Department of Agriculture (DA) IV-CALABARZON Organic Agriculture Program recognized eight outstanding organic agriculture enthusiasts for the individual and group categories during the 2020 Regional Organic Agriculture Achievers’ Award (ROAAA) with the theme “Sa Pagsasakang Organiko, “Ani at Kita” ay sigurado, Kalusugan ay garantisado” held at La Vida Resort and Events Center in Lipa City, Batangas on November 27, 2020.

In his video message, Secretary William D. Dar shared his congratulations to the awardees of this year’s ROAAA. He said that this awarding ceremony is a proper way to thank all the organic farmers who are contributing to the sufficiency of food in the Philippines.

“May you continue to inspire more farmers to be part of the organic agriculture family. Together with DA, we will achieve higher productivity and higher income for our organic farmers,” Sec Dar said.

Regional Executive Director Arnel V. de Mesa seconded Sec Dar’s inspirational message during his congratulatory speech. He thanked the awardees for their commitment and resiliency amidst the dangers posed by the current pandemic.

“Thank you (organic farmers) for continuously providing us with healthy and quality products despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We assure you that the regional office will continue to support organic agriculture and its stakeholders in CALABARZON,” RD de Mesa said.

During the ceremony, Regional Organic Agriculture Focal Person Ms. Eda F. Dimapilis presented the goal, objectives, and the current situation of the Organic Agriculture Program in the region.

The award giving body commended Mr. Mario E. Rotairo as Outstanding Provincial Focal Person and granted him with P25,000 cash prize; Ms. Jocelyn C. Guinto as Outstanding City/Municipality Focal Person and a P20,000 cash prize; Mr. Ronilo V. Villabroza Jr. as Outstanding Agricultural Extension Worker with a P15,000 cash prize. In addition, Mr. Michael L. Melendres took home the award for Outstanding Small Farmer Individual with P50,000 cash prize, followed by Mr. Ronelo B. Pabilonia and Ms. Ferrie M. Suan as the runners-up with P5,000 cash prize each.

For the group category, the Yakap at Halik Multi-Purpose Cooperative was recognized as the Outstanding Farmers’ Group coupled with a plaque of appreciation and a P100,000 cash prize; and the Malimban Family as the Oustanding Organic Farming Family with a plaque of appreciation and a P50,000 cash prize.

Ms. Ferrie M. Suan, organic farmer from Amadeo, Cavite and one of the awardees for this year’s ROAAA under the Small Farmer Individual category, expressed her appreciation for this recognition from DA.

“Maraming salamat po sa DA sa pagkilala po sa aming mga organic agriculturist. Lubos din po ang aming pasasalamat sa pagtulong at sa pag-aasikaso ninyo sa amin,” Ms. Suan said.
Mr. Abelardo Malimban from General Emilio Aguinaldo, Cavite also thanked DA for being recognized in this year’s ROAAA ceremony.

“Nais ko pong magpasalamat sa Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka sa pagpili po sa aking pamilya bilang Outstanding Organic Farming Family. Napakalaking pagkilala po ang mapabilang sa ROAAA at ang premyong aming matatanggap ay malaking tulong po upang mapagtibay pa ang aming kabuhayan,” Mr. Malimban said.

On behalf of the Yakap at Halik Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Mr. Gabriel A. Arubia expressed his utmost gratitude to DA’s Organic Program for choosing their farm cooperative as the winner for the Outstanding Farmers’ Cooperative for ROAAA 2020. Mr. Arubia said that he is still overwhelmed with the recognition they received.

“Nais ko pong ipahatid ang aming taos pusong pasasalamat sa bumibigay ng Kagawaran ng Pagsasaka una’t higit kanila Secretary Dar at RD de Mesa sa gawad pagkilala na ito na natanggap ng aming kooperatiba. Nawa’y patuloy po nating isulong ang organikong pagsasaka dahil sa pamamagitan ng ating pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa, mararating natin ang ating minimithi para sa pagtatagumpay ng organic agriculture sa buong bansa,” Mr. Arubia said.

This prestigious ceremony was also attended by Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Research and Regulations and Livestock Program Coordinator Ms. Vilma M. Dimaculangan, ARD for Operations and Rice Program Coordinator Mr. Dennis R. Arpia, OIC-Field Operations Division Chief Ms. Redelliza A. Gruezo, Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Chairman Mr. Pedrito R. Kalaw, Agricultural Training Institute-CALABARZON Center Director Ms. Marites P. Cosico, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officers, Provincial Agriculturists, and Municipal Agriculturists in the region. (MAP, DA-RAFIS)