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2010

presidential lingkod
bayan awardees

thomas g. aquino

Senior Undersecretary
International Trade Group (ITG)
Department of Trade and Industry
Makati City

he Philippine hilots healing touch as an


alternative healing practice has conquered
the international market and the countrys
national fish bangus has swam its way to fish stores
in Germany due to the tireless efforts of Trade and
Industry official Thomas G. Aquino. Undersecretary
Aquino championed small and medium enterprises
(SMEs) and helped them gain a foothold in the global
economic scene.
Via the implementation of export promotion
and marketing activities, he helped bridge the gap
for SMEs who wanted to conquer the world market.
He pushed for the extension of technical assistance
to local manufacturers in the areas of product design
and development. The support extended to the local manufacturers significantly raised their fighting
chance in catching the eye of international buyers.
As trade undersecretary, he also worked
towards educating exporters on compliance with the
technical standards of international trade including the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
(HACCP) so that they can be given access even to
the most exacting markets in the European Union. As
chair of the Export Development Council Executive
Committee, he proposed and advocated the enact-

ment of policies and programs to assist the local


exporting community.
Furthermore, he spearheaded the implementation of the Industry Clustering Program, a strategy
geared towards the development of livelihood activities in the countryside. He was in the forefront of
the campaign to cascade the program in the various
provinces. With the industry clustering, there is now
a focused approach in investment promotion, and
networking among local enterprises, buyers, input
providers, local policy makers, the academe, research
institutions, transport and hauling providers and
other stakeholders in the industry.
Undersecretary Aquino explored a host of
avenues to support local manufacturers. He continuously worked on policies and measures that will
protect Philippine industries from the hurtful dumping
of imports. He handled the evaluation and review of
the Initiation and Preliminary Determination of Trade
Remedy Committee and came up with recommendations on import dumping cases. His efforts resulted
in the imposition of anti-dumping and safeguard measures, and the levying of duties on imported products
that threaten our local industries. This advocacy not
only ensured jobs but promoted quality products for
Filipino consumers.

teodosia s. bernaldez
Municipal Civil Registrar
Loboc, Bohol

n an article in a leading nationwide broadsheet,


foreigners were quoted comparing a local river tour
with that of the Rhine river cruise in Paris, and the
canals tour in Amsterdam. The writer was actually
talking about the Loboc River tour, now a main tourist
attraction in Bohol. The cruise was part of the plan to
develop the Loboc Tourism Complex into an exceptional tourist spot.
Behind these efforts is Engineer Teodosia
Bernaldez, head of the Municipal Tourism Office who
spearheaded the development project from its
conceptualization, feasibility study, defense, planning,
funding and implementation despite criticisms and
obstacles.
Bearing total customer satisfaction in mind,
Bernaldez ensured that local and foreign tourists
were assisted by trained boat operators and crew
members, made the complex Wi-Fi enabled, and provided free rides for senior citizens. Upon its completion, the complex became an income and job generating hub promoting local culture, preserving the
environment and maximizing natural resources. The

site now has an orderly parking lot, helpful directional


signage, friendly guides, and clean toilets. The tour
also includes performances from the Loboc Youth
Ambassadors and the Loboc Childrens Choir, which
garnered awards here and abroad. Foreign and local
tourists have been flocking to the site to experience
the relaxing boat ride, taste fresh seafood in the floating restaurant, and enjoy the pollution-free environment. The influx of tourists also helped achieve a
P21.5 million tourism income in 2009.
Engineer Bernaldez bases her decisions
on what is best not only for the tourists but for the
residents as well, says Loboc Municipal Mayor Leon
Calipusan. She thinks and acts in terms of the entire
customer experience and continuously seeks ways to
improve all parts of the experience. She has the ability to implement change in the organization.
Indeed, in thinking of customer satisfaction,
Engineer Bernaldez went the extra mile to make not
only Bohol a top tourist destination but the Philippines as well.

salvador s. buenaobra,jr.
Communication Electronics Information Systems (CEIS) Technician/
Non-Commissioned Officer-in-Charge of the CEIS Office
15th Strike Wing, Philippine Air Force
Sangley Point, Cavite

ometime in 2005, a plane had to leave Tuguegarao Airport for Manila in the middle of the night.
But how can it when the airstrip is pitch dark?
To help the plane take off, a set of portable runway
lights had to be hauled from Sangley Point in Cavite
and installed along the airstrip. The passenger of the
plane was President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. And the
man behind the clever runway lights? A humble soldier
named Technical Sergeant Salvador S. Buenaob0ra Jr.
In reality, only international airports in the
country have adequate runway lights to allow takeoffs
at night. Even the Philippine Air Force (PAF) suffers from
such lack of equipment so some air bases are forced to
postpone important missions after sunset.
But Buenaobra turned things around when he
developed the Portable Runway Lighting System. Made
out of old tire rims, aluminum scraps, motorcycle batteries and ordinary light bulbs, Buenaobras design is
relatively simple and low-cost yet so effective that the
PAF decided to replicate and use it in other air bases
in the country. Now with an alternative to commercially
available equipment, the government is able to save
P40 million pesos for every air base using the portable
runway lighting system.
His innovation is especially useful to the PAF
team at Sangley Point. Being a low-lying coastal area,
Sangley Point is prone to flooding which makes it impossible to lay electrical wiring on the airstrip and to install
permanent runway lights. Thanks to Buenaobra, the

said air base makes use of 91 pieces of portable runway


lights that can be set up in as fast as 20 minutes whenever needed.
This awardees penchant for tinkering with scrap
materials came from his upbringing as the son of a
junk shop owner. After graduating from high school, he
pursued a vocational course on Industrial Electricity and
then enlisted in the PAF, where he continued to attend
seminars and trainings to hone his skills on electronics
and communications.
As communications supervisor, Buenaobra was
also responsible for integrating a dual band amateur
handheld radio into the MD-520MG attack helicopter, a
pioneering idea in the PAF. The handheld radio serves
as back-up for the existing radio installed into the aircraft, thus providing a reliable system to identify enemy
targets for strike missions and to contact any agency in
emergency situations.
Buenaobra sees his job as communications
supervisor as a very tough one. Military information is
very valuable and it is my job to ensure that any sensitive information passing through our communication
systems cant be breached. Im glad though that I was
entrusted this crucial responsibility, and that Im doing
well at it, he says.
With an exemplary PAF personnel like Buenaobra, there is no doubt that the countrys flying corps will
continue to soar to greater heights.

lope c. dagoy
Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations
G3 Special Operationals Command
Philippine Army

iscipline and diligence to duties and responsibilities are moral virtues essential
to every public servant, says Col. Lope
C. Dagoy, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G3,
Special Operations Command of the Philippine Army
(PA).
Then Commanding Officer of the 85th Infantry
Battalion, Col. Dagoy was instrumental in the suppression of insurgency in Leyte. He introduced the
Center of Gravity (COG) approach which caused the
dissolution of the Communist Party of the Philippines
Northern Leyte Front (NLF). The COG was so successful that a Handbook on the Approaches in Internal
Security Operations detailing Dagoys pacification of
the NLF has been published for future adoption of his
methodology.
He also employed pulong-pulong or direct
engagement approach with local residents to forge
partnerships with the communities and promote
awareness on the dangers of insurgency.
The province began to experience development potentials and better economic opportunities
which translated to jobs and livelihood for the deprived people in the province, he says of the impact
of suppressing insurgency in the provinces.

He was also part of the Philippine National


Police-PA team that negotiated the surrender of highpowered firearms by politicians and private armed
groups. The peace-keeping activities conducted
by the battalion under Col. Dagoys command also
ensured violence-free elections in Masbate in May
2010.
Col. Dagoy also led the 10th Philippine Contingent in Haiti, conducting rescue operations at
the aftermath of the deadly earthquake that hit the
Caribbean country. He played a major role in the successful repatriation of OFWs who were victims of the
disaster.
Col. Dagoy says he loves being given responsibilities because it is where the real challenges of
soldiery are. An officer must be the exemplar in the
unit or command for all subordinates to emulate and
follow. Setting oneself as an example has always
been very effective in securing the inspiration and
cooperation of every subordinate to promote esprit
de corps in the unit, Col. Dagoy shares, adding that
I dream of a Philippine bureaucracy that is united
and collective in our efforts in addressing the security
problem of every community.

pablo y. laspril la,jr.


Aircraft Mechanic II
410th Maintenance Wing
Philippine Air Force
Clark Air Base Air Command
Angeles City, Pampanga

hen you see mighty aircrafts as they


mark their way through the air, the
grease-stained man with the wrench
in his hand is the man who put them there. So goes
a famous poem about aircraft mechanics by an
anonymous author.
In the country, being an aircraft mechanic is a
remarkable yet often underrated profession. Do you
know that there are only 33 civilian aircraft mechanics across the country employed in the Philippine Air
Force (PAF)?
One of them is Pablo Y. Lasprilla Jr. of the
410th Maintenance Wing of the PAF stationed at
Clark Air Base, Angeles City. Lasprilla is a top notch
specialist of the T53-L-13B and T53-L-703 series of
engines of Huey helicopters used in disaster relief
and mercy missions of the government. In other
words, he is the go-to person when you need those

Huey helicopters in tip-top shape before going out on


a mission.
Through Lasprillas expertise, the helicopter
fleet is able to successfully perform its duties while
keeping the pilots and passengers safe up in the air.
Aside from that, the government is able to save more
than P34 million annually from outsourced labor.
Despite such a huge responsibility, Lasprilla
remains loyal to and is happy with his job. He could
have joined his fellow aircraft mechanics in Canada,
Qatar or Singapore where he could earn as much as
P150,000 per month a lot bigger compared to his
government paybut he prefers to stay in the Philippines. Mas gusto ko rito para makatulong ako sa
mga kababayan natin, he quipped, adding, Ako
po ay naniniwala na mga Pilipino lang ang tunay na
makapagpapaunlad sa ating bansa.

renato u. solidum, jr.


Director IV
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
Diliman, Quezon City

s Filipinos continue to be at the mercy of


destructive natural elements, being aware and
being prepared is the next best thing to do.
This is where the work of Dr. Renato Solidum comes in.
As head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and
Seismology (PHIVOLCS), he leads government efforts
to mitigate the effects of disasters caused by volcanic
eruptions, earthquakes and tsunami. PHIVOLCS predicts
where these disasters would take place and the extent
of possible damage, and issues forecasts and warnings
so that concerned agencies can undertake measures to
minimize harm to people and property.
PHIVOLCS has gone a long way in the area of disaster risk reduction and much of this can be attributed
to Dr. Solidums expertise, leadership and dedication. He
initiated and spearheaded a nationwide mapping program that generated new information on tsunami-prone
areas. The program also made possible the compilation
of available historical tsunami information shown in
the form of hazard maps. These hazard maps are used
mostly by local government units in risk-sensitive development planning and disaster preparedness.
PHIVOLCS has done such a good job under Dr.
Solidums helm that it has gained the support and confidence of international funding agencies. The assistance
provided by these organizations has enabled PHIVOLCS
to continually conduct monitoring and mapping of earthquake and volcano related hazards at little to no cost to

government. It has also helped the agency improve its


capability and equipment.
Dr. Solidums commitment to his work is unparalleled. Through the encouragement of his professor,
former PHIVOLCS director Dr. Raymundo Punongbayan,
he entered the agency in 1984 starting as Science
Research Specialist I and since then has not left the
agency. He worked his way up, dogged and determined,
until he became director just like his mentor.
One may wonder how Dr. Solidum has achieved
this much success. He says though that there is no
elaborate formula to it. To do things effectively, you
must learn to engage and collaborate with your stakeholders. You must also believe and be confident that the
planned or assigned task can be done. But to gain confidence, you must continue learning and allow yourself to
be guided and molded by your superiors, co-workers and
other people outside of the office.
He hopes that more public servants would be
inspired to achieve great things, just as he has done.
One can have a positive impact within and outside the
organization with the right attitude believing that you
can do something positive, committing to excellence,
persevering to pursue the right things even though challenges come your way, and depending on God to guide
your ways.

fe a. yap

Acting Director-General
Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
San Miguel, Manila

or a country with 170 languages, spoken by


90 million inhabitants, spread across 7,107
islands, influenced by various Western colonizers, it would not be unusual for its own people to find
themselves lost in translation. Bridging this language
divide, which is also reflective of the countrys own
cultural diversity, is a lifetime endeavor placed in the
hands of Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) Acting
Director General Fe Aldave Yap.
Dr. Yaps decades of experience in government
service has been dedicated to promoting the Filipino
language as a global language. She has produced
works that contributed to the ethnolinguistic heritage of Filipinos. She has written translation books,
dictionaries, linguistics map and research papers on
the Filipino language that benefited the academe.
Her proposals and papers presented in national and
international conferences garnered support from
language organizations and foreign language institutions.
I love to help in implementing our strategic
language planning to bridge the linguistic and cultural
divide towards national unity and national identity
as Filipinos in the community of nations, she says.
Aside from the study of languages, Dr. Yap has
dedicated her life instilling the value of literature.

Because the Philippines is not a reading nation, as


Dr. Yap pointed out, reading literature should be
encouraged in the early years of basic education. She
spearheaded a project aimed at globalizing Philippine childrens literature on the web and globalizing
national childrens literature through global Filipino
and Philippine English.
Dr. Yaps commitment manifests her competence and passion in the field of research related to
the Filipino language. My work ethics has greatly
influenced my philosophy of public life and served as
guiding principles of high moral standards governing
the appropriate code of conduct and behavior, positive thinking, right attitude and action towards excellence in government service, she says. Even if she
has to face challenges like lack of funds to support
her projects and proposals, she does not mind paying
for her travel expenses to attend international conferences or waiving royalties for her work to be able to
donate the money to KWF and its future publications.
Her dedication should serve as a model to vanguards
of Philippine history and culture.
Change the culture of mediocrity to a culture of excellence with integrity, transparency and
accountability, says the champion of the Filipino
language and of public service.

trees for books/books for trees projects


Regional Public Affairs Office
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Cordillera Administrative Region
Baguio City, Benguet

(Team Members: Abner Fe R. Villanueva, Gayle S. Astudillo, Ferdinand H. Corpuz,


Parisio S. Laluan and Perlita T. Nerja)

ike the two sides of a coin, education and


environmentalism became the two-pronged
strategy of DENR-CARs Trees for Books/Books
for Trees project. The said two components of the
project complement each other in principle and in
action. As the project encourages the solicitation and
exchange of books among schools, it also encourages the planting of trees in school grounds. This way,
the project saves trees through the distribution and
use of recycled books.

the recipient schools, saving the government valuable money which would have been used for labor.
Through the project, a sense of community was
revitalized, and a renewed interest in knowledge and
reading was promoted.

This inventive and creative solution to pressing educational and environmental concerns in the
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) was spearheaded by the Regional Public Affairs Office of the
DENR. While promoting both readership and environmentalism among young students, the project also
empowered them through the spirit of knowledge
sharing and teamwork. More than 5,000 students
have benefited from the project, with more than
7,000 books donated and almost P2 million saved
from the acquisition of brand new books. Almost
5,000 assorted seedlings have also been planted by

The team also sees the project as a response


to climate change. Donors are encouraged to give
their books instead of throwing them away. The burning of paper emits toxic fumes which are disastrous
to the atmosphere. So why burn the trash when they
can be turned into cash?

The project addresses one of the major concerns of the government solid waste management,
the team explains. It also reduced the volume of
garbage while expanding the population of trees.

The team values the projects sustainability and replicability. They dont only have one-time
donors, but an expanding donor and recipient base
who now share the teams passion for learning and
environmental awareness.

pampanga agricultural col lege-open


academy for phili ppine agrilculture
Information and Communication Technology Based Extension Services for the Agriculture Sector
Pampanga Agricultural College
Magalang, Pampanga

(Team Members: Virgilio DM. Gonzales, Rizza G. Baltazar, Rommel M. Basa, Nestor D. Bautista,
Romeo N. Guinto, Julieta M. Gumilets, Joel Q. Maliwat, Geraldine C. Sanchez)

ellular phones may soon replace the sombalilo as


a must-have accessory of Filipino farmers after
a group of state workers from the Philippine Agricultural College-Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture
(PAC-OPAPA) started what may be touted as an agricultural revolution. Noting how hooked people are on short
messaging service (SMS), the team took advantage of
the texting mania to spread agritalk.
The countrys archipelagic terrain makes interpersonal communication costly, challenging various sectors,
including agriculture, to draw up schemes towards
faster, cheaper, more accessible modes of communication. This situation prompted PAC-OPAPA to establish the
Farmers Text Center (FTC), using SMS to deliver practical and the latest information to farmers in the country.
Under the program, text agents were designated
to be on board and to provide prompt answers to texters
queries eight hours a day, Mondays to Fridays. FTC is
considered as a supplementary tool in the agriculture extension system in the Philippines. With the FTC, farmers
are now able to text their concerns thus reduce the cost
of extension efforts. FTC has also served as a platform
to connect rural farmers with agencies anywhere in the
country. Since the establishment of FTC, farmers have
begun enjoying a convenient way to get hold of technologies and knowledge that improve their livelihood. Farm

entrepreneurs, agricultural extension workers, cooperatives and agricultural traders can now confidently apply
effective techniques in the production and application of
hybrid rice and corn seeds as they are backed by information obtained via the FTC.
The FTC started off with only 11 messages when
it was launched in August 2004. FTC now receives
an average of over 2,000 messages a month. In its
six years of operation, FTC has already responded to
52,840 messages. Topics of the messages were not limited to rice production but covered queries on livestock,
vegetables, and other high-value crops as well. The increasing number of text messages reflects the potential
of the technology in enhancing farmers and extension
workers access to advanced farming technologies despite the distance barrier.
The fast and effective dissemination of needbased agricultural information and technology transfer
via web-based advisories, online training, distance learning, and e-library has led to higher farm yield, improved
quality of harvest, decrease in the use of fertilizers and
pesticides, and immediate diagnosis and application of
solutions to farm problems. Evidently, the PAC-OPAPAs
Farmers Text Center is an innovation whose time has
come.

2010

dangal ng bayan awardees

kenneth a. bid-ing
Concurrent Legal Officer
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
San Carlos City Jail
San Carlos City, Pangasinan

enneth Bid-ing performs a dual function. He


is both the San Carlos City Jail warden and the
legal officer and paralegal of Region 1 and the
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Legal Services
Division.
A lawyer by profession, Bid-ing has chosen the
not the usual path of jail management. He has made
it his mission to improve the lives of the San Carlos
City jail inmates by adhering to moral and ethical
standards.
As legal officer, Bid-ing made sure that laws on
abuse, harassment and ethical standards were properly implemented. He also offered free legal counseling, and made sure that the inmates were able to
avail of their right to suffrage.

As jail warden, Bid-ing addressed problems


such as jail congestion, low literacy and lack of productivity among inmates by getting more than P2 million worth of assistance for educational and livelihood
programs, construction projects and social services.
These projects resulted to better jail facilities, including a clean kitchen, additional visiting area, and a
private room for female inmates. These also boosted
the morale and quality of life of the inmates, making
them more productive than ever.
Through the innovative and practical solutions offered by Bid-ing, San Carlos City jail became a
model of excellence for the criminal justice system.

ernesto dr. doroteo


Administrative Aide I
Center for Indigenous People
City Social Welfare Department
Antipolo City Government
Antipolo City, Rizal

rnesto Doroteo proved that lack of education


is not a hindrance to helping the disadvantaged.

A Dumagat, Doroteo is a witness to the deplorable living conditions of his fellow tribespeople who
get by without formal schooling, electricity or health
care assistance. Thus, it was no surprise that when
an opportunity came for him to work at the Antipolo
City Government, he took advantage of it so that
he could better serve the Dumagat community. He
initiated literacy and livelihood programs so that the
tribespeople, especially the younger ones, can learn
to earn their own living. Doroteo also helped them acquire land certificates proving their ownership of the
ancestral land inherited from their forefathers.
Doroteo was also instrumental in the establishment of the Center for Indigenous People under the

Social Welfare Department of the Antipolo City Government. This is a remarkable feat because, for the
first time in the history of the city, an office has been
set up whose only mandate is to look after the needs
and welfare of indigenous groups. Our tribespeople
seldom come to the city because they feel neglected
by the government. But since the Center [for Indigenous People] was established, we started to believe
that we are now being given priority in some aspects,
he said.
With that, Doroteo sees a brighter future, not
only for his fellow Dumagat people but for the rest of
the indigenous populace in the country. I hope that
the government can see our need to obtain education
and to preserve our culture and traditions. My dream
is for the indigenous community to have a better
place in society, he said.

benigno b. durana,jr.
Senior Executive Assistant
Office of the Chief
Philippine National Police
Camp Crame, Quezon City

rom 2005 to 2010, Police Senior Superintendent


Benigno Durana, Jr. found himself all over the place
literally. He was assigned to various posts including
chief of Cubao Police Station, chief of the Police Anti-Crime
and Emergency Response (PACER) for Metro Manila, chief
of the Change Management and Advocacy Unit of the
Philippine National Police (PNP) Program Management
Office, provincial director of Aklan Provincial Police Office,
deputy senior police adviser of the United Nations Observer
Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), and most recently, senior
executive assistant to the PNP Chief.
When he commanded the Cubao Police Station, he
implemented a program dubbed Wow Cubao anchored
on three strategic thrusts: Super Bantay which harnessed
and mobilized community involvement in crime prevention
and good governance; Sagip Buhay which put the focus
of crime prevention and rehabilitation program on the
marginalized sector; and Selfless Business which drew
business sectors support on crime management. Through
these programs, the Cubao Police Station made Cubao, one
of the busiest districts in Metro Manila, safe for residents,
businessmen and visitors and was adjudged Best Numbered Police Station of the entire National Capital Regional
Police Office (NCRPO).
When he led the Aklan Provincial Police Office, he
helped improve peace and order in Boracay through strict
law enforcement. The centralized port system called One
Entry/One Exit Policy has been in existence for more than
a year but was never effectively implemented until Durana
took helm of Task Force Bantay Boracay. Through the said
policy, pump boats are no longer seen competing with tour-

ists and swimmers for space at the world-famous shore.


Also under his leadership, the No Helmet/No Travel Policy
in Aklan was strictly implemented such that the high incidence of fatalities and injuries due to motorcycle accidents
was drastically reduced. These, and many other innovations
and reforms introduced by Durana, have earned the Aklan
Provincial Police Office recognition as Best Police Provincial
Office in the whole of Western Visayas in 2009.
Durana was also instrumental to the PNP achieving
increased recognition and appreciation from the public. He
pioneered the Service Desk System that aims to improve
customer service in PNP frontline desks and offices. This
later on provided the conceptual framework for the PNPs
Model Police Station Project under its nationwide Integrated
Transformation Program.
Because of his proven competence in introducing
reforms and capacity building for police institutions, he
became deputy senior police adviser of UNOMIG. His task
was to help reform and build the capacity of about 600
Georgian police officers, and in the process, showcase the
Filipino brand of global peacekeeping. In an article in the
Philippine Daily Inquirer, he says about his UN stint, This is
my opportunity to disappoint people who look down of Filipinos Lets not be trapped in the mentality that I am just a
Filipino. So what if I have dark skin? I can deliver.
Indeed, Durana never ceased to render outstanding
performance in his various stints in and out of the country.
He is a thinker, a reformist, a gem of the Philippine police
force and most importantly, a true public servant.

trinidad s. gozun
State Auditor IV
Commission on Audit Regional Office No. III
San Fernando, Pampanga

overnment auditors are often perceived as faultfinders. They usually bring to attention negative
observations found during audit procedures, always
on the lookout for signs or manifestations of graft and corrupt practices. It was against this backdrop that Trinidad S.
Gozun quietly but efficiently performed her task as State
Auditor. Despite the negative perceptions, she continues to
look forward to the day that civil servants will realize that
mainly because of auditors vigilance, they are spared from
possible administrative or criminal liability.
Being an auditor however, requires more than vigilance; courage is oftentimes the central ingredient in many
of the undertakings. In the case of Gozun, courage complemented by integrity plus her belief that public service is a
public trust guided her as she worked in checking and ironing out discrepancies involving government funds.
Her steadfastness in upholding the COAs ideal that
the interest of the country shall prevail led to the discovery
of fraud-tainted loan accounts of the Quedan and Rural
Credit Guarantee Corporation (QUEDANCOR) Regional Office
No. III and its district offices. As the audit leader, Ms. Gozun
maintained her tenacity in substantiating the findings of
irregularities in QUEDANCOR transactions amounting to
P449.7 million from 2003 to 2007. She diligently followed
through her investigations by issuing an Audit Observation
Memo that eventually led to the issuance of Notices of
Disallowance to those involved.
She was also instrumental in uncovering the irregular and fraudulent acts of QUEDANCOR officials of granting
anomalous loans and procuring supplies from unqualified
bidders, in violation of the Government Procurement Law,

that have resulted in losses amounting to almost P1.7 billion.


Despite the harassment and threats to her life because of her findings on QUEDANCOR, Ms. Gozun continued
her doggedness in fulfilling her audit duties leading still
to the uncovering of irregularities. This time, the anomaly
was in the procurement and distribution of fertilizer of the
National Food Authority (NFA) in Pampanga. Her findings
prompted COAs Legal and Adjudication Office to create
audit teams nationwide to investigate the alleged anomaly
on certified seeds by NFA.
With all the challenges she experienced in her job,
Ms. Gozun still believes on having a bureaucracy that
would deliver prompt and effective service to the public, a
bureaucracy that civil servants can truly be proud of.
If there is a particular area that could be improved
upon, it would be on inculcating a higher sense of responsibility and accountability among the members of the civil
service. There are a hundred of ways to improve ourselves
and in turn make changes in the bureaucracy such as
reporting for work on time, giving your 101 percent in doing
your job and exercising due diligence in managing public
funds.
Ms. Gozun considers being one of the 2010 Dangal
ng Bayan as the highlight of her career. Despite this accolade, she believes that she remains what she used to be 37
years ago when she entered government servicea person
whose character is unquestioned and who will not let a
single centavo slip while she remains on guard of public
funds.

carmelita v. mendoza
Administrative Officer II
Government Arsenal
Department of National Defense
Limay, Bataan

believe that every simple and little thing matters, says Carmelita V. Mendoza, Administrative Officer II of the Department of National
Defense (DND) Government Arsenal.
Simple, down to earth and hard-working, she
has performed her duties diligently like any ethical
civil servant should. Her 35 years in the government
is a record of honesty and commitment to public
service.
As part of her regular tasks, she withdraws
money from Land Bank of the Philippines for the payment of employees salaries. On one particular day,
she realized that the amount she got from the bank
exceeded the actual amount she withdrew. She immediately informed a bank official about the mistake
and returned the cash amounting to P750,000.
This act of honesty has earned her the admiration of bank officials, her superiors and colleagues.
But for Talits, as she is fondly called by her peers,
what she did was nothing grand.

In several instances in transacting business


with our servicing bank, I received cash more than
what I should get. And in those instances, I just simply
returned the excess cash to the bank teller discreetly,
not expecting any favor in return, she says of how
these instances are quite normal occurrences to her.
The incident which involved the P750,000
which I returned to the cashier was, again, done
very discreetly and without any fanfare. It was the
bank personnel who made it known to the media
later, she related. The said incident was reported in
broadsheets and newspapers. She received several
recognitions for her honesty in public service.
I am always inspired by the thought that in my
little way I am serving my country and people in the
best way I could. I wish that the story of my life and
career may somehow inspire other civil servants to
choose the righteous way of service, she says.

noel r. ponsaran
Police Superintendent/Reagional Chaplain
Philippine National Police Regional Office XI
Catitipan, Davao City

all him Superintendent or Father, either way,


Noel Ponsaran does not see any conflict between his two roles as both ultimately advocate
peace. This awardee wears two hats: one as police
superintendent and another as a regional chaplain.
Believing that there are no victors in war,
Police Superintendent Noel R. Ponsaran devoted himself to teaching the culture of peace to the people
of Southern Mindanao and the Autonomous Region
in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) so that they can look
forward to the day when peace is not a distant goal
but a reality to enjoy in the conflict-ridden provinces.
For years, we have been using force to win
the war, without exploring the alternatives such as
looking at the root cause of the conflict and mapping
a solution from there. What I am trying to convey to
the various communities in Southern Mindanao is
that violence is a crime, no matter how provoked you
are, or how justified your actions are, said Father
Ponsaran.
In his mission to reduce if not end the conflicts
in Mindanao, he emphasized the role of the locals
in the campaign on conflict transformation through
lectures that educate the residents of their role in
achieving peace in their communities. The campaign

led residents to reveal information necessary in the


investigation of cases in the communities which then
resulted to the gradual neutralization of drugs and
illegal gambling. Other insurgency problems were also
addressed by the community through the establishment of Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team.
He also played a fundamental role in resolving the conflict between the Muslim and Christian
communities in Parang, Maguindanao through the
conduct of a dialogue with the elders of Teduray
tribe. Likewise, he was instrumental in settling a rido
or clan feud between the Imams and Macapeges of
Matanog, Maguindanao. The feud had caused several killings in both clans throughout the years, and
was resolved through Father Ponsarans intervention.
For all his anti-war advocacy, Father Ponsaran
travels from one barangay to another, enduring long
hours of motorcycle ride and crossing rivers to be
able to listen to the concerns of the residents and
conduct workshop-seminars on conflict transformation and the culture of peace.
Indeed, Father Ponsaran is an example that
the Philippines is not wanting of exemplary police
officers who dedicate their lives to serving the nation
and its people.

amelia a. rayandayan
Jail Superintendent/Jail Wardress
Manila City Jail Female Dormitory
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
Sta. Cruz, Manila

xcellence is my passion.

J/Supt. Amelia A. Rayandayan, Jail Warden of the


Manila City Jail Female Dormitory is someone fully dedicated to public service, and passionate at that.
When the custody and supervision of female
inmates were separated from the males in March 2005, J/
Supt. Rayandayan took it upon herself the task of developing the city jail.
Anyone would picture a jail as a dirty, cramped
space where undesirables are imprisoned. This public
perception did not deter Rayandayan from according just
service even to this marginalized sector of society. Through
her resourcefulness and dedication, she was able to transform the Manila City Jail Female Dormitory into a place that
is conducive to living.
Through solicitation from friends, local government
officials, non-government organizations and concerned
citizens, she was able to collect enough funds for the infrastructure improvements of the city jail. The funds collected
financed the construction of a concrete wall to separate the
male from the female inmates, main gate and additional toilets. CCTV cameras, barb wires, emergency lights, a watch
tower and paging system were installed to heighten security
of the jail compound. The old barracks was transformed
into a female dorm that can house 300 inmates.
She sourced funds for the improvement of administrative services that include construction of a reception hall,
the setting up of a cooperative, renovation of the infirmary

and purchase of two computer units. She gave proper attention to the nutrition and health of the inmates, making sure
that they are provided economical yet nutritious food. The
kitchen was granted a sanitary permit and kitchen crews
were given health certificates.
Her passion to serve is unparalleled that she even
used her Pag-IBIG earnings for the purchase of office supplies. She also lends her van for the transport of inmates
during hearings to avoid delays.
She works with justness and sincerity, assisting the
paralegal unit towards speedy disposition of cases. Under
her watch, torture, force, violence or threats to detainees
are prohibited.
Her selfless acts of service boosted the morale of
the detainees and aided their rehabilitation. Detainees
enjoy their right to suffrage, access on official records
pertaining to their cases, outreach programs for education,
livelihood and skills training and values formation.
She was awarded the Female Warden of the Year in
2009. Through her leadership, the Manila City Jail Female
Dormitory had been awarded Best Jail of the Year for
three consecutive years.
I am always delighted to manage people especially
the lowly ones who wanted to be transformed, she says.
A truly exemplary public servant is one who puts the
welfare of the people she serves above everything else, just
like J/Supt. Rayandayan.

geoffrey s. tilan
Provincial Administrator
Provincial Government of La Union
Office of the Provincial Administrator
San Fernando City, La Union

s a provincial administrator, Dr. Tilan is a


primus inter pares a first among equals
who is also looked upon as authority. He was
able to balance being a leader and a team player,
which made him effective in steering the Provincial
Government of La Union into an honest, transparent
and red-tape-free agency. He led the office in addressing the needs of the province through effective
programs on peace and order, education and literacy,
employment, health, tax collection, tourism, and community development. His efforts spawned scholarship
programs, enhanced hospital assistance, improved
literacy rate, a computerized real property tax assessment and billing system, and community outreach

programs, among others. As a result, the PGLU was


rated A, a Star Regional Performer, by the National
Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in terms of
the provinces productivity and quality level in 2008.
These outstanding achievements reflect his
commitment to public interest. He knew it wouldnt
be an easy job, but he wholeheartedly performed his
role to uphold the quality of life of their constituents.
I learned that my public life is a splendid torch which
I get to hold only for a moment, he says. Therefore, I
want to make it burn as brightly as possible each day
before turning it over to my successor, when that time
comes.

2010

civil service commission or


pagasa awardees

virgilio c. arias
Administrative Aide III
Eastern Samar State University
Borongan City, Eastern Samar

his awardee has proven that a low man on


the totem pole can and should not be limited by his position to aim high and achieve
great things.
Because of his exceptional performance and
leadership skills, Virgilio Arias, then a casual worker
assigned as janitor at the Eastern Samar State
University, was designated head of Janitorial Services. As such, he supervises a team of 13 utility
workers assigned to clean and maintain a sprawling
10-hectare property that includes five academic
buildings, road networks, lawns, mini-parks and a
playground. Due to lack in manpower, Arias has to
fill the shoes of his staff and often finds himself
checking roofs and operating hazardous equipment
to ensure that the university grounds remain conducive for learning.

Arias and his team also helped in the repainting of four buildings within the university as part
of the Building Maintenance Project. Seeing that
the task had to be ready before graduation and the
repainters were pressed for time, he gladly obliged to
assist the Physical Plant Office even without added
remuneration.
Aside from literally cleaning up the school,
he also helped clean up the acts of tardy and loafing personnel when he proposed the installation of
a Biometric Attendance Monitoring System. At one
point, he was also assigned by the Vice President for
Academic Affairs to monitor the attendance of rankand-file employees and submit a report to management, a task well beyond his job description.

randy d. canlas
Printing Machine Operator III
Office Services Department
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City

either the partial hearing impairment nor the lack


of degree in software programming can deter Randy D. Canlas from serving as an inspiration to his
co-workers at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA)
where he works as a Printing Machine Operator III.
With a Salary Grade of 9, Randy could very well confine himself to his regular tasks of reproducing documents
or sending them thru fax or doing other sundry office work,
after all, these are his regular functions and doing them
well in the span of eight hours is all that the office requires
of him. Accomplishing these tasks creditably will already
earn him an S or a Satisfactory on his performance evaluation.
But a rating of S is not acceptable for Randy as it
is second nature to him to step up to the plate and volunteer his services whenever and wherever they are needed.
At the Auxiliary Service Division of the SBMAs Office
Services Department (OSD) where he is assigned, Randy
gladly fills up the slack for his co-workers when they are on
leave or otherwise occupied with other assignments. He is
sometimes the receptionist, secretary, encoder, driver or
messengername it, and he willingly does it.
But his biggest contribution to the organization is in
sharing his acumen in the field of Information Technology. It
should be pointed out though that Randy is not involved in
SBMAs Management Information System. Armed however
with an acumen in programming and the desire to improve
systems and procedures, he developed numerous computer
programs which have facilitated SBMA operations.
It started in 2003 when he observed the offices
difficulty of organizing and tracking records and correspon-

dence, which have been steadily accumulating and taking


up lots of space. Randy then asked his supervisor if he can
try and come up with a software program that can solve the
problem. After a few months, the Office Document Tracking System (ODTS) was introduced in his division. ODTS is
a Windows-based application software that allows users
to access, retrieve and store data through point and click
capability.
By 2004, ODTS became fully operational and other
departments within the SBMA requested that the system be
installed in their work stations including that of the Office of
the Chairman and the Office of the Administrator and CEO.
Aside from the ODTS, Randy has consequently
developed other software programs to help in the monitoring of businesses accredited by SBMA, automation of the
business registration system and the vehicle entry and exit
management. These programs generated SBMA an estimated P3.8 Million in savings. He likewise volunteered his
services in developing the agencys website which helped
immensely in the maintenance of local and foreign investments in Subic and the promotion of economic and social
development in Central Luzon. The programs developed by
Randy are considered one-time expense for SBMA as he
also takes care of its maintenance and upgrade which has
saved the agency an additional P1.2 million.
Aside from developing software programs, Randy
also gives free Aikido Training, not just for SBMA employees, but for their dependents as well and for Subic Freeport
workers.
Truly, the contributions made by Randy are beyond
satisfactory, and should be rated with an Sfor superb.

nora d. de la paz

Social Welfare Officer V


Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I
San Fernando City, La Union

ocial Welfare Officer Nora D. Dela Paz is a


forerunner of good governance, always upholding transparency and accountability in her
actions especially in financial transactions.
As Chief of the Management Division of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development
(DSWD) Field Office (FO) I, she handles the general
services and financial administration of her agency.
She enhanced and strengthened the work
process flow, systems and procedures with the use of
biometrics for attendance, streamlined procurement
of goods, imposed austerity measures on the use of
office telephones, and installed a system monitoring
the use of equipment outside DSWD FO I premises.
She also implemented a policy on the turnover of responsibilities, records, equipment and supplies from
outgoing to incoming staff of DSWD. Her initiatives
resulted to improved effectiveness and efficiency in
the office as indicated by higher performance outputs
and optimum use of resources which generated savings for the FO.
When the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA) was implemented, she wasted no time carrying out its provisions. As the focal person of the DSWD FO I Citizens
Charter, she started the ball rolling and made the FO
one of the first few agencies that complied with ARTA.

The office has also seen improved employee


morale as indicated in higher job satisfaction and
better interpersonal relationships. She spearheaded
the organization of an Employees Cooperative which
granted loans for rank-and-file employees. The Cooperative is of great help whenever personal financial
emergency arises for employees.
Colleagues, family members and community
people have high regard of Chief Nora. There was
never an instance of a complaint on misuse of government resources under her responsibility. Believing
that government leaders should be the first to demonstrate zero corrupt practices in the government, she
strictly adheres to ethical leadership management. I
learned that I can be as stubborn, resilient and strong
like a solid rock to defy institutionalized popular
practices and culture which are against the principles
of good governance integrity, transparency and accountability, she says.
Strict and tactful, as described by her coworkers, Chief Nora deals with staff firmly with the
sternness of a boss coupled with a loving concern of
a mentor.
Her piece of advice? Have the passion to
always learn and improve because in every situation
and event there will always be a new learning, says
the chief.

maria lourdes d. lim

Regional Director
National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office XI
Bangkal, Davao City

or Director Lim, planning is the catalyst for


developing the Filipino nation. It has also been
her lifes work at NEDA, where she is involved
with a broad range of planning-related projects and
programs. As a trained economist and development
planner, she channeled her early dreams of becoming
a doctor into becoming a reliable diagnostic analyst
and solution provider. She exemplified proactive and
highly competent leadership in pushing for reforms
in peace and development, environmental management, poverty alleviation, and gender and development in Davao.
Her deep concern for the issues of Mindanao
are reflected in her involvement with the SocioEconomic Reconstruction and Development of
Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (SERD-CAAM),
the Mindanao Strategic Development Framework
(MSDF) 2010-2020, the Davao Region Development
Agenda 2010-2020, and development projects for
the Mindanao River Basin, all geared towards poverty
alleviation, and peace and development. She was
able to implement these initiatives through participative and proactive planning, strategic investments

and promotion, resource mobilization, and resultsbased monitoring and evaluation.


Director Lims passion for development planning comes from her experience growing up in a
cross-cultural and multi-religious setting in Cotabato
City. At an early age, she was already exposed to
the conflicts and challenges spawned by clashing
ideologies. However, this also taught her to be a
well-rounded individual, and to cope with difficult
situations. I learned to respect other cultures and
faiths and to understand that being Filipino is to live
in cultural diversity, she says.
Her background and training came full circle
when she served at NEDA. It is a conscious choice
to be a responsive, accessible, courteous and effective public servant. The people expect no less than
this behavioral norm in the government service. The
good news is that the Filipino psyche possesses
these innate positive values. It is a matter of training all of us in the civil service to rediscover these
values and practice these in the workplace and
community.

ranny d. magno
Department Manager III
Fire Department
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Olongapo City, Zambales

hen a man becomes a fireman, his


greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that
is all in the line of work.
Forty-five year-old Ranny D. Magno holds a
huge responsibility as Department Manager III of
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). He heads
the Fire Department of SBMA composed of more
than a hundred highly-trained firefighters.
He has led the SBMA Fire Department in
emergency response, most of which are rescue efforts to disasters that happened outside the Subic
Bay Freeport Zone. As a former member of the US
Navy, he provides the institutional memory for the
Department and has been instrumental in cascading
the best practices of the former US military facility to
the Department.
Magno instilled in his firefighters a deep sense
of pride in their duty as firemen. His leadership by
example has boosted the morale of the brave lifesavers of SBMA. Leadership entails teaching others to
establish individual abilities and team cooperation. It
means teaching the know-how and the know-why
of every job or operation and it means drilling until

there is complete understanding and retention, he


says of his participative and hands-on style in leading
the Department.
He was able to get the administrative support from SBMA to conduct free trainings on disaster
preparedness, quick emergency response and risk
mitigation, inviting schools and local government
units to form a community-based disaster response
mechanism.
The charismatic fire chief acknowledges the
huge responsibility on hand. He says that his most
significant learning in being a leader is patience.
Running seven fire stations and 14 fire trucks is not
an easy task. You have to be resourceful and innovative, and above all, patient, he explains.
Magnos bravery plus his leadership savvy has
led the SBMA Fire Department into becoming a wellknown fire and rescue team. The teams rescue capabilities and state-of-the-art equipment has earned the
reputation, trust and confidence of the people.
Pag narinig na namin ang kakaibang tunog
ng firetrucks ng SBMA Fire and Rescue, kampante na
ang mga tao, says one resident of SBMA.

arnel g. palabay

Senior Economic Development Specialist


National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office I
San Fernando City, La Union

espite the lure of higher pay and lucrative


benefits offered by a prestigious computer
university in La Union, this civil servant chose
to stay in public service and eventually prove, in his
own way that the government is not wanting in men
who exemplify integrity and excellence.
Arnel G. Palabay has been consistent in delivering whatever is expected of him. It was no surprise
to his superiors and colleagues that he was able to
develop computer programs that enabled the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)
Regional Office 1 to enhance the delivery of service to
their clients.
Arnel initiated the development, installation
and deployment of e-systems for NEDA such as the
e-library, supply inventory system, online report generation of NEDAs Management Team, online query
system of major development indicators, development
and management of the National Economic Research
and Business Assistance Center (NERBAC), and the
Ilocos Region Information Sharing Networkall of
which were instrumental in the achievement of productivity and quality performance in the Ilocos region.
But his most notable contribution to the organization was the development of the electronic Daily
Time Record System or the eDTR which paved the
way for the automation of the computation of person-

nel information. With the system, updating data on


available leave of absence, number or recorded tardiness/undertime on a daily basis is now a breeze.
The automation of employee records also led
to the electronic payroll system that ensures accurate
information on salary and deductions that include
monthly amortization for loans and the terms of payment. After the obligation of the employee is completed, the system automatically deletes the record of the
loan so as to prevent overpayment. For the installation, deployment and continued upgrading and customization of the eSystems, NEDA Region 1 was able
to generate savings of almost half a million pesos.
Arnel is also a recipient of NEDAs Humility and
Patience Award for exhibiting modesty and patience
in the delivery of his duties and responsibilities; staying calm and maintaining a normal tone of voice in
expressing his own ideas and suggestions.
He advises fellow state workers to always be
proud of their work. Things can indeed get tough in
public service. But instead of languishing, of using
these difficulties as excuses for performing below par,
we can transform these setbacks into opportunities
for better serving our countrymen. We have to keep
in mind though that the true mark of a public servant
is that of placing the countrys interest above ones
own.

santos b. sunico
Social Welfare Officer I
Municipal Government of Lal-lo
Lal-lo, Cagayan

n a profession dominated by women, Santos B.


Sunico has managed to stand out and prove that
men also have what it takes to be an effective
social worker.
Sunico started as a Social Welfare Aide tasked
to open a DSWD office in Gonzaga, Cagayan. Even as
a one-man team, he was very visible and accessible
that soon after, the DSWD office gained reputation.
Because of his excellent performance, he was granted a scholarship in Social Work and had to transfer to
Tuguegarao. There he assumed multiple roles, pushing him to juggle his time between work and family.
After finishing his Social Work degree and
passing the board exams, he was promoted to Social
Worker and transferred to La-lo. He served as facilitator, lecturer and trainer and represented the LGU in
various conferences and inter-agency meetings. Because of his impeccable leadership and dedication,
he was designated as Public Employment Service
Office Manager, Community Training and Employment
Coordinator, and One Town-One Product (OTOP) Point
Person.
The OTOP Program that Sunico was tasked to
implement paved the way for the municipality to dis-

cover the potential of the native lubeg fruit in creating


a profitable wine industry. The success of OTOP led
him to replicate it at the barangay level. He helped
the locals form associations and encouraged them to
attend seminars and trainings. Thereafter, the locals
started earning from bee culture, vermiculture, cut
flowers, noodle making and other livelihood activities.
With the help of Sunico, they were able to augment
their family income while those unemployed learned
to make a living.
Because of his outstanding contributions, he
garnered recognition from various groups such as the
Outstanding Public Service Award by the DSWD, Outstanding Social Worker of the Philippines by the Philippine Association of Social Workers, and Outstanding Cagayano Award by the Provincial Government
of Cagayan. But for Sunico, the greatest affirmation
comes from the words of gratitude from the Lal-loans
whom he has helped.
They are the best form of recognition a public
servant like me can ever ask for. It is a welcome pat
on the back after all the hard work I put in and the
challenges I had to overcome, he says.

miriam p. ventura
Revenue Officer III
Bureau of the Internal Revenue Regional Office III
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

evenue Officer Yam Ventura considers


revenue collection a taxing job. That is why
she banks on grit and determination to get
the job done. Her innovative and skillful strategies
in collecting taxes dramatically improved tax collection in Region 3. She also took up the challenge of
reviewing every income tax return and withholding tax
forms, as well as personally talking to taxpayers about
proper and timely tax payment to avoid additional
fees. Through her thorough and persistent work, she
was able to close 214 cases of underpayment of
taxes from 2005-2010, resulting to a collection of
P625,489.31. Her performance has also been recognized by professional organizations in Luzon.
Among her awards, she considers the CSC
Pag-asa a special one. I am happy for the honor
and prestige this award will bring my family and
the Bureau, considering that revenuers are seldom

recognized by award-giving bodies, she says. Many


are not aware of the challenges, work conditions and
pressures being experienced in collecting taxes for
the government.
Yam also shares that when she was a kid, her
dream was to become either a bank teller or a flight
attendant. Her current job ironically allowed her to
experience both, albeit figuratively. As a collector, I
am accountable to the cash I collect from the taxpayers, just like a teller. Now, I fly high because of the
achievements and awards being bestowed upon me.
She continues to advocate tax collection while
changing the perspective of clients about taxes.
They will realize that the taxes they are paying are
not a burden, but their share for the development of
the country. Thus, they are heroes, and are largely
responsible in running the government.

commission on audit-quedan and


rural credit guarantee corporation
audit team
Corporate Government Sector
Commission on Audit National Capital Regional Office
Quezon City

(Team Members: Nilda M. Blanco, Socorro Carlyn L. Amomonpon, Danilo C. Cabilog, Teresita A. Cagalitan, Florenda E. Caingat, Delia L. Eco, Cynthia L. Florida, Petra P. Maron, Wilma R. Medroso, Priscila Rowena A. Moreto, Lolita
M. Pedria, Dolores L. Perez, Elesa M. Pusta, Aida Maria A. Talavera, Jennifer C. Tinio and Edna A. Yalung)

ow does it feel to uncover a shady government


project worth millions of public funds? All part
of a days work, so says the Commission on
Audit - Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation (COA-Quedancor) Audit Team.
In ensuring proper use of government resources, this distinct team of 16 government auditors need
not only be proficient in their craft but also resourceful, patient, committed, and most importantly, honest.
The team never failed to demonstrate these qualities
when they audited the swine program of Quedancor,
in which they uncovered irregularities worth P1.7
billion in losses. Their audit report sparked a controversy that led to a series of Senate inquiries and
prosecution of concerned Quedancor officials.
The road to the truth was never easy for the
team. We had to deal with two kinds of threats
threats to our lives and threats to our moral integrity
in the form of unimaginable amounts of bribe money.

In the end, our love for our country, faith in God and
commitment to the job got us through, said team
leader Nilda Blanco.
Despite these challenges, members of the
COA-Quedancor Audit Team are not thinking twice
about changing careers. The fact that our audit
report reached the Senate and was brought to the
attention of the public means that there is hope for
the government, said Director Aida Maria Talavera.
With an almost messianic attitude, they are content
to be in a job where they can uncover corruption and
be able to actually do something about it.
We see life as being part of a huge jigsaw puzzle. Each one of us is a puzzle piece that represents
the important part we play in the big picture, and just
like the pieces are interconnected, our roles are interconnected too. If you do not do your part, how can
others do theirs? Director Talavera asserts.

national food authority oriental mindoro


Oriental Mindoro Provincial Office
Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
(Team Members: Jaime S. Hadlocon, Teresita R. Abac, Alfredo P. Abilar, Lilibeth B. Agua, Felina C. Albo, Edwina A.
Bataluna, Teresita C.Canonicato, Remedios F. Castromero, Jenisa A. Cuasay, Nenelia A. Culla, Doreen P. Evangelista, Norma M. Harina, Estelita F. Hayag, Iluminado P. Igno, Rosie M. Igno, Asela P. Infantado, Editha M. Lebumfacil,
Rolando P. Lebumfacil, Rogelio B. Lumpas, Winston S. Manao, Rogelio F. Mendoza, Alberto O. Montiel, Maura C.
Morillo, Angelito J. Pacia, Danilo I. Pastrana, Menchie Lyn O. Roxas, Efren J. Sabong, Fernando I. Sanque, Alfonso
M. Santiana, Deogracias P. Sumira, Emmanuelita C. Sumira and Renato V. Yason)

he NFA was hurled into the spotlight


during the rice crisis in 2008. The NFA
Oriental Mindoro had to contend with the
same situation. Despite the difficulty, however, the
agency delivered responsive and selfless service
in ensuring the steady and quality supply of rice in
Mindoro. Through the hard work and sacrifice of the
NFA Oriental Mindoro staff, a safe level of inventory
for food security and a buffer stock was provided for
the province. A total of 431,000 bags of rice worth
P379.6 million was obtained through the NFA Palay
Procurement program, which benefited thousands
of farmers, farmer cooperatives, and residents. The
offices judicious and efficient distribution of rice assured enough supply even for the remotest areas in
the province where native communities reside, resulting in prompt delivery of rice in public schools and
day care centers all over the province. While earning
millions of pesos for the government, the team also
converted 13 hectares of idle lot into a productive
compound to further reinforce the supply of agricultural products in the area.

Provincial Manager Jaime S. Hadlocon knows


that such a huge and crucial task would not have
been possible without teamwork. Teamwork counts
most in every endeavor, he says. The branch recognizes every effort shared by each member. Each
member though had to log more than the normal
hours to cover a wide distribution range. We do not
count every hour spent for work as long as the service
calls for it, Hadlocon explains. We are loyal and obedient to the mission of the agency, which is to secure
the food requirement of every Filipino, and to work for
the stabilization of the price of rice.
The team has become a family throughout the
years. More than performing their function, they are
also dedicated to helping create a positive image of
the bureaucracy. They are also confident in achieving
more than what they have in the past, banking on
Hadlocons philosophy that together, we can hit the
mark.

tarlac college ofagriculture


agroforestation project
Tarlac College of Agriculture
Camiling, Tarlac

(Team Members: Max P. Guillermo, Edmund B. Baccay, Julius U. Basilio, Lady Fatima M. Bernal, Gerardo M.
Buraga, Ernesto DG. Carreon, Danilo P. Corpuz, Jon-Jon M. Dela Cruz, Novabina C. Eugenio, Francisco Q. Guingab,
Aristeo A. Hernandez, Hector T. Macaballug, Efren E. Pagatpatan and Amor T. Salvador)

ehabilitating hundreds of hectares of idle land into


a sustainable area of productivity requires three
Ds discipline, daring and dedication. And these
were what the Tarlac College of Agriculture (TCA) - Agroforestation Team demonstrated to bag the CSC Pagasa award.
They did not mind walking uphill for over four hours just to
reach planting sites or chipping in personal funds whenever the expected budget and supplies do not arrive or are
yet to be released by funding agencies.
The Agroforestration Program started in 2003 with
only three staff members from TCA initially in charge of its
implementation. They launched extensive information campaigns within the campus on the effects of global warming
and importance of environmental protection. As a result,
other staff members expressed interest in helping out with
the program.
TCA initiated the Agroforestation Project to instill
awareness on the need to protect the environment and
promote biodiversity with the end-goal of transforming the
lives of the communities. Through the strategic rehabilitation of forests and implementation of development measures that combined agriculture and forestry technologies,
more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems were created. Together with the
local Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(DENR) office, the team initiated tree planting activities in a
275-hectare plantation and established a 60,000 seedlingcapacity nursery.
The forest rehabilitation project helped improve
stream flow and watershed release. The micro watersheds

established in the TCA Forest Reservation currently supports approximately 300 hectares of farmland in downstream communities. With the improvement in irrigation,
the ricelands in the town of Mayantoc enjoy three cropping
seasons a year.
The group solicited as well the support of farmer organizations, commercial irrigators, and other stakeholders
through environment awareness and protection campaigns.
To also help augment the residents income, TCA taught
them how to start and maintain a backyard farm and to
engage in bee keeping. Bayanihan and volunteerism among
the households and farmers organizations were strengthened as residents selflessly provided free services in
protecting 665 hectares from grassfires, forest fires, illegal
logging and fuelwood gathering and wildlife protection.
Partnerships with various national government
agencies and government-owned and controlled corporations boosted the agroforestation project into further serving as a catalyst for economic activity and job generation.
Advocacy programs not only spurred renewed appreciation
and respect for nature but encouraged them to assume a
more active role in slowing down, if not reversing the effects
of climate change.
Asked on what drives the team, team leader Professor Max P. Guillermo says that the group draws inspiration
from what well known American author and critic Marya
Mannes when she warned humanity, saying that The earth
we abuse and the living things we kill will in the end take
their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.

pampanga agricultural college-the


amazing sweet sorghum
Pampanga Agricultural College
Magalang, Pampanga
(Team Members: Norman G. De Jesus, Jocelyn D. Baluyut, Zosimo M. Battad, Rogelio D. Cosio, Rosalina H. Erese,
Rudy M. Gonzales, Warlina M. Guzman, Regina D. Loria, Nora P. Lucero, Emmanuel C. Pangilinan, Elena B.
Pineda, Lane M. Pineda, Rafael R. Rafael, Mila S. Sigua, Lyndon G. Solis and Estrella C. Zabala)

eamwork divides the task and multiplies the


success.

Such is the experience of the Amazing Sweet Sorghum Team of the Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC) in
its commercialization of sweet sorghum as a viable crop.
Sweet sorghum, a variety of the crop plant sorghum,
is known to be a smart crop for its versatility it has a
wider range of adaptability, more rapid growth and higher
sugar accumulation and biomass production potential than
sugarcane. It can withstand hotter and drier temperatures,
making it resilient to climate change.
Realizing the potential of sweet sorghum, The
Amazing Sweet Sorghum: PACs Initiatives in Promoting and
Commercializing its Utilization as Human Food, Animal Feed
and Bio-Fuel started in 2005. Composed of specialists and
support staff, the team has done extensive research and
development activities for the use of sweet sorghum as an
alternative to human food, animal feed and bio-fuel source.
Food and fuel are major economic issues today,
and our project has provided sufficient information so that
in the near future, the government could use this generated knowledge and utilize this crop in addressing the food,
fuel and animal feed problems of this country, says team
leader Dr. Norman G. De Jesus.
The team was able to identify sweet sorghum
varieties suitable for seasonal conditions of Region III. They
proved that sweet sorghum can be used as alternative grain
in broiler diets. This crop can also be cultivated in regions

where corn production is marginal, making it economically


beneficial for grain and poultry producers.
The food technologists, the chemists and the engineer of the team also developed various food and non-food
products from sweet sorghum. Among the many different
kinds of food that can be produced from sorghum are burger sorghum, pastilles de sorghum, pop sorghum (sorghum
version of pop corn), sorghum porridge and sorghum yams.
Non-food products developed may be used as health care
products like body hair remover, soap, spa salt, body scrub
and liniment oil. They also developed a low-cost cooking
stove using ethanol made from sweet sorghum as fuel.
Because of the crops bright prospects, the team
was able to obtain P2 million funding support from the
Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Research,
Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural
Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
(ICRISAT).
The team believes that their project was very timely
and relevant given the current socio-economic needs.
We just did our best in this project and really never
expected this kind of award. To come up with a relevant
research was our primary concern, plus it was part of our
job to do things well. This reward is an absolute bonus, De
Jesus said.
Each team member had worked with joy, energy, enthusiasm and excitement to contribute in the development
of technologies and products that would greatly benefit the
Filipinos and the country in general, he proudly shared.