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(Written and photos taken by Radel Llagas)

The Municipality of Magdalena in the Province of Laguna is proclaimed one of the Outstanding Municipalities in the 2017 Rice Achievers Awards (RAA) on May 31, 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.

According to Enrique Layola, Focal Person for Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office No. IV-CALABARZON Rice Program, one of the primary factors to be proclaimed winner in the RAA is the high yield percentage of rice production in the municipality/city/province. However, the RAA also put great weight on the programs or services made by the local government units to assist their respective rice farmers in their production.

True to this criterion is the Municipality of Magdalena, although not to be compared with other winners with large production areas, they can compete, however, with the handful of programs and services they made available to their rice farmers. One of which, is the low credit scheme and palay trading system they established for their rice farmers.

The said award was received by Municipal Agriculturist Cecelia Sy together with her staff representing the Municipality of Magdalena. The Municipality of Magdalena also received a check for one million pesos to be used for their rice production enhancement projects.

Special recognition was also given to some finalists under Irrigators’ Association Category such as Sta. Masi Irrigators Association of Sta. Maria, Laguna and under the Provincial Category such as the Province of Laguna.

The RAA is an annual event of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that recognizes the efforts of outstanding rice producers in the Philippines. This is one of the Department’s ways of motivating and showing appreciation for institutions, groups, and individuals for their contributions in its food sufficiency thrust.

Senator Cynthia Villar and DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol graced the awarding ceremony, together with officials from the National Irrigation Administration, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, and other DA bureaus and attached agencies.

The delegates from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. IV-CALABARZON were Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Elmer Perry, Rice Program Focal Person Enrique Layola, and Rice Program Report Officer Maricris Ite.