards, together with the Dangal ng Bayan Award, are part of the CSC Honor Awards Program, an annual search for outstanding civil workers, given during the Philippine Civil Service anniversary every September.