PASAY CITY—Top rice-producing provinces, cities, and municipalities, as well as outstanding farmers’ associations, in 2018 were recognized during the latest Rice Achievers Awards.
Various local government units, irrigators’ associations, and small water irrigation systems associations received trophies and cash prizes for their exemplary contributions in rice farming.
Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, congratulated these achievers as she gave the keynote message during the awarding ceremony.
“You all made sure that rice remains a staple in the Filipino household and significantly contributed to our rice production,” she said.
The senator also highlighted the present administration’s efforts to help rice farmers nationwide which include free irrigation and the Rice Tariffication Law.
Villar stressed that local rice farmers will benefit from the programs supported by the law. She explained that, under the law, the government primarily enforces a tariff scheme on rice importation as part of the country’s agreement with the World Trade Organization in 1995.
Likewise, Engr. Ariel Cayanan, Undersecretary for Operations of the Department of Agriculture (DA), expressed the Department’s gratitude to the rice farmers, in behalf of Secretary Manny Piñol.
“In many ways, our ability to produce rice is a measure of our strength as a nation,” he said.
Cayanan acknowledged the contributions of farmers in ensuring food security. He furthered, “Food security is not only an issue of public policy. Food security is a matter of survival.”
Meanwhile, Randy Buen, Kuta Pawa Small Water Irrigation Systems Association president, extended their appreciation for the government’s assistance in their pursuit for development.
“We thanked the government for all the opportunities that they have opened for us,” he stated.
Other key officials of the Department including its attached bureaus and agencies, the National Irrigation Administration, and governors and mayors from different provinces and municipalities were among the guests at the awarding ceremony.
The Rice Achievers Awards is an annual recognition for rice industry achievers that aims to motivate rice farmers to contribute more in the country’s rice-sufficiency efforts.
This prestigious gathering led by the DA, in coordination with the Agricultural Training Institute, was held last May 30, 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center.